Chattanooga police using grant to buy Narcan for K-9s

Chattanooga Police K9 Anik. (Image: WTVC)

The Chattanooga Police Department is using a $15,000 grant to make Narcan available for every officer in the department, K-9s included.

Narcan is a lifesaving drug for humans, and for dogs. It's used to counteract the effects of opioids and synthetic drugs.

The grant is provided by the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program.

Sgt. Sean O'Brien is a handler for Anik, a four-year-old K-9. He says having Narcan available for the dogs will help them stay ahead of a dangerous curve.

"We knew back about five years ago that heroin was going to make a comeback because you saw a lot of abuse of prescription opioids," O'Brien said. "We've also seen an explosion of synthetic drugs hitting the street so nothing surprises me at this point."

When it comes to the synthetic drug fentanyl, dogs only have to touch or inhale it for it to be deadly.

"It's been a concern of mine for the last year or so just seeing how prevalent the fentanyl is on the streets," O'Brien said. "The risks that we are running is not only for us as officers, but for the dogs as well."

The officers try to keep the K9's from ever encountering synthetic drugs by securing the area, but if they do find it they can use the Narcan nasal spray to potentially save the dog's life.