Name: Nala M      Adopted
Age: 8.3 year(s)
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Adoption Process

Our adoption process is designed to help you and the right dog find each other. Our goal is to place each dog into a permanent, safe, and loving home.

To adopt a German Shepherd Dog from us, you must:

1. Live in Northern California.
2. Complete an Adoption Questionnaire, either online, or by mail. If you do not own your home, you must also have your landlord complete the Landlord Permission Agreement.
3. Be interviewed by an adoption counselor.  
4. Allow a home visit by an adoption counselor.
5. Be approved for adoption.
6. Choose, and be chosen by, the right dog.
7. With our approval, sign our Adoption Agreement, and pay the associated fee.

After we receive your online Adoption Questionnaire, we will call you to begin the adoption process. We encourage potential adopters to come to one or more Adoption Days, because that is the best way to meet several German Shepherds and to find your new companion. If you attend an Adoption Day and choose a dog, you may be able to adopt the same day, if all adoption requirements are met.

If you cannot come to any Adoption Day, we can still assist you, this may take longer because the people who will help you are volunteers who usually have jobs, and scheduling meetings with dogs can be complex because our dogs live in many homes and kennels.


Nala M's Story:

Nala is an 8.3-year old black sable female German Shepherd dog that was found abandoned with a younger male (possibly her son), and taken to Monterey County Animal Services.

Nala had not been well taken care of at all. We suspect she was used as a breeder dog, then discarded when no longer useful. She had a scruffy, oily, sparse, dirty coat, infected ears, arthritis in her back legs, and to top it off, she was in heat, so you get the picture of what this poor girl had to endure, probably for years. Our veterinary partners believe that the severe ear infections have affected her ear drum, which may have led to some hearing loss, even though the infection is now cleared.

Nala walks pretty well on leash, and loves to ride in the car. Although she was a bit anxious on the ride home from the shelter, she eventually did settle down. Even with a little stiffness in her back end, she was able to get into the car (with some help), and had no problems getting out. She wasn't thrilled with what was probably her first bath, but she looks (and probably feels) 100% better.

Nala also was not happy about being placed in the crate; however, she has finally adjusted with no issues. She is an easy girl to have around, and will make someone a great doggie companion, as she really enjoys being near her humans, but in no way is she needy. She has had no accidents while in the house. If allowed, she will jump up on the couch, curl up and fall asleep (probably the first time she has had a nice, soft, clean place to lay). At this point, Nala has shown no interest in toys, or other dogs, but will bark a few times when her foster siblings are playing (guess that is the mother in her trying to bring order).

Initially, Nala was quite emaciated, but has now gained some much needed weight. In addition to everything she has been through, at the time of her spay, she was found to have a large mass on her uterus, which was removed, and she has since recovered from her surgery.

Her reaction to children is unknown, but an adult home or one with older children might be best. She was recently tested with the resident kitties, and showed too much interest, so a home without cats, or other small critters is a must.

It will be necessary for an adopter to have experience in raising a GSD or other large working breed dog, as well as begin an obedience course, based upon positive re-enforcement, to help Nala become a well-behaved canine citizen, although she has some pretty good manners, being the senior lady that she is.

Nala is a Level 2 dog being fostered in the Santa Cruz mountains.



Important Note About Dog Descriptions

Please remember that the descriptions of dogs (of Dogs Available) have been written by GSRNC volunteers and are usually based only upon our observation of the dog since the time it was rescued. While we try to provide dog descriptions that are fair and accurate, the nature of our work involves contact with dogs whose background and history are unknown to us. GSRNC cannot warrant or guarantee any dog's future behavior. For example, if we say that a rescue dog gets along with children, cats, or other dogs, this statement is usually based upon the fact that one of our volunteers has observed the dog interacting with his or her own children or pets. While this information may be helpful, we cannot be certain of how a dog will do with the children or pets in your home. If you are considering adopting, we encourage you to come to one of our Adoption Days and meet our rescue dogs. Ultimately, only you can decide whether one of our dogs is right for you.

Explanation of the Dog Levels

1 – "Fireplace dog"
Couch potato, super easy, low energy and no issues. This level of dog would do well in any home regardless of owner experience. (We rarely come across this level of dog.)

2 – “Easy Large Breed Companion Dog”
Low to moderate energy, needs some exercise but it is not a daily requirement. This dog will do well in most homes. The dog gets along with most other dogs, gets along with most other people and have been successfully been around children. The dog has no real behavioral issues that need to be managed or dealt with on a daily basis. This dog is an easy family dog.  

3 –“Standard Large Breed Dog”
Moderate energy, needs daily exercise of some sort to thrive and stay happy. This dog will do well in many types of homes, but some situations will not work for this dog. This dog may not get along with some types of dogs. This dog may be reactive to some other dogs while on leash. It may have too much energy to be around small children while unattended, and may have some behavioral issues that will require formal training or daily monitoring for the dog to successfully live happily in a family. These issues are normally minor such as fence climbing, prey drive, minor separation anxiety, nervousness in crowds, or other minor behavioral traits. A Potential Adopter for a level 3 dog must have prior, recent large breed dog experience and be able to demonstrate the ability to successfully deal with the level 3 dog that they wish to adopt.  

4 – “Experienced Ownership Required”
Moderate, high or very high energy/drive. Needs an experienced owner familiar with working breed behavior to provide direct leadership and proper management. Level 4 dogs typically have a challenging behavior, but are good dogs. These dogs might be dog-reactive with most other dogs or dog-aggressive, may have to be an only animal in the home, maybe have moderate separation anxiety.  The dog normally needs daily physical and mental stimulation, etc. This level of dog is not an average pet. (We try to limit the number of level 4 dogs in our program.) A Potential Adopter for a level 4 dog must be able to demonstrate the experience and ability to safely manage and care for a level 4 dog.  

5 – “Competitive or Working Dog”
This is a dog that has an intense focus to ‘work’. It could be a dog that provides Search and Rescue services, could be a competitive Flyball or Agility dog, or has other working abilities. These dogs can be strong, pushy, dominant, and/or have extreme energy/drive. They need a professional handler or an owner who has the experience to provide a demonstrated commitment to the dog’s ‘working ability’. A Potential Adopter for a level 5 dog must be able to demonstrate the experience and ability to safely manage and care for a level 5 dog.