They're good dogs, Brent.
So good, in fact, that they've been rejected by various government agencies for being too nice, too snuggly, and too interested in what's-that-you-got-there-is-it-food. Or maybe they've simply decided that they're not going to be a part of the humans' airport security theatrics and failed war on drugs, no matter how many Scooby snacks they might be passing up by dropping out.
Either way, we can all agree that there's something adorable and principled about a mutt that didn't make the cut. If a dog that took one look at the endless bureaucracy and terrifying police state of modern government, then turned tail and ran sounds like a companion you'd want, well, good news! Business Insider has a useful rundown of the ways to adopt dogs that failed police K-9 training, Transportation Security Administration terrorist-sniffing class, and other puppers-on-pawtrol programs.
How did those dogs end up getting the boot? Insider reports that some are too nervous, some are just too doggone nice, and others "are more interested in snugs than drugs." Like Gavel, the German Sheppard pup who briefly became an internet sensation last year when he got cut from K-9 training in Australia for not having "the necessary aptitude for a life on the front line."
Which is a nice way of saying that Gavel was a bit of a mess.
— CTV News VI (@CTVNewsVI) October 17, 2017
Closer to home, the TSA's dog adoption program offers the chance to adopt a dog that would rather chew on your shoes than watch you remove them and put them in the bin. Sure, the TSA might have an annual budget that's bigger than Monaco's GDP, might have never stopped an actual terrorist, and might routinely allow all sorts of dangerous items to get onto planes, but now you can't say they've never done anything worthwhile.
Of course, the dogs that do end up serving the state are good dogs too. Being dogs, they are probably not familiar with Jacob Sullum's 2013 Reason cover story about just how often drug-sniffing dogs get it wrong—nine times out of 10, in one experiment—and many ways in which humans' civil liberties have been curtailed by those "search warrants on leashes." It is humans who have written laws giving police dogs (and, really, their human handlers) too much authority. Bad humans!
Luckily, for both humans and freedom-loving doggos, the Supreme Court has recently placed a few small limitations on how drug-sniffing dogs can be used.
Even the most hard-hearted, cynical libertarian can't help but have a soft spot for these canine conscientious objectors—dogs that would rather lick faces than boots. The TSA says it has "an extensive waiting list" for adoptions, but groups like Freedom Service Dogs of America and Service Dogs Inc. can connect drop-out service dogs with new homes.
Start your day with Reason. Get a daily brief of the most important stories and trends every weekday morning when you subscribe to Reason Roundup.