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Understanding Dogs - Canines and Their Role in the War on Drugs


For centuries, our loveable best friends have been used for a lot of different purposes throughout history. They have been used in wars, used for different security reasons, to intimidate and control people and a variety of other things. The police began to use dogs to help them with their work in the 1800s and over the 100 plus years since them they have had their duties increased and their training has gotten more advanced. Today, a police dog is one of the main weapons being used against the continuing war we have against drugs.

For years and years dogs have been used to help humans because of their superb smelling ability and they seem to have an uncanny way of sniffing out the illegal drugs that keep getting smuggled into a variety of different countries including the United States.

It was Israel that actually was the first country that began using their dogs to smell and detect a variety of different kinds of contraband, the French government was the second to start using dogs, back in 1965, to help their police to find illicit drugs. After that the United Kingdom began their program and the military police while stationed in Vietnam used their dogs to keep drugs from being smuggled out of Vietnam back into the United States.

As soon as President Nixon offered up his plan to begin a war on drugs policy it didn't take US Customs long for them to get on the bandwagon for drug dogs back in 1970. After that the DEA began adding their own trained dogs to their fight against drugs and this then began to move on down the ranks to the state police forces and then finally down to your local police departments. Dogs today are highly trained in finding drugs like heroin, cocaine, hash, marijuana, amphetamines and they have currently added to their resume the ability to sniff out ecstasy.

These well trained dogs can now account for nearly $3 billion dollars worth, this is the actual street value, of drugs that are seized in the United States each year. Dogs are a valuable and intricate part of the work being done by Federal, State and local agents to try and clean up the streets.

Today, it is not just federal agencies and police departments that are utilizing the talents of dogs to find drugs. It has been discovered that there are a variety of different businesses, even those considered to be Fortune 500 companies that are beginning to hire agencies that have trained dogs that will offer their dogs services to sniff out different places in their businesses. This could be anywhere from an oil rig out on the ocean or the newsrooms of a newspaper or even a television station.



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