Cocker spaniel sniffing out drugs in hospitals
A police-trained sniffer dog is being used in hospitals to sniff out illegal drugs in the north east of England.
Coco, and her ex-police dog handler, have been making the rounds in order to prevent patients, visitors and even staff from misusing drugs.
The Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust spoke out saying that if they did suspect that drugs were on the premises, it could take up to two weeks to arrange a search.
However, now, with Coco around, they are able to tackle the issue immediately. It is thought to be the second scheme of its type in England.
The trust covers seven hospitals, and its director of nursing and operations, Gary O’Hare, told the BBC that Coco and her handler John McCarroll had been "an excellent addition to our staff teams".
"They will ensure we can continue to offer a safe and supportive environment for those receiving treatment, whilst giving people the confidence to report anything they find suspicious, either in our buildings or anywhere in our grounds."
According to the Northumbria Police dog training unit, the cocker spaniel carried out searches to an excellent standard during its initial training.
Coco also acts as a "pets as therapy" dog for elderly and very young patients.