PITTSFORD – With Vermont’s governor expected to sign legislation today legalizing marijuana throughout the state, many police dogs trained to sniff out the previously illicit drug are suddenly unemployed and looking for work. The Vermont State Police Academy who until today trained and employed dozens of these special dogs has had to lay off most of their canine staff, keeping on only a handful of their former roster.
“It just sucks,” said Bullet, a black lab and 3-year veteran. “Smelling weed is all I know. Yeah, they’re keeping a few of us on, anyone who can smell heroin too, but I can’t smell no heroin, so what is there for me now?”
Bullet has applied for a a few watchdog positions, but has so far been unsuccessful in his hunt for a new career. Some of his former colleagues have found employment as fire dogs, guard dogs, and even a few as circus dogs, but there are only so many jobs available for non-humans in Vermont and, with no resources to move out of state, options can be limited.
“I was pretty sure I could have had this job as a canary in West Virginia,” Bullet said, “and I would have been great at it. I’d go into these mines and smell around, and then report back. Had an interview over Skype. It went great. But how am I going to get to West Virginia? I can’t drive, obviously, and it’s too cold right now to walk. I’d freeze my paws off.”
Bullet hasn’t given up hope, and plans to continue applying for as many positions as he can find, posting regularly on Front Porch Forum. But he says in his spare time he still likes to smell people who are smoking marijuana, for old time’s sake. If he hasn’t found steady employment by the spring, Bullet plans to walk to another state where marijuana is still illegal and try to get a job sniffing and biting people there.