By FireRescue1 Staff
INDIANAPOLIS — A search and rescue dogs’ possible exposure to narcotics while on a mission has sparked concern amongst emergency department officials.
FOX59 reported that Blitz, an Indiana Task Force One search and rescue dog, was possibly exposed to methamphetamine while searching for a missing fisherman last month, according to her partner, K-9 Search Specialist Janalee Gallagher.
“He started exhibiting very paranoid behavior, started circling to the left in a counter-clockwise direction, his head hung low,” Gallagher said. “We don’t know what source of exposure it was, whether it was an ingestion, inhalation, an injection, we’re not sure.”
Several tests concluded that Blitz was exposed to the drug during the operation. He is now recovered a month later, but Wayne Township Fire Department Captain Mike Pruitt hopes emergency departments will take Blitz’s case seriously.
“It was one of those things that was like an ‘ah-ha’ moment,” Pruitt said. “Why didn’t we ever think of this happening to one of our search K9s? Now we’re having to rethink the use of these dogs and making sure that we can, in some way, find the best protection for them.”
Indiana Task Force One Program Manager Tom Neal said the case means new training policies should be implemented throughout the country.
“I think this would be a great opportunity for not only our task force, but some of the vets within the FEMA USAR system to develop an education program,” he said.
A GoFundMe page has been launched to raise money for Blitz’s vet bills. Click here to donate.