Bensalem Police officer "Kirby" is in high demand. Her work's taken her to Puerto Rico, Mississippi, Florida, Delaware and New Jersey.
And on Tuesday morning, while Samuel K. Faust fourth- through sixth-graders watched in amazement, the 9-year-old German Shepherd demonstrated, in a matter of seconds, why her job as a four-legged narcotics officer is so important.
She sniffed through a plastic crate and a separate zippered-shut case containing a "small amount" of marijuana that Bensalem Police Detective Christine Kelliher had hidden there.
Kirby's nose, like those of other canine officers, is 44 times more sensitive than a person's nose, according to Kelliher, who spoke during an assembly, along with several Drug Enforcement Administration agents as part of the school district's Red Ribbon Week.
"They try to outsmart us," Kelliher said of drug dealers and drug traffickers. "I'll go in there and within five minutes the dog finds it."
Kelliher credited the award-winning dog with finding more than $95 million in drugs and drug-related money throughout her seven-year career.
To Kirby, finding drugs is like a game, according to her owner and K-9 partner, Kelliher.
"She smells marijuana and scratches," Kelliher said. "I give her the ball and we play tug of war."
Following the presentation, students met and had photos taken with McGruff the Crime Dog and pledged to be drug-free.
To see what other events are planned at Bensalem's school as part of Red Ribbon Week, click here.