If you’ve ever wanted to adopt a retired military working dog, now’s your chance.
Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland announced this summer that retired military working dogs are in search of families, homes and couches.
But in order to qualify to adopt a former military working dog, prospective adopters must meet several key requirements including having a six-foot fence and no children under the age of five, according to a July 26 news release from Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.
Additionally, prospective adopters must provide two references, and submit paperwork that outlines where the dog will live and how they will be cared for.
Altogether, the process can take up to two years.
According to the 341st Training Squadron that trains military working dogs, civilian law enforcement agencies are given top priority to adopt these skilled dogs. Previous handlers come next in line, followed by the general public.
An Air Force spokesman told the Military Times that adoptions for all military working dogs take place at the 341st Training Readiness Squadron at Lackland Air Force Base.
Jerry Britt, the 37th Training Wing MWD dispositions coordinator, works to match dogs with potential adopters and said that each dog is screened for aggressiveness and how it interacts with people and other animals.
Although there is more interest in adopting puppies who don’t advance into military working dog training program, the dogs who’ve served their country are well mannered and have advanced obedience skills.
“You get the satisfaction of giving the retired military working dog a good place to spend the twilight years,” Britt said.
Britt is now in the process of helping professor Robert Klesges of Tennessee adopt his second former military working dog. Klesges previously adopted a German shepherd named Fida, who was a combat tracker for the Marines and worked in detection training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.
After she medically retired in 2013, Klesges adopted her and was a part of his family for nearly five years before she passed away.
“She was almost like a human with fur; she was that smart,” Klesges said. “She deserved to be treated like a queen.”
Klesges headed to Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in June to meet with Britt, and is now waiting to head back to the base when he hears a new dog is ready for him to take home.
Potential adopters may contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on adopting a retired military working dog.