By Russ Fox, Master Trainer

ASP Canine division is so fortunate to have such a diverse and talented group of members involved in a variety of activities and private ventures.

Every handler brings their own experiences and expertise with them, benefiting all of us here.

I would like to focus on one of our members in this article, Anne-Marie Paré, who is currently handling EDD Ylva and is based out of Quebec City. Anne-Marie is very active in the dog sport world where she competes and trains both in IGP dog sport as well as another sport called “Canicross”.

For those of you that have not heard of Canicross, it is basically a cross country race conducted with your dog. The competitors are connected by bungee cord to their dogs’ harness, and then they run a timed course. The course can range anywhere from 2km to 15km, but usually falls into the 4-5 km distance.

Although the sport is popular in Europe it is relatively new to Canada and was officially introduced in Quebec in 2006. Since then, it has steadily grown. The sport is recognized by an international Dog Sport organization (FMBB) which organizes dozens of dog sports and 1000’s of competitors.

Anne-Marie has been involved in CaniCross for the past 7 years. She has quickly risen to the top of this sport, first qualifying for the world championships in 2020 with her first dog Zimbabwe. Then, along came COVID and a serious car accident, side lining Anne-Marie with 4 cracked vertebrae.

After a lengthy recovery with physio, Anne-Marie trained for a comeback and has become Canada’s first representative for the FMBB World championships to be held in Greece in May.

Anne-Marie and her running partner, 2-year-old Belgium Teverun “Jigsaw,” will compete over 2 days, running a 2km course on the first day and a 5 km race on the second day.


By Ivanna Skotar, Canine Handle

With the transition from a crisp fall to a cool winter, the canine unit has been extremely busy in the last few months in preparation for the holiday season. You can almost consider all the FedEx handlers “Santa’s helpers” for assisting in getting everyone’s Christmas gifts delivered efficiently, securely, and safely. In Montreal, all the FedEx locations have been busy and really warm this Christmas season. Many a times, the handlers were invited to enjoy the FedEx staff Christmas meals! It really goes to show you how important it is to build and strengthen our relationship with the employees of our contractors. With the extra hard work, both the handlers and the dogs are putting in their very best every single shift and going above and beyond each time. While working phenomenally as a team, we achieve the high standards that ASP strives for, and it is acknowledged and appreciated during these times. It’s great to see that the dog’s drives are still sky-high and they’re always ready to work. Screening all the parcels at all the different locations and ensuring the safety for all packages is something we thrive for.


By Russ Fox, Master Trainer, Canine

In the past couple of months K9s Roef (Malinois) and Zsoti (GSD), along with handlers Chris and Courtney underwent the first ever Transport Canada and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) inspections for ASP Incorporated at FedEx Canada. The inspection was to view how our K9s operated in the fields that they were tested in palletized and non-palletized cargo.

We (the handlers) were tested on our understanding of the legislation Explosives Detection Dog Handler Teams Security Measures (EDDHTSM), as well as how well we interpret change of behaviour in our dogs when they identify explosive odours.

With us having worked operationally since May and having understood what the legislation requires of us to do, we were able to exceed standards and pass our inspections.

The knowledge we attained from the inspection was passed on, in hopes that other locations would follow in these footsteps and continue to show Transport Canada and our future potential clients our units high standards for performance and compliance. With peak season among us, things have been ramping up here in Ottawa. Our shifts always begin with screening auto parts, and we then move on to screening cargo for international and economy flights. How we screen in a tandem has not changed, as we have devised a process that works to include ample searching time with good amount of rest. The location in which we operate out of is very dog friendly and dog oriented as the phrase “we’ll do anything for the dog” can be heard in the many conversations that we’ve had with FedEx employees. We occasionally must add in a joking manner “what about us” just to make sure they don’t forget about the handlers.

The phrase “we’ll do anything for the dog” can be heard in the many conversations that we’ve had with FedEx employees”.


By Trisha Murray, Canine Division

The ASP Canine unit has undergone explosive gr owth (haha) in recent months. In response to new regulations set out by Transport Canada, the air cargo industry is preparing for new cargo screening standards, among those, canine explosive dog detection. ASP will be the provider of choice for what we hope will be many of the major cargo carriers in Canada.

The ASP Canine unit has undergone explosive gr owth (haha) in recent months. In response to new regulations set out by Transport Canada, the air cargo industry is preparing for new cargo screening standards, among those, canine explosive dog detection. ASP will be the provider of choice for what we hope will be many of the major cargo carriers in Canada.

FedEx
Our first major account in the area of cargo screening is FedEx. To prepare for EDD screening services at FedEx we have recently hired more than thirty new canine handlers. Our handlers will work at locations across Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia to start.

Train, Train, Train
Recruiting and Management have been sourcing and hiring passionate and talented new handlers throughout the spring. Our trainers are running 8 week courses in both Toronto and Ottawa to prepare our new handlers and our new canines for certification with Transport Canada this summer. The certification is a requirement and will be renewed annually.

Fun Facts
A dog’s sense of smell is at least 40 times better than ours. They can hear roughly 4 times further than humans. They have 18 muscles controlling their ears! And if that weren’t talent enough, dogs can sniff and breathe at the same time.

Dog Joke of the Day
Why was the dog such a good storyteller?He knew how to paws for dramatic effect.


By Vince Bozzo, Senior Director of Operations

On December 21, 2020 ASP was awarded a new contract with FedEx Canada to provide Explosive Detection Dogs in Eastern Canada at nearly 20 FedEx locations in four provinces. Our team was so excited to start our relationship with FedEx, but we knew how much work it would be! Working closely with our ICTS family, we started to plan the necessary training and acquisition of our dogs, recruitment and hiring of 30 new ASP employees, planning for operation in four provinces and of course working for Transport Canada Certification by July 1, 2021!

We couldn’t have done it without the help of so many ASP employees. Our Canine division worked hard assisting our new handlers, our Trainers worked tirelessly with consultants to ensure all of our new handlers were ready for FedEx. And of course so many other departments like Finance, Human Resources, Security, Resource Planning and Administration all stepped up to help in any way they could assist. The ASP Family was amazing. I am so proud on Thursday June 10, 2021 our new Canine handlers officially graduated from our ASP Training program and are ready to commence their careers at our partners locations. Congratulations to all of our new ASP employees and Thank you to each and every one of our ASP and ICTS family for your help and guidance.

Congratulations!!!


By Noah Thompson, Senior Manager, Projects and Information Systems

Although it’s unclear where the origin of the rich history that is Canine Partner Trading Cards began, it is rumoured that it started in 1959 with the Launch of Sputnik 2.

When the famous Satellite launched it had a furry friend onboard dubbed “The Sputnik Dog” with the intent of testing the effects on a living organism in space. A cigarette company issued the famous Sputnik Dog trading card shortly after the launch. The trend “took off” and since then Trading Cards with our four-legged partners have been produced by Military, Police Forces, Security Teams and Therapy Dogs Companies around the world.

A.S.P. carried on this tradition with the first edition cards in 2015 with a Wayne Gretzky Rookie Card inspired design featuring the signature A.S.P. red and white. A true Canadian take on the long-lived tradition.

A.S.P. is proud to announce that our cards are getting an overhaul. We have recently completed a photo shoot with our K9 Team and will be going to print with the new designs soon.

Ask your local A.S.P. K9 Handler for their canine partners trading card in mid-summer 2020!!

Canine Trading Cards Get an Overhaul

ICTS General Services, an ICTS Europe subsidiary in Spain, has recently won a new contract with Terminal Catalunya S.A.U, for the provision of security services at the Port of Barcelona.

This 2-year contract will see ICTS providing 24/7 control room monitoring, as well as access control and patrolling of the Hutchison Ports BEST Terminal, one of the most modern container terminals in the world.

“The Hutchison Ports BEST is a semi-automated terminal, with a very high productivity rate and expansion plans for the coming years. For many years now, ICTS has provided similar security services at the Ports of Malaga and Mallorca and is looking forward to supporting Terminal Catalunya S.A.U.’s business plans.

The award of this prestigious contract increases our presence at the Port of Barcelona, as we already secure Barcelona’s Cruise Port Terminal. Hutchison is a very welcome addition to our client portfolio, and we are proud to have been entrusted with this new contract,” said Ofer Barder, General Manager, ICTS General Services.


ACTS-Aviation Security has just commenced a brand-new contract with Dallas- based Southwest Airlines for the provision of catering inspection services of crew meals at Florida’s Tampa and Ft. Lauderdale International Airports.

ACTS, ICTS Europe’s subsidiary in the U.S.A., now provides catering inspection services to 66 different Airlines at 30 Airports across the USA.

“Our reputation is founded upon years of hard work and ACTS’ values of teamwork and professionalism. We look forward to working closely with Southwest Airlines delivering a quality service the Client can rely on” said Tracy A. Fuller, Vice President – Technology & Solutions, ACTS.


By Mark Burnett, Canine Unit Manager - Trainer

With the ongoing development of a federal canine explosives detection program for air cargo, Transport Canada facilitated two weeks of canine trials at express shipping facilities at Pearson Airport in June, with the assistance of ASP Canine Unit members.

Our handlers were heavily relied on to assist with the management of the explosives training aids, and with working our dogs through the test areas in order to collect data to assist with the development of test procedures. Trial searches were set up in FedEx and UPS facilities to replicate the conditions the dogs would be expected to search in once federal regulations have been formalized.

ASP Canine Unit members were very well represented and our dog teams performed very well. Our members took the opportunity to showcase our dogs, as well as network with various representatives from express shipping companies and dog teams sent from Los Angeles and Las Vegas to participate.

ASP Canine will continue to be actively involved and play an important role in the creation of the federal EDDHT program with Transport Canada over the next 18 months or so that the program is expected to be under development.


By Mark Burnett, Explosive Detection Canine Trainer

A.S.P. Canine welcomes two of its newest members to the team, Katrina Stachurski and Simon Hathaway.

Katrina and Simon have begun their training with two experienced detector dogs Cody, a three-year-old Czech Shepherd, and Edge, a three-year-old Labrador.


Simon Hathaway and Katrina Stachurski with canine partners Edge and Cody.

Both Katrina and Simon come into the unit with experience in the security field, Katrina coming from Paladin Security and Simon an A.S.P. Specialist at Pearson Airport.

Basic training will continue for the teams for another five weeks, and upon successful testing, they will be deployed operationally on the Commercial K9 team, providing EDD services to the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors, and other commercial clients.

A.S.P. is fortunate to have the addition of Katrina and Simon to our Canine Unit and we wish them good luck as they begin their canine careers.