Dog Welfare

Adopt a Retired Police or Military Dog: They have Served Us in Their Prime. Now It’s Time for Us to Give Them a Home

Adopt a retired police or military dog | Vanillapup

If you have the resources and time to adopt a dog, why not consider a retired working dog? These dogs deserve to enjoy their retirement in a loving home!

Thinking of adopting a dog but not sure where to go? Besides animal shelters, you can consider adopting ex-police or -military dogs!

These veterans and ex-police dogs served our country when they were young and are now looking for their retirement home. If you live in a private property and have the resources and heart to adopt one, you can make a viewing appointment and apply for adoption from two places:

  • The Military Working Dog Unit (MWDU)
  • The Police K-9 Unit

Here are some FAQs that may be useful if you are keen on adopting them.

1. What kind of jobs did the dogs do?

As sniffer dogs, they were trained and tasked to detect narcotics or explosives or track criminals or victims.

2. Generally how old are they?

They are generally at least seven years old.

3. Are they HDB-approved?

Because they are mainly Labradors, Cocker Spaniels, English Springers, and German Shepherds, they are not allowed to live in the Housing & Development Board (HDB) flats.

However, from June this year, police and military dog handlers are able to keep their retired sniffer dogs in HDB flats under the Project Adore pilot program.

4. Are there any differences in adopting retired working dogs compared to dogs from animal shelters?

Retired working dogs are not very different from other dogs. They can be greedy, playful, and affectionate just like any dog. The bonus is that they come well-disciplined and well-trained.

Because they are used to being active, besides love, good care, and companionship, they need adequate mental and physical exercise. They are also in their senior years, which means that adopters have to be ready for age-related problems.

To ensure that the dogs are suitable for adoption, trainers will assess their temperament, behaviour, and health. So, adopters can rest assured that they would be adopting a dog that is ready to join a family.

You can read and watch successful adoption stories herehere, and here.

5. How are the potential adopters screened?

Interested adopters above 18 years old can call the MWDU (6424 6623) or Singapore Police Force (6314 6043) during working hours to arrange a viewing.

A screening will be done to assess your suitability as an adopter. Some of the things they will look out for:

  • Overall sincerity
  • How well you interact with the dog
  • The living environment – Is there ample space for the dog to rest and roam?
  • Your lifestyle – Whether you have the resources to care for the dog and how much time a day the dog would stay alone at home
  • Your family’s experience with dog ownership
  • The dogs are not to be used for guarding or other work after adoption

All interested adopters of the MWDU dogs will have to agree to a house visit to assess living conditions.

The whole adoption process, including paperwork, will take a few weeks.

After the adoption, both forces would continue to keep in close contact with the adopter to ensure the dog’s wellbeing. House visits may also be conducted.

6. How much is it to adopt a dog?

All dogs

Adopters have to licence their dogs with AVA at their own cost (S$90 for unsterilised dogs and S$15 for sterilised dogs).

Retired police K-9s

Adoption fee is $53.50. All adopted dogs will have to receive a certificate of completion of dog obedience training conducted by an AVA accredited trainer, at the adopter’s own cost, which would be around S$300 to S$500.

Retired MWDU dogs

Adoption is free. MWDU has also taken care of the dogs’ obedience training.

Scheduled dogs

If you are adopting a scheduled dog, such as a German Shepherd or Belgian Shepherd, you will need to submit the following documents to AVA within eight weeks after obtaining the dog licence:

  • Banker’s Guarantee of S$2000 or S$5000
  • Insurance coverage of at least S$100,000

It is advisable for adopters to send their adopted dogs to the vet for a thorough checkup after adoption. That can cost a few hundred dollars. If the dog isn’t sterilised and the adopter wishes to sterilise her, it also adds to the cost.

Please also be aware that these dogs are not young anymore and may have or are prone to age-related illnesses. Hence, adopters have to be financially able to care for them, especially when they are sick.

7. What happens to the dogs that aren’t adopted?

Both the MWDU and Police K-9 Unit will care for the dogs for the rest of their lives.

Watch this video to understand more about retired police dogs:


Photos credit: MWDU

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Latte is the happy Westie behind Vanillapup, a website for dog lovers. Discover latest products and services, dog-friendly hangouts, helpful tips and advice, and exclusive perks.
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