Highly-trained dogs to sniff out explosives at Miami International Airport

Dogs sniff passengers, luggage


MIAMI – Lewie, Screech and Yoshi are a team of highly-trained Labrador retrievers deployed to Miami International Airport to sniff out explosives on passengers or inside their carry on luggage.

"As you walk, there's a wake that comes off of you of odor, so they are strictly sniffing for that odor that's coming off of you," said Shawn Hurley, Lewie's handler.

The initiative is part of the Transportation Security Administration's new plan to do potential threat assessments -- on the spot - while passengers are in line.

"Somebody that's in the regular line for security will get pulled out based on random selection, and then they'll be brought over and walked past the canine," explained TSA Federal Security Director Mark Hartfield. "The dogs are zig-zagging through corridors, and it's non-intrusive. It's no contact, but if a person has an explosive device on them, the dog will follow that scent to the source."

That corridor is a pre-check line set aside for frequent flyers and members of the Trusted Traveler programs who went through an extensive background check and have qualified for expedited screening.

"If I get through really quick, it will definitely help," said passenger Zafeiria Nomicos.

While you may get to go to the front of the line, you still have to pass the smell test.

"The dogs are always the star of the show and this is no exception," said Hartfield.

For those who get caught with something they shouldn't, Lewie, Screech and Yoshi will be right there licking his chops.