UNITED NATIONS (AP) _ How much is that doggie in the window? At the United Nations, he costs $150,000 a year.

And the United Nations said Tuesday he's worth every penny.

Costa Rica complained to the U.N. budget committee Monday that the world body was spending too much money on a high-security dog when it was so short of cash.

But Assistant Secretary-General Toshiyuki Niwa defended Jerry, the bomb-sniffing security pooch.

The costly canine is an effective security measure in light of the number of suspicious packages and letter bomb threats the United Nations receives, he told the U.N. budget committee.

Could be, but at the rate of $60 an hour, 10 hours a day, 252 days a year, Jerry and his handler Tom were earning more than a U.N. undersecretary-general _ about $140,000 a year.

Previously, the New York City Police and the U.S. military supplied bomb-sniffing dogs only for the annual General Assembly debate, when heads of state from around the world gather for a few weeks of speechmaking.

The U.N. inspector-general recommended last year that the United Nations hire a full-time security dog after the twin U.S. embassy bombings in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Jerry, a black Labrador retriever, is still working on a trial basis at the United Nations. They'll know if they have a permanent job after the General Assembly approves the budget later this year.