INDIANAPOLIS – TTirado, an explosive detection canine at Indianapolis International Airport (IND) is retiring after an impressive eight-year career with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
Handler Keith Gray celebrated his partner’s accomplishments at a private ceremony at IND May 29, the canine’s last day on the job.
“I am thankful for such a fantastic partner in TTirado as my first dog,” Gray said. “He has taught me a lot over the years, and I have been amazed in his growth and how far we have come.”
TTirado is named in honor of New York Engine 23 Firefighter Hector Luis Tirado, Jr., who died in service on 9/11. At 10½ years old, TTirado is one of the few remaining dogs across the country that were part of the TSA-bred puppy program, and in 2012, graduated in the third class of passenger screening canines trained at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas
In addition to his regular duties at IND, Gray and TTirado also supported security operations for major sporting events like NFL Super Bowls, the NCAA Final Four, Kentucky Derby, Indy 500, as well as the 2017 Presidential Inauguration.
In addition to giving TTirado some well-deserved rest, Keith hopes they’ll be able to continue to hit the road together.
“I have three travel objectives for TTirado – New York City for the Ground Zero Memorial and FDNY Station 23 where his namesake worked, Atlanta to meet one of Hector’s sons and his family who we have kept in touch with, and finally to San Antonio to see his foster family who helped raise him during his puppy years.”
After being adopted by the Gray family, TTirado will continue to live at their home in Indianapolis, where he’ll be able to get daily updates about work from Keith’s new partner Ari, a German Shorthaired Pointer.