Rescue dog turned police canine retires

In 2008, the Wiltshire Police in Wiltshire, England pulled a dog off of death row at the pound, hoping one day they could train him to be a great drug detection officer.

Griffin takes part in Operation Harness, where the pooch sniffed for illegal drugs carried by students. (Photo credit: SwindonWeb)

Griffin, a then-2-year-old black Cocker Spaniel, started out a “naughty pup” at the beginning of his training, but quickly morphed into the accomplished drug dog the force knew he could be. In March 2009, Griffin officially joined the Wiltshire Police, pairing up with Police Constable Marie Poole.

It wasn’t long before Griffin started putting his sniffing skills to good use. On one occasion, he located more than £3,000 worth of drugs (that’s over $5,000 USD) on a woman at a local festival. Then, more recently, Griffin helped bust a man who’d been hiding 450 tablets of LSD in his underwear.

In all, the talented Griffin has racked up 500 drug detections over the course of his distinguished career on the force.

In addition to his famous drug sniffing skills, Griffin is also very popular in the Wiltshire community.

“Often working around pubs, nightclubs, and schools Griffin is regularly recognized by members of the public, who seem to remember Griffin’s name but never mine,” Poole tells This is Wiltshire.

Even the people he busts can’t help but succumb to Griffin’s adorable charms, Poole explains.

“Being as cute as he is, he has also on a number of occasions given cuddles to people who he has caught,” says Poole. “He is always ready to cuddle someone in need.”

“Surprisingly, people he has caught have also given him a tickle and told him he’s a clever dog while they are being arrested,” she adds.

But now, after all of his hard work, Griffin is settling into retirement. Griffin is the eighth police dog Poole has worked with, and he’s certainly one she will never forget — especially for his sense of humor.

Poole remembers during one training exercise at the Bristol Airport, Griffin was supposed to locate a certain drug-filled bag on the non-public side of the baggage carousel. He found the bag all right, but his fun didn’t stop there.

“He found the training bad with drugs in it but refused to get off the carousel,” Poole remembers, “which meant he entered the public side and went past 200 holiday makers waiting to collect bags, clinging tenaciously to his bag on the moving carousel.”

Griffin will enjoy his retirement at home with Police Constable Poole and her other retired police dog, Frank.