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Puppy found in Cuyama Valley illegal marijuana grow makes speedy recovery

A puppy that was discovered by Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s investigators at an illegal marijuana cultivation site in Cuyama Valley, apparently abandoned, is making a full recovery and will soon be adopted by one of the detectives that rescued it.

Sheriff’s officials discovered the pup on Sept. 26, 2018, during a raid at a property in the 8300 block of Foothill Road, lying on a pile of plastic surrounded by fertilizers and hazardous materials without food or water in 90-degree temperatures. The Sheriff’s Office says the puppy was slow to respond and lethargic. They say there was also evidence that the pup had been vomiting.

Based on the dog’s deteriorating conditions, quick-thinking detectives obtained permission from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff/Fire Air Support Unit, being used for the illegal marijuana eradication operation, to take the puppy back to Santa Maria where he was cared for by a team of animal professionals, the Sheriff’s Office said.

“When the puppy arrived at the Santa Maria Animal Center he was lethargic, salivating profusely, and he was reported to have vomited. His initial assessment by our Veterinary Team included a parvovirus test, which was negative,” said Stacy Silva, Community Outreach Coordinator for the Santa Maria Animal Center.

Silva continued, “He was transferred to PETS Hospital for observation. He was returned to the Santa Maria Animal Center the following morning as a bright, playful, happy 3-month-old puppy. He will remain in our care until his holding period is up and then be reunited and adopted by his rescuers.”

Shelter veterinarians say the pup could have ingested cannabis.

The Sheriff’s Office released the following statement regarding the adoption of the pup:

“We are pleased to report that one of the detectives who found the puppy is adopting him. The detective, whose identity is being withheld due to his assignment, said he is pleased to have the puppy join his family and become a new addition to the Sheriff’s Office family as well.

The detective said, ‘This little guy made quite the impression on every detective and deputy on scene. He is a little fighter and has quite the story to tell. I am excited to give him the home he deserves.’

The detective added, ‘The Special investigations Bureau would like the residents of Santa Barbara County to know that we are not solely concerned with eradicating illegal marijuana. We are also equally concerned with identifying the illegal disposal and use of hazardous chemicals as well as identifying animal cruelty, abuse and abandonment issues.”

Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Lt. Brian Olmstead said, “Depending on the status of the dog, we could seek charges related to the animal for neglect and cruelty.”

The 3-month-old new puppy has been named “Bud.” Silva says they will hold the pup at the shelter for the next couple of days in case his last owner claims him.

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