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Dog Dies After Biting Into Drug Bag

December 1, 1999
By The Associated Press

LA CIENEGA, N.M. (AP) -- A drug-sniffing police dog died after biting into a bag of methamphetamine.

Max, a 4-year-old German shepherd, was going through a training exercise Monday when he stuck his head into an unlocked drawer that contained the drugs at the La Cienega Fire Department. ``Before anybody could react, he put his head in and bit it, and then he spit it out,'' Santa Fe County Undersheriff Benjie Montano said. But the dog either ingested or inhaled too strong a dose and died shortly after arriving at a veterinarian's office.

``It's a big loss for the department,'' Montano said. ``We have to train for reality, and we have those risks in real life.'' The dog's handler is devastated, the undersheriff said, adding, ``It's like a loss of a family member.''

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