Detecting and Deterring Drugs in Shetland

About Us

Dogs Against Drugs (In memory of John) is a registered Scottish charity and community led project which was started in 2001 by Shetland people in an effort to help to safeguard the islands from the growing problem of illegal drugs.

Following a spate of drugs related deaths on the Islands, the idea of drugs detection dogs permanently based in Shetland was sewn in the minds of two of the founding members, Ian and Janet Davidge, after a trip to Faroe. There, they were met at the airport by a sniffer dog with its customs handler which checked them for illegal drugs. This idea was then taken back to Shetland and eventually implemented by the community and operationally managed by the local police.

Since the charity started, it has seen many changes. In 2012 Dogs Against Drugs was able to take on a second dog handler which has given new strength and versatility to the charity.

We deliver free drugs education to all age ranges of pupils in local schools.

The charity also offers its services to many other organisations and is actively involved in giving drugs awareness training to businesses and individuals all over the island.

We are based in Shetland and although we work closely with the police, we receive no direct funding from them. For more information about our funding sources, visit our Sponsors page. You can find out how to support us by visiting the Donate page.


  • To assist in the detection and prevention of drug abuse within Shetland.
  • To provide a high profile, visible deterrent to those involved in the drugs scene or those contemplating becoming involved.
  • To assist the police and other agencies in the detection of illegal drugs and in deterring the abuse of such substances as per the ethos of community safety.
  • To deter and prevent Shetland being used as a conduit for drug trafficking.
  • To promote discussion and debate within the community regarding all aspects of drug abuse, including social, health, education and legal perspectives.
  • To provide trained drugs detection dogs which will be based permanently in Shetland.
  • To develop and implement operational and educational plans to achieve our aims.
  • To deliver drugs education to as many children in Shetland as possible and to work with our partner agencies to help educate tomorrow’s generations on the realities of illegal drugs.
  • To help signpost those affected by drugs to support services so they can access the care they need.