The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) team at the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport is congratulating two new retirees — one canine and one human — for their essential work in explosive detection.
Eebbers, an 11-year-old male Vizsla-Labrador mix, and his handler Jean Carney of Minnesota, retired in late August, according to a tweet the airport shared.
“Thank you both for a tremendous career spent protecting passengers at @mspairport and other high-profile events nationwide,” the tweet said.
Pictures embedded in the social media post make clear that the pair got to enjoy a retirement party with dog toys, balloons and cake.
A spokesperson for the TSA’s Great Lakes region told Fox News Digital that Eebbers and Carney have lived together throughout their career, and that they’ll stick together during their retirement as well.
Eebbers and Carney’s retirement came a few days after the TSA named Eebbers the “Cutest Canine” of 2022, which he earned through a nationwide social media contest.
The senior dog beat out 92 contestants through a public vote on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, according to a press release the TSA put out on Aug. 26 — National Dog Day.
Eebbers has been stationed at Minneapolis−Saint Paul International Airport for nearly 10 years and has worked as a passenger-screening canine.
In this role, Eebbers helped Carney screen airline passengers and their belongings for potential explosives at security checkpoints.
Passenger-screening canines are trained to detect explosives and explosive materials by scent, and their handlers are trained to read canine behaviors that could signal that an explosive might be present.
“If a dog alerts its handler to the presence of an explosive odor, TSA follows an established procedure to resolve the alarm,” TSA wrote in its National Dog Day press release.
“The use of these highly trained canines is an effective tool in deterring and detecting the introduction of explosive devices into the nation’s transportation systems.”
The TSA has more than 1,000 canine teams deployed throughout the nation.
Each of these teams has reportedly received instruction at the TSA Canine Training Center in San Antonio.
Eebbers was born into the TSA’s Puppy Program at San Antonio’s Lackland Air Force Base, and he was the agency’s last working canine from that program until his retirement.
Outside of airport duties, Eebbers worked security for two Super Bowls, the Special Olympics World Games, a NCAA National Championship Football game, the Indianapolis 500 and a NASCAR event, according to the TSA.
Eebbers was named in memory of US Army Pvt. James Ebbers, who died on Oct. 14, 2002, at the age of 19, while assigned to a mission with the 551st Military Police Company in Dijbuoti, a country in East Africa.
“We could not be more proud of the years of service Eebbers and Jean have devoted to keeping passengers safe, both at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and around the country, at numerous events,” said TSA Minnesota Federal Security Director Marty Robinson, in a statement provided to Fox News Digital.
“Our biggest threat is explosives coming through, and our canine teams are the best defense against that,” Robinson continued.
“The Cutest Canine title is a fitting send-off for this dog, who will now enjoy a well-deserved retirement.”
Read the full article here