How to Adopt a Retired Police Dog

Updated November 21, 2016

Police dogs have been an active and integral part of law enforcement since the first police dog training centre opened in the U.S. in 1952. These canine officers serve many functions in the line of duty. Police dog abilities include tracking, protecting, discovery of illegal arms and drugs and rescue. The induction of the K-9 unit into the field of law enforcement has most assuredly contributed to the well being and safety of law enforcement agents and civilians alike. Utilisation of the inherent learning capabilities of canines, combined with innovative training techniques, has allowed the creation of a vital addition to present day law enforcement. Like their human counterparts, the time comes for these hard-working canines to retire. They won't be hitting the golf course, however. All they want is a safe, comfortable home and a caring guardian. To adopt a retired police dog, there are a few simple steps that must be taken.

The adoption agency will want to see that you have been a responsible pet owner in the past. Give your veterinarian permission to release past records to the interviewing agency. This is an integral part of the process of adopting a retired police dog.

The adoption agency will visit your home and property to ensure suitability and safety for the canine. Broken fences or gates will need to be repaired before you can adopt. A second inspection will be performed to make certain any necessary repairs have been made. You will be notified by e-mail within two to three days if the property inspection has been approved.

The adoption agency will interview your neighbours and ask about your past or present pet behaviour. Letting your pets run free and being a nuisance in your neighbourhood will reflect unfavourably on your adoption status. Neglect and improper care of previous pets will not be acceptable.

Police dogs have been extensively trained to react to specific commands from their handlers. Learning these commands will make for a more comfortable transition for you and your new pet. The adoption agency will provide training in the use and implementation of the dog's commands.


Households with cats or with children under eight years old will not be allowed to adopt retired police dogs.

Things You'll Need

  • Veterinarian records
  • Home and property inspection
  • Neighbour interviews
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About the Author

Blake ORuairi is an Irish immigrant to the United States with more than 20 years of sales experience on two continents, together with a burgeoning copy and article writing program.