By Meghan Keneally
Parents teach children to ask owners before petting a strange dog. A grown man missed that lesson and decided to pet the wrong dog.
Kelly Simpson, 48, petted a police dog who was on patrol with his handler in Endicott, New York, when he seemingly forgot that he had marijuana in his pocket.
After approaching the police dog, named Tarah, Simpson was taken into police custody and questioned.
He ended up being charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and released with only an appearance ticket.
Unlawful possession of marijuana is deemed a violation in New York, and the punishment for possessing 25 grams of pot or less results in a fine for the first two offences.
The third offence moves increases the classification from a civil citation to a misdemeanour and from there on out any possession charge will result in jail time.
This certainly wasn’t Tarah’s first foray into crime-fighting.
Tarah first arrived in Endicott, a town near Binghampton in western New York, in 2008 when she was purchased from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Dog Service. She is a certified tracking dog and advanced police narcotics detection dog.
Her training wasn’t just any old day at the park.
In order to gain a more advanced certificate as a level I and level II Police Narcotics dog, she and her handler, Officer Vanek, had to go through over 140 hours of training.
All of her training makes Tarah the surrogate best in show, as she is the only police K-9 in Broome County to have all four certificates.
A number of police departments around the country are so protective of their K-9s that they provide ballistic vests for their dogs and deem them sworn officers of the law with their own police badges and identification.
No word on whether the ballistic vest is needed in Endicott, but the department’s website does say that Tarah ‘continues to be a valuable addition to the Endicott Police Force as we continue our fight against drug crimes’.
Read more: MailOnline