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Was this dog ready to protect our shores?


The Virginian-Pilot this week sniffed out a doozy of a story — about how 49 dogs supposedly trained in bomb detection for the Navy by a private security contractor failed to pass muster and were returned to the contractor, only to apparently languish in the months that followed.

The Navy originally picked up the dogs last spring from Securitas Security Services USA,  a private security contractor in Chicago. But once the dogs arrived at Naval bases, not a one was able to find planted explosives during military certification tests, according to the Navy.

The Navy sent the dogs back to the contractor, then later decided to end the contract with Securitas, buying the 49 dogs and training them on its own.

When the Navy went to retrieve to dogs on Oct. 5, according to Navy emails obtained by the newspaper, the dogs were dirty, weak and so thin that their ribs and hip bones jutted out.

In the emails, a civilian official describes the dogs’ condition as  “deplorable” and says he feared the dogs would have died if the military hadn’t come to get them.

In fact, the Navy said later, at least two of the dogs didn’t survive, and several others were deemed too sick to be of use, the newspaper reported. Nearly a year after they were supposed to have begun working, the remaining K-9s still are not patrolling Navy installations as intended.

It was the first time the Navy had procured dogs trained by an outside contractor. In the past, it trained its own dogs to help protect its bases and ships.

Securitas disputes that the dogs were poorly trained and neglected, and says that the Navy still owes it money — more than $6 million for its services and for the animals. Jim McNulty, an executive vice president, said the dogs were healthy and well-fed when the Navy picked them up a second time. He disputed that they were kept in a warehouse. “They were in excellent shape,” he said.

Securitas bought the dogs for about $465,000  from Vohne Liche Kennels, an Indiana-based business that offers work-ready police dogs as well as training courses for handlers.

When the Navy canceled the contract, it paid $800,000 to Securitas for the dogs, according to Securitas.

The state of Illinois has launched an investigation into the dogs’ treatment.

The Navy’s shift to privately trained explosives-detection dogs came as part of a decision in 2008 to outsource a number of base security services. In January 2009, Lockheed announced it had signed a $350 million, five-year contract with the military, part of which called for Lockheed to provide explosives-detection dogs to supplement the Navy’s own K-9 forces and free up more Navy dogs to deploy overseas.

Soon after it signed the agreement, Lockheed subcontracted the K-9 portion to Securitas.  Securitas began offering K-9 services about seven years ago.

In a written statement, the Navy said it expects 39 of the original 49 dogs to eventually patrol installations as intended. Several are now being cared for and trained at bases in the Hampton Roads area. 

(US NAVY photo)


Comment from sarahkate
Time March 11, 2010 at 2:08 pm

I am so not surprised that Securitas is the company that did this. There have been more complaints against Securitas by private organizations such as malls which hire their so-called security guards – who turn out in many cases to be found to be convicted felons and who shoplift the very companies they are hired to protect, and complaints also about hyperaggressive tactics against shoppers, security guards drinking and drugging on the job, etc., etc. This sounds like a company that should itself be thoroughly investigated before more taxpayer dollars are forked over by the Navy for a service and “product” that are completely bogus and the “product” so abused and neglected. I have heard there is such a law theory as called “unclean hands” which I think means that if Securitas was providing untrained starved animals while demanding their millions, they aren’t entitled to that money.

Comment from laura
Time March 11, 2010 at 3:14 pm

That’s a shame. There are so many good, small organizations that could’ve used that money to grow their programs and properly train and take care of the dogs.

Comment from Kevin
Time March 16, 2010 at 7:10 pm

I worked for Securitas for several years as an Area VP, and prior to that, 12 years for Burns and I can say with with all honesty that the dogs were not abused by Securtas and something must of happened after the USN took posession. Knowing the corporate cuture and the leadership at Securitas, they would not of sood for the mistreatment of animals one iota. I don’t work for Securitas now, so I think I can give an informed unbiased opinion. It’s all too easy to jump on the contractor-someone needs to look at the government in particular, the navy..

Comment from RAND MAJESTIC
Time August 10, 2010 at 12:18 am


Comment from RAND MAJESTIC
Time August 10, 2010 at 12:36 am

Folks-let us get it real straight—The managements of these security companies (all the well-known names) are insulated and pampered-and not representative of the “WHACKING END” of these company’s policies!If you are trained, qualified, and educated—-you still could draw corrupt, uncaring, and dangerous-risk clients (NOEMI CAMPBELL COMES TO MIND-TAKING DIAMONDS FROM A BRUTAL DICTATOR-WTF DO THESE ELITE SNOTS USE FOR BRAINS?!),Imagine beloved SECURITAS sending you to protect that wench, and not advising you of her past and risk assessment!Bottom line is the bottom dollar-not your safety! NO RISK TO V.P KEVIN, OR HIS MINIONS! They C-A-R-E about dogs—he whines! NO-NOT LIKELY, KEVIN-THEY SHOW BLATANT DISREGARD FOR THE WELFARE OF THEIR HUMAN EMPLOYEES—READ THE INTERNET BLOGS, “MR. MAN-WITH-HIS-HEAD-IN-THE-CLOUDS”! WISE UP PEOPLE-THESE SHILLS ARE THE MAJOR PROBLEM WITH THESE SECURITY ORGANIZATIONS. WRONG OPINIONS, WRONG CONCLUSIONS-AND I CAN SITE CHAPTER AND VERSE OF THIS UNSUPPORTED FRAUD–WANNA HAVE A GO AT THE FACTS, GUY?!

Comment from RAND MAJESTIC
Time August 10, 2010 at 1:16 am

By the way,Mr. Kevin, what kind of faith and trust do employees have when company GENERAL MANAGERS have so little moral discretion as to be tail-whacking the secretary after hours—–you gonna trust his moral values-or say ‘That doesn’t make them inhumane to animals!”. MAYBE-MAYBE NOT—-but here is the rub, my “CAN DO NO WRONG FRIEND”—I wouldn’t trust my life or career on their indiscretion quirks! This was the crux of my briefing before a DEA Round-table that i PUT FORTH “THE RISK ASSESSMENT OF THESE OUTSOURCED COMPANIES DUE TO THEIR UNPROFESSIONAL DEMEANOR OF INDIVIDUALS IN MANAGEMENT THEREIN; AND HOW IT COULD COMPROMISE UNDERCOVER AGENTS PLACED IN INVESTIGATIONS”. “SECURITY IS LAUGHABLE, AND IT IS APPARENT BY MANAGERS WHO CARE ABOUT THEIR OWN PAYCHECKS– ONLY! ” I could go on-and-on—-but you know I am for real-and just because you landed in management in SECURITAS back when-you don’t have the education or insight, or experience, of the man chastising the veracity of your conclusion. Think about it-we do know what we are talking about!

Comment from RAND MAJESTIC
Time August 10, 2010 at 1:23 am

When you try to defend the policies of an organization-you are putting blind trust in people you don;t really know-much less trust your life on assumption of variables! NEVER SMILE AT A CROCODILE—A LITTLE DITTY FROM “PETER PAN”…..

Comment from RANDTHINKS
Time January 1, 2011 at 8:02 pm

The reason there are no responses to my cisceral allegations and insights is because i served the overtaken companies SECURITAS appropriated, and now mismanages worse then before! I was a virtual work-horse for these companies, never took time off, remained flexible and dependable for duty-UNTIL THE COMPANY STARTED SCREWING WITH ME SURREPTITIOUSLY AND THE CLIENTS STARTED SCREWING WITH COMPLAINTS OVER SMALL STUFF-AND I WAS A STETSON UNIVERSITY GRADUATE AND MASTER AND OWNER OF ALL FIREARMS “YOU WISH YOU HAD”! I AM IN AUTHORITY UNMATCHED TO COMMENT-AND THE SHILL-DOG MANAGERS WHO SMILE-PROBABLY HAVE A L-O-T TO HIDE, OR JUST PLAIN TELL LIES. THIS IS A DOG-BARK COMPANY ALL UP AND DOWN THE NATION—-AND GETTING WORSE BY THE DAY!

Comment from Tom Turnell
Time October 7, 2012 at 9:07 pm

You are only touching the “tip of the iceberg” I was one of those handlers from securitas. Trust me this is no where the complete story.

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