Auburn gets $24M for research on detection dogs

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security awarded Auburn University a five-year, $24 million contract for research and development related to detection dogs.

The Detection Canine Sciences, Innovation, Technology, and Education program at Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine will use that money to study ways to improve the availability and effectiveness of detection dogs, “which are vital in protecting our nation’s borders, transportation hubs, major public events, and more,” a DHS announcement states. The work also will include studies into ways to identify suitable detection dogs and improve detection dogs’ welfare and longevity.

Detection dog investigating a small container
(Courtesy of Auburn University)

The money comes from the DHS Science and Technology Directorate, which operates its own Detection Canine Program that will collaborate with the Auburn program to develop field applications for scientific advances in canine genomics and odor analysis by mass spectrometry, the announcement states.

The Auburn veterinary college also published an announcement about the contract, which is the single largest research contract awarded to Auburn University. The university’s announcement describes Auburn’s Canine Performance Sciences program as a leader in research, breeding, development, and innovation and states that the new program will “integrate the best scientific practices in analytical chemistry, genetics, genomics, reproduction, veterinary and sports medicine, olfactory neuroscience, behavior and cognition, metrology and engineering to advance detection canine sciences.”