In our post 9/11 society, you can’t take a train, fly on a plane, or go to a major sporting event without seeing a working dog.  These dogs give their lives selflessly to protect us from harm. 

How do I adopt a retired working dog?

You go onto our website and complete an application and email your application to K9 Hero Haven for consideration.

Why is the application so long?

These dogs are very special dogs which requires a special home for them.  The application is designed not to be a deterrent, but rather to be a tool to help us determine the best adoption situation which is best for both parties involved.  We treat each dog as an individual.

Are these dogs good with kids?

Nearly all of these dogs have never been around small children.  With that being said, the suitability of these dogs with kids varies from dog to dog.  Most working dogs are of herding breeds.  The herding dog breeds like to chase children which can scare them and/or lead to an incident with a dog.  Some dogs are very “mouthy.”  They may initially lick you and transition to small light nipping.  It is not necessarily an aggressive behavior, but rather a show of affection.  This could either injure and/or scare small children.  It is also important to remember that these dogs are large breed dogs which exaggerates all their behaviors.

Does it cost to adopt a dog?

There is a $200 adoption fee which is due at the time of receiving your dog.  The fee is nominal and helps us continue to care for these dogs and do the things that we do.

Can I use the dog for a working purpose?

Our adoption agreement is very specific that these dogs are retired and may not work any capacity.  Many of our adoptive families have engaged their four-legged heroes in a variety of activities to stimulate them physically and mentally.  Keep in mind that many of our dogs are retired because of age and/or health reasons, so it is important to keep that in mind when choosing activities, etc. with these dogs.

How long does it take to adopt a dog?

First, there is no guarantee on the time frame.  Adoptions can be fast as a month to nearly one year.  We take applications on a first come basis.  All applications are screened based on applicant and dog suitability.  Adoptions are also based on dog availability.

Can I work and/or use these dogs in a working and/or other profitable capacity?

NO! These dogs are retired!  They are not to be used for any capacity for profit no matter if it is for a nonprofit.  Some of these dogs have went on to be certified therapy dogs which is acceptable.  It is a way to help them adjust to retirement and share their story with others.  No one gains from this transaction. 

Where do these dogs come from?

These dogs come from a variety of places.  Some dogs may come from police departments and/or public service agencies.  A majority of these dogs come from serving various posts overseas in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan.  They serve from protecting our Coalition troops and/or diplomatic interests. 

Why are these dogs retired?

In most cases, dogs are retired because of their age or for health issues.  Many of the dogs who are retired because of age are extremely healthy because of the extreme health care that they received.  Dogs with health issues can vary from something as simple as a skin condition to a musculoskeletal issues.  Some dogs do have PTSD issues.  If you adopt a special needs dog, we require you to agree to continue the medical care process for these dogs.

Where can I get more information on working dogs?

A great book about working dogs is, “Soldier Dogs” by Maria Goodavage.  The book is about military working dogs, but does a great job to allow you to appreciate the training and sacrifices that these dogs make for us every day.  These dogs whether police dogs or contract dogs have been through some similar training as a part of their working dog career.  Remember, these dogs didn’t have to opportunity to serve.

Are the dogs military dogs?

Unless the particular dog which you are adopting is specified as a military dog, the dog may be a retired law enforcement dog, contract dog, other agency dog.  The military specifically handles their own adoptions.  Occasionally, retired military dogs find themselves in search of a new home.  There are various reasons as to why.  Contract dogs in most cases have been trained to the DOD standards which align with the training requirements for military dogs.  Based on the contract that the dogs are filling the role for, their training and expectations can vary.  The organizations who we work with for retired dogs go to great lengths to ensure that their dogs are top quality K9's.  The contract dogs work overseas in various capacities. They serve to protect various interests such as embassies, military installations, and other items. 

Are these dogs good with other animals?

This can vary by each dog.  Understand that they have had a life being around other dogs, etc., but many by nature have not really had direct contact with other dogs.  We attempt to go to lengths to evaluate the dogs for suitability around other animals, but each situation is different.  Just because a dog may pass testing, the home environment that it encounters can be an entirely different situation.