Want to own a dog formally trained in detecting drugs? How about having a pooch who knows how to sniff out human remains?
State Police this week posted a notice to Facebook alerting the public that, in a somewhat rare move, the agency was seeking “forever homes” for two of its retired K-9 officers. By Wednesday afternoon, officials said they had received such an outpouring from the public — about 500 e-mails from interested persons — that they were no longer seeking further applicants for the working dogs.
One of the dogs is a 5 1/2 year-old Malinois-mix named Klauss, according to the Facebook post. Unlike most dogs who are trained to sit and stay, Klauss has a few extra skills — for example, he’s dual-trained in patrol and human-remains detection, police said. The second dog is an 8-year-old German Shepherd named Alex. Like Klauss, Alex is trained in patrol. Oh, and the dog is also skilled in narcotics detection, according to police.
Typically when a police dog retires, the canines live out their lives with their handler. But on some occasions, they are put up for adoption, police said. For Klauss, his handler already has a retired police dog at home and doesn’t have space for a second dog. His age also makes him unsuitable to go back to work, according to the Facebook post.
In Alex’s case, he has “reached a retirement age and his handler is unable to keep him because he has a new department dog and another police dog at his home.” “It is not an easy decision for those troopers,” David Procopio, a State Police spokesman, said in an e-mail to the Globe. “They grow very attached to their canine partners.”
Interest in the dogs has been high. By Wednesday morning, the Facebook post had been shared nearly 10,000 times, with many people tagging friends and family to let them know the dogs are up for adoption.
Of course, adopting the dogs won’t be as simple as putting your name on a list. According to police, those interested in adopting the K-9s will be vetted extensively, “to ensure that they are prepared, willing, and able to care for the dogs.”
“The State Police have certain criteria we will seek in prospective owners,” police said. “We will conduct interviews with and run background checks on those interested, and we will only turn the dogs over to those whom we determine are the ‘right’ person or family for each dog’s forever home.”
Steve Annear can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.