The Cerberus (development code: "MA-39") was an early attempt at creating a controllable Bio Organic Weapon by Umbrella USA, in a project led by the Arklay Laboratory. They should not be confused with "zombie dogs", which encompasses all dog breeds infected with any t-Virus strain in the secondary form. Pronounced as the Greek word, "Kerberos", this creature was named after the mythological guardian of Hades, a gigantic dog with three heads and a collar made of venomous snakes.
The Cerberus Project began in the early 1980s to explore the effectiveness of the β strain in creating controllable Bio-Organic Weapons. With their reliability as military animals, the Cerberus Project began with Doberman pinschers. As was the case in other B.O.W.s, the most successful candidate was subsequently cloned to ensure identical products. The Arklay Laboratory which led the Cerberus Project, trained the dogs in the courtyard to prove their effectiveness in taking orders.[excerpt 1] In May 1998 a t-Virus outbreak weakened the handlers' capacity to control the dogs, and they escaped after not being fed. The pack was responsible for several attacks on hikers and continued to move through the Arklay Mountains as late as July when they began stalking the S.T.A.R.S. unit sent to investigate the animal attacks.