Cannabis legalization forces 14 RCMP sniffer dogs into early retirement
Holly McKenzie-Sutter, The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, July 25, 2018 11:18AM EDT
Earlier this month, the RCMP threw a retirement party in St. John's, N.L., for a Labrador retriever named Luke.
As the saying goes, you can't teach an old dog new tricks, and as cannabis legalization approaches, that puts Luke and other dogs like him out of work.
Luke, who sniffed more than five million of dollars' worth of drugs during his time on the force, is one of 14 canines across the country who will be out of a job before October 17.
Traffic and interdiction dogs like Luke are trained to detect cannabis, but once the substance is legal, they can no longer be used to establish grounds for search in a traffic stop.
All 14 dogs need to be replaced, and it will cost about $5,000 to train each new pup with the updated drug palette that excludes cannabis.
Luke is the only dog retiring in Newfoundland and Labrador, but there are others in British Columbia, Alberta, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Manitoba who will be hanging up their hats by October.