Drug-sniffing K9 officers saved by antidote made for humans

WGN Investigates
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The fentanyl epidemic is raising some concerns for K9 units.

The drug, which is 100 times more powerful than morphine or heroine, is putting the K9 officers at risk.  It’s often mixed with other drugs like cocaine.

In Florida, three dogs overdosed but survived after sniffing the drug during a police search.  Those stories are leading many departments to take precautions.

In Lake County, they are now training K9 handlers to administer the antidote Naloxone, or Narcan, to their dogs if they feel they have overdosed.

Buffalo Grove Ofc. Danielle Baron says, “The last  9 months have been nerve racking.  Every time I put the dog in the car I get nervous.”

She attended the training along with a string of other officers who have started to keep their dogs from searching certain areas, fearing they could overdose.

The Narcan has been used in humans for years now and works much the same way in the K9 officers.

The dogs are not hurt in any way when they are administered Naloxone or Narcan.  They are simply pulled out of an overdose state.

Lake County is not the only area training handlers on how to use the antidote.  It’s happening across the country.   Ans so far, departments have been able to keep the Narcan in stock at a low cost.



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