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Dog eats heroin tossed away by suspected dealer running from police

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DENVER, Colo. — A golden retriever is one of the latest victims of the heroin trade in Denver.

On Tuesday, officers saw a suspected drug dealer at West 14th Avenue and Speer Boulevard, near the Cherry Creek bike path.

According to the Denver Police Department, the suspect ran and was caught near West 13th Avenue and Kalamath Street. Police arrested Christian Manuel Ramirez, who is under investigation for the incident.

Officers retraced Ramirez’s steps and said someone from Bark & Play doggy day care near West 13th Avenue and Santa Fe Drive approached them.

Garrett Bishop, who owns Bark & Play, said about 17 bags were found in the yard, but workers didn't know what was in them.

"Luckily, my employees are right on top of it and within 10 seconds of seeing a foreign object on the ground they were on it," Bishop said. "They are the reason these dogs are safe."

But there were 14 dogs in the yard at the time and despite the quick response by employees, at least two dogs got into the bags.

A golden retriever named Charlie ate one of them. Christian Manuel Ramirez

"[We] had to take one dog to the emergency room and induce vomiting on another," Bishop said.

Charlie's owner said she couldn't believe it when she got the bad news from Bishop.

"My heart skipped a beat," said Laura, who did not want her last name used. "They said 'Charlie ate a bag of heroin and she’s at the vet,' and I thought, 'You have to be kidding me, that’s ridiculous."

"Her eyes were kind of clouded over, she didn’t have any energy she looked really sick," Laura said. "I don’t know how much heroin she ingested or the potency of heroin or the effects of heroin on dogs so I was really worried that she could die."

Charlie was rushed to a veterinary emergency room and ended up needing drugs to counteract the effects of the heroin and IVs.

"She was really drugged up, really out of it. But I was really happy she was alive," Laura said.

And Laura knows things could have been much worse.

"It affected my dog today but it could have been someone’s kid," Laura said.