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Retired military dogs finding homes off compound with civilian families

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Military Police Command (MPC, 憲兵指揮部) yesterday officially handed over five retired military dogs to their new adoptive families.

According to the MPC, a total of 116 people applied to adopt the pair of military-trained German Shepherds, Dape and Nico, by the deadline the command set on Dec. 1, and after reviewing the qualification of 15 chosen families, two winning applicants were selected.

Military Police Command Chief of Staff Kao Ning-sung said that military canine caregivers had been working with the military dogs for such a long time that some of them even cried when they were preparing for the dogs to leave military camp the night before.

Kao said that this is the first time that the command decided to accept applications from civilians to adopt retired military dogs, letting the dogs enjoy the rest of their lives outside military bases.

Five of the newly adopted retired military dogs followed the orders of their caregivers with docility, but kept turning back to sniff their caregivers' feet as they left with their new families.

Kao said that since the adoption process went smoothly, the command will accept applications for adoption when another batch of military dogs are preparing to retire.

According to the command's regulations, retirement for military police sniffer dogs is mandated when the dogs reach the age of eight. The command's previous regulations stated that retired military canines have to remain under military watch and cannot live their lives outside military barracks, even in retirement.

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A retired military dog, Nico, and her new owner Liu Tzu-yun, right, cuddle together at an adoption ceremony yesterday in Taipei. The Military Police Command (MPC, 憲兵指揮部) yesterday officially handed over five retired military dogs to their new adoptive families. (CNA)

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