Drug Dogs: Man’s Worst Friend

01.06.11 Bucky Turco

The Chicago Tribune sifted through three years of data from suburban police departments and discovered that drug-sniffing dogs are wrong, a lot. K9 units found drugs or contraband in only 44% of searches triggered by the dogs. Oops. But dog handlers and K9 officers say those numbers are inaccurate, since the dog was right, just not at this juncture in time—its nose is so sensitive that it can pick up scents from substances that were there.