TSA dogs are now a common sight in major airports, but those hard-working pups weren’t born on the job. They’re carefully selected and trained before they’re deemed ready to don official vests. Professional government work, however, isn’t for every pooch. Not every dog has the personality and drive to be good at the job, and some dogs don’t make it through training. So what happens to these K9 drop-outs? They deserve good homes, and the TSA Adoption Program makes sure they get them.
Mogrart is a TSA explosives canine who works at ORD Airport. He's a serious IronMaiden fan as you can tell from his serious expression.Photo info credit: TSA Media
When dogs fail the government training course, it’s for a number of reasons. In most cases, it’s because the dog’s personality doesn’t match the rigorous demands of the job. These are the dogs that would rather take a nap than run a mile. They prefer sniffing out snacks than searching for contraband. Instead of chasing down bad guys, they wag their tails at everyone they meet. Overall, they’re the dogs that flunk out of school because they’re too nice.
From a government dog trainer’s point of view, being too nice is a problem. To be successful, dogs need to be self-driven and enthusiastic about training. Failing out of training is often the best thing to happen to some dogs. It gives them the opportunity to find love with new families.
To ensure these flunkies are not forgotten, the TSA Canine Training Center releases them to be adopted. And despite investing significant amounts of money into initial training, the dogs are adopted out for free. Finding good homes for these lovable dogs is their top priority, and they screen potential adopters to find each dog a perfect new family.
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So what do you need to do to adopt one of these ex-government dogs? First, you have to fill out an extensive application. The purpose of the application is to guarantee the dogs go to people with good intentions and the right resources to care for these potentially demanding dogs. It says on the TSA website,
“These dogs are highly active and in most cases, untrained and not housebroken, but with proper training and care, they can be a great addition to families. “
All potential adopters must meet a few home requirements before being cleared to take home a dog. They must have a fully fenced yard and a permanent living situation. All current pets must be up to date on vaccinations and preventative care, and applicants must agree to provide dogs with all necessary medical care, training, exercise, and companionship.
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When adoption coordinators approve an application, adopters have the opportunity to meet available dogs. They travel to where the dogs are located in San Antonio, TX, and some people have to make multiple visits. Once they make a match, all the adopter has to do is show up with leash, collar, and crate. They walk away with a loving new family member.
The entire process can take up to a year, but these lovable drop-outs are always worth the wait. The same traits considered weaknesses in training are the exact reasons why their new families love them. They’re sweet and silly and all-around adorable. Visit the TSA Adoption Program website for more information.
Featured photo via Facebook/Sabrina Squire NBC12
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