Monday, April 4, 2011

TSA Welcomes Its 500th Puppy!

Dolan, TSA's 500th Pupp
Dolan, TSA's 500th Pupp
Meet Dolan, TSA's 500th puppy to be born into the TSA Puppy Program.  Each of the puppies are named after a 9/11 victim to honor their memory, and this puppy was named after Capt. Robert Edward Dolan Jr., who lost his life in the attack on the Pentagon.


Dolan was born at Lackland Air Force Base and if he meets our high standards will be trained by the TSA's National Explosives Detection Canine Team to become an explosives detection dog.  Puppies that don’t meet our standards are offered to other agencies or adopted by loving families. 

"My children and I are very excited to have a puppy named in Bob’s memory,” said Lisa Dolan, wife of the late Captain Dolan.  “Bob began his military career as an explosives ordnance expert.  When he was killed at the Pentagon, he was working on Homeland Defense, and so it's very fitting to have one of the TSA puppies named for our hero, Captain Bob Dolan.  Knowing “Puppy Dolan” will one day be an explosives detection canine in the service of our country is reassuring.  Dolan’s future career keeping travelers safe is a fitting addition to Bob’s legacy of freedom.”

The program has been in place for nine years and out of the 500 puppies, around half of them are currently working in the field, or have been selected as breeders.

Once the puppies are born into the program, they have to be fostered by volunteer families for up to a year prior to their training. If you live in the San Antonio or Austin area and are interested in fostering a puppy such as Dolan, TSA will provide all the food, equipment and veterinary care in exchange for providing a stimulating environment where the puppy can grow and develop.  Sound appealing? Want to take out a new “leash” on life? Go here and fill out the application (PDF).

Many potential foster families are "hounding" us to become part of the program, so “schnauzer” chance…  Be sure to apply now so you can be placed on a waiting list. 

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

If you’d like to comment on an unrelated topic you can do so in our Off Topic Comments post. You can also view our blog post archives or search our blog to find a related topic to comment in. If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact a Customer Support Manager at the airport you traveled, or will be traveling through by using Talk to TSA.

72 comments:

withlovemom said...

Hi! I just saw the spot on the Today Show about the puppy program naming these dogs after 9/11 victims. My father in law was a 9/11 victim, Stanley R. Hall, and we are wondering how to learn about the dog named, (or when that dog comes along), for him.

RB said...

Finally a post from the TSA Blog Team that I can support.

Dogs are much better at finding target objects than TSA's Strip Search Machines or the very invasive Friskings that border on sexual assault that TSA screnners inflict on children and adults.

Bubba said...

Wow. An actual puppy post.

Meanwhile, our real questions remain unanswered.

Bubba, Still waiting for a respnse to the article published in the top scientific journal Nature stating that SPOT does squat.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't the TSA address any of the questions posted here?

Why are you continuing to try to divert attention from the simple fact that you haven't answered any questions as to why the TSA lied to people and told them to go into the Savannah train station to be groped?

No, we're not going to drop it. Please address the real issues instead of continuing to divert, avoid, and prevaricate.

Anonymous said...

How about a cost-benefit analysis comparing how many dogs can be trained and maintained for the price of one strip search machine?

Teams of explosives-detecting dogs wandering the terminal would be more effective than the nude-o-scope (NoS) at actually detecting explosives and have the benefit of not humiliating passengers, not invading their privacy, not false-alarming on medical devices and sanitary products, and not bombarding them with ionizing radiation concentrated on the scalp, one of the areas most vulnerable to skin cancer.

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding me? You get paid to spout propaganda, while completely ignoring the issues presented to you? My God, I need a job like this.

Maybe once you breed a puppy army, and please do post a blog entry about every puppy from now on, you can use them to replace your silly machines.

Anonymous said...

"Each of the puppies are named after a 9/11 victim to honor"

Is this done with the knowledge and permission of the surviving family members?

Anonymous said...

I would think that 10,000 puppies are needed to fully replace 50% of TSA staff.

It's an intelligent option to current programs. Please consider this.

Anonymous said...

Let's home the bomb sniffing dogs have a better track record than the drug sniffing dogs...

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-01-06/news/ct-met-canine-officers-20110105_1_drug-sniffing-dogs-alex-rothacker-drug-dog

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding me? You are naming puppies after victims of 9/11?

This has to be the most emotionally manipulative nonsense I've heard in a long, long time.

You people must be really desperate to get your bloated, excessive budget renewed.

Try wasting fewer man hours on April Fools Day blog posts and maybe you will not appear to be so manipulative.

Anonymous said...

Bomb sniffing dogs on average have a 40-50% success rate. The AIT scanners have a 0% success rate (since they cannot detect explosives).

A trained bob sniffing dogs runs about 8k.

A AIT scanner runs around 150k.

It takes 4 TSO's to run a AIT scanner.

For each AIT scanner purchased you could have purchased roughly 18 bomb sniffing dogs.

Each of the four TSO's needed to run the AIT scanner could have been given TWO dogs. Eight at a time deployed with another 10 in reserve.

Again that is for the cost of ONE AIT scanner - with no additional increase in personnel.

You should have spent the money on dogs from day 1.

Anonymous said...

I love that Bob approves the tasteless comments here. It reveals the true colors of most of the people that are so anti-TSA.

Anonymous said...

"I love that Bob approves the tasteless comments here. It reveals the true colors of most of the people that are so anti-TSA."

I love that Bob arbitrarily deletes on topic posts and ignores simple relevant questions. It shows the true mission of this blog and the disdain the TSA has for the public.

FTFY

Anonymous said...

I watched the story about Dolan on the Today Show this morning and cried as the puppy 'kissed' Captain Dolan's widow. I wished I lived in San Antonio so I could foster one of these pups. Keep up the good work.

FriendlySkies said...

Really, Bob? There are so many substantive things you can talk about, and you choose to talk about a puppy. Shows what your agency cares about :rolleyes:

By the way, when will you show us a copy of the WBI images?

Anonymous said...

The TSA doesn't kick puppies. So that's at least one line they haven't crossed.

Too bad travelling humans can't expect the same courtesy.

Anonymous said...

OMG.

Now you're taking the term 'puppy post' literally.

Kurt said...

Awesome program keep up the great work and don't let these negative comments get to you! People have nothing better to do then cry about TSA. Thanks for keeping us secure.

Anonymous said...

Keep up the great work. Its nice to see positive articles about TSA. Thank you for keeping us secure.

Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for the puppies that must be handled and cared for by the TSA. It's obvious the TSA DOES NOT understand how to interact with humans, much less "man's best friend".

Anonymous said...

@Anon, You do realize that this is the TSA's PR blog, right? There will never be a negative thought about the TSA outside of the comments here.

Anonymous said...

Puppies = sweet
TSA = the enemy of Americans who value their freedom and privacy

Chuck's Friend said...

I was a friend and colleague of Colonel Chuck Jones, USAF (Retired), who died on American Flight 11.

I find your practice of naming puppies after the terrorist attack victims to be completely repulsive.

343_Honor_Guard said...

TSA has alot of gall to be Using the names of victims of 9/11 victims for names for the dogs and is a disgrace to there memory & sacrifice considering how TSA abuses, gropes and violates travelers without a warrant or probable cause. Im not a direct family member of someone who was lost in 9/11(I lost 5 very good friends and 343 brothers and sisters of the fd/pd/ems family) but I guarantee you the surviving family members would be disgusted and horrified at minimum and most likely take TSA to court for slander and libel for using there names in such a manner.

Q. what's the difference between a tsa employee and puppy? At least the puppy can be trained!

Anonymous said...

The puppies are real cute.

How about naming one after a Star Trek character.

Why not name one Wil Wheaton?

Anonymous said...

This post is on topic. But I know you can delete it anyway. Try to surprise me. Post it.

It discusses the fact that your article featured how the puppies are named and asks a question about naming.

How about naming one after a Star Trek character.

Why not name one Wil Wheaton?

Anonymous said...

Cool article, cool concept, cool everything.

RB said...

Bob, since tomorrow is likely to be your last for a while will you finally answer all of the outstanding questions and update all the threads?

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why people would post and say that naming people after the 9/11 victims is a bad idea. Perhaps they should read the remarks of Bob Dolan's wife; she seems to be very supportive. Clearly this is an honor to families whose loved ones were tragically lost and recognizes TSA's committment to fulfilling their legacy.

Earl Pitts said...

@Anon: If the family's ok with it, then that's fine. However, there are others that don't want to see their family members used as propaganda and see the "honor" TSA is giving them as an insult.

I can tell you if I were in that situation and found out TSA named a dog after my mom, dad, etc, that died due to terrorism, I'd be pretty upset and be asking them to change the name.

Earl

Anonymous said...

The TSA needs to be abolished, for the sake of all our freedoms. For shame America.

Anonymous said...

Just learned about naming "sniffer" puppies after 9/11 victims. Unlike some others here I think that that this is a great and living tribute. More than a monument, these canines are one of the most effective protectors of our safety.

I would be interested if there was a list of these names and their namesakes. This would allow us who are not direct family members, but friends of those that were lost.

A little "bio" of each would be nice, subject to necessary security restrictions, of course.

Anonymous said...

Actually, naming an animal after a human can be very dissrespectful for some people, especially someone who had passed away.

Anonymous said...

Shorter article: Who cares that the TSA is violating your rights? Look! Puppies!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:
"Actually, naming an animal after a human can be very dissrespectful for some people..."

Likewise it can be extremely disrespectful culturally.

Amazing that TSA refuses to identify passengers who represent a risk yet will do something so distasteful.

Anonymous said...

Quoted:
" Earl Pitts said...
@Anon: If the family's ok with it, then that's fine. However, there are others that don't want to see their family members used as propaganda and see the "honor" TSA is giving them as an insult.

I can tell you if I were in that situation and found out TSA named a dog after my mom, dad, etc, that died due to terrorism, I'd be pretty upset and be asking them to change the name.

Earl

April 8, 2011 11:06 PM"
-------------------------------
\Well, since you're not, and we haven't heard anything negative (quite the opposite) from the 9/11 families, why don't you just not comment?

Anonymous said...

Next we'll hear that the TSA plans to give a free puppy to every child they "pat down."

Anonymous said...

No one gives a crap about some dogs, what we do care about is how you are going to fix the problems the TSA is creating. Why don’t you address the kid pat down immediately, that’s what people care about, not your dog program.

Address this, what is the official TSA response to patting down middle class white American children, none of which have ever been used for terrorism?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ba030UmbkCo

Erik said...

This is a complete disgrace. Who thought naming bomb sniffing dogs being named after people who were murdered was a good idea? You think people want to be constantly reminded of that if they were going though security?

Anonymous said...

I think the puppy is a diversion so no one notices the TSA molesting children with their "patdowns". I cannot wait till the are replaced by private sector or experience more layoffs due to the bad economy.

Jacksters said...

Wow! A TSA program that I DO support. Those dogs will do better than any indignity you all can think of that will "keep us safe".

Those dogs are worth their weight in gold and then some IF you use them.........

I hope you treat them better than you do the general public.

jackster said...

Just saw some complaints about naming puppies after 9/11 victims. What is so wrong with that?
If it were one of my family members, I'd think it was a great tribute. (A friend of mine in fact, DID name one of their pets "after" me as they said it had my personality, so been there. And no, they didn't ask first!)

We can only hope now, that the TSA will change their ways and use the dogs instead of disgraceful pat downs and porn machines.

Anonymous said...

All you folks think you're so smart and snide; that you know how to do DHS' and TSA's jobs better than they do.

If you think you know so much and can help the security of the country, then apply for a job and do something to help. Otherwise, stop playing monday morning quarterback like you know the playbook better than the coach.

Anonymous said...

I agree that this is a good program, however what I don't understand is why breed 200 puppies a year for the program. Why not use the excess supplies the US has by using shelter dogs that have no homes?

Anonymous said...

I don't know what video you people and complainers have been watching concerning the 6 year old girl at New Orleans, but it must be a different one because I've watched it more than once and see no inappropriate behavior by the screener at all. You have used terms such as groping and invasive and the like and none of this exists in the video. The screener is very courteous and explains absolutely everything as she goes along and also thoroughly to the parent before ever beginning. The child did not seem at all upset and it was completed quickly. Those of you who are acting upset are oblivious to and obviously don't know the fact that terrorists thrive on using the elderly, children, and babies upon which to plant their explosives and carry out their dastardly acts, as evidenced around the world. And don't be deceived, because "they are out there" wanting to kill as many of us as they can. Congrats to the TSA for not wanting to alarm the public, but it is fact that they have "behind the scenes" intercepted and prevented numerous "things" from happening since the 9-11 attacks. Be nonchalant if you wish to be folks, but as for me, when I'm flying I want every single person on that plane, no matter their age, to have been screened. Call me "a frequent flyer".

Anonymous said...

Sulimov dogs would have been a better investment in bomb detection. They have the best sniffer in the buisness and are always on since they are part jackal, they don't get bored like German Shepard's or other domestic working dogs.

Anonymous said...

i heart the tsa.



puppies!

Anonymous said...

@ April 13, 2011 7:40 PM

You won't post off topic comments.

Unless they support you.

Anonymous said...

Hmm how much does this program cost?
about 1/2 of the dogs have been trained, and how many are actually working as detection dogs? What does this program cost per operational dog?
Less than 30 trained dogs per year? Not very ambitious is it? Bet it costs a lot to keep running. People facilities, supplies, trainers, housing the program 'breeders'.

Good propaganda though. Name them after victims.

Anonymous said...

The comments to this post are completely hilarious. I nearly fell out of my seat laughing a couple of times.

The TSA canine program is awesome. I'm glad that our skies are being kept safe by bomb sniffing dogs. As a dog-lover I cannot imagine being offended by having a dog named after me.

The 911 victims at the Pentagon got park benches named after them. Which is more offensive? I'd rather have an an intelligent dog named after me or my family member, than something that people routinely plant their butts on.

Anonymous said...

This is a great program, and the idea of honoring the memory of the 9/11 victims is a very good one. People posting to this thread toss out such words as 'propaganda' and 'manipulation'.

Apparently most people just want to feed their inate hatred for the TSA with negativity, rather than trying to have any sort of remotely positive and helpful approach. Not shame on the TSA or DHS, shame on YOU people who say these vicious things. You're even more of the problem than anything in TSA, or any other government program is.

In any case, I'm a US Army Infantry veteran from OIF III, and I worked closely with bomb sniffing dogs and their handlers for over a year while overseas. They aren't flawless and they did 'false hit' quite often. The breeds chosen are specific for their personality traits and versatility, their ability to handle crowds and people well. However, not even the best sniffing dogs can do their job without proper human interaction. You can just give a bomb sniffing dog to a random security officer and expect results. Each dog is assigned to a specific handler for the duration of their career. They work with/interact with and often are cared for by this handler, in most canine programs.

With that in mind, the handlers are specialy trained individuals themselves, so a program like this to be as big as people on here want it to be means that they'd have to be okay with TSA spending the huge funding on it. But still, as effective as they are, canines have their own limitations (they can't be put to work as long as machines can) and also you'd have to take into consideration a lot of people would raise just as much stink about being 'nose gropped by a sniffing dog at a check point'. You know this is exactly what you negative types would say. Plus, I know a lot of people who have a fear of dogs, so you can only imagine THOSE problems if it rolled out in large scale.

The program is good as it stands. Deploy them to the high risk areas in the US and overseas (where most of our threats originate from, presently.) as a very powerful and effective aid to the rest of the security system TSA is trying to build.

Anonymous said...

About the government, names of victims and propaganda:

Look up Pat Tillman. A true hero. Ask his family how their son's name was used in lies. Used to support propaganda.

Ask them how they feel about the government exploiting his name. Or just read the latest news articles about the affront to this veteran.

Asking if naming the dogs after the victims was done with the consent of the family seems a very fair question.

So blog staff, how about a simple answer?

RB said...

Bob should have saved his puppy post for this week, eh?

Anonymous said...

TSA has 500 puppies! That is great news! I used to be concerned about how ineffective the TSA really is, and how the TSA completely violates our constitutional rights.

Not anymore! Now that you have puppies I'm happy to give up the rights that I fought to preserve for this country!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:
"In any case, I'm a US Army Infantry veteran from OIF III, and I worked closely with bomb sniffing dogs and their handlers for over a year while overseas. They aren't flawless and they did 'false hit' quite often. The breeds chosen are specific for their personality traits and versatility, their ability to handle crowds and people well. However, not even the best sniffing dogs can do their job without proper human interaction. You can just give a bomb sniffing dog to a random security officer and expect results. Each dog is assigned to a specific handler for the duration of their career. They work with/interact with and often are cared for by this handler, in most canine programs."

Yeah, thanks for your service. I don't think anyone thought that dogs should be allowed to operate independently.

I'll take canine false positives over machine false positive. I doubt the six year old would have been as traumatized by a well behaved dog as she was by the sexual assault she had to endure at the hands of an evil TSO.

Anonymous said...

Out of 500, how many make it to serve? Out of that number, how many have found explosives?

Zero you say? There hasn't been any explosives found by these dogs?

And how much does this program cost per dog? Oh, I see, more than I paid in income tax last year. So I can work the rest of my life to pay for other people to have puppies to play with in order to not find any explosives. Great, now I have a purpose in life, slaving away to pay for other people's pets.

Anonymous said...

So you're spending my tax dollars on puppies now? Really? REALLY?

We don't want your feel-good puppies, we want the TSA GONE. Just saying.

Admin said...

Keep up the good work. I don't know why some people have something against naming dogs in the honor of 9/11 victims.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it funny how these government funded people have made a whole religion and ideology out of 9/11? Like, if there'd been no 9/11 they'd have to get jobs and work for a living, so that's why they worship this ancient, overblown historical incident. I bet they even name their kids after 9/11.

Anonymous said...

Just great. Welcome New member.

Hundeerziehung said...

Wow... what an adorable puppy "Puppy Dolan" is! And what a lovely article - I had never heard of this program, but it seems like such a wonderful idea. I am sure that it is reassuring to the families who lost loved ones, and having a puppy named after them - a puppy that will keep working on making the United States a safer place, is a great legacy indeed. I couldn't think of a better way to honor those who lost their lives in this senseless act. May God bless their families.

Canine by Carrie said...

I saw the Today Show episode. What a cute puppy! :)

Mike Geary said...

The 500th puppy seems adorable... A big thanks to all the canines that are working and helping our security!

dog training said...

I agree that this is a good program, however what I don't understand is why breed 200 puppies a year for the program. Why not use the excess supplies the US has by using shelter dogs that have no homes?

Iain said...

This is great. Dogs are quite obviously better then humans are finding items such as explosives, drugs etc. With their noses being so many times better then a humans. I personally believe that these are far better then anything such as frisking (which has happened to me a few times not a problem always joke about it) but for some people that can be scary and feels like sexual assault. An those new machines they brought it that looks like they stripped you down to nothing I don't think they are acceptable at all.

So I congratulate you on getting your 500th puppy an let's hope our furry friends continue to help far into the future.

Tracie1216 said...

Good grief people, always have to find something negative to complain about. Can't you all just find the positive in this. So let's just say they had no puppies, then what, y'all would be whining about how the country didn't do ENOUGH to protect us when some other crazies board a flight and kill thousands of people. shut up already

Robert said...

That's a nice sentiment, naming them after 9/11 victims. A friend of mine from college was one, and I'm sure he'd appreciate this gesture.

Alex said...

I recently read an amazing piece in National Geographic that details some of the training that dogs must undergo. It is absolutely riveting to think that with all of our knowledge today that we cannot even come close to creating something as effective at detecting odors as a Labrador! I for one am grateful for your taking the time to raise and train such amazing creatures. Thanks for all that you do.

Anonymous said...

It was great reading about the 500th puppy! I think its great that people are taking the time to put collars and ID tags on these stray dogs. It is a great way of protecting them. Keep up the GREAT work!!

Dog Training said...

Dogs have a lot of good uses. It certainly beats having to "frisk" everyone, plus they can detect more than scanners can.

SusanK said...

What a great story. Dolon should be about 2 by now and I hope he made it into the program. Too bad the TSA doesn't have a Yorkie puppy program. I am sure a Yorkie could be beneficial in some capacity if not just put a smile on TSA faces.

Mario Verville said...

I love that Bob approves the tasteless comments here. It reveals the true colors of most of the people that are so anti-TSA.