The NY Times reports that the MTA is declining funding to deploy "subway dogs" from the Department of Homeland Security. The MTA claims that the offer for three dogs would be too "cumbersome" and difficult since the dogs could be called away for national emergencies. Is the MTA onto something, or are the transit authorities of LA, Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston, and DC smart for just taking the money - and dogs - and running? The Homeland Security subway dog program requires the handlers (police officers) to attend training for 10 weeks, but there would be "$120,000 a year for each agency to pay for police vehicles, veterinary care, food and uniforms for the dogs and officers." Dog uniforms?!?! We hope our other sites take lots of pictures when the pups patrol.
The MTA says there are already 25 dogs in the canine unit, and Gothamist is a little confused whether or not these dogs are a part of the NYPD's K-9 or a flock of dogs at some of the railyards. Anyway, Gothamist suspects that the MTA realizes subjecting dogs to being in the subways for 80% of the time (one of the requirements) might be a little too much, as there are a gazillion and seven smells, sounds, and incidents that could probably seem suspicious. Anyway, this is how the MTA wants to keep control: By (mis?)managing their own money. Maybe the MTA thinks they can double the number of dogs (as they want to do by 2007) with surplus money!