Dogs Trained To Search For Drugs At Oklahoma Schools


Tuesday, April 3rd 2012, 7:16 pm
By: News 9


Oklahoma is number one in the nation in prescription drug abuse. Changing that statistic will mean educating students about the dangers of these drugs, but even that may not be enough.

Some students are learning a lesson the hard way. Every prescription drug abuse reportedly leaves thousands paralyzed, if not dead. So some schools are now stepping into the fight not with two legs, but four.

With just a sniff, Kaya can help young drug abusers come to their senses. Lead by trainer, James Seikel, the dog carefully checks each classroom.

"Just making sure she gets all the backpacks and all the areas where stuff might be," James Seikel said.

Kaya is one of a dozen dogs with K-9 University helping schools across Oklahoma detect drugs in the classroom. Unlike most drug dogs, K-9 university also trains the dogs to search for pain killers.

Angel Soriano, owner of K-9 University, explains why his dogs have the extra skill set.

"We have to specifically teach them to detect prescription drugs, because that is where the crime is being committed," Soriano said.

Click here for more information about the program.

Drugs like oxycodone and hydrocodone are killing more than the pain. In 2010, more than 500 Oklahomans died from prescription drug overdose.

The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics reports a lot of the addiction begins in junior high or high school. Thirty percent of the drugs uncovered in the schools are prescription pain pills. It's why nearly two dozen school districts in Oklahoma, like Putnam City, Moore, and Mustang Schools, are contracting with K-9 University to keep students safe.

Soriano says the schools are seeing results.

"We see that as we visit and as we are there and the proactive approach they are taking is making a huge difference. Kids are no longer bringing them in. They are getting off them or keeping them at home," Soriano said.

The schools also offer counseling to students who are caught abusing the pain pills. Some schools also offer parent programs and wellness checks to ensure students are drug free.