The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at San Diego International Airport (SAN) is celebrating the career and retirement of Fany, an explosive detection canine who has worked since 2015 supporting TSA security operations. The ceremony took place on April 5 on the flight deck of the USS Midway Museum on San Diego Bay.
During her tenure with TSA, Fany was trained as a Passenger Screening Canine (PSC) to detect the scent of explosives and explosive materials. PSCs utilize their keen sense of smell when working in and around travelers and their belongings in a busy transportation environment.
Fany and her handler Elysa have screened thousands of departing travelers and their belongings, sniffing out potential threats to aviation security. TSA estimates that they have worked more than 2,500 hours together in the security checkpoint. This is in addition to the hundreds of hours they have trained to maintain Fany’s certification to keep her explosive detection capabilities sharp.
“TSA’s canines are one of the agency’s most visible security assets. Celebrating Fany’s retirement at such an iconic venue on San Diego Bay is a tribute to the role she has played in TSA security operations,” said TSA Federal Security Director at SAN Kathleen Connon. “Fany has represented us well and is a favorite of travelers. Best wishes to her as she enjoys her retirement and thanks to Elysa for being part of the SAN TSA team!”
Fany is a yellow Labrador Retriever and began her career in May 2015 at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. She later transferred to Portland International Airport and began working at SAN in August 2020.
In addition to screening passengers at airports and working in the broader transportation environment, Fany has also supported security operations during specially-designated national security events including Super Bowl 50 festivities in San Francisco and Super Bowl 51 in Houston. She has also conducted security sweeps for political campaign events, secured parade venues and supplemented TSA security screening at airports across the country. In 2018, canine handler Elysa was honored as TSA National Canine Handler of the Year,
The retirement ceremony featured a final working session followed by the traditional praise and reward universally enjoyed by working canines. Immediately after that, there was a “ball drop” from a CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter on display on the flight deck that showered Fany with dozens of tennis balls, signaling the end to her working career. Fany’s handler then removed the working canine harness and presented Fany with a gift basket full of toys.
With her working dog days behind her, Fany, who will turn eight years old in May, will continue to live with Elysa and transition to being a pampered pooch. She will join Ernie, a 13-year-old female Maltese Poodle, at home.
Prior to her retirement, Fany was among more than 370 PSCs who work at airports across the country. Explosive detection canines are an effective tool in deterring and detecting the introduction of explosive devices into the nation’s transportation systems. While they are sociable, working canines should not be petted by the public or fed by anyone except their handlers.