Adopting A Retired Military Working Dog


How To Apply For A Retired Police Dog

Handler Adopts Retired Military Working Dog

Police dogs form intensely strong bonds with their handlers in the line of duty. As such, their handlers are always the first choice for adopters when the dogs retire. In most cases, these dogs do go on to live carefree lives as family pets with their police partners.

Usually, opportunities for civilians to adopt retired police dogs only occur if a dogs handler passes away or cannot otherwise care for him or her. Sometimes, dogs who failed out of police dog training and never actually performed active service become adoptable. In both cases, other law enforcement officers will be first in line to adopt, followed by the general public.

There is no organization strictly dedicated to adopting retired police dogs. Instead, organizations like the National Police Dog Foundation and the Retired Police Canine Foundation assist handlers with things like medical care and training for their retired pups.

Mission K9, however, is an organization that assists former working dogs in many ways, including arranging civilian adoptions. To find out more about their adoption procedure, as well as the process for adopting a retired police dog, visit their Adopt page.

Helping A Military Dog Adjust

One of the reasons home checks are so strict is that military dogs need help adjusting to civilian life. Their lives consisted of combat training and combat. They were trained on military grounds to carry out military activities, including explosives detection, search and rescue, and arson and cadaver detection. These are not activities that fit into normal life. A MWD may have obedience down to a T, but not know how to play. They might to settle or relax properly and suffer from severe separation anxiety.

One family who adopted a retired military dog said that he had to adjust to living with people who have a normal home routine and who have children and cats. He didnt even know what a doorbell was or how to react to it. It took time and patience, moving at the dogs pace for him to settle in the family. The family adopted another ex- military dog when the first one passed away from cancer, and he never adjusted to their grandchildren. To accommodate his needs, they actually ended up spending less time with their grandchildren than they would have liked. These are the kind of sacrifices that people who adopt a military dog have to be prepared to make.

Process For Military Dog Adoption

The Military working dogs kennels website will help you to find a kennel in the area for military working animals that you could adopt. You can download the adoption application and then answer all applicable questions on your family and housing situation.

Meeting expectations often require that you dont have kids under 5 years old and a fenced yard, no intention to move within 6 months, adherence to all ordinances, access to a veterinarian and an agreement to train.

After meeting requirements for adoption, you can have the chance to visit a facility and interact with the working dogs that they have available at that location. Visiting the facility and interacting with the dogs can be an easy way to decide which animal you are most bonded to.

Picking up your dog will happen after you qualify and choose a dog for adoption. When you find a dog that you have bonded with and you agree to the adoption process, you can pick up your dog at an agreed-upon time established at the adoption center. When picking up your dog, make sure that you bring a leash and a crate appropriate for safe transit.

Also Check: How Much Money To Retire Wealthy

Military Dog Adoption Faqs

QUESTION: Do military working dogs have a set of skills?

ANSWER: Yes and as a result of the inability of performing those learned skills, consequently military dogs are no longer cut out for military lifestyles.

QUESTION: Do retired military working dogs still receive military benefits?

ANSWER: All in all, after a military dog is adopted, MWDs lose benefits. In other words, pet parents considering military dog adoption are responsible for any health issues.

QUESTION: Is military working dog adoption available through the U.S. Air Force site?

ANSWER: Considering military working dog adoption? In that case, speak to a US Air Force representative.

Military Working Dog Foster Program: 671 3686

Military Working Dog Adoptions Program: 671 3153

QUESTION: Does a military dog adoption entail rehabilitation of the canine?

ANSWER: In effect, many military dogs retire with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. For this reason, they need a safe and neutral environment.

QUESTION: Dont all military working dogs need homes upon retirement?

ANSWER: Surprisingly, 90% of MWDs end up with their handlers. After which, a few military working dogs are available for the most part available for adoption.

QUESTION: Should I expect retired military working dogs to be a particular breed and young?

ANSWER: Overall the available MWDs for working dog adoption are altogether between 10 and 12 years old. To be noted, German Shepards, Labrador Retrievers, and Belgian Malinois are popular.

What Is A Military Working Dog

The Air Force Is Looking For People To Adopt Retired Military Working Dogs

MWD is the official name for retired police and military dogs. MWDs have been retired from duty usually due to the inability to perform required tasks, and sometimes due to health or age. Many have worked as field or training dogs, and have a unique set of skills honed for a specific purpose. In some cases, this can make potential owners nervous, but worry not all adoptable dogs have to pass behavioral tests to ensure theyre outgoing companions and a good fit for civilian adoption.

Dogs with specialized skill sets or who dont pass the civilian adoptability criteria are made available to their former trainers and nonprofit organizations for special needs MWDs.

Recommended Reading: Books On Retirement Withdrawal Strategies

What Is Reverse Sneezing

A reverse sneeze is pretty much what it sounds like: a sneeze that happens in reverse! The above video is a good example of what it looks and sounds like.

In a regular sneeze, air is rapidly pushed out through the nose. In a reverse sneeze, air is rapidly, and noisily, pulled in through the nose.

It occurs in spasms lasting anywhere from a few seconds up to a minute and sounds like snorting, snuffling, and even gagging. See the above video for an example.

Because of the sounds their dogs make while reverse sneezing, many people mistakenly think their dog is choking. However, a reverse sneeze is almost as normal and harmless as a regular sneeze.

What Causes Reverse Sneezing


Theres no single cause for a reverse sneeze. Like regular sneezing, its often triggered by an irritation or inflammation in the nose, throat, or sinuses.

It often occurs when dogs wake up from a nap, or after eating, when their breathing pattern may have rapidly changed. Its also caused by irritants in the airwayanything from dust to an inhaled hair!

Some dogs experience more frequent reverse sneezing in springtime when the air is full of pollen and other allergens.

Others reverse sneeze more in the winter, when sudden temperature changes between outdoors and indoors cause the nasal passages to contract.

Another common cause of reverse sneezing is pressure on the throat and neck. A too-tight collar, or straining against the leash, can irritate the throat and lead to a reverse sneeze. Thats just one more reason to consider a harness for your dog.

Finally, some dogs reverse sneeze after exercise, or when theyre overexcited. This is particularly common among brachycephalic, or short-nosed, breeds like pugs and bulldogs.

When they get worked up, they may inhale their elongated soft palates into the throat, triggering an episode of reverse sneezing.

Don’t Miss: Mobile Home Retirement Communities In Arizona

How Much Does It Cost To Adopt A Retired Military Dog

Adopting a retired military dog is a completely free program. Theres no cost associated with adopting a animal if you are approved for the adoption process. The owner will ultimately be responsible for all costs dog care as well as transportation. If you adopt a pet as a service professional or as a law enforcement agency, you will be responsible for establishing a transportation solution for the dog from a facility.

There is a strong public interest in adopting retired military working animals so prioritizing the thousands of applications each year comes down to finding a person that has been approved and is next in line for the approval process. The program is a first-come-first-served basis and the suitable dog goes to the next party that has waited the longest after the application process.

If you are going to be coming for a service visit to meet a dog in the program and cant make the appointment, you need to make sure that you cancel the appointment as soon as possible to make room for another applicant. As this is a program with demand from thousands of participants across the United States is very important that you work to maintain appointments when required.

READ MORE: How to deal with an Aggressive Dog

How To Adopt A Military Working Dog

Retired Marine from Orchard Park adopts his military working dog

by MilitaryBenefits

Do you want to learn how to adopt a military working dog? If some headlines are to be believed, there is an active supply of retired or about-to-retire military dogs available for adoption, but it can be difficult at times for military bases to find suitable homes for these hard working canines.

A September 2019 article published by the dog lovers website came with the headline, Air Force Is Desperately Looking For People To Adopt Some Of The Retired Military Working Dogs, and indicates that age and cute factor are considerations when people are thinking about adopting a military dog.

That means that younger dogs that dont make the cut are easily adopted to loving families, but fewer seem to be willing to take a chance on a mature, older dog that doesnt have the same appeal as a younger, more excitable animal.

Don’t Miss: Is $5 M Enough To Retire

Some Dogs Have Been Adopted But Need Foster Homes

Some military working dogs are adopted by the dogs handler or partner, or by a third party, but circumstances force the owner to put the dog up for adoption due to deployment, reassignment, hardship duty, remote assignment, etc.

These dogs found a home, but need a new one and often come up for foster care or adoption as a result.

Code Of Federal Regulations

The Code of Federal Regulations used to contain United States Air Force Military Working Dog Program regulations, beginning in 1965. They were located at 32 CFR 930, et seq. In 1983, these regulations were removed as they were, “intended for internal guidance and has no applicability to the general public.” . Contact a reference librarian, if you need assistance finding copies of these regulations.

Don’t Miss: Sun City Retirement Community California

How Can I Adopt A Retired Military Dog

Bringing a former military dog into your home is a relatively lengthy process, as far as pet adoptions go. Depending on availability, it can take up to two years. There are several steps you must take so both you and the adoption agency are sure of your abilities to care for a retired military dog.

Just loving dogs is not enough to qualify for adopting a military dog. Before you even consider starting the process, know that youll need to meet certain conditions to apply:

  • No children under age 5 in your home.
  • A large yard with a minimum 6-foot fence. Even older MWDs are large and fairly athletic, so theyll need a large, contained space to stay active and happy.
  • Two references willing to attest to your suitability.
  • No more than 3 other dogs living in your home.
  • Have a veterinarian selected and willing to render their services as your dogs medical provider.

The Benefits And Challenges Of Adopting A Retired Military Dog

These are the 3 Steps to Adopt a Retired Military Dog

Not every war dog gets one of those wonderful airport reunions with his soldier that has everyone reaching for the tissue box.

Remmy the Dutch Shepherd served four years in Afghanistan, saving countless lives as one of the early dogs trained by the Army to search for improvised explosive devices. He was well-loved by the soldiers in his unit, who knew they could count on him and considered him one of the guys.

After Remmy was injured in a fight with an Afghan dog, he was sent back to the United States for treatment and kept in a Texas kennel after he recovered. He was a contract working dog , which means he was owned by a private company and leased to the Army. Somewhere along the way, the spelling of his name changed, making it hard for his Army buddies to track him down.

When the nonprofit Mission K9 Rescue got the chance to find Remmy a home, they turned to Doug Davis, a Vietnam veteran, and his wife, Pam. The couple had just said goodbye to the first military working dog theyd adopted.

Now 13 years old, Remmy has spent the last three and a half years living happily with the Davises in Traverse City, Michigan. Remmys quite a hero, says Doug Davis, who was a dog handler with the Air Force in Vietnam in 1968 and 1969. He describes Remmy as “dynamic,” and says he’s the fastest dog he’s ever seen. “Nothing hurts the guy hes just tough,” Doug says. Pam knows of one thing that does hurt his feelings, though: when they don’t share their dinner with him.

Also Check: Best Bonds To Buy For Retirement

Air Force Is Desperately Looking For People To Adopt Some Of The Retired Military Working Dogs

Military dogs want the same things people want when they retire: comfort, some peace and quiet, and quality time with their loved ones.

Thats not too much to ask for a pup who served their country, now is it?

While 90% of canine veterans end up with their handlers, a few end up available for adoption.

Air Force officials at Lackland Air Force Base, the San Antonio base are worried over the sharp disinterest faced by the retired military working dogs post-retirement.

While the trainee puppies who dont make the cut for active duty are readily adopted, the older K9s yearn for a home but keep getting overlooked.

Source: Demetrius Lester/Wikimedia Commons | Senior Airman William OBrien/Wikimedia Commons

The officials have now turned to the people for help. They have requested potential adoptive parties to consider retired K9s too.

These hardworking K9s have dedicated their lives to the safety of the nation and its people. They will be assets to their new family in every aspect.

Lackland Air Force Base, the San Antonio base where all military pups receive their training, handles all their own adoptions, as does the Transportation Security Administration.

There are also organizations like Mission K9 Rescue, which help facilitate adoptions of contract military working dogs, which are often harder to reunite with their handlers.

You can expect most retired military working dogs available for adoption to be between the ages of 10 and 12.

At What Age Are Military Dogs Retired

Most of these pets retire between the ages of 10 to 12 years old. Often, many military dogs are unable to manage the conditions of their service in the same manner that a younger dog could. Older pets often have the chance to train younger animals as they age but when they are no longer able to keep up with younger dogs or fulfil the full needs of their duties with complete accuracy, they can be retired.

Don’t Miss: Retirement Communities In Blacksburg Va

Next Steps In Mwd Adoption

All retired MWDs available for adoption are located at the Military Working Dog School, which operates out of Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. There is no fee to adopt a retired MWD, but you must pay for all transportation costs.

If you are selected as a candidate for adoption, you will need to provide proof that you meet all expectations for potential families . Any family that is chosen for adoption will be required to meet with military personnel for an official interview.

Once you are chosen to move forward in the adoption process, you will wait for a scheduled appointment to visit the base and meet with the dogs that match your lifestyle and interests. Your selected dog will complete a veterinary exam before being released to your family.

Retired Military Adoption Sites

Want to Adopt a Retired Military Dog? Heres How | Southern Living

To sum up, these notable military and law enforcement sites are tremendous in spirit and service. In sum, they provide civilians as well as Vets with retired service dogs adoptions.

1.) In this case, is an active military and law enforcement working dog rescue.

2.) In detail, ultimately allows users the ability to specifically check out TSA adoption possibilities.

3.) On the whole, is markedly pairing PTSD veterans along with retired military service dogs.

Don’t Miss: How Much Money Do You Get When You Retire

Requirements For Adopting A Military Dog

The specific requirements for adopting a working dog will vary depending on the agency, but lets examine the rules for the Pets For Patriots program to get an idea of what you can expect in this area:

  • Driving distance requirement: Pets For Patriots requires the applicant to live within a specific, reasonable driving distance to a shelter that has partnered with the agency, and within a specific driving distance of a veterinary partner.
  • Proof of Service: Military members are required to provide proof of current service or military discharge.
  • Pets For Patriots requires additional documentation for those suffering from mental health issues.
  • Pets For Patriots does not train or adopt animals intended to be service dogs. It adopts out canines specifically for companionship purposes. That means the dog can have a service background, but it will not receive any service training as part of the adoption process.

Share post:


More like this

How To Plan For Retirement At 50

If You...

How Much Do I Need In 401k To Retire

What Is...

Retirement Income Calculator With Inflation

Making Your...

How Much Money To Retire At 62

How Much...