In cases of emergencies, such as bomb threats, narcotics busts and tracking suspects, law enforcement reach out for specially trained dogs. US K9, a local facility in Kaplan, has trained over 5,000 dogs in its 25 years of existence. Owner Roger Abshire, said it starts with a good quality dog and each breed is trained in different fields.
"The Labrador Retrievers are usually for detection work and your pointed ear dogs so to speak are used for patrol functions," Abshire explained.
The dogs come mainly from overseas, and are trained rigorously using Dutch commands to track and smell the tiniest amount of chemicals that can be used in bombs.
"We teach the dogs to track suspects, footstep for footstep," said trainer, Ricky Trahan. "We also do bite work, building searches, area searches, aggressive training and bomb threat training."
With recent events in Boston, US K9s are in high demand. Abshire said there is a three week wait list, and he does not believe in cutting corners.
"We follow a protocol. We have our own proprietary techniques deemed a secret by the US government, so we stay in those standards."
Abshire said it's unfortunate, but he has seen this type of high demand before.
"Anytime an incident like this happens the threat level comes up; therefore bomb dogs are in high demand."
Trahan recently responded to bomb threats in Crowley. He said it's upsetting to have to use the dogs at all, but it's rewarding to see them in action.
"We've put so much time and energy and effort into these dogs and to actually get on the street and work with them; it's amazing to see the results of the hard work."
Abshire's dogs are sent far away as Kuwait and as close to home as Lafayette. He is planning to expand and open another training facility in Texas.