Search continues for missing Tucson Sector Border Patrol canine - Tucson News Now

Search continues for missing Tucson Sector Border Patrol canine

Dunja (Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection) Dunja (Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The Tucson Sector Border Patrol continues to search for a Dunja, a Border Patrol canine that went missing Monday, Feb. 20. 

Dunja went missing after she was separated from her handler in the desert area while conducting tracking operations on the Tohono O'odham Nation near Papago Farms, according to Daniel Hernandez, spokesman with the Tucson sector. 

Teams are searching for Dunja in the area and there is no time line for when they will call off the search. 

Dunja is 4 years old and has been with the Border Patrol since August 2016. 

Hernandez said Dunja is one of more than 100 K9s with the Tucson Sector. He said it's uncommon for a K9 to go missing. 

Owen Keefe, a retired K9 handler said dogs purchased by law enforcement agencies can cost about $10,000. These dogs are already trained prior to being purchased, but some undergo more training once they arrive at an agency. 

Hernandez  said the K9s go through additional training for human and drug detection. 

"They do go through several weeks of training. The canines become a team within the agent and they spend a very long time together as a partner. Conducting all kinds of simulations at the training facility. So there is a huge bond between the canine and the handler," Hernandez said. 

Anyone with information should contact the Tucson Sector Border Patrol at 1-877-USBP HELP (1-877-872-7435).

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