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In the News: Dog Rescue Workers
Rescue workers were in the news in Scholastic News Edition 4 and Junior Scholastic on October 10, 2005
By Alexandra Cale

Mine detectioon dog, Rosa
Mine detection dog, Rosa, wearing her vest.
(Photo: Courtesy of The Marshall Legacy Institute )
Did you know that dogs can be much more than family pets? Rescue dogs are working all over the country and around the world to sniff out danger! A dog's nose is at least one thousand times more sensitive than a human's, so dogs can detect smells that a person never could.

People have learned to train certain breeds, or kinds, of dogs to use their powerful noses in many different ways, including sniffing out explosives.

CHAMPS (Children Against Mines Program) is an organization that works with schools and communities to educate students about the dangers of land mines. Land mines are small explosives buried underground that explode when someone steps on them. In 60 countries all over the world, millions of people and animals are affected by them every day. CHAMPS trains dogs to save lives by sniffing out these dangerous mines so they can be removed.

Another way dogs can help people is by training to become a search-and-rescue (SAR) dog. After Hurricane Katrina, the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation trained 28 teams of SAR dogs to search for survivors in Louisiana and Mississippi.

Dogs are also helping to protect the U.S. by working with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Canine Enforcement Program. They work at the borders of Mexico and Canada sniffing for everything from illegal drugs to stowaways, people who are hiding in a vehicle to enter a country dishonestly. These dogs also scout out fruits, vegetables, and meats that could carry diseases.

You may also have seen dogs working at train stations and airports. They sniff baggage, trains, planes, and even garbage cans for explosives and other dangerous substances.

Our furry friends continue to work hard to keep us safe. Next time you see a dog working at an airport, remember, don't try to pet him—he's on duty!