- Associated Press - Sunday, February 23, 2014

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah (AP) - A South Salt Lake man has been arrested on suspicion of using his dog to obtain prescription drugs for himself from different veterinarians, police said.

Oliver Moore was arrested Friday for investigation of prescription fraud after police said he tried to get a refill of the pain reliever Tramadol for his dog at American Paws Veterinary Hospital in Cottonwood Heights.

Moore is accused of going to about six veterinary clinics for prescription drugs for his dog since July. Investigators believe he gave pills to his dog but also took some himself.

“This is the first case of the ‘doggy-doctor shopping’ we’ve run into,” Cottonwood Heights police Sgt. Corbett Ford told KSL (http://bit.ly/MRpHAs ).

Moore was released from the Salt Lake County Jail after posting bail. Efforts to reach him by phone were unsuccessful and no one answered the door at his home.

Veterinarian Jolie Pope of the American Paws clinic notified police Friday after learning about Moore’s multiple requests for Tramadol.

She said she was not initially suspicious because X-rays showed the dog had degenerative joint disease in a hip and the animal needed Tramadol for pain relief.

She also gave another prescription for the drug after Moore phoned the next day to say he had lost the earlier prescription. “You want to believe (your clients),” Pope said.

But she became suspicious after getting another quick request for a prescription and discovering he had visited other veterinarians within the last month as well.

Doctor shopping with a pet is not new, Pope said, and she has learned to be aware of it.

“As vets, we have to watch out for drug abuse problems just like human doctors do,” she told KSL.


Information from: KSL-TV, http://www.ksl.com/