Lake Hallie police train for possible K-9 drug overdoses
Lake Hallie (WQOW) -- As emergency personnel focus on combating the opioid epidemic, a few departments rely on K-9 units as their greatest resource. Now, some departments are going to extra measures to keep their four-legged officers safe.
Lake Hallie police said the department's K-9 officer carries Narcan with them at all times, a drug used to reverse an overdose. The K-9 officer is the only member of the department that carries the drug. Officials said they rely on local EMS for human use.
Officers said they are trained to administer it to the canines and to recognize the signs and symptoms of a dog overdose. Police said it's a training the department just started doing a few months ago as heroine and fentanyl started popping up.
“As a handler you get to know your dog very well. Dogs will respond to opioids quite the same as humans will. You'll start to know that they'll get sluggish, start looking kind of tired and lethargic, and they start showing any signs, you know, doing a recent drug sniff that's when you want to get on the phone with the vet and possible start administering the Narcan for the dog."
Lake Hallie police said as of now, they have never administered Narcan to the dogs, and there have not been any K-9 overdoses.