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Working Dog Center Press Releases

Canine Graduates of the Penn Vet Working Dog Center to Join SEPTA Police Force

By Ashley Berke Published: Feb 12, 2014

Ronnie, a German Shepherd, and Kaiserin, a Dutch Shepherd, will specialize in explosives detection

[February 12, 2014; Philadelphia, PA] – Two dogs from the Penn Vet Working Dog Center graduated from the program today, joining SEPTA as explosives detection dogs. Ronnie, a German Shepherd, and Kaiserin, a Dutch Shepherd, will participate in SEPTA’s explosives training class before entering the field in mid-April. They also will receive special training in patrol work. [View photos here.]

“We are incredibly proud of the dogs in our program, and we are delighted that SEPTA recognized excellence in our training,” said Dr. Cindy Otto, Executive Director of the Penn Vet Working Dog Center. “Ronnie and Kai will serve as wonderful representatives of the Center as they put their training to good use in the field.”

“We are proud to add Ronnie and Kai to SEPTA’s K-9 Unit,” said SEPTA Inspector Teri Clark. “The training they have received at Penn Vet’s Working Dog Center will give them a terrific foundation to build upon as they continue their explosives and special patrol preparation.”

Ronnie, who is sponsored by Wawa, was born on November 30, 2012, and was donated to the Center by BJF Working Dogs. Kaiserin, born on May 30, 2012, was donated to the Center by Vrijheid Kennels.

In September, a yellow Labrador Retriever named Socks was the first graduate of the Working Dog Center. Socks joined the Penn Police as the first canine cadet. Like Ronnie and Kaiserin, she also specializes in explosives detection.

Other dogs from the Working Dog Center’s inaugural class are preparing to graduate from the program. Thunder, a chocolate Labrador Retriever, is trained for search and rescue. PApa Bear, a chocolate Labrador Retriever, and Bretagne, a Golden Retriever, are trained as diabetic alert dogs. Currently, 15 dogs are in training at the Center.

About the Penn Vet Working Dog Center

Opened on September 11, 2012, the Penn Vet Working Dog Center is the nation’s premier research, training, and educational facility dedicated to producing an elite group of detection dogs for public safety and public health. The dogs in the program – each named after a dog that served on 9/11 – undergo five-days-a-week training. They are donated by breeders from across the country and fostered by dedicated volunteers.

As core training progresses, the dogs begin to specialize in areas of detection that best suit them, from sniffing out explosives and uncovering drug stashes to finding missing people and even detecting cancer.

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About Penn Vet

Penn Vet is a global leader in veterinary medicine education, research, and clinical care. Founded in 1884, Penn Vet is the only veterinary school developed in association with a medical school. The school is a proud member of the One Health Initiative, linking human, animal, and environmental health.

Penn Vet serves a diverse population of animals at its two campuses, which include extensive diagnostic and research laboratories. Ryan Hospital in Philadelphia provides care for dogs, cats, and other domestic/companion animals, seeing nearly 33,000 patients a year. New Bolton Center, Penn Vet’s large-animal hospital on nearly 700 acres in rural Kennett Square, PA, cares for horses and livestock/farm animals, treating 33,000 patients each year – 4,100 in the hospital and 29,000 at farms through the Field Service. In addition, New Bolton Center’s campus includes a swine center, working dairy, and poultry unit that provide valuable research for the agriculture industry.

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