Yuma, Arizona - A Belgian Malinois that was part of the El Paso Canine Center’s puppy program and raised in Yuma Sector has retired after more than seven years of Border Patrol service.
Kirpy worked his final shift with his handler, Border Patrol Agent Rolando Carbajal, on Friday.
Kirpy was born at the CBP Canine Center El Paso (CCEP) on Thanksgiving Day in 2012 and was given to the Yuma Sector Border Patrol Canine Unit at four months old to be reared and trained. BPA Carbajal, who is a certified canine instructor, conducted the majority of Kirpy’s training and subsequently became his handler.
Kirpy was trained to detect the presence of concealed humans and the odors of marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin and ecstasy. Throughout his career, Kirpy detected more than $85,000 worth of marijuana and hashish, more than $140,000 worth of methamphetamine, and several concealed humans. In addition to working at USBP immigration checkpoints, in the field, at the San Luis and Andrade ports of entry, and in support of other local law enforcement agencies, Kirpy also regularly participated in public demonstrations at schools, RV parks and at community events. In fact, public demonstrations are what Kirpy is known best for.
“That dog was awesome,” said Special Operations Supervisor Mark Sims. “We used Kirpy whenever we had demos. He could do it all and his temperament was really good.”
Agent Carbajal said he was affectionately referred to as “Kirpy the Flying Dog,” especially by school kids. Part of Carbajal and Kirpy’s regular routine while visiting schools was to ask the kids if they had ever seen a flying dog. He would them tell them that Kirpy was such a dog. Then Carbajal would reward Kirpy with a toy after finding and alerting to a trained odor and spin him through the air while Kirpy held on to his toy. Kirpy literally appeared to be flying.
“The kids would just go nuts,” Carbajal said.
Kirpy was named at CCEP after fallen Nogales Border Patrol Agent Alexander Kirpnick, who was killed in the line of duty on June 3, 1998, while attempting to arrest smuggling suspects. CCEP often chooses names of fallen agents for their canines as a way of honoring and remembering them.
Now that Kirpy is retired, Carbajal said he is living the life of a pet and getting to do everything with the humans in the house. His first outing as a retiree was on a fishing trip to the river. Carbajal said his oldest son has pretty much taken ownership of Kirpy and he now sleeps on a dog bed in his son’s bedroom.
“He’s loving retirement,” Carbajal said. “He’s able to come inside and hang out. Everything is new [for him].”
Carbajal continues to work as a handler and instructor and is currently training with a new partner, a German shepherd. This will be his third canine partner.