SAN ANTONIO- The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is shutting down a dogs training and breeding program at Joint Base San Antonio- Lackland. Organizers of a different program are concerned they may lose foster families for the puppies because of this announcement.
There are two security dog programs behind the gates at JBSA- Lackland. The TSA and Department of Defense (DOD) programs mirror each other. They both have foster families that take care of the puppies for several months and then return them for training.
Dr. Stewert Hilliard, PhD psychologist who helps run the DOD program commented about the dogs in the program and explained, “They keep our folks who are deployed oversees, they keep them safe from bombs, and the enemies and the kind of people that would like to harm them”.
Oolaf, who is about five weeks old was born at JBSA and belongs to the DOD. The adorable little puppy will grow up to become a respected member of the U.S. Armed Forces that will be trained to protect the troops. But before that happens, Oolaf will head off to a foster family for several months much like his older counterpart Llando.
Sergeant André Brooks who serves as a foster parent for Llando said the idea is to socialize the dogs and expose them to various surroundings.
And while TSA announced it will close its canine center in San Antonio early next year to save money, the DOD puppy program will live on.
“So the TSA breeding program has nothing to do with Department of Defense breeding program. They are completely distinct, distinct funding, distinct people and jobs,” explained Dr. Stewert Hilliard, PhD psychologist.
Foster families for the DOD puppies receive everything they'll need to care for their foster puppy such as food, medical care, toys, and a dog crate. If you would like to learn more about the program call 210.671.3686.