Fany retires after seven years as a TSA superstar

Time to kick back and relax. Fetch sticks, chase cars and live the high life!

After seven years of duty to country as an explosive detection canine with the Transportation Security Agency (TSA), Fany, an energetic yellow Labrador Retriever earned her well-deserved retirement during a rambunctious ceremony on the flight deck of Midway.

“It’s a little emotional and bittersweet, but I’m so thankful,” said Elysa, Fany’s TSA handler. “I’m excited to give her a retirement, give her a good life of hiking, swimming, traveling and maybe even sleeping in bed with me.”

According to TSA, explosive detection canines are extremely important in deterring and detecting the introduction of explosive devices into the nation’s transportation systems.

“TSA’s canines are one of the agency’s most visible security assets,” said Kathleen Connon, TSA’s federal security director at San Diego International Airport. “Celebrating Fany’s retirement at such an iconic venue like the Midway on San Diego Bay is a tribute to the role she has played in TSA security operations. Fany has represented us well and is a favorite of travelers.”

Elysa with Fany during Fany’s retirement ceremony.

Fany started her illustrious career in 2015 at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and later at Portland International Airport. She began working at the international airport in San Diego in 2020.

During her career with TSA, Fany screened thousands of departing travelers and their belongings, sniffing out potential threats to aviation security. TSA estimates that Fany and Elysa worked more than 2,500 hours together at various security checkpoints.

“Fany’s special, she’s my first dog,” said Elysa. “She taught me a lot about myself. She’s challenged me and we’ve grown together over the years. Fany and I have supported many real-life operations. She’s got so much personality and is very passionate about what she does.”

In addition to screening airport passengers, Fany was repeatedly called upon to support other high-profile national security events including Super Bowls in San Francisco and Houston, as well as political campaign events, inaugurations and parades. 

“Fany has given me the best seven years I could ask for,” said Elysa. “As a handler, the bond that we’ve built is unlike anything else.” 

In 2018, Elysa was honored as TSA’s National Canine Handler of the Year.

With her working-dog days behind her, Fany, who turned 8 years old in May, will continue to live with Elysa and be a pampered pooch in their new home in Arizona. 

“It’s a good thing when you go through your career and everyone stays safe, and you never have an incident that will harm people,” said Elysa. “I take pride knowing that we’ve done a good job protecting the traveling public and the nation for seven years. We’ve provided great support, protection and safety.”

Elysa (second from the left), Fany and the TSA team show off the Fany’s retirement cake.

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