Celebrating K-9 Veterans Day

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March 13 is National K9 Veterans Day. This is a day that commemorates the service and sacrifices of American military and working dogs.

This day is set aside to honor those dogs who have served by the side of our own soldiers.

What do Service Dogs do After Service?

What happens to our canine soldiers when they retire? This is a common question and one that may surprise some folks. 

Generally, canine veterans remain with their handlers. The handler and his or her dog develop a special bond throughout the duration of their time together. They may have been in training together, on tour together, or even in combat-type situations together.

Military working dogs (AKA MWD’s) are generally retired from duty due to age or some type of health condition. All adoptable military working dogs are required to pass a behavioral test before they can be adopted.

Which Organizations Offer MWD’s for Adoption?

There are quite a few organizations involved in the rehabilitation and adoption of military working dogs. The Lackland Air Force Base, in San Antonio, is where military puppies receive their training. They also handle adoptions.

Mission K9 Rescue also assists in facilitating adoptions of MWD’s who can’t reunite with their handlers.

What Ages are Available?

You usually won’t see any young dogs available for adoption. Most retired military working dogs are between 10 and 12 years of age. The most common breeds are:

As to be expected, these dogs are intelligent, loyal companions.

Is There a Waiting List?

Yes, there is a waiting list, which is a good problem to have!  There are so many good hearts waiting to add a military working dog to their family. 

Are There Requirements? to Adopt

There may be certain requirements you must meet before being placed on the approved adopters list including:

  • Willingness to travel to pick up your special dog
  • No children under five years of age
  • Questions regarding other pets in the home will be asked
  • Interview to ensure you are capable of handling an MWD

Honoring K9 Veterans Day

Even if you aren’t interested in adopting a military working dog, you can be a tremendous help simply by sharing your appreciation for what these dogs do every day. You can do your own research and read stories of what our dogs have gone through, the lives they have saved, and the relationship they share with their handlers.

Happy K9 Veterans Day to our canine friends and all those who care for them! 

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances. 

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.