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.



Tessa Means 'Gatherer'
Post Date: 5/20/2013 2:57:57 PM

Tessa came into our lives at a time when my youngest went away to college. The house was so empty even with our other GSD. There was a hole in our home that needed to be filled. We plugged the hole with a scruffy looking, and scrappy 9 month old female GSD that soon became the heart of our family and soon transformed into a real beauty! Tessa loved all humans. She was not so gentle with other animals at first and required a lot of socialization. She eventually became a great pet that was always ready to play, get a scratch, or lay quietly at our feet. If you had a bad day she made you smile. If you were sad or angry she made you laugh. She never did anything with less then 110% effort. She, true to her name, liked to gather all the balls, bones and toys and bring them to her bed. She also liked to gather people together, and she hated closed doors. If you closed a door and it wasn’t latched all the way, you could expect Tessa to come busting through to make sure you were there and see what you were up to. Unfortunately she had a dysplastic shoulder and needed to have her exercise limited. We discovered that she had 2 copies of genes that predisposed her to degenerative myeolopathy that we discovered in a DNA test (a wisdom panel) that we had done soon after we adopted her, We were glad we had this done be cause having that information helped us make a very hard decision when at five years old, her quality of life took a nose dive. Knowing her genetic make-up helped make this difficult decision easier. We knew she would not get better, only worse. Not able to walk, we had to put her down. With lighting speed our lives changed. I called her to groom some burrs out of her coat, and as usual she turned at 110% effort and immediately was ataxic. She in one turn lost most of her control of her rear legs. We called our vet, and took her in immediately the next day. I could tell that the news was bad by the look on our vet’s face. 24 hours after that, we shed many tears before and after we had her euthanized. It was the hardest decision that our family ever had to make. I want to say that we would have done everything that we could if there was any chance that Tessa would have recovered. Our vet assured us that even with surgery there was no guarantee she would recover and that her quality of life would not be good. Tessa was loved by our vet and all who worked in the office, and there was not a dry eye in their office as my wife and I left Tessa, the heart of our family, her heart no longer beating. Tessa will live in the hearts of all she touched. Unfortunately the hole in our family has returned. Thanks to GSRNC we will begin the process of adopting another GSD soon. There will never be another Tessa; but we know that there is a GSD out there that is ready to be love and be loved. Thanks again to GSRNC for being there.


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.