Man Charged With Animal Cruelty For Getting His Dog Drunk

By Britni de la Cretaz 04/17/17

Maxwell the chihuahua was diagnosed with alcohol poisoning after lapping up spilled vodka from his intoxicated owner.

Ma and dog staring into an open refrigerator.

A Pennsylvania man was arrested after threatening to shoot police officers and giving his dog alcohol poisoning. According to WTAE, 44-year-old Thomas Bloedel was found in his vehicle and officers noticed that he appeared heavily intoxicated. They also noticed that his dog, who was lapping up vodka that had spilled on the floor of the car, was acting strange.

Bloedel threatened to shoot and kill the officers who arrested him. While he was being taken into custody, police became concerned about his chihuahua, Maxwell. "He was stumbling around like a person who was drunk. His pupils were dilated," said Dimitri Brown of University Veterinary Specialists, where the dog was taken for treatment. Maxwell was diagnosed with alcohol poisoning, but he was treated and is now doing fine.

According to NBC4i, Brown said it’s actually not unusual for dogs to get drunk. “Usually what happens is that people are drinking an alcoholic beverage and leave it someplace and the dog smells it and is intrigued by it,” Brown said.

A British court barred a man, also with a dog named Max, from owning dogs for three years after he left his vodka drink on the floor to go out for cigarette and the dog drank it. Instead of taking the dog to the vet, the man went out partying. Max was taken to the vet by concerned police after he was spotted stumbling around.

Also in the UK, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier named Diesel was spared from being put down after he mauled a 10-year-old boy because it was determined that his owners had given him beer earlier that day because the dog had been panting in the sun.

Dr. Marty Becker, “America’s Vet” from Good Morning America and Dr. Oz, tells SheKnows that “It's exactly as 'funny' and safe to give booze to your pets as it would be to give it to your infant.”

She warns that dogs should not consume alcohol—but if they do, hard liquor is the most dangerous and requires an emergency vet visit. Alcohol is mildly toxic to dogs even in small doses. She recommends keeping it out of reach, or to keep the dog in another room or a crate if there's multiple people who are imbibing.

Bloedel is facing charges for DUI, making terroristic threats, and animal cruelty.

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Britni de la Cretaz is a freelance writer, baseball enthusiast, and recovered alcoholic living in Boston. Follow her on Twitter at @britnidlc.