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Man charged with getting dog drunk

2012-03-22T00:00:00Z 2012-03-22T11:49:37Z Man charged with getting dog drunkBy SANJAY TALWANI Independent Record Helena Independent Record
March 22, 2012 12:00 am  • 

A Helena man has been charged with animal cruelty for getting his dog four times more drunk than the legal limit for humans driving motor vehicles.

Todd Harold Schrier, 49, also faces a felony drug charge related to the March 1 incident.

At about 11:30 p.m. that night, East Helena police responded to a report of an intoxicated dog being cared for at Smith’s Bar and found Arly II, a Pomeranian or Pomeranian cross, who could not walk a straight line and kept falling over when placed on the floor, according to an affidavit filed by police in District Court.

The dog had drunk in a car outside the bar and was reported to police by customers and staff who then took care of the dog until police arrives.

“We basically saved the dog’s life,” bar manager Joe Wieck said.

An intoxicated person who claimed part ownership of the 20-pound dog told police that Schrier had given the dog about a “to-go cup of vodka,” police wrote.

Police took the dog to Alpine Animal Clinic, where veterinarian Dr. Michelle Richardson drew blood and sent it to St. Peter’s Hospital, which found a blood-alcohol level of 0.348 percent. The legal limit for driving is 0.08 percent.

Richardson said alcohol affects dogs similar to the way it affects humans. An alcohol level of 0.4 percent can be fatal in humans.

“I had never seen a dog with acute alcohol poisoning,” said Richardson, who has been practicing for 20 years.

She said she’s aware of cases where dogs ate sweetened vodka-laced Jello shots, or lapped up beer from cups at a barbecue, but had never seen a case of intentional intoxication.

“I hope it’s rare,” she said.

Arly II stayed at the animal hospital a few days and is now at the Lewis and Clark Humane Society pending the outcome of the criminal case.

Police caught up with Schrier at the VFW in East Helena and say they found a bag of hydrocodone pills on the ground outside where he had been standing smoking, leading to the drug charge. He is also on probation for a pair of previous drug charges.

Schrier is in the city-county jail with bail at $30,000. He is scheduled for an initial appearance in District Court today.


 

Reporter Sanjay Talwani: 447-4086, sanjay.talwani@helenair.com or Twitter.com/IR_SanjayT

Copyright 2015 Helena Independent Record. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(7) Comments

  1. 1EyedCat
    Report Abuse
    1EyedCat - March 25, 2012 3:04 am
    I'll bet that poor little pooch was as sick as a dog the next day. He probably could have used a little 'hare of the dog' to ease his headache.
  2. Curmudgeon
    Report Abuse
    Curmudgeon - March 23, 2012 3:59 pm
    helenros said: "While I am not unsympathetic to the little dog, was it truly necessary to spend the medical resources it took to determine the blood alcohol level? There are people here who can't afford normal preventive care. How much did the dog's blood alcohol test cost?"

    Once again, we are visited by a Disney cartoon character.

    (Grumpy.)
  3. dolphind3
    Report Abuse
    dolphind3 - March 23, 2012 9:23 am
    This sounds like one of those things that people do that falls into the catagory of "it seemed like a good idea at the time." When I was younger we got a dog drunk by feeding it fruit that was in am alcohol type punch. What we didn't know is that the alcohol was absorbed by the fruit. I felt bad for the dog.
  4. 5thgen
    Report Abuse
    5thgen - March 22, 2012 11:10 pm
    helenros said: "While I am not unsympathetic to the little dog, was it truly necessary to spend the medical resources it took to determine the blood alcohol level? There are people here who can't afford normal preventive care. How much did the dog's blood alcohol test cost?"

    Am I the only one who finds it amazing what some people will find to complain about, it's called gathering evidence for the criminal case against the idiot. I really doubt some poor soul in the Helena area didn't get their medical care while the lab at St. Pete's was processing the blood. wow
  5. helenros
    Report Abuse
    helenros - March 22, 2012 7:51 pm
    While I am not unsympathetic to the little dog, was it truly necessary to spend the medical resources it took to determine the blood alcohol level? There are people here who can't afford normal preventive care. How much did the dog's blood alcohol test cost?
  6. Doglover
    Report Abuse
    Doglover - March 22, 2012 12:11 pm
    Redbird said: "What an a$$. Kudos to whoever saw this and reported it to the police. Thanks for getting involved and not looking the other way. "I agree with Redbird.

    This is a sad sad story. I hope that the dog is okay. The person should be, man I can't even say what I think should happen to this guy. I hope that he never gets this dog back or another one for that matter. What would he do to a child?
  7. Redbird
    Report Abuse
    Redbird - March 22, 2012 7:42 am
    What an a$$. Kudos to whoever saw this and reported it to the police. Thanks for getting involved and not looking the other way.

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