‘Retired’ Washington County drug dog leads sheriff to suspected drug users during walk

LUBEC, Maine — Washington County Sheriff Donnie Smith was taking his two dogs for a walk last Sunday morning along a beach behind Lubec’s public school complex when Ginger, a “retired” drug-sniffing golden retriever, disappeared.

“She always stays right by my side, so I thought it was strange that she disappeared,” Smith said Tuesday. “I called her, but she didn’t come.”

While searching for Ginger, Smith spotted a pickup truck parked on a beachside dead-end road. Parked next to it, with one paw up on the driver’s door, was Ginger. “That’s her signal,” Smith said.

Smith said there were two men inside the cab of the pickup. Given Ginger’s behavior, he presumed they were doing drugs.

When Smith — unarmed and lacking a cellphone to call for backup — approached the vehicle he said he saw the two men using syringes to inject what was later determined to be morphine.

Smith talked the two men out of the truck and used one of the men’s cellphones to summon a deputy.


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