CHANDLER (3TV/CBS 5) - A Chandler veterinarian said vets are trying not to contribute to the opioid problem in Arizona.

Dr. Travis Wodiske owns Family Vet Care in Chandler and he said in the last three years, he's seen more people trying to fake pet injuries in order to steal their dog's pain pills.

"These are typically clients we've never seen before," said Wodiske. "They come in. They're claiming an injury to their dog or cat, and interestingly enough, they know exactly the name of the drug they would prefer us use."

Wodiske said stealing pet prescriptions is a problem across the country.

"Then they find themselves in some crazy space where they're inflicting harm onto their pet and or making up stories of their pet," said Wodiske. "It's just sad."

He said he's reported the problem to police after spotting red flags, but he's also noticed "vet shopping" becoming an issue.

"This is a trend a pet owner is going to visit lots of different veterinarians claiming the same injury at every veterinarian," said Wodiske. "They visit all for the purpose and needs of getting their hands on these drugs."

He said in Arizona, there's no database to show whether or not a dog has already been prescribed an opioid by another vet.

A local pharmacy Arizona's Family spoke with said it can't see if an animal has a prescription at another pharmacy, and it can't check if the pet's owner has a history of using pain meds.

"I think it would help. However, I'll tell you most veterinarians are not interested in more rules and regulations, and it creates a whole side avenue of work that doesn't excite any of us, and yet, at the same time we recognize this is a problem," said Wodiske. "We just hope it doesn't become a bigger problem for vets in the future."

He said a law passed last year forces vets to take classes on the opioid crisis and limits pain meds they're allowed to prescribe.


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