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Dog dies after ingesting methamphetamine in Chisago County

Updated: January 10, 2020 06:46 PM

A dog in Chisago County died after it ingested methamphetamine and fell ill, according to authorities. 

The Chisago County Sheriff's Office said a family noticed its dog, Riley, was acting strange Tuesday. This led the canine's owners to go outside to see if the dog had potentially gotten into something that could have made it ill. 

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"Just kind of bobbing its head, trying to gain focus," said Bill Frederickson, her owner. "My son actually had to carry it into the house and she kind of stumbled into the kennel."

He said they rushed her to an emergency room in Blaine, open 24 hours a day. They left her to recover overnight. Frederickson told us he looked for what poisoned her when he got home. He didn't find anything.

The next morning, however, they spotted a fast food bag with a small hole in it.

"It just looked like snow in a bag so I didn't think anything of it until my daughter saw the needles," he said. "She knew exactly what was going on."

His 21-year-old daughter is a first responder and recognized the white substance was meth. The bag also contained needles and a meth pipe inside. They called the Chisago County Sheriff's Office.

"There was about 80 grams of meth in a baggie inside of the fast food bag the dog had gotten into," said Sgt. Kyle Puelston. "This is very uncommon."

Puelston told KSTP they are still working to figure out who left the drugs on the side of the road, where Riley found it.

"The dog had went over to a ditch near a road grabbed a fast food bag that had some cookie crumbs in it, which is kind of what attracted the dog to the bag, and the dog brought the bag home," said Sgt. Puelston.

The meth has a street value of about $7,800, according to Sgt. Puelston.

"In the 13 years I've been here, I've never had a call where this much meth has been found by a dog," he said.

Riley had to be euthanized Wednesday afternoon. 

Frederickson told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS a suspicious vehicle stopped by their home on Tuesday.

"When I was taking the dog to the ER down in Blaine, there was a car on the road next to us, digging through the snow," he said. "We think that's what they were looking for."

He said the car returned on Wednesday. They've reported it to the Sheriff's Office. 

Riley had been given to Frederickson's 15-year-old son by a friend last Christmas.

"It's like you lost a member of the family, my sons, they're angry," he said. "They miss the dog."

The family now has thousands of dollars in veterinarian bills to take care of. They've started a GoFundMe to help with that cost.

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