Here’s One Reason To Love The TSA (Yes, That TSA)

You may not love dealing with the Transportation Security Administration when you’re flying, but the organization’s dog adoption program just may earn them points with animal lovers. The TSA started a program to find homes for bomb-sniffing dogs that have either retired or don’t quite make the cut in training. The dogs adopted through the program are free to the adopting family, although you do need to make a trip to San Antonio, Texas, to pick up your new bomb-sniffing canine pal.


Dogs in the program usually fall between 2 and 10 years old, so you have some choice between a young, energetic dog and a senior dog. Expect to find a mix of German Short-Haired Pointers, Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois in the list of potential adoptees. The breeds selected for the TSA explosive-detection program exhibit high energy levels to fulfill the requirements of the job and need families who can keep up with those high activity levels.


Many of the dogs in the TSA program spend a majority of their lives in kennels instead of being raised in a home with human family members. Be prepared to spend some time teaching your new dog how to behave as part of a family.


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While the adoption itself is free, applicants are responsible for their own travel expenses to and from Texas. Potential adopters must go through an application process, which allows the coordinator to make the best possible match between dogs and applicants. Adoptive families get a loving dog for free, and dogs who have served their time or don’t fit the needs of the TSA get a loving home. Everyone wins with this TSA adoption program.

Adoption isn’t the only way explosive-detecting dogs make a positive impact on the world. Meet Nitro, a bomb-sniffing dog who helps teach Illinois kids about safety.

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