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New Business Offers Drug-Hunting K-9s For Hire

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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – It may be the first business of its kind in California: A new local company is offering the services of its narcotics-sniffing dogs to parents who fear their kids are doing drugs.

The business, Drug Dog Services LLC, says the sensitive noses of their trained canines can help locate secret hiding spots and track down many narcotics, including prescription drugs like Oxycontin.

“If somebody calls me, in the back of their mind they think their kids are on drugs,” said trainer Sue Watkins.

Teen drug counselor Jon Daily said the drug-sniffing business could be a powerful tool for parents in uncovering proof of an addiction.

“When kids develop a relationship to intoxication, they protect that relationship, and they will hid, con, manipulate and cover up to hold onto it,” Daily said.

In a demonstration, CBS13 hid three training aids throughout a home — a heroin-scent in a power outlet, Oxycontin-scent in a bathroom cabinet and methamphetamine-scent in a dresser drawer — and let Watkins and one of the company’s narcotics-certified dogs, Julia, hunt them down.

She centered in on the power outlet in just over two minutes, directed Watkins to the bathroom cabinet at the four-minute mark and then zeroed in on the dresser drawer, finding all of the objects in six minutes and 36 seconds.

Julia doesn’t always work that fast, Watkins said. “It depends on how much scent is in the house. It could be that she spends a lot of time where there’s lots of scent, and then she has to find the golden egg,” she added.

The search is designed to be non-confrontational — the suspected addict can’t be at the house — and the company charges about $100 for the search.

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