File this one under the “WTF” category.
PEOPLE reported today that officials with the Transportation Security Administration are transitioning away from canines with pointy ears because they “scare children” at airport screenings.
You can’t make this crap up.
TSA administrator David Pekoske recently said the agency is working on using more dogs with floppy ears.
“We find the passenger acceptance of floppy ear dogs is just better. It presents just a little bit less of a concern,” Pekoske said. “Doesn’t scare children.”
“Pointy-eared dogs can be a little ominous, a little intimidating — you generally see that with police dogs or tactical dogs,” Michael Bilello, TSA’s assistant administrator for strategic communication and public affairs tells PEOPLE.
In total, TSA has more than 900 canine teams screening travelers, sniffing cargo and going through baggage and trains about 350 more a year. Among them are seven breeds of dogs – two of which have pointy ears (German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois). According to TSA’s website, about one-third of all of the dogs interact with passengers.
Apparently someone took the time to analyze the dogs and found that about 80 percent of TSA’s 1,200 dogs have droopy ears.
Talk about political correctness run amok. Now we don’t want the dogs that are there to stop bad people from doing bad things to look too scary?
Back in 2017, TSA actually announced they were putting some of their dogs up for adoption. There were some retired dogs but also many that did not “meet the TSA Canine Training Center criteria for government work” and weren’t thoroughly trained. One has to imagine floppy ear rejects will now be added to that list.
It seems as if TSA can’t make up their minds. Just last month, they made international headlines because it was announced they needed a lot more explosive-detection canines in a hurry.
That’s because U.S. air cargo screening rules dating back to 2010 mandate that each item carried aboard passenger aircraft be inspected. But passenger airlines also ship cargo in the belly of the aircraft, and the International Civil Aviation Organization wanted to tighten up security there.
They’ve required that absolutely all cargo – whether it be passenger or cargo air operations – be scanned. But that’s a lot of freight and a lot of detection equipment, so Congress is pushing them to hire more bomb-sniffing dogs.
Apparently as long as they don’t have pointy ears, right?
I’m just going to throw this out there. There’s a growing need for canines in law enforcement… and police officers probably prefer the dogs look a little more fierce. How about those canines get donated where they’ll be a little more appreciated?
Kyle S. Reyes is the National Spokesman for Law Enforcement Today, founder of The Whiskey Patriots and Chief Executive Officer of The Silent Partner Marketing. Reyes is also an acclaimed keynote speaker on patriotism and leadership, entrepreneurship and marketing by storytelling. You can follow him on Facebook.