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A 9-year-old Minnesota girl fed up with her parents' alleged use and sale of marijuana in their home decided to take action.
She walked into the Barnesville police station last month and gave detailed descriptions to police about where to find her parents' stash of meth, as well as seven marijuana plants, reports ABC News.
What was the final straw for this little girl, and what charges could her parents potentially be facing as a result?
Police said the little girl told them that she had seen her parents blow marijuana smoke into the family dog's mouth. "She was afraid that the dog would get sick," Barnesville Police officer Ryan Beattie told ABC News.
Beattie said the girl articulated very specifically the locations and the types of drug paraphernalia that police could find at her house. Acting on that information, the police conducted a search and discovered the marijuana plants, drug paraphernalia, and a substance that tested positive for meth.
The parents have not yet been charged, but Beattie said that will happen once lab test results come back. Along with the potential drug possession and drug cultivation charges, could the girl's parents also be facing charges for allegedly "smoking out" the family dog?
The number of dogs being treated for marijuana intoxication, so-called "stoner dogs," has reportedly been on the rise. And in cases like this, where the ingestion of the drug is not accidental but allegedly intentional, it's possible that dog owners could face animal abuse charges for getting their dog high.
Under Minnesota law, it is a crime to "unjustifiably injure" or "further any act of cruelty" to an animal. Although sharing what you find to be a pleasurable high with your pet might seem like a good idea, dogs may not enjoy the ride as much as you. Marijuana exposure in dogs causes neurological toxicity, according to the Boulder Daily Camera. This means that pets most likely do not get "high" in the same way as humans, and that the symptoms of exposure to marijuana -- staggering, agitation, stupor -- are probably not enjoyable.
If charged with animal cruelty, the parents could be subject to up to one year in jail, a $3,000 fine, or both, in addition to their other potential charges.
As for the 9-year-old girl, she's back with her parents, at least for now. Beattie tells ABC News they "understood they were wrong and showed remorse."
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.