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Military Working Dog Adoptions

Military Working Dog Adoptions - by former US Military Working Dog Handler's, Veterans and public adoption.

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


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.

Official MWD Adoption Applications

Official outline of MWD adoption process

MWD adoptions by Veterans & private citizens


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

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 Kennelmasters 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 discharged former handlers, then to law enforcement 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

Not sure if this was an adoption, but it sure is a beautiful picture

Vets Adopt Pets