Here at Sixty and Me, we know just how much living with an animal can improve your life, and we’ve written before about the benefits of owning a pet as an older adult. Many people choose to buy their animal from a breeder, but there are plenty of other ways to adopt deserving pets.

Can you think of an animal more deserving of a good home than a hero dog who’s worked for the police or military?

These amazing dogs spend their lives keeping the public safe and secure, but once they retire, many of them are in desperate need of a loving home.

Who better to adopt a retired hero dog than women like us in the Sixty and Me community? Let’s find out more about how to get involved.

Hero Dogs

Hero dogs are trained to do tasks like sniff out bombs in airports and assist with police work, but they may just be your perfect retirement partner in crime too!

Typically, German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Belgian Malinois, and German Short-Haired Pointers are the breeds used to fill these important public security roles. Most of the dogs that need homes are between the ages of 2 and 10 years old, with some being retired and some not passing through the training program.

Some Considerations to Keep in Mind

While retired working dogs are amazing companions, they might not be right for everyone. After spending much of their lives in a kennel, many of them need a patient owner to help them adapt to a life indoors.

Bomb-sniffing dogs are quite high-energy by nature and require an owner who can offer them plenty of exercise and activity. This doesn’t mean that you need to be prepared to go on 5-mile runs if you adopt one of these playful companions; a trip to the dog park or a large back yard will work just fine!

And although most of us in the Sixty and Me community don’t have children under 5 years old living in our homes, many of us do have grandchildren who visit. Keep this in mind when considering a retired hero dog.

The Lackland Airforce Base in Texas does not recommend retired working dogs for families with children under the age of 5 years living in the house.

Interested in Adopting?

If a retired hero dog sounds like the perfect partner in crime (or should I say, crime-fighting) for you, there are a number of ways to adopt.

You can contact the Military Working Dog School at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, for starters. They have a list of people who might be interested in adopting a hero dog and are able to find homes for about six dogs each month!

Another option is to get in touch with the Transportation Security Administration. They occasionally run adoption campaigns that could help match you with your future four-legged friend.

Although there’s no charge for adopting a retired hero dog, you must complete the application process and be prepared to travel to San Antonio to pick up your new companion.

These incredible canines have spent their lives acting as heroes for many people. By contacting the Military Dog Working School, now you can become a hero for one of them!

You can also visit the Animal Rescue website for more information and links to related sites.

Remember, if you’re interested in adopting a younger animal, shelters may be a better option than a hero dog. There are plenty of animals in shelters nationwide that need loving homes just like hero dogs.

A Match Made in Heaven

The benefits of owning a pet at any age are extensive – reduced stress, improved mood, companionship, lower health risks – the list goes on and on.

For people of a slightly older age group, these benefits only increase. As we age, some of us deal with lacking purpose in our lives, more health problems, or loneliness and boredom. Adopting a retired hero dog is the perfect solution to many of these struggles that we face.

Not only will you enjoy the pleasure that comes from helping an animal in need, but you will likely feel safer, less lonely, and remain more active!

So, what are you waiting for? Go find your hero dog or shelter animal today!

Do you have a special four-legged friend in your life? Do you know anyone who has adopted a hero dog or might be interested in adopting? How does your pet improve your quality of life? We look forward to your reading your thoughts in the comments.

Let's Have a Conversation!