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Frequently Asked Questions
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Just how bad are drugs in the workplace?
According to data from Employers, a small-business insurance company, 10 percent of small businesses reported that employees showed up in 2013 under the influence of at least one controlled substance, with marijuana coming in at 5.1 percent. Marijuana sales overall are taking off as recreational use of cannabis is legal in Colorado and Washington state, and pot can be purchased for medicinal use in 23 states and Washington, D.C. So what's an employer to do? Companies have different strategies and opinions on testing. But the clear majority of U.S. employers aren't required to test for drugs. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, many state and local governments have statutes that "limit or prohibit workplace testing, unless required by state or Federal regulations for certain jobs." Use of detections dogs in the workplace is not affected by drug testing regulation or restrictions.
Why use dogs?
They are not only better, but faster, more efficient, and less intrusive than any other inspection method. Scientists have yet to create a more accurate, effective and portable sniffing machine. The use of detection canines in the workplace or in the private sector is intended to provide a further deterrent to the possession, use, or sales of contraband on the job. Our Contraband Detection Canine Services program provides routine inspections of areas such as lockers, workstations, common areas, and parking lots. These inspections, conducted randomly, ensure consistency as to areas searched. Typically, when a qualifying odor is detected, the canine will paw at the scent location of the contraband's most recent and/or greatest concentration. Sometimes the canine alerts or indicates at a seemingly drug-free area, but in fact, the canine is detecting a site whereon contraband previously rested or was present. The canine is able to detect these residual odors for a period of time after the contraband has been removed.
What breeds of dogs do you use?
We typically used hunting or herding breeds. These types of dogs often have the high hunt and prey drives that we like to see. Currently we have a Springer Spaniel and a Golden Retriever.
Who certifies your competency?
An independent, third-party master trainer or evaluator. We meet or exceed the law enforcement standards of Washington Administrative Code WAC 139-05-915. Our efforts are focused on the training, certification, and continuing education programs necessary to maintain competent, prudent K-9 teams. Becasue of this, we strive to train and certify under conditions as similar as possible to those in which the service dog team will have to perform their duties. We are trained in presumptive narcotics testing by VALTOX Laboratories of Sacramento, CA. Most of our handlers and inspectors are current or former police officers.
What is the Contraband Detector Dog sniffing for?
Illegal Drugs: Typically include Marijuana, Opium, Heroin, Cocaine, Crack Cocaine, Ecstasy, and Methamphetamine.
Alcohol: Specifically, Ethanol Alcohol commonly found in beer, wine, and drinking liquors.
Firearms: Specifically, smokeless, black and flash powders typically found in ammunition and firearms. Whether clean or dirty, all firearms are contaminated by nitrates contained in gunpowder.
What does the dog do when they find one of these odors?
Typically, our dogs respond in a passive manner. Once they identify the strongest concentration of contraband odor, the dog will sit at that location.
What is the reward given to the dog for making the find?
Each dog has its own favorite reward. This could be a ball, Kong, or knotted cotton rope. They are given the reward for identifying the correct location of the odor they are trained to detect. In addition, the dog receives physical and verbal praise for each successful find. Basically, we have a party! To the dog, detection work is merely a game of hide-and-go-seek.
Do you travel out of state or out of the country?
Yes. It is not unusual to travel as far as Alaska and the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands; to southern states or the east coast. We have also worked in Canada. The dogs are frequent fliers and do well in vehicles, vessels or on aircraft.
Are you licensed? Is a professional license required?
Yes...and yes. A simple business license is not sufficient. We are licensed in Washington and Alaska to conduct private investigations. Several other states offer reciprocity. Handlers are conducting an investigation as defined by law. It would be unfortunate and potentially embarrassing if the work they did for you was thrown out of court because they did not have the appropriate professional licensing. We are registered with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, as well as, licensed by the State of Washington Board of Pharmacy.