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Woman Says Service Dog Ate Meth Found In Hotel

NORTH Phoenix, Ariz. -- A woman in Arizona wants a national hotel chain to help her pay her vet bill after she says her service dog accidentally found meth in one its rooms, then ate some.

About two hours after checking into room 228 at a North Phoenix La Quinta Inn on Thursday, Natalie Lowry's service dog "Sticks" began acting very strange.

"She was running forwards and backwards and side to side," Lowry said. "She was throwing her head."

So Lowry, who suffers from PTSD and relies on Sticks for comfort, took her 5-year-old Chihuahua to an emergency pet hospital.

"She's like a child to me. I can't imagine, ya know, living without her, "Lowry said.

The vet did an urinalysis on Sticks -- which tests for toxins. It came back positive for methamphetamine.

"I was was pretty shocked," Lowry said. "Obviously, I know it's not mine. And, I know we've been in the car for the last 14 hours. The only other place she's been is the hotel."

After getting the disturbing diagnosis: Lowry went back to her room, and found trash and some type of weapon under the beds, which was apparently missed by cleaning crews. She went to the hotel receptionist with her problem -- but, was told she'd have to wait until morning to speak with a manager.

"I told her, 'Well, I'm not staying here another night. There's methamphetamine in the room'" Lowry said.

Sticks is recovering now: but, Lowry had to pay a vet bill of nearly $1,000, which she charged on a credit card and can't afford. She's hoping La Quinta Inn will reimburse her.

"It could've easily been somebody's child that had eaten the drugs and then I'm sure they would be taking things more seriously," Lowry said.

A corporate spokeswoman for La Quinta says she's been in contact with the general manager of the North Phoenix location.

She says the company is aware and is conducting an internal investigation of the room.