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A Talk on the Wild Side.

Honoring Lancer

wet yellow lab with mouth openPhoto courtesy Amanda Dickson

If you have been following our Wildlife Inspection Canines, who first joined our Wildlife Inspector Teams in 2013, you might know the name Lancer, one of those first Wildlife Inspection Canines. Lancer passed away in April.

2 PHOTOS: ONE OF YELlow lab sitting with boxed, one with dog sitting in front of handlerLancer with boxes of turtles and with Wildlife Inspector Dickson. Photos by USFWS

Assigned to Chicago, Illinois, with partner Amanda Dickson, Lancer helped uncover an international smuggling operation of U.S. native turtles. That work alone led to several successful prosecutions.

He also uncovered other illicit wildlife and wildlife objects such as elephant ivory. And Lancer was an important member of the Wildlife Inspector team that in 2017 won the Department of the Interior Unit Award.

dog jumping off dockPhoto courtesy Amanda Dickson

Dickson adopted Lancer when he retired, and he traded protecting the nation’s biodiversity for swimming, playing fetch, and lounging on the couch.

dog with face on back of couchPhoto courtesy Amanda Dickson  

“I am so grateful to have had such an amazing partner and friend,” Dickson says.

Wildlife inspectors are our nation’s front-line defense in the fight against wildlife trafficking. These highly trained professionals (two- and four-legged ones) facilitate the legal wildlife trade, while keeping a vigilant eye (or nose) out for illegal wildlife being smuggled into and out of the United States.

The Wildlife Inspection Canines graduate from a comprehensive training program where they are trained to detect wildlife product scents (such as elephant ivory, rhino horn, and snakeskin).

Thank you for your service, Lancer.

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