Drug-sniffing K9 companies in demand as drug usage grows - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Drug-sniffing K9 companies in demand as drug usage grows

TLC K9 Services trains bomb and drug dogs for hire. (Source: WAVE 3 News) TLC K9 Services trains bomb and drug dogs for hire. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - As the drug epidemic surges in Metro Louisville, the demand for private companies with drug sniffing dogs has increased.

Community Transitional Services, or CTS, is one of many halfway homes through the city.

Barbara Strahm has run the 300-bed home since it opened in 2009. In its early years, drugs were a major issue.

“It was a very big problem,” Strahm said. “We were finding pills. We were finding heroin. We're finding marijuana. We're finding spice. I mean just everything that they can get in here."

That's when they brought in TLC K9, a private service out of New Albany, Ind. with dozens of trained K9s. 

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Michael Davis only recently started the company but his business has taken off.

“There are children doing heroin at the age of 13 and 12 years old where we didn't see that 20 years ago,” Davis said. “The drugs are so common now, canines are not only needed they're pertinent."

Since starting Davis and his dogs have revealed favorite hiding spots in the house, like under toilet lids, above air vents, and more creative locations like inside deodorant containers and hand-sewn pockets in clothing.

The drug-sniffing dogs can also detect residue on clothing.

“Somebody smoked a joint, it could be three days ago, and those fibers are holding that molecular mass still and is catching just that small like, ‘what was that,’” Davis said.

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CTS keeps a box of what the dogs have found including drugs and the custom-made paraphernalia used with them.

The biggest problem has been spice.

"The formula that people use to make spice changes so often the testing can't keep up with it and the residents know that," Strahm said.

Now, the drugs are gone.

"We haven't found actual drugs for I would say about six weeks,” Strahm said.

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"If you keep finding drugs and keep finding drugs, you're not doing your job,” Davis said.

Strahm said with police only being able to bring dogs infrequently to train, the private contractors like Davis’s TLC K9 have been vital.

Strahm also credits in the introduction of Substance Abuse Program, or SAP, to helping cut down on drug use.

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