By Hollie Bone
A pooch was left not just stoned but fighting for his life after accidentally scoffing an abandoned cannabis cake.
Sarah Kenny, 45, was enjoying a peaceful Saturday morning walk in a park near her home in St Helens, Merseyside, with Jack Russell cross Max when the two-year-old pup darted into a bush and ate a batch of stashed hash brownies.
But hours later, Sarah and partner Nicola Thompson, 40, realised something was wrong when Max was left unable to stand up and was shaking nervously and vomiting.
When the worried pair realised their pet’s vomit smelt like cannabis they rushed him to the vets where experts confirmed the poorly dog had consumed a ‘psychoactive substance’ and his condition was touch and go.
Veterinary nurse Sarah said: “It’s a bush he always goes into so I let him off the lead to have a sniff around, he’s always chasing after rabbits so when he took a while to come out it didn’t raise my suspicion.
“He looked fine even when we came back from the walk, I took him home and he was fast asleep – we’d been out for at least three hours so I thought he must be shattered.
“But I went for a nap myself, and a few hours later my partner came and woke me up and told me something wasn’t right with Max.
“He looked really nervous and shaky, he couldn’t stand up without falling back over.
“He looked off his face, it did seem like he was on drugs but I was dismissing it in my head thinking ‘that’s not possible’.
“As soon as we started getting him ready to go to the vets he started throwing up.
“I could tell that it was chocolate which immediately raised alarm but then I smelt this really distinctive smell and I knew it was cannabis.
“I hadn’t seen what he’d eaten in the bush before but when he was sick we knew straight away it must have been a lot of cake.
“The vets confirmed what we already knew by the time we got him to the vet hospital, Max had eaten a psychoactive substance.
“It’s a nice park, but every Friday night teenagers go there and smoke weed quite openly so I recognised the smell immediately.
“If we hadn’t reacted the way we did I’m almost certain Max wouldn’t be here with us right now.”
Max was taken to Rutland House Veterinary Hospital in St Helens, where he was given medication to make him throw up any remains of the cake, before he was placed on a drip and kept overnight under the close watch of experts.
Struggling to watch the distressing ordeal, Sarah described his condition as ‘touch and go’ with the main concern being that Max could go into organ failure.
She said: “There’s a good chance that he would have gone into organ failure and died if we hadn’t reacted as quickly as we did.
“It was awful to watch him go through, no pet owner wants to see their pet in distress but I kept telling myself he’s a little fighter and he would pull through.”
After Max’s overnight stay at the vets, the pup was released and has made a full recovery.
But Sarah is still scared about letting him off his lead and has shared his ‘horrific’ ordeal in a bid to warn others over the consequences of stashing drugs.
She said: “It could have been someone else’s dog who might not have been able to spot the signs as well or worse yet it could have been a child.
“There were children in the park that day and I’ve just got this vision in my head of a child messing around in the bushes and seeing that and thinking it was chocolate. That could have been horrific.
“I’m not angry at the council or at the festival, I’m angry at the people who stashed it there.
“After it happened I kept him on the lead for the entire week following. He wasn’t very happy about it but I was too scared to let him off.
“Since then he’s been on it most of the time and I’m not going to let it stop us from walking around the same park but I feel like I’ve got eyes in the back of my head now – I’m watching his every move and making sure he doesn’t go near anything he might eat.
“My house still smells of weed which isn’t very nice, but we’re just so happy that Max is OK.”