Adopting FAQs

New Zealand Police Dog Re-Home Programme

Thank you for your interest in re-homing a police dog.

Police dogs are withdrawn from service for a variety of reasons. A dog may be retired from working or breeding for health or temperament reasons or it may simply be too old.

Also, sometimes dogs are found to be unsuitable for training or working as a police dog because they do not display the required aptitude.

None of this prevents the dog becoming a valued member of your household. Only dogs which are suitable as household pets are offered for re-homing.


What is involved?

If your application to re-home a Police dog is successful, ownership of the dog will pass to you. This means you will be responsible for all aspects of the dog’s care including registration, veterinary care and any other costs associated with the day to day welfare of the dog.

Dogs bred or purchased for Police work are energetic and active and may not be suitable for all home situations. Like other dogs, they may cause some damage. Your insurance must be able to cover this.

All re-homed dogs will be neutered before or shortly after ownership transfer.


How much will it cost to adopt a police dog?

The cost of an adoption dog is around $1,500.00


Are the pups for sale?

Sorry, we do not sell any pups.


What checks need to be completed?

You and any adult (anyone aged 18 and over) living in your household must be prepared to undergo Police vetting. This includes agreeing to any information held about you by New Zealand Police being disclosed. This is not limited to conviction information. Current New Zealand Police employees are exempt.

What criteria must you meet?

To re-home a police dog, you must be able to provide a suitable environment that will ensure the dog’s health and wellbeing. This means that you must meet the following criteria:

  1. Have a well secured fenced property that can be used for toileting and training with the dog.
  2. Be prepared to provide the dog with exercise and socialisation. This means giving the dog daily exercise, regular socialisation with different people, places and things and allowing it to be inside the house at times.
  3. Be prepared to spend time on daily care and exercises.
  4. Have a vehicle that the dog can travel in safely to vet visits and for socialisation.

Other considerations:

  1. We prefer there be no other dogs in the household but we will consider this on a case by case basis.
  2. If you rent your home, we ask that you provide a letter from your landlord consenting to you re-homing a Police dog at their property.


Can I adopt a police dog if I have children?

Yes. We will consider your application. If your children are very young a police dog may not be a suitable addition to your family.


Can I adopt a police dog if I have other pets?

Yes, it is possible to adopt police dog if you have other pets. When considering your application we will look at the welfare of the animals concerned.


What will happen to the dog if it does not settle into my household?

We will find the dog another home if it does not settle well into your household within a specified trial period.


What should you do next?

If you think you could provide a suitable foster home, read this section carefully and complete the steps listed below.

Please note that we will not be able to process your application if the required forms have not been fully completed.

Step Your action

Download and complete the “Foster Application” form:


Seek written consent from your landlord (if required).

Send the application form and written consent (where applicable) using the 'New Zealand Police Dog Foster or Re-home Programme online form" - choose "I would like to foster or re-home" from the list.

A representative of the Police Dog Section will then contact you to arrange a time to complete a property inspection and home interview. This may take up to 4 - 6 weeks.


All adults in your household will be required to complete a Police “Vetting Service Request and Consent Form”. Vetting is NOT required for current Police employees. 

This can be completed at the time of interview with the Police Dog Section representative. You will need to have with you two forms of photo ID: Primary ID document (e.g. passport, original birth certificate, etc) and another form of ID (e.g. driver licence, firearms licence, 18+ card, Community Services Card, etc).

If this cannot be completed at the time of interview, i.e. all family members are not present at interview, then you will need to have the vetting form completed after the interview.  This will be explained at the time of interview.  This can be completed at a Police station or by a trusted referee as described on the form.


Once the interview and vetting is completed, a member of the Police Dog Section will be in contact with you.  If your application is approved then you will be placed on a waiting list for a suitable pup/dog.


Please note:

  • If your application is approved, there may be a delay before a suitable dog is available.
  • There are a limited number of dogs available each year and unfortunately this means you may not be matched with a suitable dog.

Any queries?

Please phone the Dog Training Centre at 04 494 3890