Legislative Action Center

Exploring Issues, Challenges and Recommendations for Improving Government Acquisition of US-Bred Working Dogs
March 11, 2021 by AKC Government Relations

A recent report from the Graduate School of Defense Management at the Naval Postgraduate School, “Research & Analysis of the American Domestic Government Working Dog Industry”  revealed the importance of working dogs within the U.S. Department of Defense and other federal agencies. The report backs concerns previously raised by the AKC Detection Dog Task Force about overreliance on foreign-sourced  dogs being placed as government working dogs (GWD). 

This is the first comprehensive government analysis of the GWD industry in 15 years and explores the disconnect between the demand for working dogs and domestic supply. The report provides recommendations to improve the sourcing of U.S.-bred and trained dogs. Recommendations improving transparency, consistency in sourcing standards, and stakeholder outreach – including working more closely with the American Kennel Club (AKC). 

The authors, Capt. Jason Passarella (USAF) and 1st LT. Robert Ocampo (USAF) conducted in-depth interviews, industry assessments, and accessed Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security data on the purchase of working dogs. They concluded that dogs are purchased domestically and overseas by a variety of government agencies using an inconsistent variety of contracts, agreements, purchase cards and other contracting vehicles, not all of which are identified within the Federal Procurement Data System. Read the full report and detailed research here. 

Meet our Panelists:

  • Captain Jason Passarella earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications and graduated with honors from Brigham Young University-Idaho in 2011. He entered the Air Force in May of 2016 as a graduate of Officer Training School in Maxwell, Alabama. Following Officer Training School, he completed the Mission Ready Contracting Officer Course at the Air Force Institute of Technology. Captain Passarella most recently served as the Contracts Manager for Base Support Services, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Enterprise and Operational Contracting Division at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. He was responsible for providing acquisition support to the region's 2nd largest Air Force Medical Treatment Facility which includes securing personal and non-personal services as well as equipment and logistics support for 58,000 personnel and patients. 


  • 1st Lt Robert Paulo B. Ocampo enlisted in the United States Air Force in January 2012 as a contract specialist. After serving for 5 years at Ellsworth Air Force Base, he attended Officer Training School in 2017 where he received his commission. Prior to this assignment, Lt Ocampo served as a warranted procuring contracting officer, 42d Contracting Squadron (42 CONS), 42d Air Base Wing, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. During that time, he also served as the Team Lead for the Air University’s Educational, Professional, and Administrative Support Service (EPASS) contract and as the Chief of the Services Acquisition Flight. He was responsible for providing service contract support to 42,000 active-duty, Reserve, civilian and contractor personnel, students, families and retirees at Maxwell and Gunter Annex in direct support of Air University. The flight supported more than 40 mission partners, including the 908th Airlift Wing, Air Force Space Command and Air Force Materiel Command units and Defense Information Systems Agency.




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