Honorably Discharged Companion Dogs

Honorably discharged Pits for Patriots dogs are available for adoption by veterans, first responders and civilians within a 3 hour radius of Chicago. Preference is given to veterans and first responders. All potential adopters must fill out an application, agree to a home visit and commit to a minimum 6 weeks of training (depends on dog and adopter) prior to adoption.

If you are interested in learning more about a dog available for adoption or would like to adopt an available dog please complete an application and email it to pitsforpatriots@gmail.com.

Honorably Discharged Companion Dog Adoption Criteria

Honorably Discharged Companion Dog Adoption Application


Kaisa is a 3-year-old boxer/pit mix that spent her life locked away and used for breeding. When her usefulness as a breeder was complete her owner dumped her at an open access shelter in Chicago. Kaisa spent the next 10 months in the kill shelter. The only reason Kaisa lasted as long as she did, was because she was forgotten behind closed doors in the stray hold room. A volunteer went against regulations and pulled Kaisa out of the room and on to the adoption floor. Kaisa suffered from urine and fecal burns to her paws and tail from the neglect. The volunteer knew that Kaisa did not have much time at the shelter and she contacted Pits for Patriots. It just so happened that we had a veteran that had just lost his beloved 13-year-old pit bull and was ready to have a new companion in his life. Pits for Patriots made arrangements to rescue Kaisa, but at the last minute the veteran decided Kaisa was not the dog for him. The shelter volunteer asked if we would still take Kaisa and we told her absolutely, if she passed our temperament test. How could we break our commitment to her? If we did not save her, she surely would have been included in the next round of euthanasia.

Kaisa’s skin was in terrible condition, requiring her to spend 3 weeks at our veterinary hospital receiving medicated baths and oral medications. She was nothing but skin and bones and had little muscle tone. When she was well enough, we moved her to a Chicago behaviorist, Curtis Scott, to begin her emotional healing. Despite all Kaisa has been through she still shows so much love for people. Kaisa was a puppy trapped in an adult dog’s body. She needed to be taught potty training, how to live in a home and to trust she will never be locked away and forgotten again. Kaisa has since come out of her shell; she is extremely active, friendly and has difficulty at times controlling her licker.

A few months back we had another setback with Kaisa, while playing in doggie daycare she tore her ACL and required surgical repair. She is currently undergoing hydrotherapy and you can watch her swimming escapades on our Facebook.

Kaisa is an active, loveable girl that really enjoys hanging with people. She will make a great veteran or first responder companion, as she prefers to be right by her owners’s side. When she gets excited she makes a chattering sound similar to Chewbacca.

To receive more information on adopting Kaisa please click here.

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Shamus and his brother Shiloh came to us from Chicago’s Animal Care and Control (CACC) facility. Pits for Patriots was just getting started when our founder and treasurer were at the animal control facility pulling small dogs for another dog rescue they were volunteering for. While testing dogs for this rescue, they came across Shamus and Shiloh in a pen together. The two were found roaming on the streets of Chicago together and had already spent 30 days at CACC awaiting rescue. They were friendly wiggle butts coming to the cage door for petting and treats. The Pits for Patriots members were sure that the area pit bull rescues would snatch them up and save them.

The next day when they returned to rescue more small dogs, they stopped in to check on Shamus and Shiloh. There were no more wiggle butts. Shiloh and Shamus were lethargic and refusing to get up to come greet them. There was sputum all over the kennel floor and they knew immediately that Shiloh and Shamus had contracted kennel cough and would need antibiotics to recover. When the staff at CACC were notified that Shiloh and Shamus needed to be seen by medical because they seemed to have contracted kennel cough, the Pits for Patriots team was informed that kennel cough was not able to be treated at the local shelter, due to limited funds and resources. Dogs that ended up getting sick were euthanized, if they were not immediately rescued. Pits for Patriots could not allow these two pups to become another statistic in the overcrowded shelter system so we started the rescue process.

We nursed the pups back to health and began working with Shamus. It became clear rather quickly that Shamus did not have the mentality of a working dog. He prefers to go for a run, have some fun and cuddle on the couch. Here at Pits for Patriots we firmly believe in setting our dogs up for success and do not try to force them into a career they are not suited for, so Shamus was honorably discharged and made available for adoption.

A veteran/first responder home was not readily available but a civilian who had recently unexpectedly lost his father was looking for a companion to help him though this difficult time. In 2013, he began his training with Shamus and four months later the two of them embarked on their journey together.

Shamus did exactly what he was trained to do; he cuddled and nurtured his new guardian out of his depression and became his loyal sidekick for daily runs, weekly softball games, and nightly television watching.

Whenever possible, we try to place our dogs in their forever homes. However, life can be unpredictable and it seems that Shamus and his special skillset know no boundaries. His first mission completed, Shamus said goodbye to his grateful former guardian.

Sadly, Shamus passed away in September 2016 due to congestive heart failure. He was able to spend his final days surrounded by his friends at Pits for Patriots. He was a good boy and a great companion who will be missed by many.


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