Updated: April 9, 2011 10:06PM
Facing a dearth after the 9/11 attacks of dogs with explosives-detection training, the Transportation Security Administration decided to breed its own puppy pool.
Now, the TSA Puppy Program is marking the milestone of the arrival of the 500th young dog into its ranks for training.
All the pups are named after victims of the attacks; the latest pup is named Dolan, for Capt. Robert Dolan Jr., who died at the Pentagon.
Once the puppies are born, they move in with foster families for up to a year before entering training, then are matched with law-enforcement officers from around the country.
The officers and their canine partners undergo a tough 10-week course on searching aircraft, vehicles, baggage and other areas for explosives and other dangerous items.
Only about half of the pups graduate to working in the field or to become breeders of future dogs.
Scripps Howard News Service