Drugs and explosives littered a warehouse and the grounds of a construction company in Logansport Wednesday night.
But not to fret. While the contraband items were put there with no imminent danger, attendees of the training that took place that night under the guidance of a an internationally renowned dog-training facility said it prepared them and their dogs for the real thing.
Vohne Liche Kennels, out of Denver in neighboring Miami County and recently the subject of “Alpha Dogs” on Nat Geo Wild, has been bringing classes to Construction Unlimited and Tierney Industrial Warehouse in Logansport since 2009 to train for narcotics, explosives and apprehension scenarios for its clients in the fields of law enforcement, military, government departments and private security.
Luis Rodriguez, a trainer with Vohne Liche, said the company brings classes to Logansport in the fourth week of a six-week course to provide a new environment for the handlers and their new dogs.
“The owners are kind enough to give us a different environment to train in,” Rodriguez said. The rows of trucks in the construction lot and the three stories of the warehouse became the haystacks that would eventually hide the needles of simulated drug trafficking and terrorism.
“You train like you play,” he continued. “If you train the same way you’re going to hit it in the streets, you’re going to have success.”
The Logansport Police Department has two dogs of its own from Vohne Liche — Belgian Malinois named Hodo and Viggo — handled by First Sgts. Travis Yike and Adam Morrow, respectively. The four come out when Vohne Liche trains in the area to hone the hounds’ narcotics-detecting skills and receive tips from the trainers. Both dogs are trained to detect drugs, help catch fleeing criminals and protect their handlers.
“It’s a great training environment,” Yike said. “[The dogs] know what they’re trained to do and it’s fun for them.”