Five new special K-9 partners for Harris County deputies

FOX 26 News reporter John Donnelly

- Deputy Ted Dahlin and bomb-sniffing dog Kyra are new partners. It's an unusual partnership. Unlike many law enforcement dogs, she's one of the few that can do her job without people.

“There's no handler input possibly hindering their searching abilities," said Deputy Dahlin. "They're able to search and use their phenomenal senses to find those explosives and components thereof.”  

The Harris County Sheriff's Office introduced Kyra and four other dogs donated by K9s4cops, an organization that provides law enforcement agencies with specially-trained dogs. HCSO provided FOX 26 News with a demonstration in the hallway of how the dogs can move through a crowd on their own. Within seconds, one of the dogs gave the alert that she had found something.

The dogs can detect at least 25 different chemicals instead of the 4-to-5 that most dogs learn. These four are trained to sniff out a  bomb that may be moving around say in a backpack and then track it down. This group of dogs is also trained to search for components referred to as binary explosives.

An example of a binary explosive is tannerite, which is actually two chemicals. Both chemicals are harmless, but put them together and you have a bomb. For example, one person could bring one into a facility, someone else could bring in the other and now you have a bomb.

Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman said on Wednesday that the highly-specialized skills that the dogs have make them ideal for a little event we are going to have in Houston soon -- Super Bowl LI. This is important for Houston-area law enforcement agencies to have at their disposal. It would have been ideal to have them available during the NCAA Final Four at NRG Park, but HCSO could not get the training and acquisition in time for that event.

One more thing that makes these dogs different is because they operate off the leash and among people, they are actually very, very friendly -- unless you have a bomb. Then you might meet Deputy Dahlin, along with his partner, and he might be a little less than friendly.

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