Here's How to Adopt a Military Working Dog

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Lance Cpl. Danielle Gauthier, a Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Single Marine Program (SMP) volunteer, sits with Harold, a German shepherd up for adoption during an adoption event at San Diego. (U.S. Marine Corps/Jake McClung)
Lance Cpl. Danielle Gauthier, a Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Single Marine Program (SMP) volunteer, sits with Harold, a German shepherd up for adoption during an adoption event at San Diego. (U.S. Marine Corps/Jake McClung)

Who can resist the temptation to adopt a retired military working dog?

The Air Force is once again looking for people -- military members or otherwise -- who want to adopt retired military working dogs.

Take a second to just look at this face.

Meet Fflag, a U.S. Marine Corps military working dog. Fflag is a patrol explosives detection dog, trained to find explosive devices and take down an enemy combatant when necessary. (U.S. Marine Corps/Brendan Mullin)
Meet Fflag, a U.S. Marine Corps military working dog. Fflag is a patrol explosives detection dog, trained to find explosive devices and take down an enemy combatant when necessary. (U.S. Marine Corps/Brendan Mullin)

Air Force officials at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland issued a news release last month highlighting the need for adoptive parents for retired dogs. They said that, while there is demand to adopt puppies that didn't make the cut for the program, there is less interest in the older dogs, even though they are exceptionally well trained and could probably rescue you from a well or warn you about any nearby bombs.

A military working dog from the 366th Security Forces Squadron, Mountain Home, Idaho, poses for a picture during a field training convoy at the Orchard Combat Training Center, south of Boise, Idaho. (U.S. Air National Guard/Joshua C. Allmaras)
A military working dog from the 366th Security Forces Squadron, Mountain Home, Idaho, poses for a picture during a field training convoy at the Orchard Combat Training Center, south of Boise, Idaho. (U.S. Air National Guard/Joshua C. Allmaras)

Adopting a retired military working dog can be a long process, they warned, and can take up to two years.

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Interested potential dog parents must fill out paperwork and answer questions about where the dog will live and how it will be cared for.

And not just anyone can adopt one of these four-legged heroes. To be eligible, applicants must have a six-foot fence, no kids under the age of five, and no more than three dogs already at home. They also have to list a veterinarian on the application, have two references and provide a transport crate.

Military Working Dog LLoren, a patrol and explosive detector dog, stands by his handler Staff Sgt. Samantha Gassner. 386th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron, during an MWD Expo at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia. (U.S. Air Force/Robert Cloys)
Military Working Dog LLoren, a patrol and explosive detector dog, stands by his handler Staff Sgt. Samantha Gassner. 386th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron, during an MWD Expo at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia. (U.S. Air Force/Robert Cloys)

Interested in adopting a retired military working dog? You can contact officials at mwd.adoptions@us.af.mil or call 210-671-6766.

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