Beagle Brigade on Patrol at DFW Airport Looking for Banned Foods

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Those beagles you see at DFW Airport are highly-trained detector dogs with a nose for foods and agriculture that don't belong in the United States. (Published Sunday, Apr 27, 2014)

    Don't be fooled by those friendly beagles greeting arriving international passengers at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport's Terminal D.

    They are highly-trained U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) detector dogs, each with a nose for sniffing out what doesn't belong in the country.

    "They find meats, fruits, plants, animal bi-products," said CBP Officer William Pitzer. "This is like a game to them. The more fun it is, the more fun it is for them to work."

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection uses several beagles at DFW Airport, each with their own personality and special skills.

    "He is a hunting dog, he really enjoys coming out here and hunting for that we train him to find," said Reno's handler, CBP Officer Kelly Maxwell. "So he enjoys it and I enjoy working with him."

    Most are rescue dogs, and all of them work for treats.

    Tucker is especially good at sniffing out succulent mangoes hidden in luggage and once discovered a passenger with nearly 1,500 pieces of fruit.

    "I push on the bag a little bit and it forces the air out of the bag and it makes it easier for him to smell what's inside," said CBP Officer Selena Parker.

    Reno retired April 20, after 7 years on the job.

    But he and his handler will remain side by side, after she adopted him.

    "We've been working together for 7 years, it's hard to just abandon him and let him go to somebody else," said Maxwell. "I would miss him, so he's coming home with me, he's stuck with me whether he wants to be or not."