By Nick Morrison
The first AGM Of Orkney Drugs Dog took place at the Ayre Hotel on Friday.
Orkney Drugs Dog (ODD) is a Registered Charity with OSCR The Scottish Charities Register.
The Chairman , Andrew Drever, welcomed everybody and was pleased at the level of attendance which included at least one Councillor, John Ross Scott.
The formal part of the evening was swiftly dealt with, the committee and Board being re-elected en block. ODD funds now stand at some £43,000. Andrew paid tribute to all the folk who helped raise this sum. ODD will receive a trained dog, due to a retirement of its handler. This will probably visit Orkney in September hopefully together with the newly appointed Orkney handler.It takes between 3 and 2 1/2 years to train a dog and they have to be re-licensed/ tested every year.
The guest speaker was Ian Davidge who together with his wife Janet are co-founders of Shetland Dogs for Drugs that has been running for 17 years.
It all started in Shetland with the death of a youngster from Methadone. It was based on the Faroes model which had similar drug problems.
A Drugs Dog and handler is expensive to fund. The bill for 2 handlers and 4 dogs in Shetland runs at around £100,000. Ian paid tribute to the businesses , organisations and volunteers who work to keep these funds going. Experience over the 17 years has found that valuable information comes to the handler because they are part of the community and thus more approachable.