Introducing K-9 Rainey
May 2015 - Introducing, “Rainey,” our new narcotic-detection K-9. She is a young female Labrador retriever who was taken to the Jackson County Animal Shelter as a stray dog in late 2013. The shelter staff discovered she was pregnant so they found a couple of “Friends of the Animal Shelter” volunteers to foster her while she delivered and nursed her puppies.
Parole & Probation Officer Jim Boeckl’s wife was visiting a neighbor who was fostering Rainey (then called Sally) and asked Jim to come over to look at the dog.
“I went to look at Rainey and saw something encouraging – intense focus. She was laying on the floor in this house staring at a tennis ball with three people in the room and two other dogs running around her. She was very pregnant so I didn’t want her to chase the ball. I told the fosterer I would come back after the puppies were born. Rainey had seven puppies later that night.”
Jim took Rainey out for an evaluation a month later and she showed the all the right stuff for drug-detection work. His original plan was to send her to a detection trainer because he did not intend to have a second drug dog after K-9 “Loki,” but the more he worked with her the more he realized he should keep her.
He approached the director and was given approval to rekindle a K-9 program. He began Rainey’s narcotic-detection training in January, 2014. They passed certification testing with the Oregon Police Canine Association in September of 2014 and with the California Narcotic Canine Association in May of 2015.
Rainey is trained to detect the odors of methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine and marijuana.
Most of Rainey’s nose work involves parole and probation clients and investigations of the Medford Area Drug & Gang Enforcement team (M.A.D.G.E.), as well as random searches of our Transition Center, Juvenile Detention & Shelter, and the county jail. Rainey is available to assist other law enforcement agencies with their drug investigations. She is also available to sniff for drugs and perform in presentations at local schools.
Rainey has proven herself to be a fireball of a drug dog right out of the gate which is pretty amazing for a former pregnant stray dog from the local animal shelter. Maybe we should call her “Cinderella.”
NEWS & UPDATES
* Rainey’s first probation home search. She found 1 ½ ounces of heroin and $3,000 in drug profits.
* Rainey alerted on a car that a State Trooper stopped on Interstate 5 creating probable cause for a search. We found 17 kilos (37 pounds) of cocaine in a hidden compartment.
* Rainey alerted on the outside of a car stopped by MADGE detectives and we found ¾ pound of meth and 1 oz. of heroin inside.
July 1, 2015
* Oregon Ballot Measure 91 legalized the possession and use of recreation marijuana by adults and complicated the court’s view of a drug dog’s alert. Previously, when a drug dog alerted it was considered Probable Cause to believe the odor of one or more of four illegal drug was present – methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine or marijuana. That Probable Cause was the foundation for obtaining search warrants and conducting specific warrantless searches.
Once marijuana became “legal” a dog’s alert would raise the question, “Is the dog alerting to one of the three illegal drugs, or marijuana?” That question undermined the Probable Cause of the alert for a dog trained to detect all four drug odors. Many Oregon law enforcement agencies sold or retired their 4-odor detection dogs and purchased 3-odor dogs (that only detect meth, heroin and cocaine). The alert of those dogs still generates Probable Cause.
Only in specific circumstances can the alert of a 4-odor dog like Rainey still generate Probable Cause – when the presence of marijuana would be considered illegal, such as in the possession of someone younger than 21 years of age, or of a driver believed to be under the influence of marijuana, or in cases of people selling it illegally.
What does that mean for Rainey? It means her alerts are less likely to add up to Probable Cause for warrants and warrantless searches. The new 3-odor dogs will assume that responsibility. There is, however, still a great deal of nose work for Rainey in searches where consent was given or when police have already obtained a search warrant.
We will also continue to search for marijuana because juveniles and parole & probation clients are not allowed to use or possess marijuana. We will continue to search for all four drugs at the homes of supervised clients, our Transition Center, the Juvenile Residential and Detention Centers, Jackson County Jail and local schools.
* Rainey helped MADGE detectives search a travel trailer and find 2 ¾ ounces of heroin hidden in the frame of a bed.
* Thanks to the dedicated research efforts of MADGE Detective Schwab, Rainey found 3 ounces of heroin in an inmate’s cell in the jail. The jail deputies work hard to intercept contraband so this was a big surprise for everyone and an especially proud moment for Rainey. It was also a great example of cooperative police work.
RAINEY’S TOTALS as of 8-30-16
* Meth: 1.6 lbs
* Heroin: ½ lb
* Cocaine: 37 lbs
* Marijuana: more than 21 lbs
K-9 Program Contact:
Jim Boeckl, Sr. Deputy Parole/Probation Officer