Drug bosses in Rio de Janeiro have issued a 'death order' against a sniffer dog named Boss. The labrador is wanted by the Brazilian gang in the violent Manguinhos slum after sniffing out more than 660 pounds of cannabis hiding inside a false wall. Police patrolling the favela in the north of the city intercepted a radio message from the trafficking kingpin with an order to "target brownie" – a reference to the dog's colour.
Five-year-old Boss is the most feared amongst the 68 sniffer dogs who help police find drugs in Rio's vast slums, police said. The gangsters recently tried to throw him off the scent by hiding a batch of drugs next to an open sewage drain, but the labrador still managed to lead officers to them despite the pungent smell.
Major Vitor Valle, from Rio's military police dog squad, said Boss will continue to work in the slum but will now be protected by nine policemen. He said it was the first time one of their dogs has received a death threat from the powerful drugs factions. "Since 1955, when the dog squad was first formed, have we had a case like this. We haven't even had a dog injured during police operations," he said.
He said Boss has always been an "excellent" sniffer dog. "He's become a target because of the amount of the traffickers' drugs he's helped seize. We see this as a normal situation. Every one of us is at risk who are working against drugs trafficking. A dog can also be threatened, especially as our dogs have helped find more than 1.5 tonnes of drugs in the last year. It won't stop us, or him, doing our work."