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Shelley Osterloh ReportingYou've probably seen drug sniffing dogs at work in airports, crime scenes, and or on TV. But now there's a drug sniffing dog that makes house calls. It's a private service for employers, schools, or even concerned parents.
The four-year old German Sheppard named Lex is a trained narcotic detection dog. Handler Nan Walton takes Lex through the hallways of Mt. Ogden Middle school sniffing, searching for the scent of drugs like marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, Oxycontin or ecstasy.
Nan Walton, Drug Detector Dogs: "She can find almost any illicit drug.”
Nan Walton's private business, called Drug Detector Dogs, offers confidential service for schools, businesses or concerned parents right in their own home.
Nan Walton, Drug Detector Dogs: “Parents are afraid of getting a law enforcement officer in there, and so sometimes they don't do it when it needs to be done. And we can do it. We can go in and let them know that they do have an issue, or no, they really don't.”
Once the dog detects drugs, Walton says it's up to the client to determine what the consequences should be.”
Having drugs there means court, school suspension, and drug counseling. Lex found nothing. But Walton planted some marijuana tainted cigarette papers to show how Lex works.
Nan Walton, Drug Detector Dogs: " What did you find? Can you show me?”
Students know Lex frequently searches their school and that helps keep school drug free.
Brenda Ruffier, Principal: “We'd rather be proactive and search for it before it becomes a problem.”
Walton charges between 40 and 100 dollars for the service, but charges parents only if they can afford it. She says she wants to help kids get off drugs before they ruin their lives.