As someone who loves dogs, this is really hard to watch, although I’m happy action has already been taken.
TSA employee at Detroit airport treats dog badly
Video footage posted on social media yesterday shows a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employee “working” with a dog at the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW). In the video, the handler can be seen walking through the terminal with the dog, presumably doing some sort of training exercise.
Every time the handler made a turn, he aggressively yanked on the dog’s leash, attached to the dog’s neck. Even if it were training exercises, there is simply no justification for treating the dog this way, as it doesn’t help the dog learn and is downright cruel.
FOX 2 Detroit I spoke with the owner of a local dog training center and a former police dog handler who had this to say:
“One, it doesn’t look good; it looks horrible. Two, the dog isn’t learning from it, and he’s just hard on the dog, he doesn’t need to be. The dog was not prepared to be put in that situation with so many distractions. There should have been more dog training and more handler training.”
What is shown here is a far cry from what the TSA claims to be their training program for dogs and their handlers.
TSA removes employee from dog handling duties
If there’s one silver lining to this story, it’s how quickly it was resolved. This incident occurred at midday on Sunday, and action has already been taken against the employee as of Monday morning, who has been removed from dog handling duties, pending an investigation:
“Video was shared with local leaders this morning showing a TSA explosive detection dog handler aggressively pulling a dog working at a terminal at Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW). The behavior displayed by this driver is unacceptable and falls short of the high standards we hold of our officers. TSA officials in DTW have removed the employee from handling duties pending completion of an investigation, and have ordered the canine immediately taken to a veterinarian for a wellness exam.”
I always assumed that those who are dog handlers in official roles are generally dog lovers and treat them quite well. So it’s really sad to see this guy’s behavior… I hope he’s just a bad apple, and that this is not how most TSA dogs are treated.
On Sunday, a TSA employee at the Detroit airport was filmed horribly treating a dog. Presumably the dog was still being trained and was not performing as expected by the handler, but that does not excuse this type of behavior.
This is one of those areas where social media is useful. Someone witnessed and filmed this, and less than 24 hours later, the person has been removed from these duties and the dog will be given a wellness exam. Dogs do not deserve to be treated this way.
What do you think of this TSA dog handler situation?