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.



An Old "Married" Couple
Post Date: 6/26/2014 7:57:31 PM

After our two furbabies passed the year before, we decided there wasn't enough fur in the house and started to talk about adopting. We found a wonderful dog named Rigby via the website in March 2013. Due to his condition he was not yet ready for adoption, regardless, within days of contacting we were driving up to meet him. When we first saw Rigby our hearts melted. He is a wonderful, sweet dog. For only being a year and a half, he has had a tough life. He had been neglected, abused, and severely malnourished when they dumped him at the shelter and was only 42 lbs. In foster care he had been getting the love he deserved and has steadily been gaining weight back. Besides being extremely skinny, he was also missing large patches of fur from the mange, fungal, and flea infestations. His skin smelled horrible. We joked that he resembles the “Charlie Brown Christmas Tree”. He just stood there, frozen, with his head down when we pet him. We immediately knew that we wanted to adopt Rigby. His foster mom (who was FABULOUS) told us that he had a very special bond with another Shepherd, Lexi (originally Lexus), that they had for adoption. She told us that the two of them had been inseparable since they first met. Of course we had to meet her. The next thing we knew a gorgeous, fluffy delicate faced GSD runs out of the house to greet us. When Lexi came out Rigby perked right up and they ran around together just as cute as could be. It was obvious that they were buddies even though they were not rescued at the same time. She is a wonderful, loving dog and was also about a year and a half old. She was abandoned when they found her and with no id. It was pretty apparent we were going home with two dogs. In addition to Rigby's condition, both dogs had entropian, a rare eye condition where the eyelid turns in and can be quite irritating. We agreed to foster them until they were available for formal adoption. The next weekend we picked them both up. In the coming weeks they both had the corrective surgery and neuter/spay. By mid-June all the cones came off and they could finally be together - rather than try and play through their locked crates. We had a lot small challenges stemming from Rigby's abuse: he didn't like white things (t-shirt, tissues, towels, etc.) but that passed when he destroyed a box of tissues, he doesn't like the sound of metal clanking (belt buckles, jewelry, etc.), no "hitting"-like noises such as shaking out a towel or sheet, no raised voices, etc. We overcame them with patience, love, training, and routine. When we brought them home Rigby was curious and Lexi time went on their personalities blossomed. Rigby has become the curious "helper" and Lexi, who seemed so outgoing, is the cautious one - waiting for brother to check it out first. They are always playing, sleeping together (butts or paws touching), patrolling... We were very lucky. Both dogs are fantastic with people, especially very small children. Rigby is especially sensitive to cries of need (absolutely do NOT play dog rescue videos or crying puppies or babies or kittens on your computer...he'll search for them for the rest of the day). We had a HUGE breakthrough with Rigby in the past few weeks: he started wagging at his human family and friends whereas previously he only wagged for sister Lexi. They've settled into their routines and identified their preferred napping spots throughout the house. They have been relying less on one another for comfort and internalizing it - and coming to their human family for love and to say "hi" (Lexi always did this, but this is new for Rigby). Lexi is especially beautiful and sweet. She's a joy and a lover! Rigby has grown more and more handsome, especially since now he's 98 lbs., and loves to investigate, play tug, and gives up the belly. Lexi has taught Rigby about toys. Their manes are growing in as they get older and we love to come home to see their faces looking out the window. When we see them together, we know we did the right thing. I know that this is a long story, but we have been so happy that they have joined our family. We hope to have many many long years with them in their fur-ever home!


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.