If you’re considering buying a German Shepherd puppy, have you thought about contacting a German Shepherd rescue organization? Whether you’re determined to find a puppy, or willing to consider an older juvenile or adult dog who really needs a home, a rescue can be the perfect place to find a great dog.
Sometimes, people who own German Shepherds must give up their pets, for one reason or another. Many of these dogs end up in rescues, where they are available for adoption into good homes. Some of these animals have been abused or abandoned, but many have just been surrendered by their owners.
Rescue organizations are usually volunteer organizations, and operate with the sole purpose of finding good homes for animals who might otherwise end up in animal shelters and be put down. These organizations place animals in foster homes whenever possible, and are constantly looking for homes for their animals.
If having an AKC registered German Shepherd is vitally important to you, then a German Shepherd rescue may not be able to help you; most registered animals who are surrendered are returned to the breeder, who tries to find another home. But go ahead and check with rescues, just in case they know someone who’s surrendering a registered dog. Keep in mind that you really only need papers if you’re planning to show or breed. A full-blooded German Shepherd will be the same with or without papers.
When you contact a shelter, be prepared to explain what kind of pet you want, where the dog will live, who lives in your home, what other animals there are, and who your current vet is, if you have pets in the home now. Rescue organizations deal with animals that need forever homes, and they are very picky about where they send animals.
When you rescue a dog, be prepared to pay an adoption fee. This usually is between $75 and $100 for large dogs. This fee covers only part of the cost the rescue has incurred to feed and care for the dog, but usually includes spaying or neutering and basic vaccinations. Compared to the cost of buying a puppy from a breeder, or paying the care and vet costs for a dog yourself, this fee is usually quite reasonable. Keep in mind that the rescues never make money on adoptions; many of them don’t even recoup their costs with adoption fees, but they do need to receive a payment for their care of the dog.
To find a German Shepherd rescue in your area, you can contact the Human Society, speak with the staff at your current vet’s office, or do an Internet search for German Shepherd rescues. If you cannot find a local rescue, many rescues will do long-distance adoptions. Often they will ask someone from a rescue in your area to do a home visit; this is simply to make sure you’re offering a real, good home. It’s difficult to verify that a long-distance adopter is not selling dogs to labs and such, so a home visit is usually required.
Adopting a German Shepherd from a rescue not only saves a dog’s life, but also gives you a loving companion who will be eternally grateful for a loving forever home.