We’ve seen them walking around with their human handlers in airports or other transit hubs as they bob their heads from one piece of luggage to another. Or they‘re present at arenas or stadiums for crowded events. These are the “bomb dogs” trained to sniff out explosive threats in public places. And we’re quickly running out of them.
According to Yahoo! News, there are not enough quality-trained bomb dogs to meet the high demand for them as terrorist threats in the U.S. and other parts of the world increase.
Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the U.S. has dramatically enhanced their national security team. And this year alone the TSA budgeted more than $120 million to bring in about a thousand bomb sniffing dogs to U.S. transit hubs. However, the TSA is apparently short of 210 detection teams because of the low supply of bomb-sniffing dogs.
Last month, a hearing on the effectiveness of canine intervention was held by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security. One of those who spoke to the committee was Penn Vet Working Dog Center executive Director Cynthia Otto.
Otto explained that detection dogs were becoming an increasing part national security teams the world over, and that a high rate of retirement required constant replenishment of those K9s.
You’d think that the powers-that-be could invent a bomb-detection device that decreases our reliance on dogs, but dogs beat out technology paws down!
Even the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a U.S. agency that develops technology for military, couldn’t invent something with a powerful sense of smell than a dog!
Dogs are always praised for their sense of smell because there’s no machine or human that can match its powerful nose. It’s what make canines such special species.