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How a Yellow Labrador Could Help Alleviate Drugs in Campbell Co. Schools

Campbell County — Ten minutes before the bell rings on the first day of school at White Oak Elementary, an energetic yellow Lab leaps out of the back of a Campbell County Sheriff’s SUV.

“Mya, easy,” Corporal Wayne Barton coaxes as he leads the dog up the sidewalk and inside the school’s gymnasium where they’re greeted by students eager to shower Mya with attention.

The Labrador might look cute, but she’s trained to sniff out drugs hidden in even the most unusual places.

“It doesn't matter if there’s a T-bone steak or another dog, she may notice it, but it doesn't distract her from what we’re doing,” Barton said.

Mya began training in January in drug detection, and since then Barton and the dog have trained over 400 hours to prepare for the school year.

“When we started talking about it a couple years ago, we started to see more drugs in the system. There’s not a family that I know that’s not affected by illegal drugs. We started seeing it trickle down into our schools, and we decided that we had to combat this in some way. Kids are very creative. They can hide drugs in places that you and I would never think about. We knew that if we could find a dog that would be suitable for the schools and could get her trained that they couldn't hide the drugs from her,” Barton said.

The two will randomly sweep schools throughout the school system to help alleviate the drug issue.

“It’s not like the kids have notice that the dog’s coming. We’re going to be sniffing the parking lot and the lockers, and we can bring the dog at any time. It doesn't matter if it’s football game or basketball game,” Barton said. “I think she’s going to be a tool that we’ll feel the effects of for years to come.”

Mya is also trained in tracking, which Barton says will be beneficial if a student ever goes missing.

© 2018 WBIR

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