TSA's National Explosives Detection Canine Team
What We Do
TSA's Canine Breeding and Development Center, commonly referred to as the Puppy Program, selectively breeds, raises and prepares puppies to be future explosives detection dogs within the National Explosives Detection Canine Team Program. Dogs that graduate from training are assigned to airports and mass transit systems nationwide. The program is located at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.
Program History and Goals
TSA's Canine Breeding and Development Center was modeled after the Australian Customs Service National Breeding and Development Centre (NBDC). NBDC was developed in 1992 and provides working dogs to the Australian Customs Service as well as the Federal Protective Services, New South Wales Police Department and multiple other law enforcement agencies worldwide.
The NBDC has produced over 900 dogs and has achieved a successful training rate of over 50 percent of all dogs bred. They have assisted in the development of three breeding programs in the United States as well as assisting other nations.
TSA's program was initially started in 1999 with six adult females and two adult males that were provided by the NBDC to establish a breeding colony. Later, the NBDC also contributed a total of 17 puppies to the program. Before Sept. 11, 2001, there was no great urgency to produce explosives detection canines; however, that changed as the day unfolded. The first breeding occurred in January 2002, and the program has since produced over 500 puppies.
Program officials are studying options for producing 200 puppies per year to help supplement the needs of the National Explosives Detection Canine Team Program as well as other federal and state agencies in need of working dogs. The program continually looks forward to working with breeders throughout the United States to promote new partnerships.
Puppywalker / Foster Program
The program depends on volunteer families in San Antonio and Austin, Texas to raise puppies from age ten weeks to 12 months, when they can enter explosives detection training. During this time, families are responsible for providing their pups with a well-rounded, socialized and nurturing environment. To help the families, there is an orientation and a puppy raising guidebook, and the staff is available anytime for questions or emergencies.
The program also supplies food, equipment and medical care for the puppies while in foster care. The pups are returned to the program for one week each month for medical and behavioral evaluation. The program provides feedback to the foster families on how the puppy is developing. At approximately one year of age, the pups are returned to the program to start their official training.
Potential foster families must have a secure fenced yard, a vehicle in which the pup can be transported, no more than two other dogs in the home, and the time to raise a very active puppy.
How To Foster
If you are interested in becoming a Puppywalker (foster family) please complete the linked application below. You can fax or mail your application to the number or address listed on the application. Once the program receives your application it will be reviewed and a staff member will contact you with further details.
- Click here to download a foster application (pdf, 164 KB)
- Watch a video on our Puppy Foster Program. (wmv, 6mb)
Adoption Program Overview
The TSA Canine Breeding and Development Center selectively breeds, raises and prepares puppies to be future explosives detection dogs. TSA-bred puppies are put through a rigorous selection process. For various reasons not all pups produced by the program will meet the standards of the National Explosives Detection Canine Team Program. Dogs that are not selected have some training and handling experience. These dogs make great pets and are placed without charge in good homes. All dogs are spayed or neutered and receive a complete physical prior to placement in a home. Dogs available for adoption are located in San Antonio, Texas. There is no adoption charge, but adopters are required to pay the cost of transporting the dog to its new home. The program can assist with transportation arrangements. Most of the dogs available are Labrador Retrievers under one year of age.
How to Adopt
Due to the overwhelming generosity of the American public, we currently have a very lengthy waiting list to adopt a puppy. Please note that because of current size of the list, it may be a long period of time before we have a puppy available for you to adopt. However, if you would like to be added to the list please fax or email us using the information below.
341 TRS/TSA Puppy Program
1320 Truemper Street
Bldg 9122 Suite 2 Room 2701
Lackland AFB, TX 78236
Phone: (210) 671-1624
Fax: (210) 671-1705
Program Manager: Scott Thomas
Program Specialist: Diana Thomas
Kennel Supervisor: Raul Cabrera
Kennel Technician: Katie Erwin
Kennel Technician: David Kennedy
Kennel Technician: Carlos Hernandez
Kennel Technician: Veronica Fisher