K9 officers battle deadly drugs - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

K9 officers battle deadly drugs

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - They are at the front line of the heroin battle, K9s who are trained to get deadly drugs off the streets.

"These drugs are becoming worse and worse and worse and worse," Michael Davis, the owner of TLC Canine Solutions told WAVE 3 News.

The search for drugs is not only putting officers in danger, but their K9s too. Those keen noses leave them vulnerable to sniffing the dangerous drugs.

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Just this week, Josie, an LMPD K9, was saved by Narcan, a drug typically used to save a human overdosing on heroin.

"The dog was doing its job and also those officers were doing their jobs by saving the life of that dog," Davis said.

Davis's business depends on his highly trained dogs finding drugs. He says the problem isn't getting any better.

The DEA agrees, stating, "Canine units are particularly at risk of immediate death from inhaling fentanyl," according to their website.

It's happening all over the country. We found examples from New Jersey, Chicago and in Broward County, Florida.

In the Florida case, three police K9s overdosed while searching for drugs. Canine handlers there now carry naloxone for their four legged partners.  

"For us to find these narcotics, we all have to be put in harms way," Davis said.

Josie's work for LMPD did lead to the arrest of three people.

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During their arraignment Friday morning, prosecutors took notice.

"It's obviously very dangerous for the animals that are working with LMPD," the prosecutor said.

Josie had a close call, but luckily had some back up too.

"The dog got injured and the police officer saved that dogs life. And that is what a dog and handler is all about," Davis said.

As of Friday night, Josie was still at the animal hospital. She is expected to recover.

Two of the three people arrested in her case are charged with assault on a service animal, which is a felony, on top of trafficking charges.

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