ALBANY, N.Y. -- The state's division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services looks for very specific characteristics when evaluating dogs. They look for K-9s with an abundance of energy and a strong work ethic.
The dogs and their handlers undergo extensive training in specialized fields. Some help detect accelerants at fire scenes, while others assist with search and rescue missions.
"It's hide and seek, only they're always it. And if you think about that, there's a lot of people around here and they have to figure out which is the scent I can't see," said Greg Gould, a fire protection specialist.
The dogs are all rescues. One of the newest additions, Echo, was found at the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society.
"It's a good opportunity for a dog that may be spending the rest of their life in a shelter some place," said John Fairclough, an investigator.
The teams assist different departments statewide. Some were deployed to Florida to help with recovery efforts after Hurricane Irma.