Retired military dogs find new purpose in US meth wars. (just found this on yahoo) - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-02-2015, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
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Retired military dogs find new purpose in US meth wars. (just found this on yahoo)

Retired military dogs find new purpose in US meth wars#

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Five retired military dogs that spent years working in war zones are putting their noses to new uses by helping police in the U.S. combat methamphetamine and other drugs.

The dogs are being deployed to departments in Indiana, Texas, Tennessee, Nebraska and Georgia as part of a venture that organizers say gives police a resource they couldn't otherwise afford and provides the dogs a new mission.

"If you were to look at these dogs and watch them, when they come back, they're ready to work," said Mike Thomas, a Harris County, Texas, sheriff's officer and board member for the Houston-based organization K9s4Cops, which is using a $25,000 grant from Westport Pharmaceuticals in St. Louis to acquire the dogs and train them to work with their new handlers.

"Even if they only work for two more years, if they go out there and they take a pound of heroin off the street or 10 kilos of cocaine off the street in Houston that would have made it to Chicago or New York, and maybe save somebody from a drug habit, or they find one bomb and save 10 lives, it's worth the whole program."

The U.S. military has used dogs since the Revolutionary War, enlisting them to guard facilities, detect drugs and explosives, and search for people or items. Historically, many were euthanized or left behind once their deployments ended.

That has changed, in large part due to a 2000 law signed by President Bill Clinton that requires the Department of Defense to report annually the number of military working dogs that are adopted, transferred to law enforcement or euthanized. Legislation in recent years has aimed to allow retired dogs to be transferred to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio or another location if no suitable adoption is available at the facility where a dog is located.

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CORRECTS SPELLING OF NAME TO AXEL, NOT AXLE - In this photo taken June 1, 2015, Lawrence Police Depa …

Many of the retiring dogs return to training facilities such as AMK9 Academy in Anniston, Alabama, where they're assessed for health and behavioral issues and then either placed for adoption or repurposed as domestic working dogs for police agencies and security companies.

"They're getting these hero dogs that are like trained veterans coming back," AMK9 managing director Paul Hammond said.

K9s4Cops teamed with AMK9 to acquire the five military dogs after Westport officials offered the grant on the condition that the dogs be deployed in areas experiencing high meth rates. Indiana led the nation for meth incidents in 2014 with 1,470, according to Drug Enforcement Administration statistics.

"No other drug is more labor intensive for law enforcement than battling meth," said Paul Hemings, Westport's U.S. general manager. "You're not just going in and arresting the criminals. You have these labs out there that blow up, are environmental hazards, have a huge cleanup left behind."

Police dogs typically cost $10,000 to $15,000 each, but K9s4Cops was able to stretch the Westport grant to cover more animals because the retired military dogs were already trained.

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CORRECTS SPELLING OF NAME TO AXEL, NOT AXLE - In this photo taken June 1, 2015, Axel, a 5-year-old G …

The dogs placed through the grant include Axel, a 5-year-old German shepherd that spent three years in Afghanistan as a search and narcotics dog. He'll spend the rest of his working career in Indianapolis, where he's been assigned to the Lawrence Township School District police force.
Axel and his handler, Officer Matthew Hickey, spent six weeks training together at AMK9 before heading to Indiana, where the dog already has put his nose to good use. Hickey said Axel recently found marijuana and cocaine that resulted in three arrests during an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department drug investigation.

The school district will share Axel with the Lawrence Police Department in Indiana. Besides detecting drugs, he will help search for other evidence and for people.

Hickey said it's gratifying to find a new purpose for a "hero" dog.

"There's a lot of effort that went into providing these dogs for the military overseas," he said. "Instead of wasting them ... they're pushing them back into the local community that has a need."
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-02-2015, 10:45 PM
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Counter - I have a question for you. Are you aware of what has happened to all LE drug dogs that were working in the states that have recently legalized Pot? I understand that they had to be pulled from LE work. Where did they go?

Apparently their training includes hitting on 4 different illegal drug types, pot included. It is not possible to "retrain" to ignore marijuana.

If someone tries to smuggle maybe 2 tons of heroin in a semi (exaggerating to show the point) and a small amount of pot is also found. Because the dog could have hit on the pot not the heroin, therefore, no probable cause for search = illegal search.

Were these dogs sent to other states where Pot is still illegal? I have tried to find info and cannot. I sure hope they weren't put down... but they may have been. It would be a very large number of dogs that would have had to be replaced by the newly trained 3 scent dogs in a very short span of time. I'm sure the LE depts didn't keep them long after they had no use for them and had to make way for the new dogs.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-06-2015, 10:47 PM
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Counter - I have a question for you. Are you aware of what has happened to all LE drug dogs that were working in the states that have recently legalized Pot? I understand that they had to be pulled from LE work. Where did they go?

Apparently their training includes hitting on 4 different illegal drug types, pot included. It is not possible to "retrain" to ignore marijuana.

If someone tries to smuggle maybe 2 tons of heroin in a semi (exaggerating to show the point) and a small amount of pot is also found. Because the dog could have hit on the pot not the heroin, therefore, no probable cause for search = illegal search.

Were these dogs sent to other states where Pot is still illegal? I have tried to find info and cannot. I sure hope they weren't put down... but they may have been. It would be a very large number of dogs that would have had to be replaced by the newly trained 3 scent dogs in a very short span of time. I'm sure the LE depts didn't keep them long after they had no use for them and had to make way for the new dogs.

Where are you getting this information?

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance”. George Bernard Shaw

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-07-2015, 09:43 AM
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Where are you getting this information?
There are pages of articles on this topic search - drug sniffing dogs where marijuana is legal and you will find them.

The first 3 are at opb.org, Forbes,com & Reason.com
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-07-2015, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
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Counter - I have a question for you. Are you aware of what has happened to all LE drug dogs that were working in the states that have recently legalized Pot? I understand that they had to be pulled from LE work. Where did they go?

Apparently their training includes hitting on 4 different illegal drug types, pot included. It is not possible to "retrain" to ignore marijuana.

If someone tries to smuggle maybe 2 tons of heroin in a semi (exaggerating to show the point) and a small amount of pot is also found. Because the dog could have hit on the pot not the heroin, therefore, no probable cause for search = illegal search.

Were these dogs sent to other states where Pot is still illegal? I have tried to find info and cannot. I sure hope they weren't put down... but they may have been. It would be a very large number of dogs that would have had to be replaced by the newly trained 3 scent dogs in a very short span of time. I'm sure the LE depts didn't keep them long after they had no use for them and had to make way for the new dogs.
I honestly have no idea. I'm just a fan of police and military working dogs, as well as SAR dogs, etc. so whenever I see an article come across the news, I try to share it.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-07-2015, 10:57 AM
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I honestly have no idea. I'm just a fan of police and military working dogs, as well as SAR dogs, etc. so whenever I see an article come across the news, I try to share it.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help.
I understand. I just hope they were "retired" to good homes. The Oregon article said that there were 600 in their state. So, between the 4 states that's probably a couple of thousand dogs that had to be replaced.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-07-2015, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Stonevintage View Post
Counter - I have a question for you. Are you aware of what has happened to all LE drug dogs that were working in the states that have recently legalized Pot? I understand that they had to be pulled from LE work. Where did they go?

Apparently their training includes hitting on 4 different illegal drug types, pot included. It is not possible to "retrain" to ignore marijuana.

If someone tries to smuggle maybe 2 tons of heroin in a semi (exaggerating to show the point) and a small amount of pot is also found. Because the dog could have hit on the pot not the heroin, therefore, no probable cause for search = illegal search.

Were these dogs sent to other states where Pot is still illegal? I have tried to find info and cannot. I sure hope they weren't put down... but they may have been. It would be a very large number of dogs that would have had to be replaced by the newly trained 3 scent dogs in a very short span of time. I'm sure the LE depts didn't keep them long after they had no use for them and had to make way for the new dogs.
Not every agency in those states are retiring their dogs trained to detect marijuana. Your example of the 2 tons of Heroin in a semi with a small amount of pot, is not exactly accurate. A defense atty would certainly try to argue your point, and I have seen them argue weaker points. A good prosecutor and an articulate Narcotics dog handler would easily get past any objections.

Many of these dogs are still being used, some retrained and some changes in how they work. Please keep in mind that even in the states where it is legal, it is still illegal to transport certain amounts and illegal for juveniles to possess. Federally, it is still illegal. There are still uses for dogs that can detect marijuana.

We also train and certify on 5 odors not 4, Marijuana, Cocaine, Heroine, Meth and Ecstasy.

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance”. George Bernard Shaw

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-07-2015, 07:46 PM
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Not every agency in those states are retiring their dogs trained to detect marijuana. Your example of the 2 tons of Heroin in a semi with a small amount of pot, is not exactly accurate. A defense atty would certainly try to argue your point, and I have seen them argue weaker points. A good prosecutor and an articulate Narcotics dog handler would easily get past any objections.

Many of these dogs are still being used, some retrained and some changes in how they work. Please keep in mind that even in the states where it is legal, it is still illegal to transport certain amounts and illegal for juveniles to possess. Federally, it is still illegal. There are still uses for dogs that can detect marijuana.

We also train and certify on 5 odors not 4, Marijuana, Cocaine, Heroine, Meth and Ecstasy.
My example was not designed to be exactly accurate. I intentionally grossly exaggerated it, so that small points wouldn't be nit-picked and the larger picture missed. My whole point was about the probable cause to search catch 22. Are you speaking for all 4 states and their judicial systems, that a defense attorney's argument would easily be defeated? The article that I read that even made me question this was quoting a judge and the problem from their point of view and I believe they were at the Federal level.

Are you saying that most of the dogs are still working and the majority have not been retired? If so, where did you get your information?
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