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.



Tribute to Inca
Post Date: 2/9/2015 12:13:00 PM

I adopted Inca from GSRNC in February of 2009. I decided to foster at the time because I had plenty of time to devote and finally was a homeowner without landlord restrictions. Inca came to us after a stay at the Napa shelter; she was found wandering the streets and no one ever came to claim her. We did not know anything about her other than by observing her physical condition that she was postpartum and a beautiful dog. She was severely depressed, timidly moping around the house, often gazing out the front windows for a few days as if waiting for someone to come get her. I did not feel an instant connection although we felt sad for her mournful behavior. She was initially estimated to be 4-5 years old though she behaved like an old dog with very little energy and spark in her eyes. Slowly over the course of the next several weeks we formed a tremendous bond as I realized we could not say goodbye to her. Months passed and this beautiful dog blossomed to life before our eyes. She became playful and started to guard our yard from the ferocious squirrels. Once she realized that her home was with us and that we loved her, she became confident, protective and a very happy dog. Everywhere I went for the last six years, my "entourage" was by my side, walking close by or sleeping at my feet. Inca enjoyed days at the beach, hikes in the woods and weekdays under my desk at work. We continued to foster for GSRNC for several years, with many puppies coming to live in our home. Inca was a natural mom with these pups and shared her bed and love with them. We laid her to rest this weekend, almost six years to the date of when we adopted her. Although there is a huge void now that she is gone, I am comforted by the fact that we were able to give her a wonderful life and share many happy memories with our wonderful girl. Thank you GSRNC for allowing us to be part of something so wonderful.


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.