Keeping up with K Litter

The Australian Border Force (ABF) detector dog facility in Perth is hosting a family reunion this week with ABF detector dogs Kenji, Keanu, and Australian Federal Police (AFP)'s Kanto, catching up for the first time in five years.

The three brothers are part of a very successful litter born in 2018 which produced 11 detector dogs, and following an ABF tradition all have names starting with the same letter.

Five of the 'K' litter stayed with the ABF, three work with partner agencies in Australia and three are globetrotting with international law enforcement partners.

ABF Dog Detector Unit Supervisor Susan Tucci said the 'K' litter is part of a highly valued breeding program that helps to keep the community safe by detecting dangerous goods such as narcotics and firearms.

"Our detector dog teams can quickly and accurately screen large volumes of both people and cargo with their highly trained sense of smell," Ms Tucci said.

"Kanto has arrived to our joint kennel facility in Perth just in time for the brothers to celebrate their fifth birthday together, so the handlers are having a little celebration.

"The program demonstrates how the closely the ABF works with our partners to maintain the integrity of the border and keep the community safe."

The ABF program breeds around 160 Labrador retriever puppies each year, providing dogs for the AFP and Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing, as well as overseas partners including Japan, New Zealand and Indonesia.

Kenji and Keanu are both trained in the detection of explosives. They have wide ranging experience from working large public gatherings like Anzac Day at the war memorial, to the international cricket T20 World Cup at Optus Stadium.

Kanto has been interstate with the Australian Federal Police (AFP) before returning to Perth and is an explosive detection dog. He is trained to protect the Australian community by sniffing out military and commercial grade explosives and firearms.

AFP Inspector Matthew Taylor said Kanto, like all AFP detection dogs, received training at the National AFP Canine Operations Centre in Canberra.

"AFP Canine has dogs that are trained to detect firearms, explosives, currency, drugs and electronic devices," he said.

"AFP Canine has a strong relationship with ABF Canine and the detection dogs within both programs are regularly deployed together to safeguard Australia's national security.

"Kanto is a high energy, hardworking member of the AFP family and it is great to see him reunited with his brothers Kenji and Keanu after five years."

In 2022, ABF detector dogs made more than 1,500 detections of drugs, firearms, explosives, tobacco and currencies in our airports, sea ports and postal centres.

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