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.



Back on his paws again - – Monty (formerly Montara)
Post Date: 10/1/2007

On November 29, 2007, I became the first foster person for Montara, a 1.5 year old (estimated) male GSD with four infected paws. The bacterial infections were likely related to his infection with generalized demodex (aka "puppy mange"), which, in turn, may have been related to his generally malnourished and underweight condition. He had super sensitive paws and trouble walking, but had the most optimistic disposition and happy expressions on his face. He was so happy to have a home and a person again! The first photo shows him much improved, but still with a long way to go. He was house trained and crate trained, but was completely unfamiliar with the concept of a command when I got him. He responded well to his medications and in 8 weeks he was healthy enough for adoption. I wanted a GSD and we had bonded (to put it mildly), and so I formally adopted him at that time, and renamed him "Monty", short for Montgomery. He never went to a Meet & Greet or Adoption Day, so only a few GSRNC volunteers have ever met him. After his adoption, we worked seriously on his socialization, training and walking over various terrains to toughen up his paws. We were successful in all regards, and the only remaining evidence of his troubled past are that he is more careful when running around off-leash than my previous GSDs (which is good!), and he seems so grateful for the home and companionship I have given him. He is just over 2 years old now and is making that transition from silly to serious, which is a delightful stage. He is so happy and well adjusted, and he has all those wonderful GSD character traits in abundance. He has become a powerful male GSD, which is new to him, as he spent a fair portion of his life unable to assert himself. Nonetheless, he is handling his newfound power judiciously and has charmed all my neighbors, friends, and relatives. We are still working on skateboards and cats, though. His hobbies are the usual ones, plus tearing old clothes to shreds and running perimeter checks throughout the night when backpacking. The second photo is of him at Toejam Lake in Emigrant Wilderness - nine months after I first I brought him home in such rough shape! Of course, I think he is the best and most handsome dog in the world, but people are always telling me how handsome he is and asking whom his breeder is. I am so proud to tell them, "I don't know. He's a rescue dog, and a medical rescue as well." It has been so rewarding to nurse him back to health, and I am so grateful to the wonderful volunteers at GSRNC who make it possible and helped and supported me throughout! - Tom H.


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.