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Marine Corps Looking To Find Adoptive Homes For War Dogs

Photo credit: USMC

Maxx, an improvised explosive device detector dog, stands on the legs of his handler, Lance Cpl. Stephen Mader, during a convoy in southern Helmand province, Afghanistan, July 26, 2012.

The Marine Corps' elite improvised explosive device-sniffing dog program is winding down along with the war in Afghanistan.

The program, which at its height boasted 650 IED detection dogs (called IDDs) is now down to roughly 130 dogs. About half of the 100 or so dogs not currently in Afghanistan need to find adoptive homes.

Bill Childress, head of the Marines’ Military Working Dog program, explained to Marine Corps Times:

“We’re coming out of Afghanistan right now, and we don’t need that many dogs. It’s a little costly, so we are going to do away with the capability of the dogs. But we’ll still retain the knowledge and everything there.”

Although civilian families are eligible to adopt these very special dogs, Childress says the dogs' Marine Corps handlers get first dibs:

“I have adopted a lot of dogs to injured handlers. As a matter of fact, we just did one last week or it’s getting ready to be adopted to a double amputee. He’s requested his dog, and to me, that gets first priority.”

According to the nonprofit group Pets for Patriots, all military working dog adoptions are handled through the Department of Defense Military Working Dog Adoption Program at Joint Base San Antonio at Lackland in Texas.

For more information on Military Working Dog adoptions, click here.


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