SANFORD, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Hazel is a puppy that is just coming-to after vets at Delaporte Veterinary Hospital sedated her for an operation.
The drugs doctors used to relax and keep her calm are drugs that thieves and addicts will break into this clinic to get.
“They'll get it if they want it,” said Dr. Beau Delaporte, DVM, “they'll rip it off the wall, as far as the safe. They'll take it with them.”
Delaporte said it's been happening since his father had a clinic in Altamonte Springs. “He was so sick of going up there at 3am with a shattered front window,” he recalled.
The FDA is weighing in. Now, it's not only doctors and pharmacists, they're warning all vets to lock up their opioids. Medicines for animals are pretty much the same as medicines for people. Vets say they can be abused in the exact same way.
Delaporte said he often sees clients he thinks could be looking to get high on pet meds. “It's a pretty common occurrence that we have a client we've prescribed a drug for in the past and they keep coming back for it more, more than they really should.”
Delaporte said they try to stop the problem before it starts, quickly prescribing the pet a different drug without opioids, and seeing how the owners react.
“Usually in a scenario like that, the people figure it out pretty quick and they'll either stop the behavior or disappear,” Delaporte said.
Delaporte said he also has to keep strict records of his meds. If the state inspects his clinic and he can't account for all his drugs, he could lose his license.