Adopting Retired Police K9s and Military Working Dogs is a Great Way to Honor their Service

All dogs deserve a loving home. Those that are retiring from a life of public service are no different. Military and police canines ending their careers are highly trained and incredibly loyal animals. If you’ve ever wondered what happens to them once they leave the ranks, there are a number of scenarios.

Oftentimes, they are adopted by their handlers, but just as frequently they can end up needing forever homes provided by members of the public.
If you’d like to adopt one of them, there are a few things you should be aware of first.

military k9
Photo: Pixabay/12019

Golden Years Pups

Because of their training, retired police dogs are highly obedient. They are also typically older than other dogs, ranging in age from 7-10 years old. Their retirement may have stemmed from age or injury, so there may be special needs to consider.

As an example, retired police or military K9s may have experienced trauma or stress during their careers, which can lead to PTSD or anxiety. It’s suggested that you work closely with your veterinarian to create a viable plan to address any issues and help your dog adjust to their new world with you.

K9 with handler
Photo: Pixabay/12019

Adopting Retired Working K9s

While these dogs are often available for adoption through law enforcement agencies, they are also temporarily cared for by organizations specializing in finding homes for retired working dogs. These groups will be able to provide info about available dogs and the adoption process. Two groups to investigate are Mission K9 Rescue and Patriot K9 Rescue.

Patriot K9 Rescue is a nonprofit that raises funds to care for retired military working dogs, contract working dogs, and retired police K9’s. Mission K9 Rescue, another nonprofit, is dedicated to rescuing, reuniting, re-homing, rehabilitating, and repairing any retired working dog “that has served mankind in some capacity.”

Adopting these animals can differ from that of regular pets, so you need to be aware of that before moving forward. For instance, prospective pet parents may need to undergo screening as well as provide information on their living space, personal lifestyle, and even prior dog experience. Just remember that finding the right dog for your situation takes time.

Prison guard k9
Photo: Pixabay/ernestoeslava

K9 Forever Homes

Depending on the animal’s particular circumstances, the input you’ve received from the source of the adoption, and your vet’s advice, you’ll want to accommodate the animal and provide it with plenty of opportunities for exercise and socialization. Additionally, your dog may require ongoing training and supervision to help them adjust from a life of service to that of a pet.

Last but not least, consistency and patience with your pet will pay off because it might take some time for them to feel comfortable in their new surroundings. Hang in there. They’re worth it.

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