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Remembering 9/11: TSA Names Bomb Dogs After Victims Killed in September 11th Attacks

Travelers Today       By    Katie McFadden

Updated: Sep 11, 2012 04:47 PM EDT

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After the events of 9/11 took place, the security process of the TSA grew more strict, but that isn't the only way that the terrorist attacks on September 11th affected the Transportation Security Administration. The TSA honors the victims of those who died on 9/11 by naming their bomb dogs after them.

After September 11, 2001, the TSA started to train their own airport police dogs. The agency breeds their own bomb detection dogs at the Lackland Airforce Base in San Antonio, Texas. There are about 1,000 TSA bomb dogs at airports across the country.

The dogs are trained to find explosives and bomb-making materials. The dogs  can smell different types of illegal substances and they're almost always correct.

The TSA's Canine and Breeding Development Center first started in 1999. It started with six adult female and two male dogs. There was no hurry to breed the dogs right away, but that all changed after September 11, 2001. The first breeding occurred in January 2002 and over 500 puppies have been born since.

Each puppy that is bred through the program is named after a victim who died in the attacks on 9/11 to honor their memory. For instance, the TSA's 500th puppy was named Dolan after Capt. Robert Edward Dolan Jr., who died in the Pentagon attack. K9's Judge, named after the FDNY Chaplain Mychal Judge and Beyer, named after firefighter Paul Beyer, both inspect airport terminals at Southwest Florida International Airport.

One of the newest members at the Sky Harbor Airport in Arizona, which has eight dogs, is Buck. He was named after firefighter Greg Buck, who died in the south tower of the World Trade Center.

"It motivates me to come to work, because Buck is a reminder that we are here to serve a purpose," Michael Buz, Buck's handler told ABC.

"I think the further we get from 9/11, people forget how important security is. Because on 9/12, we all wished there was a system in place that would have prevented those attacks.  And naming our dogs after those victims is a way to remind people how important it is to protect the U.S. from another attack," said Melendez.

The dogs are placed in a foster home for a year after they're born. Officials then determine if they meet the standards to be trained by the TSA's National Explosives Detection Canine Team. The trained dogs are then assigned to various airports and mass transit centers around the country. If the dog isn't suitable for training, they are offered to other agencies or given up for adoption by loving families.

See Now: The U.S. had the highest number of Most Wanted properties, dominating the Hotels.com Loved By Guests Awards 2018

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