Jackie Botts of Reuters writes that a Colombian veterinarian who surgically implanted liquid heroin inside live puppies to smuggle the drug into the United States was sentenced to six years in prison on Thursday.
Andres Lopez Elorez, 39, admitted conspiring to import heroin and will be deported to Colombia after his sentence, according to federal prosecutors in Brooklyn, New York.
“Every dog has its day, and with today’s sentence, Elorez has been held responsible for the reprehensible use of his veterinary skills to conceal heroin inside puppies as part of a scheme to import dangerous narcotics into the United States,” Richard Donoghue, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a statement.
According to prosecutors, between 2004 and 2005 Elorez leased a farm in Medellin, Colombia, where he reared dogs and sewed bags of liquid heroin into nine puppies for importation to the United States.
During a search of the farm in 2005, foreign law enforcement agents seized 17 bags of liquid heroin weighing nearly three kilograms (6.6 lb), including 10 bags extracted from the puppies. Three puppies died after contracting a virus following the surgeries, U.S. prosecutors said.
A Petland store in Michigan is facing its third lawsuit this year after a man said he was hospitalized after buying a puppy later found to be sick from the store.
Doug Rose said he became infected with Campylobacter — a multi-drug resistant infection — after he and his wife Dawn purchased Thor, a beagle-pug mix puppy that the couple said was infected with parasites, suffered from coccidia and giardia, and had an upper respiratory infection, The Oakland Press reported.
The couple said the same veterinary clinic that gave the dog a clean bill of health through the Petland in Novi also diagnosed the puppy with a number of ailments.
Symptoms of Campylobacter infections can include abdominal pain, diarrhea, headache, fever, nausea and vomiting.
The couple is seeking monetary compensation after Doug Rose said he required multiple weeks of medical treatment.
Randy Horowitz, who owns the Petland in the Detroit suburb, told the newspaper the case would be resolved to “reflect the facts.”
A lawsuit filed by 17 plaintiffs against Horowitz was dismissed earlier this year. The lawsuit alleged that Horowitz knowingly sold puppies suffered from genetic defects.
A lawsuit was filed in April by nine families alleging that puppies they purchased suffered from a number of medical issues.
In January, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released results of a multi-state investigation that showed 113 cases of Campylobacter across 17 states linked to pet stores. A majority of people reported becoming sick after coming in contact with a puppy purchased from a Petland store or after coming in contact with another human who had recently purchased a dog from a Petland store.
We have escaped to Coff’s Harbour, about five hours south of Brisbane, for our annual hockey tournament at the Big Banana, which has a small ice rink so we play 3-on-3, and where Russell Crowe apparently learned to skate for his role in the 1999 movie, Mystery, Alaska (a great hockey movie).
Amy is involved in all kinds of things, I coached for a few years and am now a happy spectator.
JFK of NSA Hockey, who played junior in Michigan, runs a day-long hockey camp for kids who are interested, so it’s a couple of days of writing and chilling for me and the Hubbell.
I’m going to catch up on some blog posts, fit each with one of my favorite songs, and then get on with that book.
I laid in bed and figured out the first half the other night.
We have Ted, the Wonder Dog, with us (he’s a wonder because how can such a little thing shit so much).
According to the U.S Centers for Disease Control, dogs, especially puppies, are a known source of sporadic Campylobacter infections in humans, but are uncommonly reported to cause outbreaks.
Investigation of a multistate, multidrug-resistant outbreak of Campylobacter jejuni infections implicated puppies from breeders and distributors sold through pet stores as the outbreak source. Outbreak strains were resistant to all antibiotics commonly used to treat Campylobacter infections.
Campylobacter causes an estimated 1.3 million diarrheal illnesses in the United States annually (1). In August 2017, the Florida Department of Health notified CDC of six Campylobacter jejuni infections linked to company A, a national pet store chain based in Ohio. CDC examined whole-genome sequencing (WGS) data and identified six isolates from company A puppies in Florida that were highly related to an isolate from a company A customer in Ohio. This information prompted a multistate investigation by local and state health and agriculture departments and CDC to identify the outbreak source and prevent additional illness. Health officials from six states visited pet stores to collect puppy fecal samples, antibiotic records, and traceback information.
Nationally, 118 persons, including 29 pet store employees, in 18 states were identified with illness onset during January 5, 2016–February 4, 2018. In total, six pet store companies were linked to the outbreak. Outbreak isolates were resistant by antibiotic susceptibility testing to all antibiotics commonly used to treat Campylobacter infections, including macrolides and quinolones. Store record reviews revealed that among 149 investigated puppies, 142 (95%) received one or more courses of antibiotics, raising concern that antibiotic use might have led to development of resistance. Public health authorities issued infection prevention recommendations to affected pet stores and recommendations for testing puppies to veterinarians. This outbreak demonstrates that puppies can be a source of multidrug-resistant Campylobacter infections in humans, warranting a closer look at antimicrobial use in the commercial dog industry.
If you’re a stray cat, Ted the Wonder Dog will make friends.
Multidrug-resistant campylobacter jejuni outbreak linked to puppy exposure- United States, 2016-2018
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control, several states, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) investigated a multistate outbreak of multidrug-resistant Campylobacter infections. Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicated that contact with puppies sold through Petland stores were a likely source of this outbreak. This outbreak investigation is over. Illnesses could continue to occur because people may be unaware of the risk of Campylobacter infections from puppies and dogs.
A total of 113 people with laboratory-confirmed infections or symptoms consistent with Campylobacter infection were linked to this outbreak. Illnesses were reported from 17 states. Illnesses started on dates ranging from January 12, 2016 to January 7, 2018. Ill people ranged in age from less than 1 year to 86, with a median age of 27. Sixty-three percent of ill people were female. Of 103 people with available information, 23 (22%) were hospitalized. No deaths were reported. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) showed that isolates from people infected with Campylobacter were closely related genetically. This close genetic relationship means that people in this outbreak were more likely to share a common source of infection.
Campylobacter bacteria isolated from clinical samples from people sickened in this outbreak were resistant to commonly recommended, first-line antibiotics. This means it may be difficult to treat these infections with the antibiotics usually prescribed for Campylobacter infections. Antibiotic resistance may be associated with increased risk of hospitalization, development of a bloodstream infection, or treatment failure in patients. Using WGS, we identified multiple antimicrobial resistance genes and mutations in most isolates from 38 ill people and 10 puppies in this outbreak. This finding matched results from standard antibiotic susceptibility testing methods used by CDC’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System laboratory on isolates from five ill people and seven puppies in this outbreak. The 12 isolates tested by standard methods were resistant to azithromycin, ciprofloxacin, clindamycin, erythromycin, nalidixic acid, telithromycin, and tetracycline. In addition, 10 were resistant to gentamicin, and 2 were resistant to florfenicol.
In interviews, ill people answered questions about the foods they ate and any animal contact in the week before they became ill. Ninety-nine percent of people reported contact with a puppy in the week before illness started, and 87% reported they had contact with a puppy from Petland stores, or had contact with a person who became sick after contact with a puppy from a Petland store. Twenty-five ill people worked at Petland stores.
During the investigation, officials collected samples from pet store puppies for laboratory testing and identified the outbreak strain of Campylobacter in the samples. WGS showed that the Campylobacter isolates from sick people in this outbreak and isolates from pet store puppies were closely related genetically, providing additional evidence that people got sick from contact with pet store puppies.
Ill people reported contact with different breeds of puppies at different store locations in several states. The investigation did not identify a common breeder where puppies infected with the outbreak strain of Campylobacter originated. Puppies in this outbreak may have become infected at various points along the distribution chain when they had contact with infected puppies from other breeders or distributors during transport to pet store locations. Enhanced infection prevention measures throughout the distribution chain may help reduce the spread of Campylobacter infections among puppies.
This multidrug-resistant outbreak highlights the need for responsible use of antibiotics in pets. Education about best practices for Campylobacter disease prevention, diarrhea management in puppies, and responsible antibiotic use is essential throughout the distribution chain to help prevent the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance. Pet owners should be aware that any puppy or dog, regardless of where it is purchased or adopted, may carry germs like Campylobacterthat can make people sick. Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching puppies and dogs or after picking up their poop. Work with your veterinarian to keep your animal healthy to prevent disease. More information about how to prevent illness when handling puppies and dogs is available for pet owners.
The Ohio Department of Health, several other states, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and USDA-APHIS are investigating a multistate outbreak of human Campylobacter infections linked to puppies sold through Petland stores.
Investigators are looking for the source of infections in people and puppies so they can recommend how to stop the outbreak and prevent more illnesses in order to protect human and animal health.
As of September 11, 2017, the outbreak includes 39 cases in 7 states (Florida, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Wisconsin).
Illnesses began on dates ranging from September 15, 2016 through August 12, 2017. The most recent illness was reported on September 1, 2017.
Ill people range in age from <1 year to 64 years, with a median age of 22 years; 28 (72%) are female; and 9 (23%) report being hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
Epidemiologic and laboratory findings have linked the outbreak to contact with puppies sold through Petland stores. Among the 39 ill people, 12 are Petland employees from 4 states and 27 either recently purchased a puppy at Petland, visited a Petland, or visited or live in a home with a puppy sold through Petland before illness began.
Whole genome sequencing showed samples of Campylobacter isolated from the stool of puppies sold through Petland in Florida were closely related to Campylobacter isolated from the stool of an ill person in Ohio. Additional laboratory results from people and dogs are pending.
Regardless of where they are from, any puppies and dogs may carry Campylobacter germs.