A confidential narcotics detection service working with schools, treatment centers and businesses in Arizona. We are licensed with the AZ Dept of Public Safety #1675027.

Amy Halm - "Avoid trouble by looking for it."

Amy is a big-picture thinker who formerly worked as an executive-level spokesperson in the telecom, high tech and healthcare sectors. She has worked with public, private and nonprofit organizations.

 

So no one was more surprised than her when the simple act of adopting a retired police dog evolved into a successful business detecting narcotics in the private sector. Raised on a working dairy farm, Amy was quite accustomed to having animals as business partners, but drug detection dogs had not been in her career plan until meeting K-9 Dargo.

 

Co-founder Dargo passed on in 2016, but his successors, K-9 Lucy and K-9 Caela, are Amy's new work partners.

 

Amy’s experience in the healthcare industry, and especially her interest in mental health, steered her toward the growing field of addiction recovery, where Desert Drug Dog has been embraced as a key partner in supporting patients through the healing process.

 

Amy holds a Bachelor’s degree in Advertising from Northern Illinois University, where she also studied psychology.


Dana Thelander "Make today your best day ever!"

Dana has spent her entire career working with animals, in vastly different settings ranging from driving a stagecoach pulled by mules in the tourism industry to protecting life and property at a Level 1 trauma center as a K-9 Patrol Officer. Along the way she also worked as a veterinary technician, a professional dog (and people) trainer, and as a 911 Operator/Dispatcher for the Colorado State Patrol.

 

Through all of these jobs she honed the skills she uses now as a professional narcotics dog handler. Her hospital background and positive attitude are highly valued at the treatment centers where patients are often struggling with the challenges of new recovery. Her trauma center and emergency dispatch experiences give her the sensitivity and empathy that are so key when working in the field of addiction.

 

In addition to handling and training detection dogs, Dana is working toward a certificate in graphic arts at a local college. As such she has become a vital go-to person for the design of our marketing materials and website. In her spare time, Dana is the Supreme Aunt of Choice with her four young nieces and nephews and loves spending time with her family.

 

George Daniolos  -  "We don't just get what we want - we only get what we reinforce."

George Daniolos is owner and director of training at K-9 Defense, LLC. He has titled, trained, raised and developed champion dogs for personal protection, law enforcement, private security and the military. George works as the Lead Trainer on contract for the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office K-9 Unit, helping them develop a science-based training program for their patrol and detection dogs. 

 

With this background, it is a privilege to have George on the team at Desert Drug Dog, as our dogs receive the same high caliber training as the best police dogs. George’s practice of consistently using rewards-based training is evident in the way our dogs work—they are effective, happy and confident in the search, and social with people. 

 

George holds a Bachelor of Criminal Justice degree from Northern Arizona University and is a much sought-after instructor and speaker by law enforcement, military and civilian organizations. His numerous awards in professional and police dog competitions don’t faze him, as what he really cares about is to see a dog and handler in sync on the job, effectively performing the work at hand.