Following is the approved Beagle Brigade Fact Sheet:
U. S. Department of Homeland Security Bureau of Customs & Border Patrol Agriculture Inspection
Q. Types of jobs the dogs perform?:
A. Dogs are trained to recognize agricultural products only. Fruit, flowers, meats, nuts, etc. They are not cross-trained for drugs or bombs. Brigade dogs are located at international airports and U.S. border crossings.
Q. Breeds; size; type of dogs used?:
A. Because of their size and agility, Beagles and Beagle-mixes are used for airport work. However, they are using larger, medium to large-breed dogs atmail facilities, land borders, and courier facilities.
Q. Are the dogs bred for the job or rescued?:
A. All dogs for both Brigade Programs are rescues and donations. APHIS maintains an on-going relationship with local shelters and rescue Groups that encourages Groups to contact them when a canine candidate is placed with them. APHIS also accepts donations of dogs by breeders and owners. All dogs are screened for suitability before acceptance into the Program. Testing is done free of charge. Dog donation information may be obtained by calling 1-800-533-8490.
Q. Are the dogs fostered before being trained (e.g.: puppies)?:
A. Dogs must be between the ages of 9 months and 3 years to be accepted into the Program. Because no puppies are eligible, foster homes are not required.
Q. What is the final disposition of the dogs after being retired?:
A. Dogs are placed with their handlers, whenever possible. A proven adoption program is in place, for those dogs that are not able to live with their handler upon retirement. Brigade dogs are NEVER euthanized when they reach the end of their ability, as working dogs. For more information about adopting a dog, phone: 1-800-533-8490.
Q. How long has this Program been in existence?:
The Beagle Brigade started in 1984 at Los Angeles International Airport. The pilot project was started with three handler teams, to screen arrivals, for the LA Olympics.
Q.If puppies are part of Program, are foster homes needed for pups?:
Q. Is there anything the public can do to assist this Program?:
A. When encountering a Beagle Brigade team, allow them to do their job. The dogs are small, so be aware of their presence and watch where you walk; drive your cart; or dump your luggage. Dogs, while working, are very 'fixated' on their job and (for the most part) do not notice people, and are susceptible to accidental injury ... so we must watch out for them.
- If you know of a dog that might do well in the Program, give APHIS a call. Dog donations are always welcome.
- If you are planning to adopt a dog, consider a retired Brigade dog. Call APHIS for an application. Upon approval and a suitable 'match', APHIS will ship the dog to the adopters. While there is no adoption fee, the shipping fee must be paid by the ad opter.
Q. Is there a web site with more info?:
A. http://www.usda.gov. Search on "Beagle" and the site will give you Beagle Brigade links.
- Education materails are available, upon request. Stop at the agricultural counter at any international airport or see the Beagle Brigade Officer at any demo (Officers do outreach at animal events and in schools).
- Nothing illustrates success like duplication. This Program has proved so successful, it has been 'cloned' in other countries. Australia, for one, has duplicated the Brigade with their AQIS (Australian Quarantine & Inspection Service) Program.
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