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NYPD's 'Vapor Wake' Dogs To Sniff-Out Bombs In NYC Subways (VIDEO)


First Posted: 06/02/11 05:42 PM ET Updated: 08/02/11 06:12 AM ET

If this dog jumps on you while you're walking to the train, you're in some serious trouble.

NBC New York recently caught up with the NYPD's newest bomb-sniffing canine, Rachel, during a drill at Grand Central.

Rachel is a "vapor wake" dog, trained to pick up on the moving scent of explosives in a crowd, enabling officers to scan a large amount of people in a short time. The video shows Rachel frantically sniffing around one of New York's biggest and busiest transportation hubs before zeroing in on a woman--who is part of the drill--carrying explosive-like devices in a handbag.

Normal bomb-sniffing dogs can only find explosives that are stationary.

Vapor wake dogs originated at Auburn University's College of Veterinary Medicine, according to ForeignPolicy.com, where scientists genetically bred and specially trained the canines. Training and breeding vapor wake dogs costs $20,000 per animal.

The addition of dogs like Rachel to the NYPD is meant largely to protect the city's vulnerable and crowded subways from a terrorist attack. In 2009, authorities foiled a plot by Al Quaeda and headed by Najibullah Zazi, to blow up some of New York's busiest subways, including Grand Central.

Dogs have proved an invaluable tool in counter-terrorism efforts. Most recently, a dog accompanied Navy Seals in the mission that killed Osama bin Laden. These war dogs can parachute into action and are outfitted with protective body armor and a powerful bite. According to ABC News, the bite from a German shepherd, one of the breeds used by the military, has a force between 400 and 700 pounds.

View more videos at: http://www.nbcnewyork.com.


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Filed by Christopher Mathias  |  Report Corrections