Could dogs have prevented Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab from boarding a plane with explosives hidden in his underwear?
CNN asked the question yesterday — the answer to which is, with enough properly trained dogs, probably.
But explosives-detecting dogs, the report points out, aren’t generally trained to sniff out humans, and having them do so might raise some privacy concerns.
Still, those quoted in the report say, something as low-tech as dogs could be our best solution to the problem.
“The fact that this individual showed up with a one-way ticket, purchased with cash and no checked baggage — he should have been pulled aside,” said security expert Larry Berg, a consultant with Berg Associates. “And at that point, if inspected by a dog, he literally could have been detected.”
“A well-trained dog and a very good, well-trained handler can find explosives with little or no false alarms,” said trainer Patrick Beltz said. “And if they had been doing it, it might have deterred him from trying to get on the plane in the first place.”
About 700 bomb-sniffing dogs currently work at U.S. airports, and they are trained to detect up to a dozen different explosive compounds, including PETN, the compound that AbdulMutallab is alleged to have smuggled aboard Northwest flight 253 to Detroit on December 25.
The report also looks at research underway at Auburn University in Alabama, where dogs are being used to sniff not people, but the air they leave in their wake when they pass by. The Auburn trainers believe their dogs can detect very small traces of explosives and then follow the trail to the person carrying a bomb.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 31st, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abdulmutallab, airport, auburn university, boarding, bomb-detecting, bombs, detroit, dog, dogs, explosive-detecting, explosives, flight 253, inspections, international, K-9, k9, larry berg, national, northwest, patrick beltz, plane, search, security, threats, underpants, underwear
What would you name a dachshund, born deaf and blind, who counts on his nose to show him the way?
To Marcia Fishman, the answer was obvious: Rudolph.
After bouncing between four other homes, Rudolph was adopted by Fishman two years ago, and he’s gone on to become a visitor to elementary schools, and the subject of a children’s book.
“Rudolph’s Nose Knows,” written by Fishman, is about a blind and deaf dog teased by other dogs because he bumps into things. When he turns out to be the only one able to rescue a bird stuck in a hole, he becomes a hero.
As a team, Rudolph and Fishman visit schools around Detroit to help show kids that disabilities are surmountable, and that teasing — whether over a red nose or some other physical challenge – is a painful and misguided waste of time. Fishman hopes that Rudolph, the dachshund, can help teach children to accept others who might appear different from themselves.
Last week, they dropped in on more than 60 third-graders at McIntrye Elementary School in Southfield, according to the Detroit Free Press.
“Shut your eyes and hold your ears as tight as possible,” Fishman told the students. “Don’t feel sorry for Rudolph, he is a happy dog. But I want you to understand what he experiences every day of his life.”
Though he can’t hear or see, Rudolph is helping to instill compassion and acceptance in the children, Fishman said. ”He’s spreading a great message. I will never forget what one child said to me last year, after he hugged Rudolph– ‘I am going to tell my mommy that I want a deaf and blind dog, too.’ “
Posted by jwoestendiek November 30th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: blind, book, books, books on dogs, compassion, dachshund, deaf, detroit, disabilities, dog, dog books, marcia fishman, nose, red-nosed, reindeer, rudolph, rudolph's nose knows, schools, teasing
Those who know him say a homeless man named Tim — despite his living conditions — took good care of his chocolate Lab, Pudge.
“No matter if it was five degrees below zero or if it was really hot, he had water for the dog and he took care of that dog before he took care of himself,” said Cheryl Munro.
For reasons unexplained, a Detroit police officer notified Animal Control and Pudge was picked up, according to a report by Fox 2 News in Detroit. She spent a week in the a nimal shelter because Tim lacked the money to pay for the license and vaccinations needed to get his dog back.
It looked like things were headed for a cruel end when those familiar with Tim and Pudge learned what had happened and began raising money.
“My co-workers and I, we work at Detroit Edison, and we went around and collected some money… to get this dog out of the pound for him,” Munro said.
Even the city Health Department, of which Animal Control is a division, helped pave the way for Tim to get his dog back.
“That’s his only companion. That’s his friend for life, and when you’re out here in the cold, you need some comfort,” said Detroit Health Department Spokesperson Mike McElrath. “We understand that at the Health Department, and what we’ve done, at this point, is we’re trying to reunite them. But because the gentleman is homeless, we know there has to be a legal residency, and so, we’re going to transfer it over to a friend.”
While the friends are having trouble locating Tim, one, Sharon Maceri, offered to take Pudge in until he can be found.
“I can’t imagine what this dog is going through with not being with Tim right now,” she said.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 24th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, bond, cheryl munro, chocolate, companion, companionship, detroit, detroit edison, dog, donate, friends, health department, homeless, lab, man, money, pudge, raise, sharon maceri, tim, video
Freddy, a Belgian Malinois killed in the line of duty in Michigan Wednesday, will have his name added to a memorial wall at FBI headquarters in Quantico, Va., the agency said Thursday.
Freddy was killed by gunfire at a Dearborn warehouse during a raid on members of a group the FBI described as a radical, violent and separatist black Muslim group.
Killed in the raid was Luqman Ameen Adbullah, the imam of the Masjid Al-Haqq mosque in Detroit and the alleged leader of the group, according to the Detroit News.
The FBI said in a news release that Freddy’s body will be returned to Quantico, where the dog was based.
“Freddy was born on Feb. 17, 2007 and entered on duty with the FBI on Sept. 8, 2008,” the FBI said in a statement. “In the line of duty, Freddy gave his life for his team. He will be missed by his FBI family.”
Donations to the K-9 Law Enforcement Memorial can be sent to the FBI Agents Association, Attn: K-9 Fund Freddy, P.O. Box 12650, Arlington, VA 22219.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 30th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: belgian malinois, dearborn, detroit, dog, fbi, freddy, gunfire, imam, K-9, k-9 law enforcement memorial, killed, luqman ameen abdullah, masjid al-haqq, memorial, michigan, mosque, muslim, quantico, raid
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger — instead of commiting crime — is taking a bite out of it, with his donation of two K-9 unit dogs to Detroit, the city where he won the first Super Bowl.
Roethlisberger, in Detroit yesterday to play the Lions, is paying for both dogs. They replace a pair of retiring dogs that left the Detroit Police Department at the end of the year.
Detroit Police Chief Warren Evans told the Detroit Free Press he was grateful for the donation.
“We are deeply appreciative to the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation for this grant,” Evans said. “In these difficult budgetary times, we must rely more and more on outside sources of funding to support our officers’ efforts. This grant will provide our officers additional resources to protect the citizens of Detroit.”
The quarterback created the the foundation to distribute grants to police and fire departments in Pittsburgh and cities of each regular season road opponent for the Steelers.
“It’s incredible to see the strong bond that is formed between the dogs and their partners both on the job and at home,” Roethlisberger said in a statement.