Working K9s

Cops claim it pot is legalized, drug-sniffing K9s will have to be put down

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An outlandish claim, made by some cops on the police force in Illinois, has animal welfare advocates up in arms. According to The Week, law enforcement officials fear that working K9s will have to be put down if pot is legalized in the state…why? According to one K9 trainer, it would be “abusive” to retrain the dogs to not alert for marijuana.

Assistant Police Chief Steve Petrilli of the Normal Police Department is quoted in the Pantagraph:

“At this point, they’re trained on five different odors. Once they’re programmed with that, you can’t just deprogram them. I think the implications of that would be huge.”

A training director for the K-9 Training Academy in Macon County also alleges that some of the working K9s are not social enough to be rehomed. Another issue being cited is the cost for either retraining dogs or retiring all of the existing K9s and starting a fresh program with dogs who are not trained to sniff out marijuana. Officials worry that creating a new K9 police force would be cost prohibitive.

But many people are questioning the extreme allegation that the current working K9s may have to be put down…could the dogs not be retired? Or transferred to other states where marijuana is still illegal? There are a number of states which have legalized marijuana – but they have not indicated that their existing working K9s had to be put down because of it.

What do you think should happen with the drug-sniffing dogs? Should they be retrained? Retired? Transferred? Feel free to weigh in with your thoughts and suggestions.

(Image via Pixabay free images)

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18 replies
  1. Barkley's Mom says:

    This is the most ridiculous thing I ever heard of. So what if they are trained to alert to marijuana if it’s legal don’t arrest the person that has it. You don’t kill dogs because you say they can’t be retrained! At the very least adopt them out! You don’t kill good dogs for something like THIS!

  2. Sue says:

    Well, at least this is one more little between-the-lines message showing how much they actually do not respect the dogs as individuals. They must be laughing up their sleeves around the station about the handler’s statement that it would be “abusive” to retrain the dogs to not alert to marijuana (given what I know, as an insider, about the constant abuse, and even torture, used on these dogs constantly behind the scenes) because as long as they are in use, the “training” is ongoing. And, when they are not in use, or not being “trained,” they are kept isolated, in solitary confinement, in a kennel, either at the station, or in the handlers’ backyards.

    Some people may have heard about the military K9’s that were executed en masse because their services were no longer needed. I also have an article about 84 “retired” police K9’s destroyed in a 3 year period, and that is only the tip of the iceberg, what reaches the public, which is very little.

    And the reason they’re not “social enough to be rehomed” is because of the biggest offense of all, in my opinion: The ongoing abuse and torture (which includes hanging/strangling to unconsciousness) and the solitary confinement.

    Of course there are handlers who claim to love their dogs. I’ll believe it when they man up, stop following the lead of the sadistic and indifferent regime, and fight for their dogs at least as much as I have been doing.

    • pamela bolton says:

      This needs spread FAR AND WIDE. They think that their training is on the up and up, wonder how they would feel when they find out what REALLY goes on with them. Makes me so angry that I can’t see straight sometimes. HUMANS think they are the superior beings, but they are far from it. I HATE MOST HUMANS.

  3. Red says:

    Send them where pot is still illegal…… DO NOT PUT DOWN HEALTHY, BEAUTIFUL ANIMALS!!! Good heavens, there has to be many other options before murdering these babies!
    I do agree….. you can not re-train them to NOT alert you on something they were trained to alert on.

  4. Kat says:

    Seriously!? Killing a dog because a drug is legal? Well then let’s kill drug enforcement agents if certain drugs are made legal! Makes no sense. Send these dogs to states that still have laws where marijuana is illegal rather than killing them.

  5. Shirley Norton says:

    I think the drug sniffing dogs deserve to be retired and transferred. I mean really putting them down is extreme. Those dogs need to be in loving homes. Just because things change does not mean the dogs need to be put down. How would the cops feel if they were laid off because they were not useful anymore. I think putting the dogs down is something that should not even considered.

  6. Nancy Raymond says:

    That is the biggest load of crap I have ever heard – to put down K9 dogs because it is ‘abusive’ to retrain them makes me want to puke – its not abusive to just dismiss these dogs because they are no longer useful is exactly what this idiot named Petrilli is saying – don’t even consider retiring them, just frigging kill them. These dogs did useful and courageous work for the police department and to treat them like disposable objects shows how little this so called Assistant Police Chief thinks of them. I bet they were and are much more useful that this jackass who thinks killing them is appropriate. These dogs deserve to be able to live out their lives just like retired human cops. He needs a serious rethink – this idea of his will not go over well and will bring a lot of bad publicity to the state of Illinois. WAKE UP!

    • Condi says:

      This is bullshit. I’m sure a lot people could use them to find their stash. “Now where did I put that?”

  7. pamela bolton says:

    THIS IS INSANITY!!! What is wrong with adopting them out to families?? Why not retire them? Really!! You want to kill the dogs because they can’t do their training anymore?? Just how sick is that? They ARE NOT disposable objects. they did their work for you and you want to kill them for it. What a sick bunch of HUMANS. Maybe we should start shooting cops when they aren’t needed anymore. Makes just about as much sense.

  8. Marni Montanez says:

    This guy doesn’t know about training dogs if he thinks once their trained they cannot be re-trained. Years ago and another dog I had didn’t bark so I taught him to bark on command. After I saw that people were starting to tell him to bark on command when they found out, I had to undo it. He wasn’t harmed. I was gentle and gave treats for not barking and he was fine. He didn’t have to go to therapy for being retrained. That is preposterous.

  9. susispot says:

    So, if pot is legal the suspect need only say they have pot on them, in home, in auto…DUH! If that is too hard to train the officer, maybe THEY should be RETIRED! Rehome the dogs that are rehomable, reassign dogs that are not. Unless, of course, the K9 partner would welcome their retired K9 into their home.

  10. Daniel Clarkson says:

    If the reality is that retraining just can’t be done, then they can be retired or transferred. The respective Police Departments have spent a large sum of money in getting these dogs trained, so there is no point in executing them like criminals, just because of the legalization of pot. What a waste of valuable resources.

  11. maxiemom says:

    This is one more EXTREME statement by scum desperate to maintain the status quo, which puts so much money into the coffers of their pensions by seizing, without a warrant, conviction, etc., money of people merely SUSPECTED AND STOPPED because these filthbags accuse them of having drugs. If they have so much as a joint, their possessions, money, etc., are forfeited and the proceeds automatically go into the police retirement fund.

    Nice racket, huh?

    Sometimes they find nothing, but it STILL goes into the fund and their innocent victims have to fight to get their possessions and money back, which isn’t easy. The system is set up in favor of dirty cops, NOT you and me.

    Since jails are also a money making venture, and their cash cow is nonviolent pot convictions, legalizations would hurt them that way.

    In other words, they are rightfully thinking of their own job security. They should have lost those jobs long ago if they depended on a ‘war on drugs’, since Nixon started it as an ‘us against them’ movement against his perceived ‘enemies’- the counterculture, African Americans, the young, college liberals, etc. They’ve run with it ever since. It has to stop.

    Killing the dogs is ludicrous. Killing the cops who LOVE their jobs and spread the lies about pot would be more like it. They are EVIL. They’ve done a lot of harm to this country over the last 50 years, splitting up families for no good reason!

    If anyone has to pay a price for FINALLY doing the right thing, it should be the evil bastards who kept this monstrous ‘war’ going and INSIST that it continue!

  12. Deborah Dearmore says:

    Send these babies to other states were it’s not legalized. Then then let them be rehomed.

  13. Jason H says:

    Police dogs retire all the time but don’t get put down, they usually become family pets once they retire. I see no reason why this can’t be done in this potential situation. Sounds to me like greed is involved here.

  14. Mary Ann Clark says:

    I think that these officers need a psychiatric hearing because they are obviously mentally incompetent and should not be working! Do you really think that the rest of the civilized world would let you get away this genocide!

  15. Sheri says:



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