Dog for hire to sniff out drugs

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Police aren't the only ones looking for drugs these days. Parents have an interest and a new tool to go after drugs that can tear families apart.

This "tool" can help parents confirm whether or not someone they love has a problem.

Basically they do exactly what a police officer would do, they use a dog to sniff for drugs. The company is based in Riverton, but they'll travel almost anywhere, if called.

For 2-year-old Big Tony, sniffing for drugs is just a game. "If he finds the drugs, he gets his favorite thing in the world, which is a tennis ball," Ty Brown, co-owner of Utah Drug Dog said. But for those who hire him, it's not a game at all.

"Utah is a wonderful state, but we've got a bit of a drug problem here," Brown said. He and his business partner, Aaron Day created Utah Drug Dog after realizing there isn't another business like it in the state.

"This is something that is provided in other states, most large states," Day said.

Basically, if you think a loved one is involved in drugs, you can have Big Tony take a sniff. A dog's nose can pick up on odors a human's can't. Brown says, "He can pick up on marijuana, he can pick up on cocaine, he can pick up on crack, he can pick up on heroin, and he can pick up on meth. So he's a multi-talented star."

This business isn't just for homes. The owners say, under the law they can take Big Tony to businesses and schools, if asked. "With the laws that we have in place, this is just one more tool that Utah schools can use to keep drugs out of the schools and keep their kids safe," Day said.

Of course, the owners wouldn't be in this business if they didn't think they could make some money, but they also feel they can help save families before it's too late. Day said, "Utah is a very family-oriented state, and if we can help families come closer together and prevent potential problems coming into the home, caused by drugs, then I really feel that we're doing the community good."

Big Tony was trained back East, alongside police dogs. He's still getting trained here in Utah to pick up on additional drugs.


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Alex Cabrero and Marc Giauque


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