Drug sniffer dogs target apartments

  • Breaking
  • 09/11/2013

Auckland apartment owners are calling in the dogs to sniff out drugs.

Janet Wilson of New Zealand Detector Dogs says demand has increased dramatically as owners try to stop drug manufacturing and use in their buildings.

"We're similar to a smoke detector in a hallway," she says. "We're advising the building managers that there's something of interest and they maybe need to follow up on it."

Over the course of an hour all 158 rooms in one downtown apartment building are checked for drugs. The dogs don't go into the rooms, but will respond if they get a whiff from under the door.

"All apartment owners want to protect their investment so most of them have a vested interest in the dogs coming in," says Ms Wilson. "The last thing they want if they've invested a lot of money in an apartment is a p lab that's going to devalue their apartment."

Building Manager Trevor Giles passes the occupier's details onto police, who deal with it from there.

"We've had buildings where we've put the dogs through," he says. "The neighbours will start moving out and next thing the building goes really quiet.

"With the problem we have with p there's also theft, damage, there's all the tenant's mates that come around and the issues that are associated with that and [drug detection] just totally deletes the whole thing."

Sixty buildings in Auckland have signed up to the service, which can be carried out from once a month to once a year.

They've had nothing but positive feedback from owners.

"They like the idea the dogs are there, they like the idea that management are taking a proactive roll and they're looking after their welfare," says Mr Giles. "It's usually those that object the most are those that have the most to worry about."

With the canine team on the prowl more often they're kept busy, but it's all in a dog day's work.

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