Officer Murray, A Once-Abused Beagle, Becomes Dedicated Airport Patrol Dog

The poor beagle was discovered with a damaged tail and an ear.

Thanks to the keen eyes and ears of Officer Murray, a 3-year-old rescue beagle, the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is now is a bit safer.

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Murray is now on the job for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection team.

“He has been a hero,” Abbey Powell of USDA APHIS, an inspection service, told

Powell's organization adopted Murray after a local shelter rescued him from abuse, she said. Most of his tail had to be amputated after shelter workers suspected his former owners had tried to illegally dock it,  and part of Murray’s ear was also bit or cut off.

Scared and neglected, the poor beagle was not suitable to be adopted. Luckily, Powell said his personality made him perfect for their program’s beagle brigade.

“These dogs are not suitable for homes,” Powell explained. “They have high energy and high food drive, and those are the exact things that make them good detector dogs.”

After several weeks of training, Murray started on Monda. He scurries around the airport, sniffing baggage for invasive pests and diseases.

When he finds something suspicious, Murray is trained to sit next to the bag, a signal for his handler to search it. 

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“Murray will get a treat after, and that is what he lives for,” Powell said. “The dogs see it as fun. They don’t see it as work. It’s a blast for them.”

Her company trains labradors and beagles, but handlers say beagles are more suitable for airport patrols because “they are more nimble in their movements.”

To donate a beagle to the program, email

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