LAS K-9 Retires After 10 Years of Service

May 15, 2024 | Events, Safety & Security

A longtime member of the LAS security team retired on May 9. K-9 Dodi, a 12-year-old German Wirehaired Pointer, celebrated 10 years of service with a special tennis ball surprise.

According to Dodi’s handler, Rudy Torres, tennis balls are the pup’s favorite toy — and his reward for a job well done. At his retirement celebration, Dodi romped around with tennis balls volunteers dropped from overhead after he performed a final bag inspection.

“After a long career with the Department of Aviation, we decided to honor Dodi with this event for his service over the years,” Torres said.

Dodi was one of six members of the K-9 unit at LAS. Specially trained pooches like him are an effective tool for detecting explosives, known to be one of the greatest threats to the aviation system. 

Like all of the dogs employed at the airport, Dodi came to Las Vegas through the TSA canine program at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, where handlers go through intensive training to form a bond with their four-legged partners.  

Handlers learn to read the dog’s behavior when it indicates an explosive scent has been detected. If a dog alerts its handler to something suspicious, the handler follows an established procedure to resolve the alarm. The dog is rewarded by play time with a favorite toy. 

K-9 teams handle thousands of unscheduled calls for service each year, responding to requests to inspect unattended vehicles and bags, and assisting with special baggage screening situations. They also support security details for traveling dignitaries and VIPS and play a role in the controlled access arrangements for special events around the airport. Dogs and their handlers work in shifts to provide 24/7 protection, 365 days a year. 

Now that he’s retired, Dodi and his handler will remain a team, with Dodi living at home with Torres and his family. 

“He’s used to seeing me getting ready for work every day and coming with me,” Torres said. “So that’s going to be a challenge. My responsibility will be to keep him engaged by going out and experiencing the world.”

And while retirement means down time for Dodi, Torres will continue to provide security at the airport. He’s paired with a new dog and the two will start full-time service once their training is complete. 

Facts About Dodi

  • Born: September 2012 in The Netherlands
  • Years of service at LAS: July 2014-May 2024
  • Calls for service: 7,443 (3,216 were for unattended bags or vehicles)
  • Training exercises: 2,513
  • Weight: 62 lbs.
  • Hobbies: Napping, going for walks and following “Dad” around
  • Favorite snack: Dehydrated duck heads

For more about Dodi and to see his retirement celebration, watch the video below.

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