Puppy's birth signals milestone for Explosives Detection Canine Program
9/11 Widow Meets Husband's Canine Namesake on the Today Show.
WASHINGTON – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Puppy Program today announced the birth of Dolan, its 500th puppy. As part of TSA's Explosives Detection Canine Team efforts, the Puppy Program names each of the puppies 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.
"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 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."
Operating out of Lackland Air Force Base since 2002, TSA's canine program selectively breeds and prepares puppies to be future explosives detection dogs that are assigned to airports and mass transit systems throughout the country. Approximately half of the 500 puppies bred by TSA are working as detection dogs for federal, state and local law enforcement agencies or have been selected as breeders for the program. The puppies are named to honor those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, or who are fighting for our freedom overseas.
"We are proud that the program has provided hundreds of world class puppies over the past nine years," said TSA Administrator John S. Pistole. "Our dogs continue to perform at a high level and enhance TSA's explosives detection capabilities in transportation systems nationwide."
A key component of the program's success is the volunteers that TSA relies on to help raise the puppies. After screening and an orientation, volunteer families in central Texas provide a nurturing home environment from 10 weeks to 12 months of age. TSA provides all the food, equipment and veterinary care, and the families provide environments in which the puppies can grow and develop.
TSA's Puppy Program is also looking to expand the number of dogs who need foster families to 200 per year. Those families or persons, living in the San Antonio and Austin areas, who are interested in becoming a foster family or learning more about the program, can visit www.tsa.gov and enter "puppies" into the search field or call 210-671-1624.