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Exceptional, big and strong German Shepherd searching for forever home


Mission Viejo Animal Services works with the Search Dog Foundation (SDF), a non-profit agency that searches shelters and rescues for exceptional canine recruits to train to become search-and-rescue dogs. SDF strengthens disaster response in the United States by producing highly skilled canine disaster search teams for missing people and victims of disasters. 

When there is a dog at the center we believe may have the characteristics of a potential search dog, we reach out to SDF so they can “interview” the dog. Recently a canine recruitment manager met one of our dogs Franco at the center. This 1-year-old German Shepherd met all of the criteria to qualify for the program - dogs must be between one to two years old; friendly around other dogs; a working breed such as Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, Border Collies etc.; they must be confident and athletic; must be well-socialized and not afraid in new situations; and they must have an extreme toy drive. Franco passed all of his tests, except for the last one. To test his focus, we designed a mini “disaster area” by piling up different materials to create an unstable environment, and then his scent drive was tested with a tennis ball. This is the most important skill for an SDF dog, and although Franco loves his toys, he was not passionate enough about them to qualify.

We thought Franco would be an excellent candidate for this type of work, but it was not meant to be. The good news, however, is he would make a great furry companion and is perfect for someone interested in nose work or organized canine competitions. He is big and strong and available for adoption by an experienced owner who loves the breed. 

Franco’s adoption fee to an approved applicant is only $20 thanks to the non-profit Dedicated Animal Welfare Group (DAWG).   

To fill out an application, visit http://cmvas.org or call 949-470-3045.

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