Man Offers Private Drug Dog Service To His Community

By Victoria Kim 12/15/17

The unique service allows families to find out if their children are hiding drugs in their home without involving the police.

Police Dog with K-9 Unit

A Massachusetts man is taking his 30 years of experience as a certified dog trainer and filling a unique need in his community.

Tom Robichaud and his dog Ben, a Belgian Malinois, offer to search people’s homes for drugs, a sort of first option for families that don’t want to involve law enforcement.

“They don’t want to call the police,” said Robichaud, according to SFGate. “They don’t want their kids to get locked up.” It’s a valuable service for concerned families who want to bypass law enforcement intervention. “I just wanted to help families. I wanted to do something that no one else did.”

Since Robichaud started his business, Discreet Intervention, about five years ago, he says he’s conducted between 250 to 300 searches. His dog Ben sniffs out cannabis, ecstasy, heroin, cocaine, and more. 

Robichaud prefers working while the kids are home. Once they see Ben coming up on their hidden stash, Robichaud says they will “just cough it up” the majority of the time. 

Once the drugs are found, Robichaud’s work is done. “That’s when I leave. I leave them to do what they want,” he said. From there, it’s up to the family to decide how to handle the drug discovery.

The point of the service is to leave the police out of it, but Robichaud says he will alert authorities if he comes across either a large stash of drugs that suggests it’s not only for personal use, or if he uncovers any guns or ammunition.

From his vantage point, Robichaud, who has the same certification as a police K-9 handler, sees firsthand a lot of the damage that drug use can cause in a household. “Usually the parents take the day off from work,” he said. “They look beat. The kids have just sucked the bone marrow out of them financially.” 

He’s seen cases where kids as young as 14 are using heroin. His work has taken him to wealthy neighborhoods like in Wellesley, Newton and Sherborn, according to SFGate.

Even before his work kickstarting interventions for others, Robichaud has personally experienced the potential tragedy that heroin use can bring. He lost his brother in 2001 to a heroin overdose, long before the “opioid epidemic” was in the public’s vocabulary.

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr