Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Uncle Sam wants YOU to foster a future bomb-sniffing dog

Click here for video (with annoying puppy voice - no puppy sounds like that!!).

The Transportation Safety Administration's Puppy Program selectively breeds, raises and prepares puppies to be future explosives detection dogs within the National Explosives Detection Canine Team Program. Dogs that graduate from training are assigned to airports and mass transit systems nationwide. The program is located at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.

The program depends on volunteer families in San Antonio and Austin, Texas to raise puppies from age nine weeks to 12 months, when they can enter explosives detection training. During this time, families are responsible for providing their pups with a well-rounded, socialized and nurturing environment. To help the families, there is an orientation and a puppy raising guidebook, and the staff is available anytime for questions or emergencies.

The program also supplies food, equipment and medical care for the puppies while in foster care. The puppies are returned to the program for one week each month for medical and behavioral evaluation. The program provides feedback to the foster families on how the puppy is developing. At approximately one year of age, the pups are returned to the program to start their official training.

Potential puppy foster families must have a secure fenced yard, a vehicle in which the pup can be transported, and no more than two other dogs in the home.

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