Lackland needs help raising military dogs

Foster homes needed for military dogs

SAN ANTONIO -- They protect and serve, saving countless lives. Now, Lackland Air Force Base needs your help to raise military dogs.

Tracy Cann said she knows the puppies become family and loved ones you trust. She is a foster consultant for a military dogs' breeding program.

"I was a foster mom in the early 2000s and off and on until now," she said. "My retired dog did multiple tours before he retired."

"The main threat to our folks is IEDs, improvised explosive devices," said Dr. Steward Hilliard. He is the flight chief for Military Work Dog Evaluations and Breeding.

Lackland is home to the only national Department of Defense breeding program.

Many of the dogs are preparing for war in the largest working dog training facility in the world, including finding explosives.

Before deploying to Iraq or Afghanistan, the puppies go home with foster families until they are seven months old.

"She has to be comfortable in the world; be comfortable in new places and comfortable around lots of people," said Cann as she was holding one of the puppies about to be adopted Friday.

However, Lackland doesn't have enough man power to do it alone and is asking families to help out.

Dogs who qualify return to training.

They're tested throughout the process to decide if they move onto law enforcement agencies, the TSA, another military branch or back with a family.

"We had a young gentleman who was a Marine reconnaissance soldier. He said he first time they left the wire without a dog is when [he] got blown up," said Hilliard.

If you are interested in helping, you can email mwd.foster@us.af.mil.

Lackland takes care of costs associated with the dogs, including food and veterinarian costs. Lackland said families have to be within a two hour drive of the base, have a six-foot fence and do not have kids younger than five years old.

(© 2016 KENS)


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