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ISP planning to equip K-9 units with Narcan to protect dogs from deadly drug mixtures

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Officials say the battle to stop the ongoing drug epidemic is putting law enforcement and their K-9 partners at risk.

“He is already pulling me; he is trying to figure out where it is coming from. He should find the drugs in just a second,” said ISP Master Trooper and K-9 handler Chris Richey.

Indiana State Police depend on their highly skilled K-9 units to sniff out illegal drugs.

“All they are doing is constantly inhaling, trying to pinpoint the scent,” said Richey.

The dogs put their nose and paws extremely close to the dangerous and sometimes deadly drugs.

“Constantly sniffing, you can imagine what they could be taking in if we are not careful,” said Richey.

ISP says their K-9 units find heroin, carfentanil, fentanyl, and other deadly drug combinations on a daily basis.

“It’s crazy…it has gone through the roof,” said ISP Sgt. Dennis Wade.

Indiana State Police say their department has not had any of their K-9’s overdose…yet. Sgt. Wade says there have been a few close calls.

“On I-70, our state police interdiction team seized several kilos of pure fentanyl. Extremely dangerous to lab personnel, officers on scene, as well as the dogs,” said Sgt. Wade.

Troopers are also trained to check their partner for potential overdose symptoms.

“They would show signs of impairment just like humans do,” said Sgt. Wade.

To help curb the dangers, ISP is working to equip every K-9 unit with a lifesaving drug for them and their dog. They hope to have the medicine within the next 6 months.

“Our K-9 handlers are going to be issued a second Narcan dose and if they see any impairment with the dog, we are to go ahead and give the dog a dosage…like we would a human,” said Sgt. Wade.