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Washington DOC Graduates New Class of Fentanyl-Sniffing Dogs

Five newly DOC-certified fentanyl-detecting dogs pose with their handlers following a graduation ceremony on Thursday.

OLYMPIA – Harley, Luka, Timber, Raiden, and Rozzo are among a rare class of canine. They each passed a state Department of Corrections (DOC) program for fentanyl detection Thursday that just five dogs had completed before them. They’ll go to work right away in prisons statewide to prevent deadly fentanyl from coming in.

“Some of these dogs were rescues, and this was really the end of the line. They’re smart and active and they needed a job and purpose,” said DOC K-9 program manager Terry Hartman.

Fentanyl was a priority of the 2024 legislative session. Among other fentanyl prevention bills, Gov. Jay Inslee signed HB 1635 in March. The bill directs the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission to develop the fentanyl detection curriculum for police canine teams. Once they do, many more police dogs statewide will learn to do what Harley and company have mastered.

Newly DOC-certified fentanyl-detecting dogs pose with their handlers following a graduation ceremony on Thursday.

“Fighting back against fentanyl is an all-hands, all-paws effort,” said Gov. Jay Inslee.

To address the scourge of fentanyl, Inslee signed a number of bills this session advancing fentanyl education, expanding treatment access, distributing lifesaving overdose reversal medications, and investing in Tribal recovery programs.

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