Twelve-year-old Carter Faulk hangs out with Rifle Police canine Tulo and the two new puppies Jax and Makai that he fundraised to give to the Rifle Police Department. (Chelsea Self, Post Independent )

Colorado town’s K-9 puppies will be trained to ignore weed

As he enters the twilight of his career, Tulo, the Rifle Police Department’s drug-sniffing dog, will get to watch his successors grow into the role that has put him among the most famous canines on the Western Slope.

Thanks to fundraising by New Castle’s 12-year-old Carter Faulk, the Rifle PD’s newest members, Jax and Makai, were welcomed to town at Rifle City Council on Wednesday night. They will eventually follow in Tulo’s pawprints and become members of Rifle’s K-9 Unit.

Though Tulo has had a long and successful run with the department, he was trained to sniff for marijuana — which can complicate prosecution. Because marijuana is legal in the state, the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled in July that a dog alerting to drugs in general does not provide legally sound probable cause for a search.

“Dogs that can sniff for marijuana get called into question more in court and can make things more difficult,” Officer Garrett Duncan explained.

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