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. Complete an Adoption Questionnaire, either online, or hard-copy (pdf format). If you do not own your home, you must have your landlord complete the Landlord Letter.
  2. Be interviewed by an adoption counselor.
  3. Choose, and be chosen by, the right dog.
  4. Live in one of the 14 Northern California counties we serve.
  5. Allow a home visit by an adoption counselor.
  6. With our approval, sign our Adoption Agree ment, and pay the associated fee.

If you come to an Adoption Day, the process of adopting can be completed in any order; otherwise you must complete an Adoption Questionnaire before we can assist you further. Normally, all our requirements must be met. Home visits may be waived in rare circumstances. We do not adopt to homes outside of Northern California.

After we receive your online Adoption Questionnaire, we will call you to begin the adoption process. Due to our home visit requirement, we only adopt to homes in Northern California. 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. The entire adoption process can be completed on the same day, or it may take longer.

If you can not come to any Adoption Day, we will try to assist you using email, the mail, and the telephone. This will probably 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.



Riki's Story
Post Date: 12/30/2011 8:07:33 PM

I woke up one July morning to see Ben and Toby bringing two stray German Shepherds into our yard. I wasn’t happy, but four days later, when we reunited them with their owner, I was in tears. They had melted my heart, and I agreed we had to have our own Shepherd. We went to our first GSRNC adoption day two weeks later. We met JJ there, and we told her that we wanted a good family dog who liked to fetch. She assured us that she would find us a great match. On the way home, we visited the shelter in Fremont to see a nice looking German Shepherd that I had seen on their website. His name was Knight. We played with him for an hour and felt that he might be right for us, but they discouraged us from adopting him because we didn’t have GSD experience. In a somber mood, we sat at the adjacent dog park watching people play with their dogs and reluctantly agreed to wait for a dog from the rescue group. Well, that very night, JJ called. She told Ben about a great dog she had picked up in Fremont that afternoon. She was talking about Knight! We told her we had met him just before she did. We were thrilled that she thought we might be his forever family. First, though, he needed to go to a foster family for evaluation, and we needed to read about how to be good GSD owners. Three days later, we had our home interview with our adoption counselor, Barbara (we were her first adoption family, and she brought Debbie along to assist). Meanwhile, Knight proved to his foster family that he was the perfect family dog, and by the end of the week, he was happily playing fetch and chasing squirrels in our back yard. Thanks, GSRNC, for helping us find the perfect addition to our family.


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.