TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney has introduced a bill that would regulate prescriptions for pets to ensure they are not illegally used by the owner. Recently, there have been reports across the nation of pet owners going to the veterinarian to get opiates.
“Addiction is a disease; and people go to great lengths because of it,” said Rooney (R-Bergen). “Unfortunately, pets are often harmed intentionally so veterinarians will prescribe certain medications to relieve the pet’s pain. To avoid suspicion, they go to different offices.”
Some pet owners have been convicted of “shopping” for prescriptions by harming their pet, or even training them to cough in order to get a prescribed opiate that can also be used by humans at multiple veterinary offices.
Rooney’s bill (A-4812) requires that a prescription be in the owner’s name, and the owner’s information be submitted in the state Prescription Monitoring Program. Any person not identified as an owner may not receive a prescription, and prescriptions may not be refilled unless it is past the authorized date.
Law enforcement may access the Prescription Monitoring Program data base if carrying out an investigation of a veterinary client.
“My goal is to help end the opioid crisis; no matter the circumstance,” concluded Rooney.