LAX Drug-Sniffing Beagle Turns in His Badge

LOS ANGELES -- After an eight-year career of sniffing out drugs and other contraband at LAX for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a beagle named Shiloh will retire Tuesday to the relaxing life of a house pet.

"Shiloh is the most experienced beagle at Los Angeles International Airport, and is a high performer," said Kevin Weeks of CPB's Office of Field Operations, Los Angeles. "He has served exceptionally well, and will be missed."

Customs officials will throw a retirement party Tuesday at LAX for Shiloh, who will be adopted by his handler to be a house dog, Weeks said. 

Shiloh was trained to detect illegal drugs, as well as prohibited agricultural products such as fruits, vegetables and meats that may carry pests or diseases. Over his career, Shiloh has detected more than 20,000 prohibited agriculture items, officials said.

Shiloh became known as "Khat Dog" for his many interceptions of khat, a stimulant that is an illegal drug in this country. Last month, he detected about 70 pounds of the substance, Weeks said.

Weeks said beagles were chosen as agriculture-detection dogs because of their strong sense of smell and their gentle nature with people.

In 1984, LAX became the first airport to use beagles to detect prohibited agriculture products on passengers and luggage arriving on international flights, Weeks said.

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