Meet Eebbers, winner of TSA’s 2022 ‘Cutest Canine Contest’

MINNEAPOLIS — The folks at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport already knew Eebbers was a winner, but now the Transportation Security Administration has made it official.

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Eebbers, an 11-year-old Vizsla-Labrador mix who has been working at the Minnesota airport since 2015, was crowned the TSA’s 2022 “Cutest Canine Contest” winner, WCCO-TV reported.

The winner of the social media contest was announced Friday to coincide with National Dog Day.

According to WCCO, 92 dogs entered the judging, and Eebbers squared off against Tom-Magnum from John F. Kennedy International Airport in the final round of voting. Now, he will be featured on the cover of the forthcoming 2023 TSA canine calendar.

The contest is held “to acknowledge the important role TSA’s hardworking canines play in protecting the nation’s transportation system,” the agency stated in a news release.

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Eebbers is a passenger-screening male canine who “works at MSP alongside his handler as they screen travelers and their belongings for explosives at the security checkpoint,” the release stated.

Eebbers is also the last remaining canine born into TSA’s Puppy Program who is still employed by the agency, CNN reported.

Per WCCO: “His resume is long -- he’s worked two Super Bowls, the Special Olympics World Games and an NCAA National Championship Football Game -- and now he’s the oldest dog working in TSA’s canine program.”

The agency will host a retirement event for Eebbers this week, the TV station reported.

Currently, the TSA deploys more than 1,000 canine teams nationally each year, and the agency reminded travelers in the news release that while there’s no question that TSA canines are “cute,” they are working dogs and should only be touched and fed by their handlers.