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Tag: canine

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.”

Four-Legged ‘Special Agent’ Honored at Retirement Ceremony at FBI’s Newark Field Office

Roxy, a Belgian Malinois, was honored for her work at the FBI. Photo: FBI.

By Steve Neavling

She was a brave, dedicated crime-fighter for the FBI. 

After more than seven years at the Newark Field Office, Roxy, a Belgian Malinois who turned 9 in June, retired with her handler Special Agent Scott Nawrocki on Dec. 26, 2020. 

But the canine’s well-deserved retirement ceremony was delayed because of COVID-19. On Wednesday, she was finally honored for her work. 

“K9 Roxy has been an indispensable member of the FBI team,” George M. Crouch, Jr., special agent in charge of the Newark Field Office, said in a statement. “Her hard work and dedication have helped protect her fellow agents and the community at-large and have assisted in the apprehension of criminals. We are in her debt and wish her a healthy retirement with our gratitude.”

Roxy joined the bureau in 2013 after becoming the youngest cadet to graduate from the New Jersey Police Canine Academy at the age of 1.

 “We knew Roxy would be a great working dog as she pushed her way in front of her brothers and sisters when it came time to eat,” Nawrocki said. “She wasn’t afraid of anything and, at just four weeks old, she was already bounding up and down the stairs.”

During her career, Roxy responded to active shootings, searched for explosives, worked on protective details of three attorneys general and two FBI directors, helped secure the Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., and even dressed as a cheerleader. 

Vote for TSA’s Cutest Canine on Social Media Today

Alona is one of four finalists for the TSA’s cutest canine. Photo: TSA

By Steve Neavling

The Transportation Security Administration’s four-legged workers are a vital part of keeping travelers safe at airports, sniffing out drugs and explosives.  

And they sure are cute.

The TSA is holding an online contest for its cutest dog, and voting is today, which is National Dog Day.

The four finalists are Alona, a golden retriever from the Las Vegas McCarran International Airport; 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.

You can cast a vote for your cutest canine on Instagram , Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Voting ends at midnight tonight.

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

“TSA’s working canines play an important role in the agency’s security operations across the country. We are so fortunate to have Alona and her handler Vanessa as a member of our team in Las Vegas,” Karen Burke, TSA federal security director in Las Vegas, said in a statement. “Alona is not only very skilled as a working dog, but she is also a worthy competitor in this year’s Cutest Canine contest. I’ll be voting for Alona and I hope you will join me in voting for her, too.”

Want to see some other furry cuties? Check out the TSA 2021 calendar.

CBP Canine Sniffs Out $60K of Fentanyl Stuffed inside Breakfast Burrito

Fentanyl found stuffed inside burritos. (CBP)

By Steve Neavling

A Customs and Border Protection dog sniffed out nearly $60,000 worth of fentanyl stuffed inside breakfast burritos near the U.S.-Mexico Border. 

The canine alerted his handler to a Chevrolet Tahoe at an inspection checkpoint in Yuma on Monday, CBP said in a news release.

The dog sniffed out the drugs in a black backpack inside the vehicle. 

Agents found several small packages containing 5 pounds of fentanyl pills inside the burritos. 

CBP arrested the 37-year-old driver, who was a U.S. citizen.  

Kirpy Retires from Border Patrol After 7 Years of Service

Kirpy retired from CBP after seven years of service.

By Steve Neavling

Kirpy, a Belgian Malinois that has served with U.S. Customs and Border Protection since he was a puppy, has retired. 

Kirpy was born on Thanksgiving Day in 2012 at the CBP Canine Center in El Paso and at four moths old was reared and trained at the Yuma Sector in Arizona.

His final shift with his handler Agent Rolando Carbajal was Friday. 

Throughout his seven-year career, Kirpy has detected more than $85,000 worth of marijuana and hashish and more than $140,000 worth of methamphetamine. He also participated in public demonstrations at schools, RV parks and community events. 

“That dog was awesome,” Special Operations Supervisor Mark Sims said in a news release. “We used Kirpy whenever we had demos. He could do it all and his temperament was really good.”

Kirpy was named after fallen Nogales Border Patrol Agent Alexander Kirpnick, who was killed in the line of duty on June 3, 1998, while trying to arrest smuggling suspects.   

Kirpy is now enjoying retirement with Carbajal’s son, and he’s already gone on a fishing trip. 

“He’s loving retirement,” Carbajal said. “He’s able to come inside and hang out. Everything is new [for him].”

Border Agents Find Liquid Meth inside Gas Tank of Chevy Truck Driven by American

Liquid meth found inside a gas tank. Photo via CBP.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

CBP agents arrested a 36-year-old American citizen after finding 222 pounds of liquid meth hidden inside the gas tank of his Chevrolet Silverado at the Calexico East port of entry in California.

A CBP canine team alerted agents to the gas tank about 11 p.m. on Tuesday, CBP says in a news release.

When the gas tank was removed, agents found a strange liquid that was beginning to crystalize. The substance tested positive for methamphetamine.

“Drug trafficking organizations have one goal in mind, which is to get their product across,” Sergio Beltran, CBP officer in charge, says. “Concealing narcotics in gas tanks is one tactic and by utilizing our layered enforcement, we were able to stop this before it plagued our communities.”

The driver was arrested and turned over to ICE agents.

The meth has a street value of $266,000, CBP says.

Inmates Train Puppies Before They Become Bomb-Sniffing Crime Stoppers

Photo courtesy of Puppies Behind Bars.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Taylor spent most of her early life behind the walls of a New Jersey women’s correctional facility.

Now the black Labrador is answering a higher calling, sniffing out bombs and shell casings for the ATF.

The two-year-old dog, who is more hyper than her explosives-detecting predecessor, shares a home with his veteran agent handler, Nic Garlie of the St. Louis ATF office, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports in an uplifting story about second chances and America’s best friend. 

Taylor was raised by prison inmates under a program called, Puppies Behind Bars, which gives criminals an opportunity to raise puppies that are being groomed to work for agencies such as the ATF. It gives inmates a sense of responsibility and provides positive interactions.  

“They really feel like part of them leaves prison when the dog succeeds and goes on to work,” Gloria Gilbert Stoga, the program’s founder, said.

One of Taylor’s handlers, Neville, spent much of her 12 years behind bars alone, bored and without much to accomplish.

The four-legged friend changed Neville’s outlook, according to her journal entries.

“It is a wonderful nervous energy to think while I am locked in this world, I can still be a service to someone,” Neville wrote.

Now Taylor is prepared to help keep America safe.

Border Patrol Continues Search for Canine That Went Missing on Feb. 20

Dunja has been missing since

Dunja has been missing since Feb. 20.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol canine that went missing during a tracking operation in Arizona on Feb. 20 has not been found.

Dunja, a dog used by the Tucson Sector Border Patrol, was separated from his handler during an operation on the Tohono O’odham Nation near Papago Farms, Tucson News Now reports. 

Agents continue to search for Dunja, who is 4 years old and has worked with the Border Patrol since August 2016.

The Tucson Sector has more than 100 canines.

The dogs can fetch up to $10,000 because they are already trained.

“They do go through several weeks of training,” said  Daniel Hernandez, spokesman with the Tucson sector. “The canines become a team within the agent and they spend a very long time together as a partner. Conducting all kinds of simulations at the training facility. So there is a huge bond between the canine and the handler.”

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