Ali is a specially trained German shepherd that has eight years of experience sniffing out narcotics for law enforcement. He now works for a private company, sniffing around teenagers’ bedrooms for drugs.
Ali works for a New Jersey company called Sniff Dogs.
Sniff Dogs rents drug-sniffing dogs to parents for around $200 an hour. The company was started this year by Debra Stone, who says her five narcotics-sniffing canines can find heroin, cocaine, crystal meth and ecstasy in teens bedrooms.
The dogs’ sense of smell is so sensitive that they can detect a marijuana seed from as far as 15 feet away and marijuana residue on clothing from drugs smoked two nights before.
New Jersey parent Pat Winterstein was curious about Sniff Dogs and hired the company to search her teenagers’ rooms.
The dogs did not find any drugs in her teens’ rooms, but she says that she will keep doing the tests to ensure that her kids are staying away from drugs.
Some critics say this tactic could break down trust between parents and children, but Winterstein says it offers her peace of mind.
Parents are also using other creative ways to monitor teenagers’ activities. There are now Global Positioning System devices that can be sewn into kids clothing to monitor their driving speeds, and software that lets parents read their childrens’ text messages.
Some psychologists say these new surveillance tools can backfire, eroding chil-parent trust in the process.
Melinda Bennington said that she wishes that she would have had drug dogs to help her see the warnings signs before it was too late. Melinda’s son Tom died of a drug overdose two years ago.
As parents, Bennington and Winterstein agree that monitoring teens’ behavior is not only a parent’s right, but also a responsibility.
Source: ABC News