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Crime

Canton firm is adding drug dog service

Press-News Journal of Canton, Missouri

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A Canton business is adding narcotics-sniffing dogs to its business offerings.

Tri State Trauma, which still offers biological clean-ups, has added a sister company, Midwest Area Detection Dogs.

Midwest will offer K-9 drug searches to the general public by certified K-9 teams. The dogs can detect marijuana, crack, cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines.

Owner Jon Stolarz said two chocolate labs have been secured and in March will go for training to be drug service dogs.

"One dog was donated by a Western Illinois vet clinic, and one was donated, by a family who couldn't handle their dog," Stolarz said.

Stolarz and partner Mike Hudnut have had training in developing drug dogs for police forces. However, Midwest Area Detection Dogs is not a police service.

The drug dog service can be used in private homes, halfway houses, schools, and businesses. He said an advantage to a private organization like his over a police dog is the ability to search in a more low-key aspect than a police effort.

It then is up to the party contracting with Midwest to . determine whether to handle the matter internally or involve police.

"We don't need to know what's in the locker or shoebox. All we say is the dog seems to have a hit for drugs."

Should it be needed, Stolarz said they can be available for "expert testimony" in court cases.

Midwest dogs won't be able to do search and rescue work.

Stolarz may even add another dog or two. Criteria for candidate dogs is "possessiveness of their toys and extremely hyper." He said these are less likely to flunk training school.

Nearly all types of dogs with the above criteria can be so trained for drug detection dogs.

With several dogs, they could work every third day.

Stolarz said it will be May or June before the trained dogs are ready to serve, but there has been strong local interest, already booking half of the available dates.

"Businesses in Quincy and even St. Louis have called us. We've not put it out in St. Louis yet. It's been word of mouth.



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Original Publication Date: February 5, 2009



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