POCONO SUMMIT, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Cpl. Matt Nero and his partner Niko do pretty much everything together. That includes finding and fighting drugs with the Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department.
“His big job is narcotics,” explains Cpl. Matt Nero, K-9 Handler.
During raids, Nero worries about his cop canine sniffing and overdosing on heroin, just like humans can. Recently in Florida several police dogs did overdose, nearly killing one of them.
“It could be a tragedy,” Nero adds.
Many times the drug’s laced with a powerful, toxic opioid called Fentanyl.
Nero explains, “picture a granule of salt. If these dogs ingest that, it could kill the dog.”
Many police departments carry Narcan, a powerful medication that reverses overdoses. It can be used on humans, even K-9’s.
Neither Nero nor Niko can take many precautions but the team of two does stay on high alert.. Especially after raids where lose heroin is openly laid out on tables.
“We are prepared for that, we train for that, so we are ready for that if it does happens,” Nero says.
Handlers work with veterinarians and watch for signs of panic or rapid breathing in their K-9’s. Luckily, Pocono Mountain Regional Police has not had a dog overdose.