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Parents Hire K9 Team to Search Teens' Rooms for Drugs

The Short of It

Kentucky parents who suspect their teens might be using drugs can now hire a canine search company to check their kids' rooms. Turns out, most of the time, their suspicions are correct.

The Lowdown

Companies that offer private K9 searches are popping up across the United States from Chicago to North Carolina to California. One parent, James (who asked Louisville's Courier Journal to be identified only by his first name to protect his daughter's privacy) spotted a billboard in Kentucky for The Last Chance K9 Service, which offers to help worried parents confidentially for $99. "Our dogs find drugs!" the message screamed.

While the concept seemed radical, James felt desperate after noticing his 14-year-old daughter hanging out with new friends. Plus, he detected an odd odor coming from her room.

"I'm not a snooping parent," he told the Courier-Journal. "I want my daughter to be able to trust me, but I gotta protect her. I know girls can be sneaky and hide things in places I wouldn't even think of."

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According to Michael Davis, who owns Last Chance, some parents bust out the K9 unit in front of their kids, but James waited until his daughter was at school.

"I was so nervous," James recalled. "What can occur from letting this stranger in my house with a drug dog?"

Nothing at first. But then one of Davis's specially trained German Shepherds headed to the teen's room, and within seconds, it found a glass pipe of marijuana hidden in an Altoids tin in the girl's makeup stand.

"My heart just sank," said James. "I would have easily overlooked it."

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Davis then sat down to give James the 411 on how to talk to his daughter. "Don't yell or scream at her," he said. "Just sit down and talk to her. Be stern, but be cool, calm and collected."

So that's exactly what he did. And after his daughter fessed up, James destroyed the pipe and tossed it in the trash while his daughter looked on. He then confided in her about his own experimentation with marijuana when he was younger.

"What we do is help the family fix the issue," said Davis. "We're not the police."

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The Upshot

This is an interesting concept, although I'm not sure I'd actually use it. But if there's one thing I've learned over the last 13 years as a parent, it's never say never!

And even more so, when you consider that Davis said about 90 percent of the time, his company dogs find narcotics, such as barbiturates, methamphetamines, heroin, marijuana and cocaine, hidden in rooms, bathrooms and cars by teens or young adults still living with their parents.

Scary stuff!

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