Beagle Brigade team works to protect LAX

LOS ANGELES -- Teams of shelter dogs are proving to be some of the best weapons against terror that the government has, and while the Beagle Brigade may look friendly, they, too, are sniffing out threats at Los Angeles International Airport.

Yodal is a rescue dog and is part of the Beagle Brigade K-9 team at LAX, where he trained to detect bio-terror threats, contraband, money, pests and illegal wildlife.

"They can actually detect anything at a huge distance, he can grab things off the carousel and it will take him half way around, but he can pick it up over there and we are over here," said Nancy Withrow, an agriculture specialist K9 handler.

Officer Jill Chen, also a handler, said bio-terrorism can include pesticides smuggled in to harm the agriculture industry.

"People don't realize that a single orange a plant cutting, they can do major damage millions of dollars," she said.

In 2014 alone, U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized over 1.6 million potentially harmful items.

Officials also note that rules and regulations change on a daily basis, which means items that may be legal to bring in from one country can be banned from another.

Although rules change every day, the bond between the special K-9 and Chen is not expected to.

"When he retires, he's going to come home with my kids," she said. "He is going to be part of my family. He is a family member."
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