US Imports its Drug-Sniffing Dogs for $4,500 Each

American breeders outraged over European preference
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted May 23, 2008 1:00 PM CDT
US Imports its Drug-Sniffing Dogs for $4,500 Each
New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority K-9 police officer McKay, and his partner Bart patrol the train platform at New York's Grand Central Terminal in this March 18, 2003, file photo.    (AP Photo/Joe Kohen, File)

The US government purchases hundreds of untrained bomb- and drug-sniffing dogs from Europe every year for as much as $4,535 each, quadruple the price of American dogs, a new federal report says. Domestic breeders and spending watchdogs are angered by the government's penchant for expensive foreign purebreds. "What kind of dogs are these—gold-plated?" asked a member of Citizens Against Government Waste.

The director of the Canine Enforcement Training Center defends the pricey pooches, saying that European dogs have the proper temperament for security duties, while US breeders produce "pretty" show dogs or pets. The "bloodlines from Europe make the dogs very desirable for us," said a spokesman for the Secret Service. It costs another $15,000 to train the canines, though that's done in groups. (More bomb-sniffing dogs stories.)

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