People are becoming aware of the importance of adopting dogs instead of buying them, and now, the Air Force is looking for canine lovers who would like to adopt retired dogs.
In a statement, the Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland seeks adoptive families, either civilians or members of the military, for its retired military dogs, as well as puppies or younger dogs who don’t advance through the training program to become military working dogs.
The Air Force has also stated that while there is lots of demand to adopt the puppies that didn’t make the cut for active duty, but people are less interested in adopting the adult dogs. Yet, they explain that these dogs are exceptionally trained, and could easily rescue the family members from various dangerous situations or sniff out any nearby bombs.
Retired military dogs are intelligent and well-trained, as they have completed a training program with high standards, and have worked around the world alongside human military members. Their incredible skills and experience will undoubtedly protect your family.
According to the 341st Training Squadron that trains military working dogs, civilian law enforcement agencies are given top priority to adopt the dogs. Next in line are previous handlers, followed by the general public.
Moreover, an Air Force spokesman explained 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. He said that each dog is screened for aggressiveness and how it interacts with people and other animals.
He is now in the process of helping professor Robert Klesges of Tennessee, who wants to adopt his second former military working dog.
Professor Robert Klesges initially adopted Fida, a sweet dog that loved playing with children and going for walks in the park. Fida was a German shepherd who was a combat tracker for the Marines and worked in detection training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.
He says she was a child magnet. One day, when they were out together, a dog attempted to attack the professor, and Fida immediately moved to protect him. After the danger had passed, Fida calmed down and was ready to play with kids again.
Klesges adopted her and took her home with him to Tennessee after she retired from the military. He says she was very smart and deserved to be treated like a queen.
A veterinarian who examined her expected her to live for only two more years, but she remained with the family almost five years before passing away.
Klesges loved Fida so much that he plans to adopt another retired military working dog, and is working with Britt, who organizes the military dog adoptions, to find the right one.
Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland explains that the adoption process can happen quickly or take up to two years. The process is different for every dog, but their welfare is what is most important when being matched with a family.
Before getting matched with a military dog, adopters have to meet a few requirements to ensure the welfare of the dog is ensured. They should have a six-foot fence. Also, they can have no more than three other dogs already, and mustn’t have any children younger than five.
Potential adopters are required to complete an application form, which involves questions about where the dog will live if it will receive any medication it needs for the duration of its life, and they need to list a veterinarian and two references on the application and provide a transport crate.
Regardless of the duration of the adoption process, having a retired military dog in the home largely benefits both the canine and the family.