Golden Retriever Digs Up Massive Drug Haul In Backyard

By Keri Blakinger 08/22/17

A golden retriever named Kenyon was made an honorary drug dog for his backyard discovery.

Kenyon Photo via Facebook

Good dog!

A golden retriever in Oregon surprised his owners when a little backyard digging unearthed around $85,000 of heroin, according to media reports. 

But when 18-month-old Kenyon pawed around and made his discovery, his delighted owners initially figured he’d found a time capsule, according to the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office.

Kenyon’s owners were so excited about their dog’s find that they filmed themselves opening it, sure they’d find a fabulous container of dated oddities. But instead of a blast from the past, the black tube held 15 ounces of black tar heroin, compressed into two wads.

They called the sheriff’s office, which responded and took custody of the drug—and Sheriff Tim Svenson heaped praise on the little doggy who made the fortuitous discovery, presenting him with a K-9 citation ribbon and making him an honorary drug dog for life. 

“Opioid addiction and overdose deaths are on the rise and with the help of Kenyon this large quantity of heroin is removed from our community,” Svenson said in a statement. 

Needless to say, the internet fell in love with the fluffy pooch. “Who’s a good boy? He’s a good boy! Get him some pupper treats,” wrote one fawning Facebook commenter. “Best Story Ever,” wrote another. 

Even though Kenyon’s drug dog status is only honorary, he may do the job better than some of his trained peers. Last year, a team of drug dogs in the UK made headlines after it was revealed they’d cost $1.7 million to train, yet they only turned up "small amounts of cheese and sausages" instead of hidden stashes of drugs.

Each member of the canine border security team was trained with a different specialty—including drugs, tobacco, cash and illegally transported meat. But during a seven-month period, the fluffy crime fighters didn’t manage to find any illegal class A drugs. Instead, they found 46 kilograms of cigarettes and 181 kilograms of meat, Reuters reported last year. 

"The deterrent effect of the detection dogs was difficult to measure,” officials said at the time, “but seizures alone represented a low return on investment, given £1.25 million spent on new kennels and the costs of operating the unit.” 

Maybe next time they’ll just call Kenyon. 

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Keri Blakinger is a former drug user and current reporter living in Texas. She covers breaking news for the Houston Chronicle and previously worked for the New York Daily News and the Ithaca Times. She has written about drugs and criminal justice for the Washington Post, Salon, Quartz and more. She loves dogs and is not impressed by rodeo food. Find Keri on LinkedIn and Twitter.