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Please use your own judgment in choosing a service dog-related organization to support. I would welcome additional references in the comments or via email.

Working dog adoptions (US War Dogs Association)

The United States War Dogs Association, Inc. is a nonprofit organization of Former and Current US Military Dog Handlers and supporting members committed to promoting the long history of the Military Service Dogs, establishing permanent War Dog Memorials, and educating the public about the invaluable service of these canines to our country.

Our background in military War Dog service and our dedication to honoring the memory of the service and sacrifice of the US Military Working Dogs gives us a unique perspective that we can use to educate the public on the history of Military War Dogs.


1. Education – With the use of our Traveling U. S. War Dog Exhibit, bring the history of all U. S. Military War Dogs from all Wars to the general public.

2. War Dog Memorial – Help raise funds to establish War Dog Memorials.

3. K-9 Corps Commemorative Stamp Drive Sign on for petitions to have the Postal Service issue a commemorative stamp for all Military Working Dogs.

4. National Memorial – Help to establish a National War Dog Memorial in Washington, DC.

5. Support – Through our fund raising: service dog organizations such as Military Working Dogs, Police K-9 units and Search and Rescue units.

6. K-9 Adoption – Help in the process of adopting retiring Military and Police Canines.

7. Support – Post-deployment outreach for returning troops.

8. Free Rx Prescription Drug Program for Retired Military Working Dogs.

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K9s for Warriors

Providing Service Dogs to Military Veterans

K9s For Warriors is the nation’s largest provider of service dogs to military veterans suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disability, traumatic brain injury and/or military sexual trauma as a result of military service post-9/11. Our program is unique, and no other organization operates quite like K9s For Warriors. Every warrior that walks through the door is family. We provide them with a service canine, equipment, training, certification, seminars, legal instruction, vet care, housing, home cooked meals, unconditional love and listening, and life-time of wrap-around services (including available life-long healthcare and food for their dogs).

The K9s program is 100% free for the veteran. We have our warriors’ backs.

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Search Dog Foundation

We offer the professionally trained canines and an ongoing training program at no cost to fire departments. And we ensure lifetime care for every dog in our program: once rescued, these dogs never need to be rescued again. There are currently 65 SDF-trained Search Teams located in Baja California, California, Florida, Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, and Virginia. Thanks to Mutual Aid Agreements between counties, cities and states, these precious, life-saving resources can be shared regionally and nationally to make sure that when disaster strikes, no one is left behind.
From Rescued to Rescuer

SDF recruits dogs from across the country that are rescued from abuse or abandonment. Typically these dogs demonstrate high energy, tenacity and boldness, making them ideal for search and rescue, but unsuitable for a family pet. After passing stringent screening and testing criteria, the dogs are then trained to harness that high energy, drive and tenacity into life-saving skills.

Firefighters: A Search Dog’s Best Friend

SDF chooses the best possible partners for our dogs: firefighters and other first-responders. Why? Because these are the men and women professionally trained to handle the chaos, danger and trauma associated with disaster situations. Also, they know that a skilled search dog is the most valuable tool in their search arsenal, and have the commitment to keep that tool honed.

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Guardians of Rescue

We recognize the relationship born between contract military dogs and soldiers who work with or befriend them during long stretches of deployment. Contract Working Dogs (CWD) are different from their Military Working Dogs (MWD) counterparts, in CWD’s do not have a “unit” to call home. Units will rotate in and and rotate out and the CWD will meet his or her new unit and handler in the locations, whereas, MWD’s rotate with their assigned handler, and every MWD is brought back to the U.S. bases from which they deployed with their handlers. CWD’s futures are much less predictable, with injured dogs and those at retirement age, most often euthanized without being afforded an opportunity to be adopted into families. Many military personnel want to give homes to these amazing dogs and that is where we step in and make their hope become reality.

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Mission K9 Rescue


To Rescue, Reunite, Re-Home, Rehabilitate and Repair any retired working dog that has served mankind in some capacity.

Rescue – Any and all CWDs and MWDs as well as any other working dog that may need our help. Mission K9 Rescue is committed to saving them and giving them the retirement they deserve; whether it be bringing them back from overseas or rescuing them out of a poor environment stateside.

Reunite – Any retired working dog that has a handler that wants him, and has proven that they are the right home (handlers always get first preference) Mission K9 Rescue will see to it that the dog is transported to the handler.

Re-Home – Any retired working dog that does not have a designated handler, Mission K9 Rescue will work to find the perfect loving home for the dog.

Rehabilitate – Often retired working dogs have been in situations that can cause them severe anxiety and stress. Many retire with issues such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. These dogs need time with us to decompress and reintegrate into society. Mission K9 Rescue works with these dogs in order to get make the suitable for adoption.

Repair – Working dogs train like professional athletes their entire career. Often times when they retire, they have extensive medical issues that can become quite costly. Since they don’t receive retirement benefits, Mission K9 Rescue provides much needed funding to assist handlers/ and or adopters with medical bills.

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Hero Dogs

Hero Dogs, Inc. provides service dogs to Veterans who:

* have served in any branch of the uniformed services in any era; and
* have received an honorable or a general (under honorable conditions) discharge; and
* have a disabling medical condition (does not need to be service-connected); and
* have been released from all service and reserve obligations; and
* have met all Hero Dogs’ requirements for application into the program, applied, and been accepted into the program; and
* have successfully completed all required Hero Dogs training and certification requirements.

There is no cost to a Veteran for the service dogs we raise, train, and place, or for the training we provide.

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Dogs for the Deaf

Dogs for the Deaf rescues/trains/places dogs to help with different disabilities, challenges, and needs:

HEARING DOGS are trained to alert people to household sounds that are necessary for everyday safety and independence.
AUTISM ASSISTANCE DOGS are trained to enhance the safety of children with autism by acting as an anchor and preventing the child from bolting.
PROGRAM ASSISTANCE DOGS go to work with and assist professionals such as physicians, teachers, counselors, and court room advocates.
CAREER CHANGE DOGS are wonderful dogs who are happy and healthy but just not suited to working for a living.

Career Change Dogs are wonderful dogs who are happy and healthy but just not suited to working for a living. These dogs make loving pets and companions and are looking for their forever homes. They are called CAREER CHANGE DOGS because they have chosen a different “career” path of fun and leisure as a pet. Yes, PET is a valid career choice! After all, when you think of all the responsibility our pets have for our happiness and well-being, how they cheer us up when we’re down, make us laugh… and someone needs to sit in that special sunny place on the living room floor… it takes a special dog to be a family pet. These dogs make loving pets and companions and are looking for their forever homes.

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American Humane & American Humane – Hero Dog Awards

The American Humane Hero Dog Awards® are an annual, nationwide competition that searches out and recognizes America’s Hero Dogs – often ordinary dogs who do extraordinary things, whether it’s saving lives on the battlefield, lending sight or hearing to a human companion, or simply providing the tail-wagging welcome a pet owner relishes at the end of a hard day. Dogs compete in seven different categories for the Hero Dog Awards: Law Enforcement/Arson Dogs, Service Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Military Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs, Guide/Hearing Dogs, and Emerging Hero Dogs (the category for “ordinary” dogs who do extraordinary things). The Hero Dog Awards celebrate the powerful, age-old bond between dogs and people – and give recognition to courageous acts of heroism performed by our four-legged best friends.

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Petco Foundation – Helping Heroes

From October 7 to October 29, join the Petco Foundation and Natural Balance during our fall fundraising campaign in Petco stores and online. Together, we can support thousands of therapy, service and military working pets who bravely dedicate their lives to helping people.

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