The Island District Roving Traffic Unit's police service dog 'Lady', who assisted with the investigation, is pictured: (RCMP)

Mounties on Vancouver Island are crediting a specially trained dog with assisting in the arrest of three men and the seizure of a number of illegal items.

Port McNeill RCMP say the Island District's Roving Traffic Units (RTU), which consist of full-time officers who work with certified specialty drug dogs, assisted with the execution of two search warrants following a months-long investigation into drug trafficking in the community.

Mounties say the investigation into local drug traffickers began in December 2019. For roughly two months, investigators worked to gather evidence against several suspects.

The investigation reached a turning point on Feb. 6 when officers from the Port McNeill RCMP, Island District General Investigations Services, the RTU and a police service dog named Lady, executed two search warrants on homes in the Quatsino Crescent and Beach Drive areas.

The search warrants led to the discovery of illicit drugs, evidence of trafficking and the seizure of one prohibited firearm. On Feb. 6, three men were arrested in connection with the objects seized, but have since been released.

"At this point no charges have been laid, but we are working with the Public Prosecution Service of Canada to determine appropriate charges, which may include firearms and drug trafficking offences," said Cpl. Nathan Lingley of the Port McNeill RCMP in a news release Monday.

"We are committed to identifying and targeting those who put our community at risk by bringing in illicit drugs and trafficking it on the streets of Port McNeill."

While the investigation is ongoing, Mounties on the North Island are thanking the RTU and police service dog Lady for their assistance with executing the search warrants.

"We are especially grateful to our partners in this investigation without whom we would not have achieved the level of success we did," said Sgt. Andy Phillips of the Port McNeill RCMP. "A special thanks to the Island District Roving Traffic Unit, police service dog 'Lady' and her handler for their invaluable assistance."