Imagine adopting a dog for free, then receiving two free years of veterinary care and getting to rear litters of adorable puppies.
For foster families with Elite Detection K9, located in Rochester Hills, those benefits are part of a program that allows families to host a breeding mom.
“Currently, in the U.S., there is a several thousand explosive-detection dog shortage,” says Greg Guidice, president and CEO of Elite Detection K9. “The dogs are used for scanning packages for air cargo, observing crowds, in emergency rooms and in schools.”
The program has families host a breeding dog through four litters of puppies over two to three years – but when the breeding time is up, the family adopts the dog.
“There’s quite a bit of involvement,” says Samantha McCormick, a breeding specialist. “We want this dog to be part of their family and the home to be the forever home for the dog.”
Families looking to foster need to be ready for a major commitment, plus agree to keep the dog either in a fenced-in area or on-leash at all times. The program allows up to two other dogs in the home, but when the breeding dog is in season or has new puppies, the other dogs must be quarantined.
Foster families are expected to deliver the puppies, too, which can sometimes mean staying up all night, but the actual breeding portion of the program takes place on the organization’s campus.
“We prefer our girls to be in host homes so they can live a regular dog life,” McCormick says. “Have a family, have a yard. Everything.”
So, what are the top three benefits of fostering Elite K9 dogs?
1. Getting to raise puppies.
“You get to see their antics and how adorable they are,” McCormick says.
2. They make fabulous pets.
“They are awesome, young, energetic dogs,” McCormick says. Plus, they’ve been pre-screened to ensure they are healthy and genetically sound.
3. The joy of volunteering.
“It’s a good way to give back and serve the community,” says Guidice. “One of the puppies born in your home could end up in the high school down the street.”
Not sure that fostering a dog with Elite Detection K9 is right for your family? Check out Metro Parent’s complete list of local pet adoption agencies in metro Detroit and Ann Arbor for additional pet fostering and adoption opportunities – and don’t forget to check out our advice on adopting a rescue or shelter pet before you start the process.