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.



Five years today...
Post Date: 10/15/2012 12:39:52 AM

It was five years today that we brought Heidi (formerly known as "Twiggy") into our home. We were supposed to just keep her overnight before she went on to a foster home in Napa. It had been 14 years since we had a dog of our own and we wanted to see what it would be like to have a dog in the home we were now living in. Overnight turned into a week, which turned into two weeks, which turned into forever! We were told that Heidi was found roaming the streets of Oakland. She must have had some bad experiences because she was as skinny as can be (48 lbs!) and very fearful. She cowered when we went to pet her and she was very afraid of men (including my husband). She didn't know how to play and she didn't know what to do with a ball or a toy. That has totally changed. She has her own box of toys and every night she grabs one and brings it to us or tosses it up in the air. She definitely knows how to play now, and she also knows how to get us to give her a belly rub. The first few months with Heidi weren't easy and more than once, we wondered if we were the right owners for her, with her dog reactivity, her fear of men, and her anxious, high-strung nature. But, we stuck it out and we're so glad we did because we have a smart, sweet, funny, and entertaining companion, and we can't imagine our lives without her. She's excelled at obedience training, agility training, and she is one of the best behaved dogs at her doggy daycare. She loves to go hiking with us and we take her just about everywhere we go (including on vacation). We get compliments on her wherever we go. She still has her moments but she's come a long, long way from the skinny, scared dog we first met five years ago. Thank you to Brigitte who brought her to us and guided us through the adoption process, to JJ who fostered her, to Lillian and Night Star, who helped Heidi learn to get along with other dogs, and to Bob and everyone else at GSRNC for all you do to help these wonderful dogs.


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.