Esteemed Canine Retires
After seven years of devoted service to the Phoenix Airport Police Bureau, Ori, a 10-year old German Shepherd, recently retired. Ori and his partner, Officer Kevin Pilling, were part of a program that pairs TSA-owned dogs with Phoenix Police Airport Bureau Officers to keep the traveling public safe.
Prior to joining the Phoenix Police force in 2005, Ori completed ten weeks of rigorous training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. During this time, Officer Pilling was on-site to train with the dog, his first experience with the K-9 program. It was there that the strong bond began between the police officers and the dogs.
“This is such a great program,” Office Pilling said. “You spend more time with the animal than with anyone else. It is not comparable to other relationships in your life, and the bond you develop with the dog over the years is strong.”
While most dogs in the program retire at age seven or eight, Ori stayed on at Sky Harbor for an additional two years. Each dog is highly trained, but Ori was also quite accomplished and achieved an impressive feat. For two consecutive years, she received a 100% find rate as part of the TSA National Training Certification Program.
Today, Ori is enjoying her retirement though Officer Pilling said it has been an adjustment as she is eager to come to work when she sees him in uniform. Lately though, she seems to enjoy long walks and the free time to catch a nap.
Phoenix Sky Harbor will receive another dog to fill Ori’s position later this year.
Published: March 15, 2012