You Can Now Adopt Dogs That Flunked The TSA Program

If you haven’t already jumped on the “adopt, don’t shop” train, then here’s another way to do so: Did you know you can snag a puppy that failed its TSA requirements? This is not a drill. You can get a failed bomb-sniffing sack of fur to love you forever. You can also adopt retired dogs from the program who would like to live out the rest of their days being spoiled rotten by you and yours.

If you’re freaking out over how cute this sounds, you’re not the only one. There’s an extensive waiting list for the program and only so many dogs. In fact, so many people have jumped at the chance to adopt these dogs (because, duh) that the TSA has currently stopped taking applicants.

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A note on the TSA website reads: “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.”

Still, that doesn’t mean that you can’t brush up on the details of the application process, so you’ll be ready for whenever they do send out a call for more candidates!

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The dogs are reportedly between 2 and 10 years old and are typically German Shorthaired pointers, labradors, German shepherds and Belgian Malinois. These dog breeds were selected because of their high activity levels and levels of intelligence. You should have a fenced-in yard and the time and energy to run around with your new pet, should you consider adopting one.

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There are also some other requirements you should be aware of as a potential dog owner. According to the TSA website, homes “must abide by all local pet ordinances,” and any existing pets already in the house must have current vaccinations.

In applying to adopt one of these dogs, you must agree to provide the canine with all necessary medical, exercise, training and, of course, companionship (although we’re guessing that will be no problem).

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It’s worth noting that most of these dogs also require socialization as they are used to being kenneled. If you’re a first-time dog owner, these may not be for you. Prepare to learn how to introduce them to your family, especially young children. The age of children in the home will be taken into consideration when selecting a dog.

The TSA site also notes that prospective families will need to have references, as well as photos of your home and yard. Additionally, all of the individuals living in the home and your veterinarian will need to be interviewed.

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One final note: Once your adoption application has been approved, you’ll have to go to  San Antonio, Texas (where TSA headquarters are located) to pick up your new friend. The TSA site specifically notes that “the dog cannot be shipped to you and you may need to make multiple visits. There are no same day adoptions.”

Of course, it’ll all be worth it once you have your furry new pal with you at home!


To keep an eye on any updates to the application process, check the TSA adoption site regularly. You can also reach out with any questions via email at [email protected]