ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. -- In the days following the Boston terror attacks, bomb-sniffing dogs were used to look for more explosives.
Much of the work they do is considered classified, but the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office gave Action News a glimpse at their important work.
Cpl.l Henry Crafton is one of the handlers assigned to the government security section of the sheriff's office. For the past two years, he's had a very special partner named Chino.
"I have 100 percent trust in my dog," said Crafton.
Chino is one of four dogs that is highly trained to detect explosives, it's a job no human can do better.
"There is really no other substitute for an explosive detection K-9 out there. We can't smell the same odors they're smelling," said Crafton.
Service dogs are used to sweep events from dignitary visits in our area to local bomb threats. Our service dogs are also used for sweeps during NASCAR races in Volusia County.
"Most importantly we use them for TPC, the major event here," said Crafton.
Their initial training is more than 600 hours. According to Crafton, Chino will also get certified every year.
"They associate that odor with a reward in their play time, so when they avert on that odor that's when they get to play. It's all just a game to them," said Crafton.
A game that can potentially save countless lives.
"These dogs spend more time with us than our families so it takes a lot time and a lot of dedication," said Crafton.
Service dogs will work an average of six to eight years, sometimes even longer. When they're retired, their handlers will often adopt them.