Home Programs US Veterans Find Your Pet Providers Supporters Health Benefits
Military Dogs
Training History Memorials Day in the Life Pup Soldiers Adoptions

Military Working Dog Adoptions

"A bond is built forever - Forever and a day - Built on love - Built on trust  - That's the canine way" 

To our knowledge MWD Adoptions have changed

to allow the TEAM to stay together throughout

the career of the Handler and then for

only the Handler to adopt the MWD.

We are not aware of any adoptions of MWDs via Lackland to civilians at this time.

TSA still has some adoptions, they want you to signup via their website and will contact you when dogs are available for adoption.

Our Facebook page at 

Military Working Dogs ~ Adopted, Loved & Honored 

is no longer active.

ADOPT Military Working Dogs


TSA has a new way to sign up via their website,

where they will keep you updated as to when they are accepting applications.  


and the email address is  adoptatsacanine@tsa.dhs.gov



Point of Contact

341st Training Squadron

1320 Truemper Street, STE 2

Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, TX 78236-5103

COMM: (210) 671-5178

CALL HERE > 210-671-3153



OFFICIAL APPLICATION TO ADOPT A MWD   Official MWD Adoption Flyer Frequently Asked Questions


If you are interested in fostering a pup for the DOD MWD Breeding Program,
send an email to MWD.Foster@us.af.mil 
There are some additional requirements that foster volunteers have to meet.


Military Working Dog Adoptions - by former US Military Working Dog Handler's & Veterans

An Amazing Uli Story (retired military dog) by Mitra.  "I wish sometimes I could get inside of Uli's mind and know what he knows. When I posted his Bday photo's on another page I noticed a comment, a Bday wish from the wife of Uli's handler. It touched me that she would comment. I was talking to Uli in a regular voice and told him what she said and I said her name. Its not a common name that he would hear in any other situation. Uli jumped up and began dancing up and down the hallway. One would have thought I said the word "Car Ride" or something exciting. Then I wondered how many times Uli would have heard her name in conversations with his handler. While they were deployed together how many times his handler would have said her name. I am not sure what the name meant to Uli except it was obviously a word he remembered with joy. His dancing up and down the hall just about brought tears to my eye... he would still remember his handler? yes Uli still remembers."


You can contact Barb Kirk on facebook if you are a past handler.

UPDATE: MWD Lodd passed away on August 23, 2014

Barb Kirk adopted Lodd on Jan 16, 2011 from a person who could no longer care for Lodd and is now looking for his past handlers. 

On Lodd: His vet military records start in 2003 in Europe with immunizations and the last one entered was 2004. However, it picks up again in 2009.....the previous owner told me her boyfriend who was Special Forces told her about Lodd coming up for adoption. My question is: Since I am unable to get anything record wise from 2009 back....was he Special Forces? He had horrible PTSD and, reacted to gunfire which I used diversion training on and got him through that. The last entry was when he was brought in for: Excessive retraining and, being unwilling to sit so that is when he was retired, medically. He entered the military in 2002 at Lackland AFB, Tx. Anyone with info on him can send me a FB msg....Barb Kirk (Seguin, Tx) and I'll get back with them. I've had Kennel masters who all say "I have never had so many problems trying to get info on a dog." I would love pictures if anyone has them as well as history.

 MWD adoptions by former US Military Working Dog Handler's

MWD Kira J080 (USN, RETIRED!!) was reunited in San Diego, CA, with her former handler KT    JR - MWD - Beny-J471-USA-retired 

Corporal ML survived a roadside bomb with her military service dog Sgt. Rex.  Megan adopted Rex after a long separation  

People are extremely happy that our War Dogs can now be adopted by their handler's and the public.  But it didn't always used to be with way.  If you are new to the history of War Dogs, here is some history you may want to know.

Even though military dogs are credited with saving 10,000 lives in the Vietnam war, they were left in Vietnam at the end of the war. Considered equipment, no plans or provisions allowed for their return to the United States or retirement after their dangerous service to our country.

That all changed when Congress passed Robby’s Law in 2000. Robby’s handler had made every effort to adopt his companion, but he was euthanized anyway. Although the law didn’t save Robby, the law allows for the adoption of retiring military dogs. Officially they are considered obsolete equipment. Today none of the adoptable dogs are euthanized. In fact, there is a waiting list of people wanting to give them retirement homes.  A dog is offered first to other agencies such as law enforcement, then to former handlers and finally to qualified families who apply.

Understandably the screening process is quite stringent. It’s important that the people want the dogs for the right reasons. And they have the experience to handle a highly trained animal. Some Military Working Dogs do not make warm fuzzy pets and may suffer from PTSD just as humans.  The complex application process is crafted to find the most qualified adopters for these soldiers. People must have the skills and abilities to handle the dogs, as well financial resources. These are older dogs who have been in battle zones, and many have health issues.  Check out some FAQ's

MWD Bruno and Handler O share "a moment" at Creech AFB - "These dogs, no matter what their specialty, are saving US troops," www.militaryworkingdogadoptions.com

In support of TEDD Handlers 

Adoption of Tactical Explosive Detection Military Working Dogs-directs the Secretary of the Air Force Page140

US Air Force Report TEDD Adoption Report Aug 2016

Inspector General Assessment of TEDD Adoption Program June 2016

Aug 2017 - Awaiting IG Assessment Report

Archived in support of all the TEDD Handlers who did not get to adopt their partners due to the


Our Facebook page, Military Working Dogs ~ Adopted, Loved & Honored began as way to honor the work Vietnam Veterans who all had to leave their partners behind.  It quickly and quite by accident began unveiling the TEDD CONSPIRACY in N. Carolina that involved approximately 200 TEDD dogs that were wrongly adopted out to civilians instead of their Handlers in 2013 and 2014.  

Frequently we were asked to help find the dogs, in one case, we were able to locate the dog and had high hopes of a reunion, but the adoptive family refused to return him to his handler.  

That Handler initiated two things:

1.  A huge investigation, part of which is still pending, which indicated the adoption process was not handled properly, however to date the House Armed Service Committee has not done anything to allow the Handlers to have the dogs returned to them.

2.  Influenced a change in how Lackland handles adoptions.  As of our last conversation with them, they now put protocols in place that keep the MWD together throughout their career and then adopt out together.

Less than a handful of civilians returned the dogs to their Handlers.   

In addition, the general public including both the civilians who adopted and others created much secrecy & discord in this community over the TEDD CONSPIRACY.

Presumed to be the most accurate accounting of the latest laws governing Military Working Dog Adoptions.

10 U.S. Code § 2583 - Military animals: transfer and adoption

*(updated 11/26/15)

(a)Availability for Adoption.—The Secretary of the military department concerned shall make a military animal of such military department available for adoption by a person or entity referred to in subsection (c), unless the animal has been determined to be unsuitable for adoption under subsection (b), under circumstances as follows:
At the end of the animal’s useful life.
Before the end of the animal’s useful life, if such Secretary, in such Secretary’s discretion, determines that unusual or extraordinary circumstances, including circumstances under which the handler of a military working dog is killed in action, dies of wounds received in action, or is medically retired as a result of injuries received in action, justify making the animal available for adoption before that time.
When the animal is otherwise excess to the needs of such military department.
(b)Suitability for Adoption.—
The decision whether a particular military animal is suitable or unsuitable for adoption under this section shall be made by the commander of the last unit to which the animal is assigned before being declared excess. The unit commander shall consider the recommendations of the unit’s veterinarian in making the decision regarding the adoptability of the animal.
(c)Authorized Recipients.—
(1)A military animal shall be made available for adoption under this section, in order of recommended priority—
by former handlers of the animal;
by other persons capable of humanely caring for the animal; and
by law enforcement agencies.
If the Secretary of the military department concerned determines that an adoption is justified under subsection (a)(2) under circumstances under which the handler of a military working dog is wounded in action, the dog shall be made available for adoption only by the handler. If the Secretary of the military department concerned determines that such an adoption is justified under circumstances under which the handler of a military working dog is killed in action or dies of wounds received in action, the military working dog shall be made available for adoption only by a parent, child, spouse, or sibling of the deceased handler.
The transfer of a military animal under this section may be without charge to the recipient.
(e)Limitations on Liability for Transferred Animals.—
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the United States shall not be subject to any suit, claim, demand or action, liability, judgment, cost, or other fee arising out of any claim for personal injury or property damage (including death, illness, or loss of or damage to property or other economic loss) that results from, or is in any manner predicated upon, the act or omission of a former military animal transferred under this section, including any training provided to the animal while a military animal.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the United States shall not be liable for any veterinary expense associated with a military animal transferred under this section for a condition of the military animal before transfer under this section, whether or not such condition is known at the time of transfer under this section.
(f)Transfer of Retired Military Working Dogs.—
(1)If the Secretary of the military department concerned determines that a military working dog should be retired the Secretary shall transfer the dog—
to the 341st Training Squadron; or
to another location within the United States for adoption under this section.
(2)Paragraph (1) shall not apply if at the time of retirement—
the dog is located outside the United States and a United States citizen or service member living abroad adopts the dog; or
the dog is located within the United States and suitable adoption is available where the dog is located.
(g)Preference in Adoption of Retired Military Working Dogs for Former Handlers.—
In providing for the adoption under this section of a retired military working dog described in paragraph (1) or (3) of subsection (a), the Secretary of the military department concerned shall accord a preference to the former handler of the dog unless the Secretary determines that adoption of the dog by the former handler would not be in the best interests of the dog.
In the case of a dog covered by paragraph (1) with more than one former handler seeking adoption of the dog at the time of adoption, the Secretary shall provide for the adoption of the dog by such former handler whose adoption of the dog will best serve the interests of the dog and such former handlers. The Secretary shall make any determination required by this paragraph with respect to a dog following consultation with the kennel master of the unit at which the dog was last located before adoption under this section.
Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as altering, revising, or overriding any policy of a military department for the adoption of military working dogs by law enforcement agencies before the end of the dogs’ useful lives.
(h)Military Animal Defined.—In this section, the term “military animal” means the following:
A military working dog.
A horse owned by the Department of Defense.

(Added Pub. L. 106–446, § 1(a), Nov. 6, 2000, 114 Stat. 1932, § 2582; renumbered § 2583, Pub. L. 107–107, div. A, title X, § 1048(a)(25), Dec. 28, 2001, 115 Stat. 1224; amended Pub. L. 109–163, div. A, title V, § 599, Jan. 6, 2006, 119 Stat. 3284; Pub. L. 109–364, div. A, title III, § 352(a), Oct. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 2160; Pub. L. 110–181, div. A, title X, § 1063(a)(13), Jan. 28, 2008, 122 Stat. 322; Pub. L. 112–81, div. A, title III, § 351, title X, § 1061(20), Dec. 31, 2011, 125 Stat. 1375, 1584; Pub. L. 112–239, div. A, title III, § 371(a), Jan. 2, 2013, 126 Stat. 1706; Pub. L. 113–66, div. A, title X, § 1091(b)(2), Dec. 26, 2013, 127 Stat. 876; Pub. L. 114–92, div. A, title III, § 342, Nov. 25, 2015, 129 Stat. 793.)            

REFERENCE https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/10/2583        

2010 Reference https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCODE-2010-title10/html/USCODE-2010-title10-subtitleA-partIV-chap153-sec2583.htm


Per Lackland: Title 10 US Code 2583 gives priority first to civilian Law Enforcement Agencies, then to prior handlers, and finally to the general public. In the event that a dog’s age or fitness precludes it from being considered for Law Enforcement duties, then a former handler is most often selected. Better than 90% of former MWDs are adopted by their handlers at field units.  The dog is offered to the last handler first.   


Acronyms are -

T.E.D.D., Tactical Explosive Detector Dogs - Owned by the Army.

IED - Improvised Explosion Detection

IDD - Improvised Detection Dog

EDD -Explosive Detection Dog

SSD - Specialized Search Dog or Detection

PEDD - Patrol Explosive Detection Dog

MPC- Multi Purpose Canine

EDD/P -  Explosive Detection Dog & Patrol

IDD/P - Improvised Detection Dog & Patrol

PATROL DOGS (PD) - MAY NOT BE SUITABLE WITH CHILDREN - Search for, locate, and apprehend insurgents, criminals, and terrorists.  Deter criminal and insurgent activity.PDs can be dual-trained to locate explosives (PEDD) or narcotics (PNDD) and can take on dual assignments.

CWDs are not MWDs.

CWDs  are owned by a private contract company.  They will be adopted out through whatever company owns them UNLESS a private individual, or group talks the company into allowing an early release of the dog.  

MOST TIMES WITH THE TEDD PROGRAM THE HANDLERS WERE NEVER NOTIFIED THEIR PARTNERS WERE READY FOR ADOPTION.  THE TEDD PROGRAM is a different program than Lackland, TEDD dogs were owned by the ARMY.  In early 2013-14 countless MWDs from the TEDD PROGRAM were adopted out in North Carolina to private citizens where they still reside today.  Most of these private citizens FLATLY REFUSE to even consider returning these War Dogs to their Handlers. To refuse to return a MWD to it's Handler is not a very nice thing to do, this is an unacceptable way to treat our Military members.  It is NOT PATRIOTIC.  A Handler and MWD put their lives on the line for all Americans. They were, still are and always will be a team.  There are numerous civilian families who are refusing to return the dog to it's Handler, if you know one of these families, please encourage them to return the dog to the Handler.

If you are a member of the general public, please keep in mind that the dog you adopted: worked with, was the partner to it's Handler, together they SAVED many lives... creating a bond for the handlers and warriors that is beyond most civilians comprehension. They need their DOG... so please consider looking for handlers or being open to them if they show up later on down the road to make the dog available to them... This can happen in a couple of different ways.  Perhaps the Handler would like to have his or her dog returned to them. If you, general public, have bonded with the dog, this will be at great personal sacrifice on your part. However, sometimes for a multitude of reasons a Handler can not adopt, but would like contact, perhaps via pictures, phone and visits. 

ALSO, PLEASE CONSIDER THIS... The dogs made available for adoption that returned home from war, will be offered for adoption because they can not work anymore. This means they may have multiple physical injuries and old age issues that will have high medical care costs. In some cases, extremely high cost. The dogs are not 'show-pieces' - they will need to be Adopted - Loved & Honored and will cost you much money. Most are not house trained, and most will continue working in 'their head', you will need to know what their triggers are... you will need to seriously educated yourself... Some adopters find their dogs needs to sniff all the cars in the parking lot or parked cars while walking down the street.... and much more. ( There is no 'official' medical care for retired Military or Contract Working Dogs )


Every base handles their own adoptions across the DoD.  If individuals are interested in adopting from somewhere besides Lackland they would need to go through that unit that owns the dog.

The one drawback for public adoptions at operational bases is that nearly all of those dogs go to the handler and never make it to the public.  This is the most ideal situation for the dog.  

The dogs housed at Lackland don't typically have any handler assigned for an extended period of time which makes it much easier for the public to adopt.  There are approximately 15-20 dogs that become available each month, however currently Lackland has close to 500 applications on file.  

This could potentially cause someone interested in adopting to wait 12-18 months to adopt depending on the dogs that are available. That wait does not apply to operational units as they may only have one or two dogs a year retire out.


Contact  About Us Site-Map How to Help  
Vets Adopt Pets™ (VAP) - TradeMark applies to all sites - Copyright 2011 Best Viewing Resolution 1366 x 768