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Dogs in Berlin are overdosing on drug addicts' feces

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Veterinarians urge pet owners to be more vigilant in drug-infested parks

sad dog (flickr)
sad dog (flickr)

Berlin's dogs are being poisoned by the feces of drug addicts, according to a report from Germany's Tagesspiegel newspaper. Veterinarians tell the paper they've seen increased poisoning cases involving dogs that had eaten human waste, with many suffering from shaking, dehydration, and an inability to walk properly. Subsequent tests revealed that heroin and other illegal drugs were still present in the consumed feces.

Doctors say most of the dogs ate the feces in the city's Treptow and Kreuzberg areas, where drug users are known to gather — and occasionally defecate — in public parks. Drug use has been especially pervasive in Kreuzberg's Görlitzer Park, where some activists are pushing the government to combat the issue by legalizing and regulating marijuana.

Fatal cases are rare

Berlin-based veterinarian Reinhold Sassnau tells Tagesspiegel that most of the overdose cases he sees come during his night shift, though they're rarely fatal. If a dog receives quick medical attention, it can be treated with an enema that forces it to vomit the drug-laced feces; otherwise, it may be forced to undergo prolonged treatment at a clinic. In the meantime, experts are urging dog owners to train their animals to not eat human poop.