Here's How to Adopt a Military Working Dog

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) | By Amy Bushatz

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.

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.

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

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.

Interested in adopting a retired military working dog? You can contact officials at or call 210-671-6766.

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