Toronto's Union Station Just Got A Bomb-Sniffing Dog & He's Already Hard At Work (PHOTOS)
Dash is ready to start his new job!
This Thursday morning marks the first day of police K9 patrols at Union Station, and they will be on the lookout for suspicious packages and potential bomb threats. Dash, a 2-year-old lab, just passed all tests and started his patrol shift at 7:30 a.m. Union station police dogs have endured 12 weeks of training to specifically sniff out dangerous materials such as bombs and other threats.
Union Station has had police dogs since 2013, according to Global News, but this is the first time that the dogs will be on-call 24 hours a day. Dash and two other dogs will also be employed by Metrolinx, even though they were trained by Toronto Police.
This will provide much faster response times to suspicious activity now that Metrolinx won't have to call the police every time they find something worth investigating. The K9 unit will be based out of Union Station but can be dispatched to any GO Transit station.
Although they are friendly and cute, Metrolinx asks riders not to pet the dogs on duty because it is distracting for them and they need to be focused on the task at hand.
, and it looks like these pups have trained hard to help keep the people of Toronto safe during their morning and evening commutes.
The dogs will be recognizable by their collar that says 'DO NOT PET' in yellow, capital letters. They will also be alongside a transit safety officer.
Dash lives with his transit safety officer, Brenton Hoffman, according to Metrolinx. It establishes trust between both the dog and the officer to get the job done in the most reliable way.
Part of the training is that at home, Dash and Brenton try to keep home time extremely boring and uneventful and to save all of the excitement for work.
“It’s challenging to be natural and reserved with Dash when I am with him for bathroom breaks or walks,” says Hoffman in the Metrolinx blog.
“He seems to have endless energy. The best part is seeing how excited he gets every time he gets out for a walk or when we head to work.”
Dash and Hoffman can be seen patrolling Union Station at any given time, so remember to keep a respectful distance despite how friendly the lab is.
They have spent months training the dogs and have followed very rigorous strategies to ensure their success. They chose Dash partly because of his tolerance of loud and crowded spaces without getting stressed out.