DENVER -- A special tool with four-legs and a talented nose typically used by police to take down suspects and find narcotics every day, is now available for parents to hire.
"It’s just a tool that parents can use to x-ray into their kid's room and see what's going on in a non-invasive way," said Mark Haines, the owner of K-9 Force Security, a new company based in Ft. Collins.
Along with Storm, his two-year old German Shepard puppy, Haines offers parents the services of a drug-sniffing dog for a fee.
"Given a choice between dealing with the issue head on and honestly with your child, versus waiting two or three years down the road -- dealing with addiction, maybe jail time, maybe worse… I'm choosing the drug search every time," Haines said.
Storm has been trained to detect six major drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, ecstasy, heroin, psilocybin mushrooms, and even some opiate-based medications like OxyContin.
"It’s not very often that I get to train a dog as sociable as Storm," said Joe Clingan, who has trained roughly 600 K-9 teams over a nearly 40-year career. He helped bring Storm up to speed. "He's very direct and very methodical and accurate."
When Storm enters a home, Haines guides him around, using the command "find the dope." Once Storm sniffs out a narcotic, he simply sits down, looks at his trainer, and waits for a treat.
"Law enforcement is just overbooked," Clingan said. "They're busy, they can't take the time out to go to an individual's home and do a drug search."
Haines says he initially began K-9 Force Security as a way to help employers keep their businesses drug-free. But after an employee at an office he searched saw what Storm could do, she gave him a call.
"I had just noticed some changes in my teenaged son's behavior and moods," said the client, who did not want to be identified.
She says Storm found drug paraphernalia inside her home, confirming suspicions about her son using drugs.
"At first of course, (my son) was just irritated and angry with us, but now he's adjusting well to it," said the client. "He's got a better attitude, his grades are improving, so obviously, things are looking up for him."
"John," another of Mark's clients who did not want to be identified, says he was hesitant to hire a drug sniffing dog because it seemed like a drastic and invasive step -- until he saw the results.
"I was having some concerns with one of my children, and I didn't exactly know how to approach it," said John. "But when the dog actually alerted, it all made sense... It opened a door to where I had some credibility in what I was actually talking about, so it’s just been wonderful since."
"If one of Storm's searches is able to help a parent get their kid off drugs," said Haines, "then that's a good day's work."
In case you're interested in hiring Mark and Storm -- call (970) 373-9935 or visit their website.