Woman says service dog ate meth in dirty hotel room - CBS 5 - KPHO

Woman says service dog ate meth in dirty hotel room

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Service dog "Sticks." (Source: CBS 5 News) Service dog "Sticks." (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Someone might have been breaking bad in a Phoenix hotel room and it nearly cost a pint-sized pet its life.

"Her skin was really hot to the touch and her heart was just racing," said Natalie Lowry about her service dog, Sticks.

Lowry, a veterinarian who works with nonprofit animal rescue organizations, just moved to the Valley this week. She and her 5-pound Chihuahua were staying at the La Quinta Inn off of I-17 and Greenway Rd.

On Thursday, nearly two hours after checking into room 228, Sticks began acting very strange.

"She was running forwards and backwards and side to side," said Lowry. "She was throwing her head."

So Lowry, who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and relies on Sticks for comfort, took the dog to an emergency pet hospital.

"She's like a child to me," Lowry said. "I can't imagine living without her."

The vet did a urinalysis on Sticks to tests for toxins, and it came back positive for methamphetamine.

"I was pretty shocked," said Lowry. "Obviously, I know it's not mine, and, I know we've been in the car for the last 14 hours. The only other place she's been is the hotel."

After getting the disturbing diagnosis, Lowry went back to her room and looked around. She said she found trash and some type of weapon under the beds that had apparently been missed by cleaning crews.

Lowry went to the hotel receptionist with her problem, but was told she'd have to wait until morning to speak with a manager.

"I told her, ‘well, I'm not staying here another night. There's methamphetamine in the room," said Lowry.

Sticks is recovering now and Lowry hopes the dog won't have any long term side effects from the drug.

But, she had to fork over nearly $1,000 for a vet bill that she charged on her credit card and can't afford. Lowry feels La Quinta Inn should reimburse her.

"It could've easily been somebody's child that had eaten the drugs and then I'm sure they would be taking things more seriously," she said.

Lowry said someone from La Quinta Inn's corporate office told her they would conduct an investigation.

CBS5 News also left a message with their office. As of Friday night, no one had returned the call.

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