The alert of a narcotics detection dog can be a scary thing. In an aggressive alert, the dog might bark and growl, but it is generally at the end of a lead while the other end is being held a police handler.
Imagine your household pet suddenly alerting to strangers on the street, or guests in your home.
A resident of New Paltz obtained a large mixed breed dog from a local SPCA. Afraid the dog might run away, she asked her vet to chip the dog. The vet, before beginning the procedure, scanned the dog and found there was already a chip at the back of the dog’s neck.
This was a depressing discovery for the new owner. The dog had been lost and ended up in the pound. If the prior owner were found, she would have to return the dog. But a check of the chip number with the manufacturer revealed that the prior owner was the New York City Police Department, which had let the dog go as a cost-cutting measure. The dog was supposed to be placed in a home, according to an NYPD official, but something had apparently gone wrong. In any case, the city did not want the dog back. There was also no need to chip him, since the new owner’s contact information could be entered in the database of the chip manufacturer.
There were advantages to discovering the dog’s history. The new owner learned the dog was a Rottweiler-bloodhound mix and was told the dog’s name and age. The dog had been trained as a search and rescue dog but had also received basic police dog training, including narcotics detection training. The NYPD official explained what narcotics detection was and mentioned something about the dog having an alert for certain drugs.
Some months later, the owner’s daughter had a party. The teenagers were having a good time when a new boy arrived. After walking around the living room, the boy came close to the dog, which began growling. The dog backed the boy towards the front door, the growling getting louder as everyone became quiet. Frightened, the boy ran from the house.
The dog’s new owner remembered what she had heard about the dog’s brief training in narcotics detection and guessed the rest. She confronted the boy.
“Have you been smoking something?”
The boy admitted he had and she asked him to go home.
I wonder if police departments facing canine downsizing situations have realized the marketing potential of placing a narcotics detection dog. “Worried about your children smoking pot? A slightly used drug dog can keep your home drug-free!”
A cadaver dog, on the other hand, might not be such a good idea. You could learn more about what’s in your neighbors’ yards than would be good for you.