WASHINGTON — The Transportation Security Administration is shining a spotlight on the animals who are on the front lines of our nation’s security.
The federal agency has released its annual canine calendar showing all the good boys and girls who are on alert at airports and other transportation systems across the country.
The agency called the more than a dozen dogs selected to bring a smile to animal lovers each month “paws-itiely cute.”
Overall, more than 1,000 dogs work for the government as explosives detection canines, the TSA said. Each had to go through weeks of training at the TSA Canine Training Center at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in Texas to be able to find the scent of explosives or explosive materials. After being selected for the program, dogs are paired with a handler and are taught to not only sniff out dangerous things, but also to adapt to the environment before they’re assigned to a location.
Fifteen dogs were selected for this year’s calendar from entries submitted by teams from across the country. There are also two dogs included who don’t work for the TSA but were trained by the agency and then sent to work with the Bangor Police Department in Maine and the San Antonio International Airport Police Department.
The others work at the following airports:
- Dina: Harry Reid International Airport (LAS)
- Archy-Arce: San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
- Ben: Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport (SJU)
- Csimbok: Jacksonville International Airport (JAX)
- Eci: Buffalo Niagara International Airport/Niagara Falls International Airport (BUF/IAG)
- Duke-LeDuc: Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
- Erika: George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
- Gini-Gina: LaGuardia Airport (LGA)
- Joker-Jordan: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
- Kari: Bangor International Airport (BGR); Bangor Police Department
- Lubo-Lugo: Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
- Puk: Boston Logan International Airport (BOS)
- Rocky: San Antonio International Airport (SAT); SAT Police Department
- Zeta: Tampa International Airport (TPA)
- Zita: Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport (MSP)
The winner of the contest and the cover girl for the calendar was Dina, a 3-year-old German shorthaired pointer who works as an explosives detection dog at Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas. She works with handler Nick Goyak. The pair was sent to the Super Bowl LVII in Phoenix to provide their services at the big game.
If you want a copy of the calendar, the good news it is free and can be downloaded from the TSA’s website.