Kennel Trains Dogs For War - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/10/05-Longview

Kennel Trains Dogs For War

They are used to sniff out drugs and even bombs. An East Texas kennel is training dogs for law enforcement and some graduates are even being used in Afghanistan.

At first glance, the dogs look like loving pets. A few moments later, it's obvious they're actually a potentially deadly law enforcement tool.

"Criminal apprehension," says Judith Powell. She's describing training that involves the dog attacking a decoy. "Basically a suspect flees from a police officer, rather than shooting a person has other alternative which is to send the dog after somebody and let the dog do the apprehension for you," says Judith.

The Seven Pines Kennel in Longview is unique. They are the only Texas state and federally licensed training facility east of Dallas. One of their best customers is the Department of Defense.

"Since 911 it's a lot more, as far as the security end of it with the explosive detective dogs. It's hard to meet the demand now for them," says owner Guy Powell.

Some of their dogs are serving with the 82nd Airborne in Afghanistan.

"They're seeking bombs and checking trucks as they're coming in and out of the bases to make sure there are not explosives on them," says Guy.

Before they sniff out bombs in Afghanistan. The dogs train here.

"We teach the dog to detect the odor. Sometimes it's drugs or it could be explosives or any odor that you could teach them. The same principle even applies to search and rescue. We teach the dog to detect the human trail," says Judith.

Once that's accomplished these dogs will sell for $7,500 to $8,500 a piece to state and federal agencies.

On average it takes the Seven Pines Kennel 6 months to train and certify the dogs to sniff out drugs and explosives. They've sold their dogs all over the world including France, Norway and Canada.

Amy Tatum, reporting. atatum@kltv.com

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