DHS-dogGood news! Recently, Adopt-a-Pet.com issued a press release encouraging the Department of Homeland Security to please consider shelter dogs for duty, instead of breeding up to 12,000 dogs to find 3,000 dogs for the expansion of their canine force. Now, months later, we have good news to report!  Homeland Security listened to our plea (and thousands of others from animal lovers and organizations across the nation), and is encouraging shelters to submit dogs for their program! We’ve included the basic requirements and how to submit a shelter dog below.

Previously, the Los Angeles Times posted a story which outlined the Department’s plans to purchase 3,000 additional bomb sniffer dogs at an average cost of $4,535 each. Adopt-a-Pet.com Executive Director Abbie Moore responded, “There are thousands of wonderful, energetic, and highly-trainable dogs in U.S. animal shelters who would be perfect for the Department of Homeland Security’s current needs. In addition to saving 3,000 worthy lives, recruiting shelter dogs makes fiscal sense and stands to save taxpayers well over $1 million. I can’t think of a downside to adopting versus buying these dogs. It’s the humane and prudent thing to do.”

According to an August 10th, 2010 letter (click to see a PDF of the actual letter), from Rafeael Borras, Under Secretary for Management, U.S. Department of Homeland Securty: “DHS has found that there are a number of specialized characteristics that are essential to a canine’s success in our rigorous training program. I encourage animal rescue facilities to submit proposals to be considered for an award if they can provide the type of dogs required and meet the contract requirements.” (Note: that is our bold emphasis.)

Mr. Borras continues, “DHS dogs are trained with respect and receive a high degree of veterinary care. They typically live with their handlers, whom often adopt the dogs after they have been retired from DHS service…. please do not hesitate to contact me at (202) 447-3400.”

Animal shelters and breed-rescue groups are encouraged to submit proposals to the DHS for their eligible dogs to:

Att: Unsolicited Proposal Officer
Training and Development Division
Program Directorate
Office of Procurement
Customs and Border Protection Agency
1310 PA Ave, NW
Washington DC

Candidates must be:

  • Twelve to 36 months old
  • Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, Dutch Shepherds, or Belgian Malinois
  • Alert, active, outgoing, and confident
  • Able to pass a series of tests for courage and toughness

Read our original Adopt-a-Pet.com Press release here.