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.



Happy GSD in the Foothills
Post Date: 1/5/2015 6:26:54 PM

I lost my beloved German Shepherd soul mate, Maya, in June of 2010. She lived a long and adventurous life with me as my partner in crime, logging over fifteen thousand miles driving from coast to coast to visit my family and friends back east. She was an amazing car dog, my best friend and a superstar in so many ways. Calm and devoted, loyal and protective, Maya was exactly what I needed as I ventured into the world alone as a twenty-something year old divorcee. We rarely left each other's sides and I'll always be grateful for the incredible amount of time we had with one another. She died peacefully just after her twelfth birthday at home in my arms. We grew up together and I was able to experience the beauty, the unadulterated silliness, devotion and brilliance of the German Shepherd Dog. I was hooked. After a memorable 'celebration of life' ceremony at Lake Tahoe (her favorite place to swim) with my family present followed by several months of deep mourning, I was ready to be a mother again to another GSD. I found a local breeder and placed a deposit on a puppy for a late summer litter. I waited patiently for the birth of my new baby and often wondered how anyone could live a life without a canine companion to snuggle with, sing to and spoil rotten. Our home seemed SO empty. Quinnie was born in August and I brought her home at the end of October. It became clear within a few months that she was playful, particularly feisty and high energy- a sharp contrast to my calm and mellow Maya. Within days of toying with the idea of getting Quinnie a sibling, I ran into a woman walking a gorgeous GSD up in Placerville. She told me about the local GS Rescue group who had saved the dog she was training (he had already been adopted). I contacted the rescue group and there was one dog available at the time. I was thrilled to meet him and have Quinnie meet him for the first time. Within minutes I knew they were not a good match. It was interesting to watch two beautiful dogs who simply were not going to connect. Despite the feedback of the rescue coordinator, suggesting they'd get used to one another, I had to rescind and move on. Quinnie had spoken. She needed a brother and... and I knew he was out there. It was around this time that I had also contacted GSD Rescue of Northern California, just so I could access as many resources as possible to find the right match for Quinnie. Because of the distance between us and the impossibility of doing a home visit, I was asked to provide additional references and information about my lifestyle, where I live and my philosophy about dog-rearing. I wish every prospective parent could endure such an appropriately rigorous process! When I was finally approved and was given permission to look for my dog on the website, I was told about a special liver-colored shepherd who was abandoned by his breeder because of the color of his fur. He was seven months old and his name was Robee. I spoke with his foster mom and knew I had to meet him. Based upon my interviews and application packet, I was given first choice for my new baby. I drove to the Danville adoption center in October of 2011 with Quinnie in the back seat, paid my adoption fees and waited as the dogs were coming in. And just like in the movies, no exaggeration, my eyes locked on Robee's from fifty feet away... and his on mine… and in that moment, we both knew. It was a like a dream. I had found my baby boy and he found me! I got him into the SUV with Quinnie and they instantly bonded, sharing a backseat for the three-hour drive home. We had our window of adjustment in the first few months. Robee was sometimes timid, sometimes unsure of his new surroundings and sometimes looking as though he'd eventually be asked to move on. I reminded him every day that he was in his forever home. It was people who had given him his feelings of mistrust as a young pup, but when it came to Quinnie, it was as if they had known one another before. She loved him instantly and he, in turn, calmed her down (or matched her energy level for playtime). Robee lives on eighteen acres in the foothills, with one acre fenced-in for safety. He and Quinnie run and play, check out the surrounding wildlife, fill their bellies at mealtime and snuggle on the couch in front of the fireplace or in bed next to their people when they want love. When they're not at home running the show, they enjoy doggie day care where they play with their regular friends and get high marks for their social skills and keeping other "high-energy" dogs under control. I’m such a proud mother! (And people are stunned by his beautiful brown and tan coat). It's been too long, over three years, to take the time to write this letter to GS Rescue. But rarely a day goes by that I am not grateful for the gift I was given because of your efforts to save these incredible animals. I often tell Robee he's a 'dog's dog'. He's the kind of dog who everyone wants to be around- always smiling, always ready to snuggle, always happy with a simple treat, a rub on the head or a song sung by me with his name in it. He is spoiled rotten (in a good way) and I wouldn't want it any other way. It was important for me to let you know how grateful I am for your efforts and organization. Quinnie has blossomed into a calm and chronically happy big sister who was in need of a brother. And I have come to realize how it's indeed possible to find another soul mate in one lifetime. He's a clown, an athlete, brilliant, goofy, loves to be photographed and on occasion, a shape-shifter. As a small side note, I also wanted to share that I connected with and saw I could simply donate to GSRNC every time I shopped at Amazon, which happens a lot up here in the rural foothills! It's nice to know I have the opportunity to make a donation with every item I buy, so thank you for being a part of that!


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.