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Tag: canine

Explosive-Detecting Canine Retires After Spending His Career Keeping Travelers Safe

By Steve Neavling

TSA celebrated the career and retirement of Bruno, a 4-year-old Labrador retriever who was trained as an explosive detection canine, and his handler Kathy, during a retirement ceremony. 

Bruno was trained as a passenger screening canine (PSC) to detect explosives and explosive materials. 

Since October 2019, Bruno and his handler Kathy have screened thousands of travelers and their belongings for potential security threats at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu, where he spent his entire career.

“TSA canines like Bruno are premiere security ambassadors and a favorite of travelers who depart HNL,” TSA Federal Security Director Jenel Chang said in a statement. “We are most proud of the work that Bruno and Kathy have done together to secure the transportation network. We wish them Aloha as they move onto the next phase of their lives together.”

TSA officers gifted Bruno more than 100 squeaky tennis balls, and he was presented with an edible, dog-friendly cake. 

Bruno is 4 years old and will continue to live with Kathy as he transitions into his retirement. 

Secret Service K-9 Awarded Distinguished Service Medal for Stopping Intruder at White House

Former Secret Service K-9 Office Hurricane. Photo via Secret Service

By Steve Neavling

A former Secret Service K-9 Officer known as “Hurricane” was awarded a Distinguished Service Medal for stopping an intruder who had scaled the White House fence in October 2014. 

The Belgian Malinois was seriously injured but still managed to keep the intruder on the ground until Secret Service agents arrested him. Another K-9, Jardan, was also seriously injured. 

“On every shift of every day, we at the Secret Service strive to uphold five core values; Duty, Honor, Loyalty, Justice, and Courage,” Uniformed Division Assistant Chief Michael Buck said during a recent Animals in War and Peace ceremony. “They are the five points of our agency’s star, and on a dark night in October 2014, they were embodied by a very good boy named Hurricane.”

Six other dogs were recognized during the ceremony, which was hosted by Angeles Without Wings, Inc./Animals in War and Peace, the Livingood Group LLC, and the U.S. War Dogs Association.

Border Patrol K9 Retires After Career Sniffing Out Contraband, Rescuing Human Smuggling Victims

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

By any measure, this four-legged Border Patrol agent had a successful career. 

Since joining the agency in September 2015, K9 Agent Lady sniffed out 730 pounds of contraband and helped rescue more than 800 people from human smuggling attempts, KGNS-TV reports. 

Now the top dog is retiring. 

After going through the canine training center in El Paso, Lady was transferred to Freer, Texas, where she worked with Agent Andrew Nelson. 

Congratulations on a well-deserved retirement, Lady. 

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].”