Occupational Hazard: State Police protect their dogs from Fentanyl

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WBFF) -- When Maryland State Police (MSP) can’t find drugs, they rely on their K-9 partners to find them. It’s a dangerous job for police dogs that’s resulted in new training to keep them safe.

Fentanyl is a drug responsible for hundreds of overdose deaths in Maryland, a new state report says. State police say it is 100 times more powerful than morphine.

Trying to seize the drug can be dangerous to police, both human and dog. In response, MSP, along with the Falls Road Animal Hospital, created a program to treat dogs if they are exposed to Fentanyl. K-9 handlers are trained to look for symptoms like excessive drooling and severe limping. Handlers also carry Narcan to give a K-9 in case of an overdose, in the same way they would administer Narcan to a human.

Thus far, not one state police dog has been injured by Fentanyl. State police credit K-9s on the job with seizing almost 2,800 pounds of illegal drugs last year alone.

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