2001-Wed Jun 20 00:11:59 EDT 2018
Vetstreet. All rights reserved. Powered by Brightspot.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
Heroes are born every day.And some of them sport fur and enhanced senses of hearing and smell above their human counterparts. Such are some of the heroes of the Special Response Team (SRT) tactical canine program, a unique program developed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). While many law enforcement agencies use canines in police and security roles, the ATF says they take it a step further by training the dogs to deploy in high-risk tactical environments, as well as socialize in numerous functions where the dogs show their very gentle nature.
ATF SRT canines work with their handlers in a variety of fashions, including working with tactical teams to clear buildings and other target locations in search of violent criminals, performing searches for hidden suspects, conducting tracking and large area search missions, and, as a last resort, attacking violent criminals who pose a threat to the public. One of the benefits of deploying with a canine, says Jeffrey Perryman, the Special Response Team Canine Program Manager/Handler, is the dog’s ability to use its senses — the dog’s sense of smell, hearing, and overall instincts — to locate or apprehend criminals, which Perryman says in turn enhances safety for the agents and the public. Here are some of the amazing canines and handlers who protect us every day.
In 2000, the agency tested a pilot program whereby an ATF special agent would train with a canine. This canine team would then be attached to SRT 1, which covered 14 states in the Midwest, and assist in the mission to fight violent crime across the country. ATF was the first organization within the Department of Justice to have a full-time handler and canine attached to a federal team.
Special Agent Jeffrey Perryman was selected as the first handler, and was paired with his first canine partner — a remarkable dog named Boomer. Perryman and Boomer were trained by two very talented K9 law enforcement officers named Terry and Diane Shoenbach. Over the years, Perryman and his dogs have also trained at the K9 Advanced Training Facility in Taylor, Michigan, and Cher Car Kennels in St. Johns, Michigan. In their first year together, Perryman and Boomer were involved in numerous operations, but two in particular highlighted the unique talents of an ATF handler working in harmony with a canine partner. The first example was a case where a suspect who’d seriously assaulted an individual in Lincoln, Nebraska, was reported to be holed up in a house. After a thorough search, human agents found one individual but found no sign of the primary suspect. So Perryman requested to let Boomer search the house. Perryman thought it would be a good piece of training for Boomer to search a structure he’d never seen.
Courtesy of Jeffrey Perryman, ATF
The ATF trains dogs to work in high-risk tactical environments. The canines are also socialized at functions where the dogs show their gentle natures.
Courtesy of Jeffrey Perryman, ATF
Cisco visited patients at a New Orleans hospital after Hurricane Katrina.
During a violent home robbery, a suspect began shooting at agents. One of the canine agents, Nash, diverted the shooter's attention, taking a bullet and losing his life.
Axel is dressed and ready for work.
More From Vetstreet
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Bartonella is a type bacteria that can be transmitted to cats, dogs and humans from exposure to infected fleas and…
Want to give your pup yummy, low-calorie treats? We’ve got the skinny on which foods are OK to feed him.
Not sure about food puzzles? Our veterinarian reveals why the payoff for your pet is well worth any extra work.
With these simple dental care tips, you can help keep your canine’s adorable smile shiny and healthy for life.
The friendly and inquisitive LaPerm has an easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.