Héroes de 4 Patas (Four Legged Heroes) is a non-profit association which wants to provide a decent retirement to working dogs which are no longer on duty, maybe due to age, or maybe because they have to stop working due to an ability loss. The association has created a fostering families network.
Héroes de 4 Patas also wants to show handlers and K-9 units dogs daily tasks, such as earthquakes or other natural disasters survivors detection, and drugs or explosives detection. These dogs protect us during their professional career since they help other heroes such as firemen and Emergency Management workers, so they deserve a decent and happy retirement.
Most working dogs are German Sheperds and Belgian Malinois Dogs. Both males and females are used.
These dogs are trained by Spanish Law Enforcement Agencies for different purposes, and they may live at their facilities or maybe at handler’s home. When the dog gets retired, it may continue living with its handler, but if this is impossible, the dog is adopted by a family.
Retired working dogs are not always old dogs. Sometimes they stop working because the handler is been relocated, or maybe because they have a characteristic (such as hypersensitivity to sound) which makes them impossible to continue working; some other ones have never worked just because they didn’t pass successfully the training. So we can find available dogs from 2 years old.
Working dogs are trained as a game, that is, the prize when they do what they are asked for, is to play with the handler. So, despite they are professional, well trained and obedient dogs, they need to play like any other dog, and they deserve a rest and our gratitude for their task.
Some of them have saved human lives, not only in Spain, but also in international rescue operations (remember, for example, Haiti earthquake) joining their handlers, because every handler has a dog, and every working dog has a handler.
The organization has a website which includes a list of available dogs with their pictures and stories. If we want to adopt one of these four legged heroes, we can fill in and send a form from the organization website.
We know adopting, raising and educating a puppy is an exciting experience, but giving a second life to any of these retired heroes may be even more exciting.
Have a good summer.
also in Facebook and Twitter: @heroesde4patas