Lifestyle & Human Interest

TSA Canine Handler Removed from Duties After Viral Video Showed What He Was Doing to Dog


Editor’s Note: Our readers responded strongly to this story when it originally ran; we’re reposting it here in case you missed it.

A video captured at Detroit Metropolitan Airport showing a Transportation Security Administration agent and an explosive detection canine went viral for all of the worst reasons.

The incident was posted to the subReddit r/delta with the title “terrible dog handling at DTW.” It garnished more than 34,000 upvotes on the platform before it was locked  the next day.

In the roughly minute-and-a-half video, an agent walked the dog back and forth.

The issue occurred when the man and animal needed to change direction. Each time, the man seemed to yank and tug on the leash, with the dog appearing to borderline spin around on occasion.

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“I was shocked at how this airport handler is dragging this poor pup around,” the Reddit user posted. “There’s no reason anyone should be flipping a working dog around by it’s harness like this?!

“I have a high energy dog so at first I assumed it was a mistake or that the puppy was a bit over energetic but looks like the handler is just being unnecessarily rough with it.”

The video had been viewed over 2.7 million times and caused a flurry of comments across social media.

WARNING: Some viewers may find the following video to be disturbing.

One angry Twitter user wrote, “Put the leash on him and let me take him for a walk.”

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“This TSA agent missed the ‘Dog Obedience Training’ class which is more for humans to learn how to master, respectfully, the treatment & training of a dog, a living animal that can be trained to sit, roll over, sniff out drugs, protect a human & be a best friend. He is abusive,” another added.

The TSA responded to the incident and said the agent was relieved of handling duties pending an investigation.

“Video showing a TSA explosive detection canine handler aggressively pulling a dog working in a Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) terminal was shared with local leadership this morning,” TSA told the outlet.

“The behavior displayed by this handler is unacceptable and not within the high standards we hold our officers to.”

TSA regional spokesman Mark Howell said the canine was “taken immediately to a veterinarian for a wellness exam,” WXYZ-TV reported.

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