Here’s a riddle for you: when is a warehouse NOT a warehouse?
Answer: when it’s also a training center for highly-skilled service animals and their handlers.
A few times each month at JK, we are honored to welcome several officers and their service dogs from the K-9 Unit of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. These teams of officers and their dogs are specially-trained in finding (or sniffing out, in the dogs’ case) explosives at Washington Dulles International Airport and Ronald Reagan National Airport.
So what are these highly-trained teams doing at JK? Training, of course. It’s vital for the officers and their dogs to go through continuous training in finding explosives, so when they are faced with real-life situations, they are equipped and ready to protects folks as they travel through our local airports.
But why the JK warehouse? Well, that’s simple, too. The K-9 teams like training in our space for a few reasons, such as:
- It’s exceptionally clean, so there are no worries of debris getting caught up in the dogs’ paws.
- There’s almost endless room (over 400,000 square feet of space, to be exact!) for the teams to train in, which means lots of good “hiding” places for the parcels that the dogs are challenged to correctly sniff out.
- It’s a highly controlled and secure environment so the teams can be focused as they train.
The officers are eager to introduce you to and tell you about their dogs. These hand-selected dogs are trained and owned by the individual officers, and live with them as part of their family, even after the dogs are officially retired from their service positions. The officers are quick to point out that while their K-9 partners are exceptionally well-behaved and terrific dogs to have at home, they really are sophisticated working animals, not family pets.
Either way, we are thrilled to host them on a regular basis, as a way to give back to our community. Check out some photos below of a few of the officers and dogs who visited us recently.