Screeners Work For Kibble
'Special' Edition: Let's face it: many of us feel that, no
matter what TSA screeners are paid to look through our
carry-on luggage and invade our personal space... it's probably too
much. Well, that's not an issue at all for some of the newest
employees hired by the Department of Homeland Security, who
literally work for food.
Take Abby, for example. A five-year-old female schnauzer, Abby
(right) started her job last week "manning" the Gate 33 security
checkpoint at DFW International's Terminal B, as part of a pilot
program the airport unveiled last week.
In the course of an hour on a busy Monday morning -- in addition
to allowing 453 law-abiding passengers to pass through the security
checkpoint in record time -- Abby also successfully screened out a
passenger (later identified as an undercover TSA officer) who
attempted to foil security by sneaking contraband narcotics through
With an authoritative bark, Abby quickly alerted her coworker,
the bipedal Peter Dunville, to pull the passenger aside for more
thorough screening -- at which time the narcotics were
"That little dog's amazing," Dunville said.
While drug-sniffing dogs have been used at several venues for
many years -- including airports -- only recently have scientists
been able to determine just how effective dogs can be at, well,
sniffing out other trouble. Extensive research has been done with
dogs who, for example, can actually sniff out some forms of cancer
in a person's body.
Some dogs can also sense when someone will soon experience a
neurological event such as a seizure -- often before the person
realizes it themselves.
And, of course, many believe dogs can often "sense" when there's
going to be trouble... whether it's a natural event such as an
earthquake, or when someone just has a malicious nature about them.
Such was the case last week, when Abby alerted Dunville to a
suspicious-looking woman who was later revealed to be an escaped
convict from a local minimum security prison.
"She clearly wasn't a dog person," Dunville said of the woman,
who was led away in handcuffs by airport officers.
And the best part of all, is Abby's salary is 1/50 what it would
cost the government to have one human TSA screener in the same
position... nevermind that Abby proved so effective, she actually
replaced three human TSA workers at the checkpoint.
One of those displaced screeners -- who now works the Drive-Thru
window at a Carrollton, TX Burger King -- told ANN he resents
the implication a dog is better at doing his (former) job than he
"Damn b*tch," he muttered, before he unsuccessfully processed a
customer's request for extra onion rings -- giving them a Hershey's
ANN also watched the aforementioned employee as he pulled
several pickles off of the customer's hamburger, before crudely
replacing it in the bag.
In addition to rueful
stares from displaced former TSA employees, Abby's presence -- as
well as her 15 fellow canines, of varied breeds, now working
security at other checkpoints around DFW -- has also caught the
attention of several animal rights groups... but not for the
reasons one might think.
"She seems to enjoy the work, and she clearly relishes the
attention -- and the treats," said Pamela Gunderson with People for
the Ethical Treatment of Animals. "We see no problem with employing
dogs at airports, so long as they receive a livable wage and
Gunderson added the only concern PETA has with Abby working at
DFW is the airport's checkered history with handling animals
-- specifically, last year's error by a TSA employee,
that unfortunately led a bomb squad to blow up a
"We don't expect that to be a problem now, though, because there
are fewer human TSA employees around to make such a grievous
error," Gunderson added.