COA issues guidelines for sale, adoption of gov't K-9 unit dogs

Expensive working dogs purchased by government agencies in-charge of public security and safety may now be sold or adopted as pet by dog lovers.

Dogs trained

This was learned after the Commission on Audit issued recently the guidelines for the proper mode of disposable for unserviceable working dogs, many of which were procured by government agencies at prices as high as P500,000.

Working dogs are those that are trained for employment to support the operations of a government agency.

In COA Circular No. 2021-011 released Monday, Oct. 25, the state audit agency said the guidelines for the disposal of unserviceable working dogs is “necessary to maintain the quality of working dogs in providing effective and efficient K-9 services.”

Further, government agencies will also avoid the “accumulation of unserviceable working dogs which may entail loss of resources.”

Unserviceable working dogs that may be disposed through various means are the following: retired and culled working dogs; canine that are below eight years old but graded with successive low performance ratings and working dogs that have sustained incapacitating injury or disease.

Retired working dogs are those that reach the maximum utilization age of eight years while culled dogs are those evaluated as having no potential, disabled; suffering from incurable and zoonotic disease and those that failed the K-9 training standards.

Headed by Chairman Michael Aguinaldo, COA said unserviceable working dogs may be disposed through adoption, donation, public action and sale through negotiation.

Other government agencies may also acquire unserviceable working dogs for free or at an appraised value recommended by the Kennel Management Committee (KMC) of the first owner.

Euthanasia may also be resorted to but only under conditions that are provided under the Animal Welfare Act of 1998 that prohibits acts of cruelty to animals.

The KMC of an agency maintaining canine squads is tasked to recommend the manner by which unserviceable working dogs are to be disposed of.

If through adoption, individuals interested in owning the canine will sign an Adoption Agreement Form that contains the conditions in caring and maintaining the animal.

The order of prioritization for adoption: 1st- current handler of the working dog; 2nd - officers and personnel of the agency’s K-9 unit; 3rd - personnel of the agency that has capacity to take good care of the dog; 4th- interested persons or entity and 5th- persons who donated the working dog.

Dogs that may be released through public auction are those without potential of being trained and working dogs that have consistently garnered low performance ratings.

Under the public auction mode of disposal, publication of the time and date of auction and allowing interested parties to inspect the subject canine are mandatory requirements.

Sale through negotiation may be resorted only when there is failure of public auction.

Government-owned working dogs may also be donated to non-stock, non-profit organizations engaged in rehabilitation and treatment of dogs.