Kennel training firearm-sniffing dogs for school safety

MCCRACKEN COUNTY, KY — Dogs may soon be in your child’s school to detect firearms.

Since the shooting at Marshall County High School and others around the country, families want to know how their child will be safe at school. The owners of Stonecreek Kennels in Marshall County say they’ve been working up a program for years where schools can use their gun-sniffing dogs during the day. It’s a program they hope will save lives.

Zcento can be your best friend, but he also has a nose that could make a difference in schools. Husband-wife pair Donna Collier and Jeff Beach train dogs at Stonecreek Kennels. They’ve been breeding and training dogs for years.

Their dogs work in airports, law enforcement agencies, and schools in Nashville. Now, they want to bring their dogs to local schools, so they can protect children from threats.

Collier and Beach would do it all: train, house and care for the dogs, as well as training the part-time handlers at the school. “The main thing is that will take the burden off anybody at the schools to take care of the dogs. It’s like a delivery system,” Collier says.

“Just the perception of the dog being there to sniff for guns and ammunition is going to deter most of any kind of activity like that,” Beach says. “Not to mention if they detect one time, they’ve paid for themselves tenfold.”

The program will take about a year to get off the ground. Zcento and the others will keep training until then.

Collier and beach say some Nashville schools already use their dogs to detect drug and firearms, but the Nashville schools buy them outright.

They have started conversations with several area schools, but they are not to the point of negotiating contracts.