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Concerned Parents Turn to Sniffer Dog Teams to Search Children’s Rooms for Drugs

Worried American parents are resorting to extreme ways of finding out if their kids are into drugs – they’re actually hiring private K9 services to sniff out any narcotics that their kids might be hiding in their rooms, bathrooms or cars. These sniffer dogs are specially trained to find hidden narcotics such as meth, barbiturates, marijuana, heroin, and cocaine. Some of the searches turn up empty, but in most cases the parents’ suspicions are confirmed.

Michael Davis, who runs The Last Chance (TLC) K9 Services in Louisville, Kentucky, says that 90 percent of the time his company’s dogs do find narcotics stashed away by teens. One of his German Shepherds recently found four grams of heroin tucked into a boy’s tube socks. Another teen had hidden marijuana inside his five-year-old brother’s cereal box, which was apparently a brilliant hiding spot because no one else in the family ate that brand.

In Floyd County, Indiana, a father freaked out when he spotted his 14-year-old daughter with new friends and picked up an unpleasant odor from her room. “I’m not a snooping parent,” he said, choosing only to reveal his first name, James, in order to protect his daughter’s identity. I want my daughter to be able to be able to trust me, but I gotta protect her.“ So James was pretty worried about his daughter’s activities when he came across a TLC billboard advertising their services to “worried parents”.

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Photo: The Last Chance K9 Services

“Kids using drugs?” the board read. “Our dogs find drugs! Only $99.”

James was pretty desperate, so he decided to give the service a try. “I know girls can be sneaky and hide things in places I wouldn’t even think of,” he said. “I was so nervous. What can occur from letting this stranger in my house with a drug dog? But it’s been nothing but positive.” Davis brought in Miss Oakley, one of his specially trained dogs, to go through the house and James’s worst nightmare came true when the dog uncovered a glass pipe of marijuana hidden in an Altoids tin, stashed away in the teen’s makeup stand. “My heart just sank,” he said. “I would have easily overlooked it.”

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Photo: The Last Chance K9 Services

The teen was at school during the search, and Davis advised James on how to deal with her when she got back home. “Don’t yell or scream at her,” he said. “Just sit down and talk to her. Be stern but be cool, calm and collected.” So when the young girl got off the school bus, James told her, “Baby, we need to talk.” It worked, as the teen apparently regretted her action and promised never to do it again.

Davis has helped many other parents take control of their kids’ drug problems before the situation got out of hand. He has tactical training in drug detection, firearms and bombs, and although he focusses more on bigger contracts for businesses and private parties, he uses his skill to help parents whenever he can. He’s passionate about it because he himself lost his baby when a drug addict attacked his pregnant partner in 2005, demanding money.

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Photo: The Last Chance K9 Services

Davis’s team includes dog handlers with military backgrounds, and together they work towards eradicating drugs from teenagers’ lives. “We want to take drugs off the streets,” he explained. “What we do is help the family fix the issue. We’re not the police.” The pep talk is a personal touch that he adds because he knows how tough it is to grow up in a place like Louisville.

Davis has tried to reach out to local police departments, explaining his business and asking for their cooperation in these cases. The response hasn’t been too great, but some officers are concerned about how parents might be disposing of the drugs found in their kids’ possession. Davis said that he encourages parents to dispose the narcotics if they’re in small amounts, but call the police if the stash is too large.

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Photo: The Last Chance K9 Services

“We’ve had to leave narcotics in the hands of many parents,” he said. “And that’s sad. That’s not what we’re designed for.”

Not a lot of drug rehab professionals are entirely in favor of K9 businesses stepping in to help distressed parents. MeriBeth Adams-Wolf, the executive director of Our Place Drug and Alcohol Education, said she wouldn’t endorse such services, but they might be a “tool for parents to consider.”

WBRC FOX6 News – Birmingham, AL – WBRC.com

“What happens if they’re not willing to change, not remorseful?” she questioned. “A lot of young people think they’re in control and they’re not. They can even make promises to quit and mean it and be unable to do so. The only caveat I have: ‘Be prepared with what you need to do next.’”

Sources: Courier Journal, TLC K9 Services

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