Dogs have sniffed, barked, and licked their way into the hearts of humans for centuries, and the unquenchable work ethic and indescribable loyalty soon made them indispensable for protection. For many years now, drug-sniffing and bomb-sniffing pooches have served as valiant police officers, probing into spaces, containers, and purses to find any suspect contraband. The tragic disaster of the Manchester Arena bombing in May did more than take 22 lives and forever impact countless families and loved ones, it made law enforcement keenly aware that no amount of “traditional” policing could ever prevent a perverse attacker bent on terror from enacting his plot.

There can never be enough officers to guard every doorway, every vehicle, every possible pedestrian street, every performance stage, as evidenced in last week's Barcelona devastation. V

Just as the funds are still being fully tallied from Ariana Grande’s courageous return to the venue in June for One Love Manchester, flanked by superstar musical friends, headlining artists are coming to terms with the new realities they and their fans face just by being at a show. As Rolling Stone highlights, vapor wake dogs have the multi-dimensional senses of smell and the demeanor to sniff out potential terror in the air.

Bands welcome the breeds

Bon Jovi, Metallica, Taylor Swift, and Pearl Jam have all let specially-trained Labradors lead in these duties of detecting “thermal plumes” in the air left in every person’s wake.

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The specialized category of training for “vapor wake” canines was developed at Auburn University after Richard Reid’s interrupted attempt to ignite a “shoe bomb” aboard an American Airlines flight in December of 2001.

Paul Hammond, president of VWK9, LLC in Anniston, Alabama, claims to be “inundated with calls,” and he understands why. What makes his canines truly wonders is that they can keep their noses in “deadly focus,” without distraction from 80,000 singing, dancing bodies, a crowded parking lot of passing cars, or many trash cans filled with “munchable” leftovers. The dogs can sniff out a suicide bomber in a “stadium of 50,000” with one whiff of a body heat’s wake.

Part of the force

Prevent Advisors is a group of former Metropolitan police officers and military officials who specialize and strategize on preventing potential disasters. The group sponsored a vapor wake dog demonstration at a VenuesNow forum in Los Angeles. Tim Leiweke, a veteran promoter who works with over 30 top arenas and stadiums, including Madison Square Garden, is a firm believer.

He asks himself whether the bombing in Manchester would have happened if there were vapor wake dogs on duty. His answer, “every time, is probably not."

Longtime Bon Jovi manager, Paul Korzilius, relates that potential attacks are on concert patrons’ minds now, and the presence of a dog can be more comforting and unassuming than an officer with a wand and a holstered weapon. The canine forces help to convey the message that a venue is a “safe space” to the public.

Four dogs can usually cover a standard arena, and these “troops” have already worked St. Louis Cardinal games and sniffed out handguns at Donald Trump rallies. Some detractors don’t like the imperfection that comes with any natural creature, and call vapor dogs the next “shiny objects” in the security trade. In any case, the pups are proving their worth. They smell out trouble without people even knowing they are being searched because the clues are all in the air. When it comes to terror attacks, turn to any team that works stop it, even if they do it for play and kibble. Safety and peace are priceless. Give dogs a chance.