U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) K-9 Jacko was honored at a ceremony in New York as the winner of the third annual "Paws to Recognize" tribute to working dogs voting contest. Jacko follows in the paw prints of Trouble, who was last year's co-winner. Crazy Joe, another CBP Canine, was voted America's favorite hero dog in 2003.
Jacko was nominated for this program from the more than 1,200 detector dog teams at CBP. Jacko, an eight-year-old Belgian Malinois, and his handler, Border Patrol Agent (BPA) Clay Thomas, are stationed at CBP's Marfa Border Patrol Sector, Sierra Blanca Station, Sierra Blanca, Texas. Like Crazy Joe and Trouble, Jacko received honors in a "Black Collar Salute" and had his paw prints enshrined in the "Paws" walk of fame.
"Every one of our CBP detector dogs deserve recognition for the work they do,” says CBP Commissioner Robert C. Bonner. “Our dogs are on the front lines protecting our country against terrorists and terrorist weapons. CBP Border Patrol detector dogs are finding concealed illegal aliens and narcotics every day. Jacko is a canine hero; however, all of CBP's four-legged friends are heroes and I am proud of every one of them."
During Jacko's six-year career, he has alerted to and possibly saved the lives of more than 218 concealed humans. Jacko has also discovered more than 33,700 pounds of marijuana, 816 pounds of cocaine, 10 pounds of heroin, 36,089 doses and 523 pounds of other controlled substances, and is responsible for the seizure of $444,000 in drug-contaminated currency.
"Jacko has been the best partner ever. He is one of the more critical tools a Border Patrol Agent uses to detect and stop potential terrorists and illegal immigrants from entering our country," says his handler, Border Patrol Agent Thomas. "Many of these individuals are concealed in confined spaces, at the peril of their own lives. Jacko's nose has discovered tons of illegal drugs. It's sobering to think about the impact this one dog has had in furthering the mission of the CBP Border Patrol."
"CBP's detector dog teams are a vital asset in meeting the challenge to detect and intercept threats to the American public," says National Border Patrol Chief David V. Aguilar, Office of Border Patrol. "Jacko is a winner all the way around."
Jacko was born on December 20, 1996, and enjoys playing with his favorite toy, a piece of PVC pipe.
For more information on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Canine Enforcement Program, visit www.cbp.gov, click on the border security block located at the top, and then on canines.