DOBSON – Illegal drug trafficking just became a little harder in the western North Carolina mountain town of Dobson thanks to a donation from Wayne-Sanderson Farms.
“Rowdy,” the small community’s first drug detection dog, is now patrolling the streets and taking a bite out of drug crime.
Dobson police Chief Shawn Myers and the city commission recently recognized the company for its contribution, which helped purchase and train the town’s new K-9 officer. Recent stops have sniffed out ever-larger shipments of illegal narcotics, some of it bound for Dobson and Surry County users.
Rowdy is an 18-month-old German shorthair pointer, a breed known for its strong olfactory capabilities and its penchant for drug detection, as well as human and article searches. Chief Myers said the K-9 officer’s deployment is timely. In only three weeks on the job, Rowdy has already sniffed out methamphetamine and fentanyl in six different stops, leading to four arrests.
“People are excited that we have a new tool in this fight against drugs — we’ve received invitations from community groups and local schools to come down and show off the dog, and the word is spreading,” said Myers. “We have a message for drug dealers — stay clear of this community. Rowdy is out there with our officers, and we’ll sniff you out eventually.”
Interstate 77 runs through Surry County and nearby Dobson as it bisects the state, serving as an illicit drug supply line for the area, according to law enforcement officials. “The interstate is also a primary drug corridor for rural regions of Appalachia to the north and major drug markets in northeastern U.S. cities. Local law enforcement has seen major spikes in the trafficking of fentanyl, heroin, methamphetamine and other deadly narcotics,” they said.
Wayne-Sanderson Farms Complex Manager Matthew Wooten championed the company’s funding of the dog and its training. “We knew we could help, and we wanted to because we can’t take a passive position on illegal drugs — drug use affects every family in this county, one way or the other. The lives lost, the impact on people, the crime and addiction — it’s not acceptable, and we wanted to do our part to make a difference.”