Grayson County Gets New Drug Sniffing Dog - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Grayson County Gets New Drug Sniffing Dog

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SHERMAN, TX -- The Grayson County Sheriff's Office just got a small, but effective tool to help fight the war on drugs, as for the first time in about seven years, deputies now have their own drug-sniffing dog.

Deputies say it is proven that drugs go north from Mexico, and money South, and now they say finding drugs during their patrols will be easier with their newest recruit, who came from half a world away to start his new assignment.

"He was trained in the odors of methamphetamines, marijuana, cocaine, heroin," says Investigator Mark Haning.

The two-year-old German shepherd started work Monday, and his job is to sniff out drugs no matter where they may be. "Special hiding places, drugs in a gas tank, hidden compartments inside a vehicle, something that we can't see," says Lt. Rickey Wheeler.

When Haning pulls over a car and suspects that something is not right, Thor will be there in case the driver does not agree to a search. "Now when they say no, I can bring the dog up and if the dog alerts to the vehicle, that's probable cause to search it," says Haning.

Haning says Thor has been in school for about two weeks and just wrapped up one week on the streets. He just came here from the Czech Republic three months ago. Haning says training schools like the one in south Texas where he's been working with Thor look for dogs with drive to get to their toy.

"They just have to be really high strung to want to go play all the time and basically if they show no interest in finding the Kong toy and wanting to play with it, then they're discontinued," says Haning.

"Eventually you work that play activity into work, and they don't know it's work. They just think it's a game and that's what they want to do is play and win the game," says Wheeler.

Wheeler says he worked with another dog Ax from 2000 to 2005. "You're with him eight to 10, 12 hours a day at work, and then you go home and he's with you the rest of the day, so you actually spend more time with him than you do your family members. He becomes a big part of your life," says Wheeler.

"We come up and check into the office and I go back outside and work the highways," says Haning.

Wheeler says they can often tell by body language that something is suspicious, and also if the driver refuses a search. He says that in one case, they even stopped an Oklahoma City police officer who refused, and it turned out he was carrying drugs.

According to Wheeler, the dog was purchased with funds seized from drug investigations and without any cost to taxpayers.