Explosive-sniffing dogs join Port Canaveral staff

Port Canaveral will be the first cruise ship port in the country with explosive-sniffing K-9 units


CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla --

Port Canaveral will be the first cruise ship port in the country with explosive-sniffing dogs as part of a new Transportation Security Administration program.

The three K-9 teams will be introduced on Thursday, and the teams will work with dogs from Sanford International Airport.

Officials said that it is necessary to add more security with the increase of passengers in and out of Port Canaveral.

"We're looking at about 1.5 million passengers, and we think that's going to escalate to over two million in 2012," said Stan Payne, the CEO of Canaveral Port Authority.

Not only will the dogs patrol their command posts, but they will also be deployed together if there is a heightened threat anywhere in the area.

The TSA-certified dogs already work in some airport terminals and mass transit systems across the country.

One dog, Lily, spent a year assigned to the Army in Afghanistan, where she looked for improvised explosive devices. Now she's assigned to Mike Veina, a Port Canaveral Canine Officer. And when Lily is done with this job, she won't be heading across the world again – unless Veina does.

"I signed adoption papers, for when she retires," Veina said. "So she'll be with me when she's done working."

Copyright 2011 by Internet Broadcasting Systems and ClickOrlando.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.