Concerned parents are hiring sniffer dog teams to investigate whether their children are using drugs.
The private organization known as The Last Chance (TLC) K9 Service, based in Louisville, Kentucky, claims to be able to find any type of narcotics in kids’ rooms, bathrooms and cars. In one recent case, a team of German Shepherds found four grams of heroin inside a young teenager’s tube socks, while one incident saw the discovery of marijuana inside a cereal box. According to Michael Davis, owner of the TLC K9, most parents already know the team is going to find something before it even arrives. “After searches many of them call to tell us that their children are staying on the right path,” he told Metro.
Are there many sniffer dog teams around the globe?
They are a rarity in the world. The very few that do exist are usually run by former law enforcement agents or are too small scale of a project to actually help any community against the large depths of the war on drugs.
Are sniffer dog teams a growing trend in the U.S.?
When our company started to make it into the mainstream media, we recognized that our services were extremely rare and highly needed. We saw that some small scale projects had helped parents before, but they were not making a large enough impact to rely on for the safety and protection of their children from narcotics. When we became a larger scale project, our phones became flooded because the issue of drugs in America is that large. Drugs are as normal in today's teenage society, as Walkman's were for '80s babies.
What are the dogs trained to find?
Our Narcotics K9 are highly-trained to find methamphetamine, amphetamine, MDMA, heroin, cocaine, marijuana, LSD, PCP, spice, ecstasy, opium and crack cocaine.
Are most parents aware that their children are using drugs even before they hire your services?
Yes. Where some of our clients are "proactive parents" calling to ensure that their children are on the correct path, most are parents calling us because their children are already "at risk."
What have been your most interesting finds?
We found four grams of heroin inside a young teenager's tube socks...[and] drugs hidden inside of a cereal box. That was utilized because no one in that house liked that kind of cereal. The worst part is that this teenager has a young brother in the home as well who could have made his way to that box.
Where do adolescents usually hide the drugs?
They normally [hide drugs inside] shoe boxes, hoodie pockets and inside of fitted hat flaps, but we have even found narcotics taped under toilet bowl lids.
Are drug tests not a simpler solution?
It is extremely easy to order urine cleaning kits online and even at your local health food store. Most narcotics do not stay in your system for long amounts of time, so catching the use of some drugs is hard to do unless you are giving your child drug tests almost every day. Drug tests also do not work for a child selling drugs, only those using them. Services like ours, have both kinds of behavior. We, however, encourage parents to utilize both tools: detection services and tests.
What are the reactions of your clients after the searches?
Most parents already knew we were going to find something before we even arrived, but they normally become very angry when we do locate narcotics. This is why our services provide a sit-down conversation with both parent and child to make sure that anger does not cloud the judgment of either. We like to show them that all secrets are no longer secrets and that as a team and a family unit they can work on the issue together. And show them to utilize this moment as positive, never a negative.
Have your sniffer dog team's searches led to something good for the children?
We have had many parents call to tell us that their children are staying on the right path, and to thank us for our services. We love to hear when the children see that honesty with their parents builds a stronger relationship. You would think that most teenagers would hate us, but when they see that we are not police, that we did not turn them in to police, we are really there to give them a last chance.
We already have an entire team of Explosive Detection K9 and Gun Detection K9 that are also trained in active shooter protection for school systems. We work hard to prepare for all forms of terrorism. We do not limit ourselves to just the war on drugs.