CBP K-9 Retires at the Pembina Port of Entry
Pembina, N.D. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Port of Pembina in Pembina, N.D. hosted a retirement party for CBP narcotics detector dog "Narco."
Narco, a happy 5-year-old Black Labrador retriever, served with his partner, CBP Officer Robert Phillips, for five years assigned to the Pembina Port of Entry. In his five year career, Narco has participated in multiple narcotics seizures.
His weekly activities included working with other CBP detection canines including: "Saw," a narcotics detector dog also at Pembina; "Gonzo," a narcotics detector dog in International Falls.
Along with his CBP career, Narco also performed special assignments for the Pembina County Sheriff's Office and the Pembina County Drug Task Force.
During a brief ceremony, Area Port Director, Pembina Mary Delaquis presented Narco with a CBP medal and plaque to commend his career.
CBP employs dogs as long as they can successfully perform and meet workload requirements. The service career of a detector dog will typically last no longer than eight years. In Narco's case, he was adopted by his CBP K-9 handler and partner. This ensures that Narco will have a loving and comfortable life for his years in retirement.
Detector dogs were introduced on a wide scale in April, 1970 as part of a major effort by the then U.S. Customs Service to interdict narcotics being smuggled through major air, sea and land border ports. Teams consisting of a dog and officer are used to screen arriving aircraft, cargo, baggage, mail, ships, vehicles and passengers.
CBP uses a wide variety of dogs including, Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers, German shepherds, Belgian Malinois and many mixed breeds. The CBP agriculture canine program uses beagles as well. Dogs used by CBP can be either male or female, but must be between one and three years of age when recruited.
Canine candidates that are selected for training are obtained from animal shelters, humane societies and rescue leagues, primarily in the Eastern and Midwestern part of the United States. Many of these dogs are unadoptable and would otherwise have to be destroyed. Dogs meeting the entrance qualifications also are taken as donations from private owners. In addition, CBP maintains its own K9 breeding program to provide additional detector dogs to the program.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.