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Police Discover Intoxicated Chihuahua Behind The Wheel

— April 26, 2017

Police Discover Intoxicated Chihuahua Behind The Wheel

It is not every day you approach a vehicle and find an intoxicated dog.  But, that’s exactly what happened when officers were called to the scene after a car hit a fence.  A neighbor on Cypress Drive in Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, called police after reporting a Subaru hitting a fence and pole.

Thomas Bloedel was arrested and charged with animal cruelty after police discovered his pet Chihuahua sitting on his lap, drinking from a cup full of vodka in the center console of the man’s vehicle, which had plowed into a fence.  What the intoxicated canine did not intake was spilling all over Bloedel’s lap, soaking his pants in liquor.  Responding officers found the driver behind the wheel of his car, with the keys in the ignition, engine running and car in gear as if he was ready to get back on the road.  They took the 3-year-old, 12 lb dog named Maxwell to a local emergency veterinary service for immediate examination.  

Police discover intoxicated dog behind the wheel
Image Courtesy of VetStreet

Medical personnel noted the dog was “stumbling around like a person who was drunk.  His pupils were dilated,” said Dr. Dimitri Brown of University Veterinary Specialists.  Dr. Brown treated the intoxicated Maxwell for alcohol poisoning, putting an IV in his leg as soon as the dog was brought in to flush out the alcohol, and caring for the pup until he was ready to be released. “At low dose not much of a risk, at higher dose they can go into comas and aspirate and develop pneumonia so it absolutely can be deadly,” Dr. Brown said.  He claims that cases of animal ingestion of intoxicants isn’t all that unusual.

By the following day, Maxwell was thankfully “already back to his normal self”, and was “not showing any signs of what happened” according to Dr. Brown.  The pooch is staying at a nearby animal control officer’s house now that he’s been medically cleared.  In addition to the animal cruelty charge, Bloedel, 44 years old, was also charged with two misdemeanor counts of terroristic threats and issued a DUI.  Bloedel had allegedly threatened to shoot the officers who approached his car the day of the incident, even though he did not have a weapon on him at the time.  He threatened to them with an inexistent gun.  

Police discover intoxicated dog behind the wheel
Image Courtesy of American Kennel Club

Bloedel was extremely drunk when officers originally arrived at the scene.  Bloedel told them that he had also taken two Vicodin pills, and the neighbor reported seeing him drinking the liquor after the crash.  Bloedel was taken to Allegheny County Jail and his preliminary hearing is scheduled to take place on April 27th.

Brianna Chilleo, licensed Veterinary Technician with University Veterinary Specialists said of Maxwell, “He’s doing really well. Super happy, playing outside, getting treatments and lots of care today.  Felt bad for him, he looked really out of it worried and anxious and a little stressed out but knew we’d be able to help out and get him feeling better.”  It is unclear whether the canine will return to Bloedel’s care after the court proceedings.


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