Rehoming an ex-Medical Detection Dog

The welfare of our dogs is of paramount importance to us; whilst they are training and working, but also when they are retired or withdrawn. Dogs that are ending their career with Medical Detection Dogs make wonderful pets, and we take care to ensure their individual needs are met when searching for a new home for them.

Typically, dogs that retire or are withdrawn are rehomed with the volunteers who have already been doing an excellent job caring for them. But for a few dogs per year, this isn’t possible, and external rehoming applications are considered. We are in the fortunate position of receiving more rehoming applications than we have dogs to rehome, therefore we may not be able to provide all applicants with a suitable dog. Finding a match for applicants can also take longer than rehoming from a dedicated rescue centre due to the small number of dogs we rehome; we appreciate the patience of our rehoming applicants in waiting to find the best suited canine addition to their family.

Requirements of applicants

We can only consider applications from individuals who meet the following criteria:

  • Must be able to commit to meeting the welfare needs of the dog including meeting the costs of veterinary care etc.
  • Must not have had a ban on owning animals.
  • Must be 18 or over.
  • Must ensure the dog is not left alone for more than 4 hours per day.
  • Must be able to provide a safe, secure home and garden for the dog.
  • Must have a letter of authorisation from their landlord to keep a dog (if the property is not owned by the rehoming applicant)

Typical reasons one of our dogs might need a new home:

  • The dog is unable to confidently and consistently indicate/alert on odour.
  • The dog has retired after working on Bio Detection projects.
  • Health issues, e.g. allergies, seizures, lameness.
  • Behaviour unsuitable for an Assistance Dog, e.g. anxiety, high prey drive, distracted by other dogs

About the dogs:

  • Dogs are rehomed as pets and not as assistance dogs.
  • Dogs will be neutered before rehoming (or an arrangement will be made to neuter them at an appropriate time)
  • Dogs are microchipped and owner details will be updated upon rehoming.


Most of our dogs are Labradors and Labrador crosses or Spaniels and Spaniel crosses. We have other breeds in smaller numbers, such as other gun dog breeds and poodles.


We strongly recommend insuring dogs with cover for pre-existing medical conditions, as veterinary care can be expensive. Our insurer will cover existing conditions, so if required, we can arrange for them to contact you with a quote for comparison with other insurers.


  • Following receipt of an application from, we will email details when a dog needs a new home. If the applicant feels they can meet the needs of that dog, they should respond to that email.
  • A trainer who knows the dog and can best identify a perfect match will review email responses (also referring to the application form those applicants previously submitted). They will then contact the best suited applicant to answer any questions, arrange for them to meet the dog and complete a home check.
  • Following a successful meeting and home visit, a trial rehoming period will be arranged.
  • Upon completion of a successful rehoming trial, payment will be processed (our standard rehoming fee is £700), a rehoming contract signed, and the dog will be officially signed over to its new owner as a Very Important Pet. Full responsibility for the dog’s health and welfare (including costs) are then the responsibility of the rehomer. Unsuccessful applicants who have responded to the email will be notified at this point.

If at any point up to rehoming the application cannot proceed, the trainer will review the email responses and application forms again for the most suitable match.

We welcome news of our rehomed dogs and how they’ve settled in, and will be happy to support with training and welfare advice regarding the dog, if required.

If you can offer a home to one of our amazing dogs, please download and complete the application form and email to [email protected] or print and post to:

Kerry Newton
Medical Detection Dogs
3 Millfield
Greenway Business Park Winslow Road
Great Horwood
Milton Keynes
MK17 0NP




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