US facing shortage of detection dogs

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Posted at 12:27 PM, Dec 21, 2022

The U.S. doesn't have enough bomb and drug-sniffing dogs to meet demand.

"Our current dependence on foreign procurement and the lack of sufficient domestic production of detection dogs has been identified as a critical security gap by the U.S. Congress," said Skip Bartol of Auburn's College of Veterinary Medicine.

According to the American Kennel Club, most detection dogs arrive in the U.S. from Europe.

Experts say detection dogs have been hard to come by for years, and the pandemic made things worse.

"There were, obviously, constraints on travel, and there were all sorts of constraints in the supply chain area for biosecurity reasons and so forth," Bartol noted.

Efforts are being made at a national level to breed more detection dogs in the U.S>

Bartol is part of a program at Auburn that is working toward increasing the number of trained dogs bred in the U.S.

"We're not in the business of the production of canines," he said. "We are absolutely engaged in the research and development components to produce science-based and science-driven guidelines for the selection, breeding, development and ultimately training of the next generation of detection canines."

Bartol said several other universities in the U.S. have similar programs to tackle the problem.