Just like human police officers, police dogs retire after a certain age. According to the City of Tampa (Fla.) K9 Unit, healthy police dogs generally retire at age 8 or 9. The majority of these dogs retire to live with their handlers. However, sometimes a dog is put up for adoption. The process to adopt a retired police dog can be arduous compared to adopting a regular dog. Due to their training, shelters need to be certain an adopting owner understands the needs of the dog and can handle them.
Contact your local police stations to express your interest in adopting a retired police dog. If the station doesn't handle the adoptions directly they will at least be able to point you in the right direction.
Contact K9 officer training facilities to express interest in a retired police dog. Since most dogs stay with their handlers after retirement, you may have to add your name to the end of a long list.
Get a list of requirements from the police station or agency. Make sure your home meets or exceeds all requirements.
Prepare to have a home inspection when the time comes. During the inspection, make sure all members of your household are present. Most adoption agencies require interviews with all family members.
Have veterinarian records available along with a waiver allowing your veterinarian to talk with the adoption agency about your history with pets.
Do not adopt other animals, like cats, while you are waiting for your retired police dog. Agencies like K9 Global Training Academy will not place a dog in a home with a cat.
- Consider adopting retired military dogs or service dog training dropouts instead.