Adopting a military dog is feasible, but it’s important to have patience and strictly abide by the requirements.
1. Check the Mission K9 Rescue website to see if MWDs are available.
2. Review the adoption forms and properly respond to all of the questions.
3.) Live Up to Expectations: In short, MWD dogs aren’t recommended for children under the age of five. It should be emphasized that you must adhere to each facility’s guidelines. TSA specifically demands a gated yard, the observance of local laws, a clean medical history, and training.
4.) Visit a Facility: In light of the above, schedule a visit to a facility in the hopes of speaking with a MWD.
Rehoming a MWD: Are you interested in learning more about adopting a military working dog in particular? Make a call to the Lackland Air Force base.
6.) Pick up your MWD: For starters, make sure your MWD has a kennel and a leash for the trip.
Eventually, a pet parent may require the following items for their MWD:
- Application for MWD Adoption
- dog kennel
Meet the MWD Adoption Suitability Checklist:
- Previous Experience: Do you have any past dog-related experience?
- Particularly, does your home have a safe, enclosed yard with a fence? Otherwise, how will the dog exercise and relieve himself?
- Two forms of identification and two references are required for a background check.
- Give a thorough description of the tenants, including their ages and any other pets.
- Do You Own Or Rent? If you are a tenant, be sure to show that your landlord has given his or her agreement to having a dog based on the information above.
- Describe the dog’s features: Where will the dog sleep at your house, specifically? How often will he be left alone at home? Where will he remain because of this while you’re not around?
- Give your veterinarian’s information, i.e., give them your contact information.
What occurs to retiring service animals from the military?
Modern-day K9 canines are retired and placed in devoted families. This wasn’t always the case, though. Prior to President Bill Clinton’s signature of Robby’s Law in 2000, which allows retired military and police dogs to be adopted by their handlers or other service personnel, the majority of retired police dogs were put to death.
The majority of K9 police dogs move in with a family. Sara Ochoa, a small animal and exotic veterinarian in Texas and a veterinary consultant for DogLab, notes that while most of the time this is the same person who was their handler, it might be anyone who the police department permits to keep the dog.
According to The Spruce Pets, police dog handlers are frequently the first people to adopt the animals. The handler and police dog are the ideal match because they already have a strong relationship. Ochoa assuages people’s anxieties about police dogs adjusting to daily life in the community.
These dogs typically fit in with families extremely well. They are kept with a family while they are employed, and once that is done, they can readily adapt to living with children and a family. The majority of these dogs have been trained to distinguish between working and non-working times.
But what if the owner of a K9 dog is unable to adopt them? At that point, additional people are involved. According to The Spruce Pets, the chance for the dog to be adopted by the general public arises typically when a handler has passed away or is no longer able to care for the dog. Study the unmistakable indicators of your dog’s happiness next.
Are retrained military dogs suitable pets?
Many myths about what happens to retired military working dogs once they leave the service were revealed by our story about Rocky, a retired, disabled military working dog who was saved by our appeal.
Many of these animals are adoptable and go to homes that are suitable and loving. Some people are declared unfit for adoption.
Military working dogs, or MWDs, were legally allowed to be abandoned or put down after serving their purpose until recently.
historically thought of as “MWDs were not considered to be valuable beyond the military use for which they were designed. The public’s rising understanding of how these animals were handled after years of faithful service has played a significant role in this paradigm shift.
But one military war dog in particular—a canine by the name of Robby—had an impact on future MWDs.
In November 2000, President Bill Clinton signed Robby’s Law (H.R. 5314), which mandated that all MWDs who were adoptable must be available for adoption after their service. Unfortunately, Robby couldn’t be saved; his previous handler tried desperately to adopt him, but to no effect.
It’s crucial to understand that these animals are different from any you may have at home or find in a nearby shelter.
Not all retired MWDs are wonderful family members. They are highly trained, frequently for lethal objectives, and they may not be acceptable as a family pet because of characteristics that make them good military canines. Although they are devoted to their loved ones, they frequently have distinct thoughts and diverse triggers, or conditioned responses, to different verbal or physical commands.
These canines are frequently not advised for households with young children or other pets. For a variety of reasons, including excessive aggression, some are deemed unfit for adoption.
The military does not give decommissioned military working dogs to shelters, rescues, or sanctuaries for placement due to their distinct temperaments and training.
The Joint Base San Antonio’s 341st Training Squadron oversees all adoptions of military working dogs. The Department of Defense’s Military Working Dog Adoption Program is located here.
A comprehensive evaluation and selection process is used by skilled military personnel to put approximately 300-400 “surplus MWDs per year.
A canine may transition to serve in civilian law enforcement if he is still useful upon disposition or official retirement from the military. A dog that can no longer be used, nevertheless, might be put up for adoption.
Former military handlers are usually given preference, followed by other veterans of the armed forces and subsequently the general public.
The idea that Rocky, a crippled retired MWD who had served three tours in Iraq and was nine and a half years old, would be put down infuriated a lot of people. Most people believed it was heartless of the military to simply take his life after he had given his for the cause, but that isn’t the case at all.
Rocky had a variety of handlers throughout the course of his final few years of service, like many working dogs do. Despite the fact that more than 90% of battle dogs are adopted by their handlers, Rocky no longer had a reliable one. He wasn’t particularly close to any one person.
Other military troops who might have wanted Rocky were eligible to adopt him.
Rocky, however, was unable to go to any household due to the special difficulties caused by his condition. He wanted someone who could take their time and be patient with him. The military decided to put him up for euthanasia because no suitable adoptive could be identified and the base kennels are inadequate for handling impaired animals.
After confirming the details, we posted Rocky’s plight and, as they say, the rest is history. Rocky was adopted after our post received more than 50,000 hits, and a deluge of applications from throughout the nation.
We will always be grateful to the Camp Pendleton veterinary staff for sharing Rocky’s tale and allowing us the chance to save his life.
Can a retired service dog be adopted?
The ability for civilians to rehome military working dogs through military dog adoption is unique. MWD, or military working dogs, is another name for them. In short, the fact that these canines are retired from service makes them very special.
Military working dogs that have been noticeably retired from service are currently on a particular mission to find a forever home. To be clear, prior to 2000, military battle dogs were either put to death or handed to an allying force. A statute enabling the adoption of military dogs was significantly signed by President Clinton in 2000.
Military Working Dogs Could Possess:
- help with law enforcement
- assisted with agricultural work.
- aided in bomb detection.
- supported search and rescue efforts.
- acted as scouts for missions.
- finished the war’s work.
- aided in the drug’s detection.
- employed as working or training dogs.
- working as therapy dogs
How can I get a battle dog for the military?
The authorities have now resorted to the populace for assistance. They have urged prospective adopting parties to take retired K9s into consideration as well.
These diligent K9s have devoted their entire life to ensuring the safety of the country and its citizens. In every way, they will be a benefit to their new family.
All adoptions are handled by the Transportation Security Administration and Lackland Air Force Base, the San Antonio base where all military puppies receive their training.
Additionally, there are groups like Mission K9 Rescue that aid in the adoption of military working dogs on contract, which are frequently more difficult to reconcile with their handlers.
The majority of retired military working dogs (MWDs) that are up for adoption should be between 10 and 12 years old.
German shepherds, Labrador retrievers, and Belgian Malinois are popular breeds that are all devoted, active, and clever.
“According to MAC Chief Petty Officer Jason Silvis, who works with MWDs at Lackland Air Force Base, every MWD has a behavioral and adoption exam before retiring to ensure they won’t be food aggressive, bite a young child, or follow the mailman down the street.
“Before deciding that the dogs are fit to be adopted by the general population, we conduct a wide range of tests.
Seventy-five percent of the dogs returned to Lackland are accepted for adoption. There may be up to 200 approved adopters on their waiting list at any given moment.
Silvis claims that there are a few conditions that must be satisfied in order to obtain a MWD:
- To ensure that it will be able to care for the dog and to answer inquiries about other pets in the home, a family must apply and undergo an interview with the military.
- Typically, small children cannot be part of a family. Sadly, most of the dogs aren’t suitable for households with children under the age of 5.
- To get the dog, a family must be prepared to fly to San Antonio.
Only six dogs are typically placed by Lackland per month, but as Mama always says, good things happen to those who wait.
Please share the information to increase the likelihood that our devoted K9 veterans will be adopted.
To see how awesome K9 veterans are and how you can adopt them, click the video below!
What is the price of a military dog?
While training a military dog typically costs between $20,000 and $40,000, training a canine to be an explosives detection expert can cost upwards of $150,000.
Typical training scenarios can involve trying to find explosives in a convoy of ten or more vehicles while being distracted by decoys like bacon and sausage. A trained detection dog would be able to find a bomb in this situation in less than two minutes.
Only about 50% of dogs in the MWD program make it through training
Dog noses save lives, but the dogs to which they are attached must also be utterly submissive, orderly, and devoted.
Over 1,600 Military Working Canines are currently employed at US and Allied installations all over the world.
During a “Top Dog” competition at Joint Base Andrews, MD, MWD Rocky and handler Air Force Staff Sgt. Samantha Frydenlund shoot at a target. (DoD-provided photo)
Every military working dog is a non-commissioned officer, in tradition
Working canines in the military are always ranked one rank higher than their handlers. Military canines were originally awarded NCO status as a norm to stop handlers from mistreating or abusing their dogs.
The dog and handler tie is strengthened as a sacred, respectful relationship by these honorary ranks.
Dogs have been jumping out of planes since the 1940s
Did you know that since the 1940s, dogs have been parachuteing? Check out this incredible historical movie from the Smithsonian that demonstrates how parachuting dogs were used to rescue victims of plane crashes in the Arctic.
Field medics are being trained to handle K-9 injuries in the heat of battle
The most current medical training regimens have started to put more of an emphasis on MWDs as treatable soldiers in the heat of battle, whereas up until recently, medics were unable to promptly treat MWDs injured in the line of duty.
Modern medics “have to get past the initial assumption that they don’t know what to deal with a dog,” according to Army Capt. Gina Cipolla in Fort Polk, Louisiana. We work to spread the message that a dog basically has the same anatomy as a human. Despite a few minor variations, we would treat them the same as an injured soldier.
The first dog to ever earn rank was Sergeant Stubby
A brindle bull terrier mix named Sgt. Stubby served as the mascot for the 102nd infantry battalion during World War 1.
In more than 17 fights, Stubby played a crucial role in the 26th Yankee division, saving numerous soldiers from mustard gas attacks and tending to the wounded.
In one of Stubby’s more daring actions, he managed to capture a German soldier who had sneaked into US-controlled area to plan out trench systems and troop placements. Stubby grabbed the invader by the leg in an instant, rendering him helpless until US forces arrived. Stubby was given the promotion to Sergeant in recognition of his bravery.
The Most Decorated MWD in WW2 was named Chips!
With his handler, Pvt. John P. Rowell, Chips was a German Shepherd-Collie-Husky mix who served in the 3rd Infantry Division. Chips would travel to North Africa, Italy, France, and Germany as DoD-trained sentry dogs.
One of Chip’s most illustrious feats was when, during the Italian invasion of Sicily, he memorably broke free from his handler and dove into a nest of machine guns.
The four Italian gunners inside were hurt by Chip’s strikes and were compelled to leave their post. US soldiers then captured them. Chips successfully escaped the altercation with only minor gunpowder burns and a scalp wound. Chip would help in the capture of 10 additional Italian soldiers later that day.
For his valor, Chips received the Purple Heart, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star, eight Battle Stars, and the Purple Heart; but, at the time, US Army protocol forbade formal dog commendations.
Later, Chips would meet President Eisenhower in person. However, before Ike could pet Chips, Chips bit the President’s hand as a reminder that only the dog’s handler should pet trained working canines.
Legendary Dog Rin Tin Tin was actually a rescued war dog from WW1
Corporal Lee Duncan discovered Rin Tin Tin in Lorraine, France after a German war-dog kennel was bombed during World War 1. A litter of seven German Shepherd puppies were the only survivors of the explosion, and Duncan took in two of them: Rin Tin Tin and his sister.
Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, the height of the silent film era, Rin Tin Tin would go on to appear as the lead in over 30 films.
Interested in sponsoring or adopting a former military service dog? You can adopt
Are you looking for a gifted and incredibly devoted animal companion? Even though their handlers adopt more than 90% of MWDs, there are still a lot of retired service animals looking for loving homes, particularly those that are unable to meet training criteria.
Although military dogs are amazing at what they do, you should be aware that these breeds are high-energy and need the best care.
Find out how you can assist in finding a new home for these canine veterans by visiting the US War Dogs Association Adoption Site and Mission K9 Rescue right away.
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