Dog Screening Cruise Ship Passengers For Drugs Survives Overdose

Jake, a Florida K-9, had to be given Narcan after having a severe reaction to drugs he found on a passenger.

A 3-year-old drug-sniffing golden retriever in Florida is back on the job after being exposed to drugs a passenger allegedly attempted to bring aboard a cruise ship.

According to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, deputy Scott Stewart and his K-9 partner, Jake, were screening passengers at Port Canaveral as they boarded the Norwegian Epic on Wednesday. The 4,100-passenger ship — once considered the third-largest in the world — was preparing to disembark for the second leg of an annual electronic dance music festival known as Holy Ship!

Authorities said Leslie Bennett, 33, of Montana, was waiting in line when Jake gave a signal indicating he’d picked up the scent of suspected narcotics. Moments later, police said, Jake started behaving strangely.

Brevard County Sheriff’s Deputy Scott Stewart and his K-9 partner, Jake.
Brevard County Sheriff’s Deputy Scott Stewart and his K-9 partner, Jake.

The dog “started having some problems with balance and had some type of seizure incident of some sort,” Tod Goodyear, a sheriff’s office spokesman, told Orlando’s WFTV.

Goodyear said Jake was given the overdose reversal drug Narcan and rushed to an area vet.

WKMG News in Orlando reported that Bennett was taken to a screening area, where police allegedly found a small bag of ecstasy and amphetamines. A subsequent search of Bennett’s luggage allegedly resulted in the discovery of additional drugs.

Bennett was reportedly among about a dozen people who were arrested while trying to board the cruise.

It appears the dog’s reaction was caused by exposure to ecstasy, Goodyear told WKMG.

Jake has since recovered, with officials at Port Canaveral on Friday tweeting a video of him and Stewart working the beat.

“K9 Deputy Jake is back on duty … and showing no ill effects,” the tweet reads.

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