A special Australian Border Force (ABF) event has given praise to hundreds of individuals and families who have supported the ABFs Detector Dog Program by acting as foster carers for their puppies.
ABFs state-of-the-art detector dog facility at Bulla in Melbourne, provided a distinct backdrop for the special BBQ event, which thanked those who provide a safe home for detector dog puppies.
Several individuals and families were presented with special plaques for their generosity and contribution to the Detector Dog Program.
Foster carers raise puppies in their homes for up to 15 months, acquainting them with the sights, sounds and smells of their environment, after which they are returned to the ABF for a rigorous 11-week training course to become a fully operational detector dog.
Superintendent Detector Dog Program, Rod Winchester said the event has been a great opportunity to thank our dedicated foster carers whose time, effort and care plays a critical role in the development of our world-class Detector Dog Program.
“Many of these families have helped raise multiple puppies that have become strong and effective detector dogs, working at our borders every day to keep Australians safe, The Program couldn’t operate without their support.
“Participating in our Foster Care Program is a rewarding experience and a great way to experience the joy of raising a puppy without the financial burdens and long-term commitment usually associated with pet ownership”, Superintendent Winchester said.
Detector dogs are used for their unobtrusive and non-discriminatory broad screening detection capability and play a very significant role in helping protect Australia’s borders from the importation of prohibited and restricted goods, including narcotics, firearms, explosives, currency and tobacco.
In the last calendar year, ABF Detector Dog teams made almost 2000 detections nationally of illicit substances and prohibited items across airports, transport depots, sea ports and postal gateways. This includes a 300kg cocaine importation by a Mexican drug syndicate into Melbourne late last year.
More information about the ABF Detector Dog Program and how to become a foster carer is available on the Home Affairs website.