Do San Francisco dogs devour meth users’ drug-laced poop and become addicts themselves?
It’s a real question, flashing on social media right now, continuing to divide the City by the Bay, where crime, drugs and politicians have all wreaked havoc — but not the hellscape some conservatives drool for — of California’s most scenic spot.
It was, of course, a Twitter post that caused the poo to hit the viral fan. I won’t name names because 1) I’m not knocking down and 2) I (usually) don’t propagate crap. But the account of a well-known San Francisco basher posted this warning a few days ago:
Don’t read this if you’re easily disgusted.
At a party last night, I met a woman who left San Francisco after her dog walker told her the dogs were becoming addicted to meth-laced feces.
Apparently they ran through the parks looking for it and then got high.
Thousands of comments, retweets and even a Reddit thread followed.
In one camp are the San Francisco haters, the $1,000 shoe dudes who just can’t live there anymore because The whole city is a steaming hot mess. Not even Fluffy is safe!
On the other side, the crowd is “Calm down Karen.”
Who is right and what does it all mean?
I know you’re still largely reading this to find out if the dogs really are meth poop junkies, but you won’t get a quick answer. Sit down. Read.
This fecal scandal is important because San Francisco has become the right-wing media’s love-hate icon. For years, propaganda purveyors like Tucker Carlson have zoomed in on San Francisco — and the poop issues in particular — as evidence that the Democrats are conspiring to ruin America as we know it.
Back in 2020, Carlson launched a series called American Dystopia, which detailed this sinister plan by the Democrats that the rest of us had somehow overlooked. It wasn’t and isn’t subtle. But it’s effective. Everyone hates public poop.
“Civilization itself is falling apart in San Francisco,” Carlson warned at the time. “Right there in broad daylight, on the city sidewalks littered with junkies and feces and dirty needles. … That’s what they want to do to your neighborhood.”
With the election of President Biden and Governor Gavin Newsom making his way to national attention, poop stakes have risen. It is no longer enough that we can see it or even step into it. Now it could kill our furry friends.
OK, there you go: it’s unlikely. It turns out that the fear of drug poop is something of an urban myth, just like the hook-handed killer or the chupacabra. Media has chronicled this drug scare from Humboldt Shores to New York’s Prospect Park and even Germany.
But that doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen, does it?
As a reporter, I did this reporting and asked experts who actually know about dogs and feces and how dangerous addict excrement is. UC Davis veterinary toxicologist Robert Poppenga seemed sorry he answered my call, but he answered anyway. Poppenga pointed out that methamphetamine byproducts are mostly excreted in the urine. He himself has never seen a case of meth poop poisoning and suspects that “a dog would have to eat a lot of feces to come close to a toxic dose.”
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which operates one of the largest animal poisoning hotlines in the US, agreed that an active dose of meth is highly unlikely to be concentrated in feces. But, as a statement said, reports of drug-impaired pooches are increasing, and some drugs actually end up in the poop — mostly marijuana. The hotline had 6,259 calls about potential cannabis exposure in dogs last year.
It turns out that many dogs get a weed high from consuming poop – the substance is found active in feces — and of course from consuming pure marijuana left lying around by unwary owners who then tell vets the pets picked it up while out on a walk. Much less embarrassing, much better story.
Rowena Fontanilla works at the Park Animal Hospital in San Francisco, just off the Panhandle of Golden Gate Park near Haight-Ashbury. She said the hospital often treats disabled dogs that “just fall over and trip”.
It even happened recently to Head Nurse Tiani Palmer’s Chihuahua mix, Panko, who noticed her pet behaving strangely after a walk near the California Academy of Sciences.
Panko became unsteady, and Palmer said that with her 10 years of experience as a registered animal nurse, she quickly realized that the dog had probably eaten something transformative. She let her pooch sleep in and Panko is fine.
Fontanilla said that inducing vomiting and testing the puke is the only way to know what poison a dog has ingested, a procedure her facility has implemented. But even this crime scene investigation doesn’t reveal whether the drug was packaged in poop or was actually just meth or heroin or weed someone dropped. A lot happens in the park.
Some dogs aren’t as lucky as Panko. Overdosing of any kind can be fatal, and as the owner of a Chow Chow puppy who – I’m sorry to say – loves to eat poop, I take the concern seriously. Like my Winnie, about 16% of dogs are “serious” poop eaters, having been caught repulsively eating poop more than five times, and are believed to have the fancier, more scientific term of coprophagy. So the real addiction here might be the poop itself. Bad, bad dog.
But Palmer had this important insight: Dog eating drugs is a “widespread problem, but no more than it has been in years.”
yes folks Dogs eating drugs are nothing new, in San Francisco or anywhere else.
Janet Slissman, a San Francisco dog walker, emailed me that she’s long heard of dogs dying from drugs, but argued that “most parks have their own specific toxin.”
In Crissy Field at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge, as beautiful a park as you can find in San Francisco, she warns that sea lions infected with leptospirosis, a bacterial disease, can make dogs sick. feet Funston, she warns, has horse manure that may contain Giardia. Other parks have coyotes that dogs can easily kill.
Dog walker Eric Burford, who calls himself “the fairy dog dad,” laments the “amazing” amount of chicken bones his charges pick up each week.
So instead of freaking out about meth poop, Burford suggests we focus on the real issues. We have thousands of people who have nowhere else to defecate but on the streets and in our parks. We know that homelessness, addiction, housing, and poverty are crises that hurt us all, whether directly affected or pooping bystanders.
We don’t need the constant fear mongering of poverty porn influencers on social media and right-wing media spreading simplistic – and false – narratives about the end of civilization. San Francisco, like any urban center, has always had problems, including drugs.
When I reached the original Twitter poster via Direct Message on Friday, she conceded that “cannabis not meth seems to be the consensus,” without mentioning that marijuana is a legal drug that’s likely to endanger San Francisco dogs for a long, weird Travel has sent since before Jerry Garcia and the Summer of Love.
Reality never stopped the propaganda, but here’s a thought.
Don’t want your dogs eating drugged poop? Then give addicts a place other than our outdoor areas. Senate Bill 57, which would allow safe consumption facilities to open in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Oakland, is on Newsom’s desk — he has until Monday to sign it or veto it. Safe consumption places not only protect against overdose, they also offer toilet facilities. So campaign to get Newsom to sign it.
Or focus on housing and San Francisco’s still inflated rents and lack of affordable places. Hold politicians like Mayor London Breed accountable – despite their calls for crackdowns and more police, little has changed. Ask police why they don’t arrest criminals for rampant petty crime, like the recent story of a thief who was caught red-handed turning off a catalytic converter, only to be escorted by officers to the nearest bus stop. This is an actual problem.
Dogs addicted to meth-laced poo?
That’s just bull shit.
https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-08-21/right-wing-myth-meth-laced-poop-afflicts-san-francisco-dogs Right-wing myth: Meth-laced poop afflicts San Francisco dogs