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.



Post Date: 11/11/2012 6:55:46 AM

In Memory of Nico We lost Nico, our family’s German Shepherd, to cancer before he reached his 8th birthday. Cancer of the spleen metastasized to his heart and lungs and began to take him before we knew he was ill; before anything could be done to save him. What we were able to do was give him comfort, time to swim in the pool, and time for us to say goodbye. He died with the family surrounding him, on his own, protecting the family from having to make the hard choice to euthanize. Nico was majestic and extremely intelligent. We watched him “understand,” and respond to many situations. We often felt he would transform from dog to human before our eyes. Nico would wait at a given hour at the door. You could say one o’clock or three thirty and he would be there at the precise time. How did he know? We watched is understanding of situations grow. If we didn’t take him along or explain why he was being left at home, he would expressed his chagrin, once by taking a red See’s candy box out his doggie door burying it in the garden but leaving enough of the red packaging showing so we would not fail to miss his statement of discontent. Another annoyance prompted him to take shirts destined for the cleaners out his doggie door to the hot tub. When he ran away to chase dear and was chastised for this discretion, he pranced to the corner of the kitchen and sat with his back to me. He turned his head upside down to look at me while his body faced the wall. Who could resist this comedienne! Often, people would tell me about their special pets and I didn’t “get it!” It’s an animal not a person I would think. Their grief when losing their pet seemed over and above the top; they were animals, not people. But having the experience of Nico, I now understand. I would massage his sore paws and hips after chasing the ball relentlessly. Nico brightened my day, eased my own body pain, lowered my blood pressure and made me play, laugh and feel lighter and younger. Expecting my arrival he had a special bark to welcome me. If I had come and gone while he was out with the family, he would sense I had been there and look for me. When the girls were younger, he would get them up for school like Nana in Peter Pan. My family brought him everywhere that was pet friendly. They showered him with love, the best quality foods and snacks. Nico shared vacations on ski trips, and lots of beach and pool time. He stayed at lovely hotels and experienced a rich and happy life for his short life. My son repeated a saying that says something like “a dog gives you what you need.” I didn’t even know what I needed until Nico came into my life. We each grew into our relationship with him, even as he grew to accommodate each of us. He was a loving presence and provided uncompromised protection yet complete sweetness. It is also said that whatever brings the most pain to us, if we look closely, is also the source of our greatest love and happiness. It is true; about both people and pets. Audrey


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.