‘Beagle Brigade' patrols customs to keep America's livestock safe

- Frodo the beagle is doing what most dogs do: looking for food. But Frodo isn’t hungry - he’s on the job. Frodo is a member of O’Hare International Airport’s “Beagle Brigade,” an elite unit of luggage-sniffing beagles that work at U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Frodo’s job is to make sure no passengers have brought in food that could contain insects or disease that might be harmful to livestock and agriculture here in America. Frodo’s speciality is sniffing out apples, citrus, mangos, beef and pork. If he finds those in a bag, travellers can be subject to hefty fines.

Oh, and when we said Frodo wasn’t hungry, that’s not quite true: when Frodo finds something, he expects a cookie.

“When he finds odor, he’ll sit down. It’s a passive response. If I don’t get the cookie fast enough he will start howling,” Frodo’s handler Jessica Anderson told Fox 32 Chicago.

Frodo might be adorable, but his job is very important. Invasive species and disease can be potentially disastrous for America’s farmers. So the next time you fly out of the country, make sure you declare all your food or plant products when you return - or you might find yourself in trouble with the Beagle Brigade.

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