Please read before filling out an Adoption Questionnaire!
The dogs are our clients and we do what is in the dog's best interests. We match the dog to a suitable home where the dog will be happy and fulfilled, and the dog must approve of the match as well. That means we don't adopt dogs over the internet, as gifts, or sight unseen.
Our fees are $350 for Puppies (2-6 months), $300 for Adult Dogs, and $100 for Senior Dogs (9 years & up) and Special Needs Dogs who have ongoing health issues that require treatment. All of our dogs are spayed/neutered (per California State Law), vaccinated, heartworm and fecal tested clear, and most are microchipped. The adoption fees don't quite cover those costs.
We require a home visit by one of our own volunteers because we match the home to a specific dog, and we want to meet all members of the household and all other pets at that time, and make sure that environment will work for that dog. The home must be safe and suitable for our dog, and that means we won't adopt to a home with out-of-control children or out-of-control resident dogs.
We rarely place dogs in outside only homes. All of our dogs come out of shelters and into volunteer foster homes where they live in the house with the people. We haven't had much success re-homing them to an outside-only home after that. We believe that dogs are happier living and sleeping inside with their family pack, which has been borne out from many years of bringing dogs into rescue.
Areas of Service
We operate within a reasonable driving distance from the Greater Sacramento area, the Central Valley down to Merced, and Lake Tahoe. A reasonable driving distance is determined by where one of our volunteers is willing to drive within our areas of service. That means we don't adopt out of our area, to Southern California, or Out of State.
Our Adoption Agreement & Contract is a legal document, therefore we will only adopt to adults, and all the adults in the household must agree to getting the dog. The home must be safe and secure, and legally allowed to have a German Shepherd Dog, and be within the allowable number of dogs. We require landlord consent for renters. The entire household must be a good match for the dog, therefore we won't place a higher Level dog in a lower Level household. Please see our Dog Rating Levels.
Adoption Day Events
In the interests of fairness, we won't do private meetings during the week right before an Adoption Day where the dog is scheduled to attend, since there may be other interested parties traveling to that Adoption Day to meet that particular dog. If there are several parties interested in the same dog at an Adoption Day, we will make sure everyone who arrives on time has a chance to meet the dog and then our volunteers will help make the best match for that dog. Not everyone is the right match for every dog. We do what is in the dog's best interests.
We have special requirements and an additional questionnaire for puppies, please be sure you meet the requirements before sending in an application. Since we see so many dogs that have come out of an unsuitable environment, we want to make sure our puppies have the very best start in life. That means we won't adopt a puppy into an Outside Only home or where the puppy will be alone the majority of the time, as we don't feel that's an optimum environment to raise a happy and well-socialized dog.
If there is a vacation or major change imminent, such as moving, having another adult move in, or having a baby, we won't place a dog in that home. Those events are extremely stressful and it wouldn't be fair to expect a new dog to adjust well to them.
We Reserve the Right to refuse to adopt to anyone who we feel isn't a good match to a dog, in particular or in general, as not every household is suitable for a rescued German Shepherd Dog. We will not adopt to anyone who is hostile, belligerent, deceitful or disrespectful to our volunteers, our dogs, our organization, or otherwise refuses to follow our policies or accept our guidelines.
Yes, we do have preferences for adopters and they would get first choice on any of our dogs above the general public, provided it is an appropriate home for the dog (rating level, energy, children, other pets, etc). Yes, our volunteers pay the same adoption fee as everyone else. No, we don't give dogs away for free, not even to our volunteers.
Our unapologetic order of preference is:
1. The Foster Home - they always have the first option of keeping their foster dog. This is known as a Foster Failure, and we have many repeat offenders. Foster Failures are designated as 101, 102, 103, etc, depending on how many foster dogs they have failed to find other homes for and must expect to take their razzing. Some of us have gotten as high as Foster Failure 104. Some of us have been at this for a decade or so.
2. Active Volunteers - it's the only perk we get for all the hard work we do. These are the folks who are always there to evaluate and transport dogs, work at adoption days and events, keep up the background work, etc. If you don't think it's work to haul a trailer, setup & takedown equipment, manage an adoption day or other event, month in and month out, etc., we invite you to come try it for a year or two. Or a decade or so.
3. Previous Successful Adopters - they have proven they know how to take care of a dog and we love repeat customers! These are the folks who have kept a dog safe and happy through sickness and health until the end of the dog's life.
4. Highly Qualified Owners (Level 3 or above) personally known and recommended by one of our volunteers who will vouch for the home and handling ability.
5. General Public. At Adoption Days, it's not exactly first come/first served, it's whoever is the best match for the dog, provided everyone is there at the start to meet the dogs. In between Adoption Days, those who get their Adoption Questionnaire in and are available for a Home Visit will be ahead of those who don't!
Adoption Forms & Puppy Requirements
We have a new online Adoption Questionnaire and Supplemental Puppy Questionnaire. The Landlord Consent must still be downloaded, and mailed, emailed or faxed back to GCGSR.
Online Adoption Questionnaire (AQ)
Online Puppy Questionnaire (PuppyQ)
Please download the following form(s) and mail, email or fax the Questionnaires and/or Consent Form back to the address information provided on the form. Thank you!
Adoption Questionnaire (AQ) - PDF format 395KB
Puppy Requirements (HTML) or PuppyReqs - PDF 112 KB (information only)
Puppy Questionnaire (PuppyQ) - PDF format 112KB
Landlord Consent Form - PDF format 79KB
Filling out the questionnaires will help us match your needs with the dogs in our program. Please bring a copy of the completed form(s) with you to Adoption Day just in case we don't receive them beforehand.
The average cost of caring for our dogs, including shelter fees, spaying/neutering, veterinary care, boarding and feeding, exceeds $400 per dog. We appreciate any additional contribution you may be able to make to help us save more dogs!
We thank you for your interest in adopting one of our German Shepherds!