Warnock pitches Beagle Brigade Act during Georgia stop

Senator Warnock meets two working dogs, Riley and Bowman, at the National Detector Dog Training Center. (Sam Gringlas/WABE)

In Washington, Sen. Raphael Warnock has pressed for a pause on the federal gas tax and promoted legislation to cap insulin costs. 

He’s also just introduced a bill called the Beagle Brigade Act

Newnan, Georgia is home to the National Detector Dog Training Center, a program run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The pups train not to sniff out drugs, but to inspect agricultural imports.

They’re mostly beagles, for their keen sense of smell. And their job is making sure ag products don’t contain pests that could harm U.S. crops and consumers.

Warnock’s bipartisan bill, introduced with Sen. Joni Ernst of (R-Iowa), would formally authorize the center and provide regular funding from Congress.

“These dogs embody the saying that they’re human kind’s best friend, and I got to see first hand the work they do with their handlers,” Warnock says.

At the training center, Warnock saw a lab named Riley inspect parcels on a conveyor belt. Bowman the Beagle sniffed luggage in an airport mockup, searching for meat or produce inside.

Warnock sits on the Agriculture Committee and says the Beagle Brigade protects Georgia’s farmers. Warnock also has a history with beagles.

In 2020, he famously ran a series of campaign ads featuring a beagle named Alvin.

“Alvin was my hardest working volunteer,” Warnock says. “As you see, I have a soft spot for beagles.”

Whether or not Alvin will campaign in 2022 remains to be seen.