Animal Welfare Information Center Bulletin, Winter 1999/2000, Vol. 10 No. 3-4
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Beagles Available For Adoption From USDA National Detector Dog Training Center

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has beagles available for adoption from its National Detector Dog Training Center in Orlando, Fla.

“This is one of the greatest aspects of this program,” said Michael V. Dunn, under secretary for marketing and regulatory programs. “These dogs are matched with USDA officers to form teams to assist us with our mission of safeguarding U.S. agriculture. When these dogs retire from service, or if they don’t make it through evaluations and training, we make it part of our job to ensure they get placed into good homes.”

The Center is the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s training facility for USDA’s Beagle Brigade. The Beagle Brigade recruits canines through humane societies, beagle rescue groups, and private owners to work at 21 international airports, three land border ports and select U.S. mail facilities. The beagles are used to detect prohibited agricultural items such as fruits, plants, and meats. These items can carry plant and animal pests and diseases that could endanger U.S. agriculture.

“According to the Department of Commerce, international travel to the United States is projected to increase by 12 percent over the next four years, from 46 million people to 52 million,” said Dunn. “Many times, travelers are unaware that what they are carrying could start a Mediterranean fruit fly outbreak or an outbreak of classical swine fever. The beagles not only assist us in detecting the products that someone may have, they also give us an opportunity to conduct our job in a nonthreatening manner and educate the public at the same time.”

The Beagle Brigade is just one way USDA works to safeguard the $208 billion U.S. agriculture and natural resources economy. The 1,300 or so APHIS inspectors and about 50 beagles stationed at more than 90 ports of entry make up the first line of protection for the nation’s largest industry, agriculture. Through the inspection process, APHIS inspectors help safeguard our agriculture, the 2.1 million farms in the United States, and the food budget and nutritional choices of every American consumer.

If you’d like more information on adopting a beagle from the National Detector Dog Training Center, please contact the Center at (407) 816-1192.

This article appeared in the Animal Welfare Information Center Bulletin, Volume 10, Numbers 3-4, Winter 1999/2000

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