Private Drug-Sniffing Dogs: A Good or Bad Idea?

Pat Greenhouse/Boston Globe via Getty Images

Pat Greenhouse/Boston Globe via Getty Images

Drug-sniffing dogs are no longer limited to law enforcement. The industry is being privatized by individual trainers and their dogs, who search the homes of people who feel they have a family member that may be using illegal drugs.

These businesses utilize the same techniques used by law enforcement, but are not legally obligated to report what they find.

Tom Robichaud, owner of Discreet Intervention, says that in extreme cases (such as finding a meth lab or a large amount of a narcotic) he will be morally compelled to alert the police.

In typical cases, if the dog alerts on a small amount of anarcotic, full discretion is given to the parents on whether or not they want to involve the police. As a result, these private drug-sniffing businesses are exploding.

While the law protects citizens against unwarranted police searches, it has not yet been amended to prevent unwanted searches by nosy neighbors.

Law enforcement officials are concerned that these types of private investigations could accidentally interfere with ongoing police investigations, putting both officers and the dog handler in a potentially dangerous situation.

Beyond that, private drug-sniffing dogs are not required to complete the evaluations and certifications that law enforcement dogs and handlers do. Therefore, the evidence they find may not be admissible in court.

Read more. 

What are your thoughts on private drug-sniffing dogs? Leave your comments below.

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