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NC Highway Patrol starts new canine program

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RALEIGH — Six months after it dissolved its old canine program amid criticism of dog welfare, the North Carolina Highway Patrol has implemented a new one with new dogs and new handlers.

Patrol spokesman Capt. Everett Clendenin said Thursday that six Labrador retrievers had been paired with freshly trained troopers. Clendenin says the patrol is using Labs because they are better at detecting drugs, which is the dogs’ primary duty.

Clendenin says shepherd breeds that had been used in the past aren’t needed anymore because they are no longer used for pursuits and protection.

The patrol disbanded its canine unit in December after incidents raised concerns about treatment of the dogs. A video showed a trooper kicking his dog, which wasn’t injured.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Six months after it dissolved its old canine program amid criticism of dog welfare, the North Carolina Highway Patrol has implemented a new one with new dogs and new handlers.

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