DALLAS-FORT WORTH –The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that voting has started in the 2021 TSA Cutest Canine Contest. This year two of the four finalists are German Shepherds and both are part of canine teams at DFW Airport.
The finalists were selected by TSA employees nationwide via internal voting and the public now has the opportunity to vote and crown TSA’s cutest canine for 2021. Anyone can vote via TSA’s social media platforms that include Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Hurry and cast your vote, last day to do so is tomorrow, August 19 at midnight. The winner will be announced on National Dog Day, August 26, via social media platforms.
The public can go to the following social media platforms to cast their votes:
Lexi is one of four finalists nationwide and from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. She is a four years old German Shepherd who trained with her handler at TSA National Canine Training Center (CTC) in San Antonio, located at Lackland Air Force Base.
Lexi is a passenger screening canine (PSC) who works with her handler Daphne at DFW screening travelers and their belongings for explosives in the security checkpoint. Together, they assist with the efficiency and effectiveness of TSA’s screening operations and are an added layer of security.
Lexi and Daphne have worked together for two years at DFW. Lexi is a social canine who enjoys greeting travelers with hearty tail wags, shiny eyes and broad smiles.
Lexa-Alexy is one of four finalists nationwide and from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. Lexa-Alexy is a four year old German Shepherd. She and her handler Jennifer trained at the TSA Canine Training Center (CTC) in San Antonio. The CTC is located at Lackland Air Force Base and all TSA canines and handlers train there, prior to their airport assignments.
Lexa-Alexy and Jennifer have worked together for two years and this is their second year as finalists in TSA’s Cutest Canine contest. Lexa-Alexy was featured in TSA’s 2020 Canine Calendar as Ms. November and is looking forward to a cover in 2021. The public can help make that happen by voting for Lexa-Alexy via all TSA social media platforms.
Passengers departing airports across the country can at any time expect to see PSC teams working around travelers. The teams capably navigate among large groups of people to pinpoint the source of an explosive odor, even if the source is mobile and often without the source being aware it is being tracked. A PSC handler is trained to read its dog’s change of behavior when it indicates an explosive scent has been detected.
Because explosives are known to be the greatest threat to the aviation system, TSA’s working canines are regularly tested to ensure they maintain a high standard of operational effectiveness. This continual training allows for all teams to be a reliable resource in detecting an explosive threat, maintaining proper acclimation within the airport, and mitigating potential distractions in a busy transportation environment.
Currently, TSA has trained more than 1,000 PSC teams that work primarily at airports across the country. These teams are also trained to work in non-aviation transportation venues. While PSCs are sociable, they are working dogs and they should not be petted or fed by anyone except their handlers.