Contraband Dogs

  • In order to ensure a safe learning environment for all students, the Turlock Unified School District has established a contract to bring specially trained canines to High Schools to deter students from bringing illegal substances onto campus or on school-sponsored trips. The dogs are trained to detect the odor and residual odor of illegal drugs (e.g., marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, ecstasy), frequently-abused prescription drugs (e.g., Xanax, oxycodone, Adderall), alcoholic beverages (e.g., wine, beer, vodka), and gunpowder (e.g., ammunition, fireworks, weapons). The contraband dogs that will visit our campus are non-aggressive and friendly; however, while they are on campus, they are working, and students and staff are instructed not to pet or play with the dogs.

    A dog will never be directed to sniff students or the air immediately around students during a campus visit. While on campus, the canine team will be accompanied at all times by one or more site administrator. The canine team will search all areas of campus including classrooms, cars parked on school grounds, storage areas, and restrooms. During a classroom visit, the students will be asked to leave their belongings behind and wait outside the room with a site representative. With the teacher and an administrator present in the room, the dog will sniff the air inside the classroom, including the air around the student belongings.  During a visit prior to a trip, students will be asked to leave their belongings in a line for the dog to sniff the air around the student belongings. If the dog indicates an alert, a search will be conducted by the administrator accompanying the canine team to determine the source of the odor that caused the alert.

    If you have any questions, contact your site principal. If you are concerned that your student has a drug or alcohol problem there are resources available through the school and district, please contact your student’s counselor for more information.

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