USA Flag

Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Transportation Security Administration

Canine Adoption Program

Thank you for your interest in the TSA Canine Training Center Adoption Program. Dogs available for adoption are ones that do not meet the TSA Canine Training Center criteria for government work. These dogs are highly active and in most cases, untrained and not house broken, but with proper training and care, they can be a great addition to families. On occasion, there are dogs that have been retired from government service.

Applications are processed on a first come first served basis. Every effort is made to pair applicants who meet all requirements with dogs that suit their home, family and lifestyle.

If you are a law enforcement or a non-profit service agency interested in obtaining a dog from the program please send an email for additional information.

Home Requirements

  • You must have a fenced in yard at the time of applying.
  • There should be no intentions of moving within six months of adopting a dog.
  • Homes must abide by all local pet ordinances.
  • You must agree to provide the dog with appropriate medical care, exercise, training and companionship.
  • All existing pets in the home must have current vaccinations and preventive care.
  • The age of children in the home will be taken into consideration when selecting a dog.


Approved applicants must travel to Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas where the dogs are located. The dog cannot be shipped to you and you may need to make multiple visits. There are no same day adoptions.

Application Process

  1. Applying: Only completed applications that meet the minimum requirements will be considered. If you meet the requirements listed above, please complete the reality checklist and submit the checklist to receive an application. Once we have an application on file and you meet the minimum requirements, you will be notified of available dogs or placed on the wait list.
  2. Meeting the dogs: Approved applicants will be emailed photos and profiles of the dogs available for adoption. You will be given an opportunity to schedule an appointment to travel to the facility in San Antonio, Texas, to meet the dog(s). Please note we cannot hold a dog for an extended period.
    We will check references and ask to interview individuals living in the home, your veterinarian and for photos of your home and/or yard.
  3. Selecting the right dog: It is important that we match each dog with the best suited family. To do this, you may need to make multiple visits to our facility before a final match is made.
  4. Finalizing the adoption: Processing the adoption may take a few days or weeks depending on the dog’s status. Once a pick-up date is set, you must bring a leash, collar and appropriate-sized dog shipping crate to the training center. To complete the adoption, you will be required to sign and notarize a “Covenant Not to Sue with Indemnity” agreement and complete a microchip registration prior to pick-up. You will be provided a copy of the dog’s medical records for the past six months, one month’s supply of flea and heartworm preventive, three-days-worth of dog food and copies of the adoption forms.

Due to an extensive waiting list, we are currently not accepting any additional applications.


TSA has the right to refuse any adoption at any point. Dogs cannot be returned once adopted.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are the dogs healthy and vaccinated?

All dogs are vaccinated.

Can I return the dog after the adoption?

A dog cannot be returned once adopted. Limited assistance is available should you experience difficulties integrating the dog into your family.

Can I use the dog for breeding purposes?

No. All dogs are spayed or neutered prior to adoption.

Can the dog be shipped to me?

No. Approved applicants are required to visit the facility in San Antonio, Texas, and may need to make multiple visits to ensure the applicant and the dog are a good match. New owners must be able to transport the dog from the facility in San Antonio, Texas to their new home.

How much does it cost?

There is no cost for the adoption. You will need to bring a leash, collar and crate when finalizing the adoption and picking up your dog. Costs for care can be expensive with owning a large breed dog.

How old are the dogs available for adoption?

Most dogs are two to four years old. Occasionally, older retired dogs are available for adoption.

Some dogs may have a medical condition that prevent them from performing government work. All medical conditions will be identified and disclosed upfront. A consultation with the veterinarian can be coordinated. Dogs on medications will come with a two-week supply and a prescription for additional medication.

What breeds of dogs are available?

TSA utilizes a variety of large breed dogs. You may see sporting breeds, such as Labrador Retrievers and German Shorthaired Pointers available for adoption. Occasionally there will be German Shepherds or Belgian Malinois. Typically, German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois are transferred to Law Enforcement agencies and cannot be adopted by the general public. 

Breed or gender specific requests will lengthen your wait time.

What is the Indemnity Agreement?

The Indemnity Agreement must be signed in front of a notary to finalize the adoption. You must agree to:

  • Accept all future risks and consequences of dog
  • Agree to pay for all of the dog’s future medical care
  • Agree not to sell dog
  • Agree not to use dog for anything other than as a pet

What type of training do the dogs have?

Dogs that fail training for government work typically have some explosives detection training. The dogs are highly active and in most cases, will require a lot of attention, additional training and significant exercise. They are crate-trained, but not house-trained. Most dogs have not been exposed to small children or animals other than dogs.

It could take up to 90 days for a dog to adjust to your home, family and other pets. You may have to seek professional assistance if your dog is not able to adjust.

Where am I on the adoption waiting list?

Complete applications are processed in the order in which they are received. Applications with specific age, breed and gender requests may be placed on a wait list until a dog becomes available. Applications with flexible preferences may be processed quicker. The average wait for a sporting breed dog is three months to a year.

Please note that law enforcement and service agencies have priority.

Where are the dogs located?

Approved applicants must travel to Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas where the dogs are located.


  • Thank You

    Thank you for your interest in the Canine Adoption Program, due to an extensive waiting list and a lack of available adoption candidates, we are currently not accepting any additional applications.

  • Questions?

    Email the adoption program.

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Please read over our Frequently Asked Questions for more information on our Adoption Program.