Airport customs K9 retires after 5 years of service

State & Regional
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HOUSTON (Nexstar) — A canine who worked at Bush Intercontinental Airport over the past five years for U.S. Customs and Border Protection has retired, the agency announced.

K9 Tara, a Belgian Malinois specialized in detecting humans and narcotics, found marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine and hashish while serving with CBP, the agency reported Thursday.

“CBP officers and their canine partners carry out an important element of our agency’s mission,” Houston Area Port Director Raymond Polley said in a statement.

“Tara has performed a mission-critical role of detecting controlled substances and preventing them from entering our communities,” Polley continued. “We appreciate Tara’s dedication and hard work and wish her well in her retirement.”

CBP indicated Tara reached retirement age and will go home with her handler, sharing that canine careers typically last around eight years.

According to CBP, the agency employs over 1,500 canine teams that specialize in “concealed human and narcotic detection, search and rescue, tracking/trailing, canine instructor program, special response (patrol), currency/firearms detection and human remains detection.”

In a press release, CBP stated that its canine program is the largest and most diverse law enforcement canine program in the country.

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