Here’s How To Adopt a Retired Police Dog

updated Oct 17, 2019
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Police dogs, commonly referred to as K9s, are integral parts of many law enforcement agencies. Working dogs—just like working humans—retire eventually, so where do K9s go when they’re done with their life’s work? Hopefully right into your home.

Organizations like Mission K9 Rescue are dedicated to placing retired K9’s and Military Working Dogs into loving, responsible homes. Since many of these dogs have experienced trauma, anxiety, and stress, Mission K9 Rescue aims to decompress and reintegrate these dogs into a society where they can have the relaxing retirement they deserve. 

Before the passing of Robby’s Law back in 2000, many military and police dogs were sadly euthanized after retirement. While some were adopted by their trainers, handlers, or other service members, organizations like Mission K9 Rescue work to serve these dogs and make them adoptable for civilians. Their mission is to “Rescue, Reunite, Re-Home, Rehabilitate and Repair any retired working dog that has served mankind in some capacity.”

Before adopting with Mission K9 Rescue, you must meet acceptable home standards; have plenty of time to devote to your new dog; must be able to walk the dog at least twice a day and include playtime; must be able to afford the cost of transportation and care for the dog you want to adopt; able to afford regular vet care for your new dog; must not leave them alone for long periods of time; and if you have any other pets, they must be compatible with your new dog.  

While Mission K9 Rescue is based in Houston, TX, they operate worldwide. Most adoptable retired K9s are—you guessed it—German Shepherds and German Shepherd mixes and are typically older in age. 

Visit the Mission K9 Rescue website to learn more about adopting your very own hero dog. For those who’d like a younger pup, other organizations exist that rehome dogs that have failed guide dog training.