Oh, for Pete’s sakes. Now the TSA is getting rid of guard dogs and drug sniffing dogs with upward pointing ears because they are “too scary looking.”
The announcement over the scary pups comes from the Washington Examiner:
“We’ve made a conscious effort in TSA … to use floppy ear dogs,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said during a recent tour of operations at Washington Dulles International Airport northern Virginia.
“We find the passenger acceptance of floppy ear dogs is just better. It presents just a little bit less of a concern,” Pekoske said. “Doesn’t scare children.”
The TSA notes that 80 percent of its 1,200 canines have floppy years while the rest have those darned old scary standing, pointy ears.
The agency employs the second most number of dogs in the federal government, they say.
The TSA also said that they mostly purchase sporting dogs because breeders raise these more often.
The sporting breeds they use include, Labrador Retrievers, German Short-haired Pointers, Wirehaired Pointers, Vizslas, and Golden Retrievers.
But the airport security service also employs pointy-eared breeds like German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois.
Of the 1,200 TSA canines, one-third screen passengers at airports. The other two-thirds are certified to work at airports smelling for explosives on baggage, not people, and can be pulled to help with local law enforcement in the case of an emergency where the dog can be of assistance.
“If there’s a bomb scare somewhere else in that town, they’ll pull that dog. We train them at our expense. We provide the dogs,” said Shelton.
The TSA also noted that it costs upwards to $42,000 to train a dog and handler for the duties.
Finally, TSA warns people in airports NOT to pet the dogs and the dogs even wear little signs that say “do not pet.” But handlers do carry little baseball-styled cards to hand out to kids in airports.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.