Montana man slips dog “to-go cup of vodka”

Nickalas Tabbert

 A Montana man has been charged with animal cruelty after his dog was found so intoxicated it couldn't stand up.

Todd Harold Schrier, 49, was charged after East Helena police responded to a report of an intoxicated dog outside a bar March 1, the Pioneer Press said.

Officers found Arly II, a Pomeranian or Pomeranian cross that couldn't walk, the Independent Record reported Thursday.

Court records said an intoxicated person who claimed part ownership of Arly told officers that Schrier had given the dog a "to-go cup of vodka."

The dog drank in a vehicle outside Smith's Bar, the owner told the newspaper. 

Police took Arly II to a veterinarian, where the dog's blood-alcohol level was found to be 0.348 percent, the Press said.  An alcohol level of 0.4 percent can be fatal in humans.

"I had never seen a dog with acute alcohol poisoning," said veterinarian Michelle Richardson, who has been practicing for 20 years.

She said she had never seen a case of intentional intoxication, only cases in which dogs ate vodka-laced Jell-O shots or lapped up beer from a barbecue.

"I hope it's rare," she said.

The dog is currently at the Lewis and Clark Humane Society pending the outcome of the case.

Court records show Schrier also faces a drug charge after police found a bag of hydrocodone pills on the ground outside the bar where he had been smoking.

KFBB-TV in Great Falls reported Schrier, of Helena, pleaded not guilty Thursday.