Eebbers, the lovable 11-year-old Vizsla-Labrador mix, worked in passenger screening at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport for nearly 10 years, the TSA said in a statement shared with CNN.
Eebbers and his manager, Jean Carney, began their concurrent retirement on August 31.
The agency explained that while Eebbers was still a successful sniffer dog, “the work is very physically and mentally taxing on our working dogs.”
“Their owners are sensitive to their abilities and their enthusiasm, and we love that they are retiring while they still have a chance to have many years ahead of them to play, be healthy and just be a dog. “
Eebbers was the agency’s oldest working dog, the TSA added.
Like other passenger screening dogs, Eebbers are trained to detect the scent of explosives or explosive materials, the TSA said. It is named after US Army Private James Ebbers, who died in Djibouti in 2002, the TSA said.
Eebbers were the last working dog born under the now-closed TSA Puppy Program, according to the statement.
“We couldn’t be more proud of the years of service that Eebbers and Jean have devoted to the safety of passengers, both at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and across the country at numerous events,” said TSA Minnesota Federal Security Director Marty Robinson. a statement shared with CNN. “Our biggest threat is the explosives coming, and our canine teams are the best defense against that.”
“The title of ‘Cuteest Canine’ is a fitting farewell for this dog, who will now be enjoying a well-deserved retirement.”
Eebbers received the TSA’s Cutest Canine award in late August after a nationwide social media contest. In addition to working in standard passenger screening at the Minneapolis airport, his illustrious career has also included sniffing out two Super Bowls, the Special Olympics World Games, an NCAA football national championship game, the Indianapolis 500 and a NASCAR event, says the TSA. .
The hardworking dog will continue to live with its handler for the rest of its life, the TSA said.
“TSA handlers live with their dogs throughout their careers, and this close bond helps both team members work more successfully,” the agency said.