In response to public curiosity about retired search and rescue dogs, the Ministry of the Interior’s Fire Fighting Bureau has disclosed the approximate locations of retired dogs and the legal standards for their retirement.
The ministry said that per regulations, all search and rescue dogs are to be retired when they are seven or eight, depending on their physical condition.
Over the past three years, retired dogs have been available for public adoption by people who meet certain requirements, the ministry said.
The living environment of those wishing to adopt, their family members, whether they keep any other pets and whether there is a park near their residence are all factors taken into account, the bureau said.
“We want to make sure that these canines, who have devoted roughly two-thirds of their lives to the country and the vocation of saving lives of others, receive their just awards and an easy life in retirement,” the bureau said.
Of the 11 adopted retirees, five are in Taichung, and one each in Yilan County, Hualien County, Pingtung County, Changhua County and Nantou County, it said.
One of them, nicknamed A-liu (阿六), was one of Taiwan’s first trained search and rescue dogs and was in service during the 2016 Tainan earthquake, the bureau said.
A woman surnamed Chu (朱) was selected from those who applied to adopt A-liu. She is a volunteer for a search and rescue party and had worked with A-liu before, it said.
The 11th dog, nicknamed Shovel, lives in New Taipei City.