WATCH: You Can Adopt Puppies That Failed TSA Training
Here's what you need to know before applying.
Looking to add a new four-legged member to your family? You may want to keep your eye on TSA's Canine Adoption Program. The unique service finds homes for dogs from Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in San Antonio, Texas.
As the TSA's site states, "Dogs available for adoption are ones that do not meet the TSA Canine Training Center criteria for government work. These dogs are highly active and in most cases, untrained and not house broken, but with proper training and care, they can be a great addition to families. On occasion, there are dogs that have been retired from government service." (Most of the dogs up for adoption are between the ages of two-and-four, so yes, expect plenty of energy!) There is no cost for adoption, but you're responsible for all expenses when you take the dog home.
Breeds include Labrador Retrievers, German Shorthaired Pointers, and occasionally German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois, among others. If you request a specific breed, age, or gender, your wait time for a dog may be longer. As for the dogs' training? "Dogs that fail training for government work typically have some explosives detection training. The dogs are highly active and in most cases, will require a lot of attention, additional training and significant exercise." The dogs are are crate-trained, but they aren't house-trained so you may need professional help. Most of the dogs haven't spent any time with other animals besides dogs or small children. If you're approved for adoption, you must travel to San Antonio (sometimes multiple visits are required) to take your dog home.
Currently, the TSA is not accepting additional applications for adoption, but Lonely Planet shared in a recent article that the application process is expected to reopen soon.
If you're interested in adopting a retired military dog, learn more here.