Military Working Dogs work alongside American soldiers, risking their lives to help save others. These animals are highly trained and perform many dangerous tasks. Like our soldiers, MWD's deserve a loving home and family to come back to after they are retired from duty. Thanks to Robby's Law that passed in 2000, these loyal dogs may now be adopted instead of euthanized. Prior to 2000 the US Military euthanized all dogs after they served their full tours of duty, refusing to be responsible for these amazing animals. MWD's serve seven to eight years and an average of 2,500 canines serve worldwide each year with 400 to 500 being adopted.
There is an official website for adopting MWD's, but there are also other groups that can help you adopt. The first step is filling out an application request. It is good to note that there are many people who are interested in providing good homes to these animal heroes. It does however, mean that the wait list is between 12 and 18 months long. In addition, adopting is free. The only expense is paying for the transportation to deliver the dog to your location. Due to a new bill that was signed by the president in January you can now use frequent traveler miles to cover this cost.
Before adopting there are some things to be considered about these special animals. You will need to evaluate if your home is the best environment. All the retired dogs have to pass a suitability test to be put up for adoption, but even still they may not be the right fit as your pet. While extremely loyal, these dogs are highly trained. They are independent, have specific vocal or physical triggers, and may be a little aggressive. It is not recommended to adopt one of these dogs if you have small children or another pet.
If you decide that adoption may not work out but you still want to help, volunteers to foster puppies are welcome. Your residence must be close to Lackland AFB near San Antonio. The MWD Breeding Program needs puppy lovers to raise future canine heros from the age of 12 weeks to 6 months, at which time they are ready to start their training. At the completion of training, these new young canine recruits will join the ranks of an estimated 2500 military dogs working on US military bases worldwide.