LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Even working dogs have their day.
As part of celebrating National Dog Day, which is Thursday, Aug. 26, the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) 2021 Cutest Canine contest gives the public the chance to vote for their favorite among four working dogs that are finalists this year.
The Las Vegas TSA team is hoping Alona — a 4-year-old Golden Retriever working at McCarran International Airport — will get your vote.
“Alona is a very social dog and a favorite of travelers who can be overheard saying how adorable she is as she carries out her important responsibilities as a working canine,” according to a TSA news release.
“Alona’s reward toy is a hard rubber ball and she loves to playfully interact with handler Vanessa. In her off-hours, Alona prefers to listen to pop music while relaxing and you can often find her at the park where she loves the wide open spaces.”
Alona is up against Lexi, a Belgian Malinois working at Dallas–Fort Worth International Airport (DFW); Badger, a Belgian Malinois at Chicago O’Hare International Airport; and Lexa, a German Shepard who also works at DFW.
To vote, go to any of TSA’s social media accounts. The public can cast its vote until 11:59 p.m. PDT on Thursday, Aug. 19. The winner will be announced on Aug. 26.
TSA’s working dogs assist in security operations nationwide. They are trained to detect the scent of explosives or explosive materials. These highly-skilled dogs are paired with handlers and use their keen sense of smell when working in a busy transportation environment.
The dogs are a visible layer of security and they supplement TSA’s efforts to keep travelers safe and secure.
In addition to working in aviation environment, they are also trained to work in mass transit, commuter rail and maritime venues. TSA currently has more than 1,000 explosives detection canine teams deployed nationwide.