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Adopt a military working dog

Posted 8/10/2009   Updated 8/12/2009 Email story   Print story

    


from compiled staff reports
354th Security Forces Squadron


8/10/2009 - EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- the DoD currently has great dogs available for adoption. 

The 341st Training Squadron located at Lackland AFB, Texas is responsible for training all DoD and Transportation Safety Administration working dogs and offers certain dogs up for adoption. When dogs fail to meet military standards they may become eligible for adoption, therefore ending their military service. 

The current adoption laws give first priority to civilian law enforcement agencies, then to prior MWD handlers, and finally to the general public. If interested, contact the 354th Security Forces Squadron MWD section and speak with the Kennel Master, Tech. Sgt. Nick Ehlinger at 907-377-4286 or via email at nicholas.ehlinger@eielson.af.mil. It should be noted availability for these dogs comes in cycles, and the best way to stay informed on their availability is to check via the internet at http://www.lackland.af.mil/units/341stmwd/index.asp.  

In addition, the U.S. Air Force does not pay for the cost of shipping any adopted animal from Lackland AFB. This is the sole responsibility of the adopter. In past years, there have been many German Sheppard's, Belgian Malinois, and Labs adopted through this program and more are waiting for homes.

Most of the candidates come from pure blood lines and vary from 2-14 years old; their only problem is that they do not have what it takes to be a "combat ready" Military Working Dog. It is also important to keep in mind that some of these dogs have had minimal familiarization training with aggression work, and therefore may not be suitable for families with small children. Additionally, some dogs never receive any training and may not understand any commands such as "sit" or "down". 

If you are interested in adopting a dog that has reached the end of its military service, please keep in mind that these dogs were trained to attack on command and without command in defense of its handler. In order for a former MWD to be a candidate in the adoption program, the DoD will conduct a vigorous screening process to ensure these dogs have become docile and suitable for adoption to live with a member of the general public. 

Furthermore, the DoD will have the adopter sign a release of liability waiving the DoD from legal liability. Finally, if you are trying to obtain an MWD with the intension of utilizing it for security and aggressiveness, your adoption request will be denied. Military Working Dogs across the Air Force have completed numerous combat deployments and their unique capabilities have contributed in saving countless lives. 

In short, the MWD adoption program allows members to provide a loving home for MWDs to live out their last days in peace...it's the least anyone could do for these brave creatures who have served their country with honor and distinction.



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