(NEW YORK) — For the past six years, Ssiller the dog devoted his life to keeping the public safe as an explosives detection canine for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at John F. Kennedy International Airport, one of the busiest airports in the world.
The 7-year-old black Labrador retriever — alongside his partner, TSA inspector Christopher Neeson — worked shifts of more than 10 hours a day at the New York airport, sniffing around its hundreds of acres to flag any signs of possible explosives.
But this past Sunday, Ssiller “turned in his badge” after getting a well-deserved retirement, according to a TSA news release.
Fittingly, the canine retired the same day of the annual Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers 5K Run and Walk — an event commemorating the 9/11 hero he’s named after, the TSA said.
Firefighter Stephen G. Siller died in the 9/11 attacks while saving people at the Twin Towers.
Neeson and Ssiller the dog started the race on Sunday, which followed Siller’s footsteps from the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel to the World Trade Center site on Sept. 11, 2001, according to the TSA.
The pair were also honored that day with a plaque that recognized Ssiller’s “immeasurable contributions, untiring spirit and faithful service to the mission of protecting our nation’s transportation systems and dedicated service to our country.”
Neeson has since adopted Ssiller as a pet, and the canine is now spending his days at home “just being a dog,” the TSA said.
“I’m going to have to ween him down and then try and give him a new purpose,” Neeson told ABC station WABC.
Ssiller may become a therapy dog in the future, Neeson added. But for now, the pup is just catching up on some well-deserved rest.
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