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Tag: animals

And the Cutest TSA Canine is … Alona, a Bilingual Golden Retriever Out of Las Vegas

Alona was named cutest TSA canine.

By Steve Neavling

Put your paws together for the cutest TSA canine – Alona, a 4-year-old golden retriever. 

Alona was voted the cutest canine that works for the Transportation Security Administration. 

More than 131,000 people voted in the annual contest on TSA’s social media platforms. 

Alona is an explosives detection canine out of McCarren International Airport in Las Vegas. She was named in honor of Alona Abraham, an Israeli woman who was on United Airlines Flight 175, which crashed into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

Alona beat out Lexi, a Belgian Malinois from Dallas – Fort Worth International Airport (DFW); Badger, a Belgian Malinois from Chicago O’Hare International Airport; and Lexa, a German Shepard from DFW.

Alona is bilingual and responds to command in English and Spanish. When not protecting travelers, she loves listening to pop music and playing fetch in parks. 

The TSA has more than 1,000 canines paired with handlers. 

“TSA’s Explosives Detection Canines are an integral part of our mission, and training is no easy task,” the agency said in a news release. “Conventional Explosives Detection Canine teams undergo a 12-week training course, with passenger-screening canine teams undergoing an additional 4 weeks of training. Even after graduating, teams are continually assessed to make sure they can still sniff out any threats to our transportation systems.”

FBI Battled Encryption 13 Years Ago in Investigation of Animal Welfare Group

Data securityBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

When the FBI was investigating an animal welfare group accused of sabotaging a company that tests drugs on animals in early 2003, agents hit began intercepting call and e-mails of the activists.

But agents couldn’t read the e-mail because of software.

The New York Times reports that the FBI persuaded a judge to let agents install a software to bypass encryption on the group’s computers.

“This was the first time that the Department of Justice had ever approved such an intercept of this type,” an F.B.I. agent wrote in a 2005 document summing up the case.

The encryption helped prosecutors convict six activists with conspiracy to violate the Animal Enterprise Protection Act.

The case is a precursor to the battle with Apple of encryption.

FBI Begins to Track Worst Animal Abuse Cases This Year to Improve Enforcement

A victim of a fur farm, via Wikipedia.

A victim of a fur farm, via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Beginning this year, the FBI will begin tracking the animal cruelty cases to keep an eye on the worst abuse in the country, WJZ Baltimore reports. 

Animal rights group are applauding the efforts and point out that humans who commit crimes against animals also commit crimes against people.

Many of the goriest animal abuse cases involve dog fighting rings that leave canines for dead.

The FBI expects to track thousands of cases this year alone.

“The hope is by collecting this data, different jurisdictions–law enforcement–will be able to use it as a tool for intervention and prevention,” said Katie Flory, of the Anti-Animal Abuse Advisory Commission.

New Jersey to Use Cyber Canine to Sniff Out Thumb Drives, Hard Drives And Cell Phones

dog-detroitBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

This is not your ordinary canine.

The FBI is New Jersey is planning to soon crack down on cyber crime with a special dog that will be able to sniff out thumb drives, hard drives and cell phones, NJ 101.5 reports. 

“It’ll be an extremely versatile dog, it’ll be used in almost any type of investigation where we intend to search out or collect digital media,” said New Jersey FBI Special Agent Celeste Danzi.

“He or she will be able to identify these items and find them if they’re hidden or disguised as a pen or even a tiny chip,” she said. “It could be as small as a fingernail, anything that memory can be stored in, the dog will be able to scent or alert on.”

The FBI has bought the dog but it first must undergo about five months of training.

From Targeting Mobsters to Animal Abusers: Legendary Ex-FBI Agent Finds New Calling

Ex-FBI Agent Jack Garcia

Ex-FBI Agent Jack Garcia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Legendary former FBI Agent Jack Garcia spent much of his life chasing mobsters.

Now the man who infiltrated the Gambino crime family will be hunting down animal abusers as the lead investigator for a Long Island-based animal rescue group, the New York Post reports.

Garcia, who retire from the bureau in 2006, said he’s ready to be a positive change again.

“I went from driving around Gambino captain Greg DePalma to driving my daughter to school. It was a big transition. It took a lot of time to get used to it. So when this opportunity came around ... I wanted to get involved,” said Garcia, who wrote a book, “Making Jack Falcone,’’ on his undercover work.

“The acts of violence on defenseless animals is as vicious as some of the crimes I’ve investigated. And I’ve seen it all.”