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By Hempology | November 17, 2005

Toxicology tests are being done on the bodies of three pit bulls shot after they mauled two children and four adults to determine if the dogs ingested marijuana found inside their owner’s home, authorities said Tuesday.

The dogs’ owner, Scott Sword, 41, of the 6600 block of Hawthorne Drive near Cary, has been charged with felony possession of marijuana and misdemeanor production of marijuana plants, said McHenry County Sheriff Keith Nygren.

On Nov. 5 police handling the dog attack found five harvested marijuana plants growing in Sword’s back-yard garden and more than 30 grams of marijuana in his home,Nygren said.

The dogs, which were killed by police, were sent to a veterinary laboratory at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where they are being tested for drugs, specifically marijuana, said Edin Mehanovic, the county’s animal control administrator.

If the dogs ate marijuana, police want to know if it may have contributed to their vicious behavior.

“Dogs usually don’t show aggression if they ingest marijuana, but this is a substance that could potentially have that effect,” said Mehanovic, a veterinarian. “I personally think the dogs’ behavior has nothing to do with marijuana. In a toxicology lab we will eliminate that.”

The children, Nick Foley and Jourdan Lamarre, both 10, were going door-to-door for a Girl Scout fundraiser when the pit bulls got out of Sword’s home and attacked them.

Sword had his front door propped open, which allowed the dogs to escape, Nygren said. Four adults, including Sword, were attacked when they tried to help the children.

Nick remains at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, where his condition was upgraded Tuesday from critical to serious, according to a hospital spokeswoman. Jourdan was released from the hospital Thursday.

Sword, who lost a thumb in the attack, remains hospitalized, according to police, who declined to say where. He will be arrested on the drug charges when he is released, police said.

Sword has not been charged in the pit bull attacks, officials said.

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