Greater California German Shepherd Rescue Inc (

~ It's all about the dogs ~

Adoptable Dogs!

Check out our Available Dogs! Fall in love, take one home!

Adoption Pending!

These dogs are in Foster-to-Adopt homes!
We have a very successful 30 day Foster-to-Adopt program.

Happy Adopted Dogs Tails!

These are some of our 300+ lucky dogs who have already found their new homes!

Volunteers & Foster Homes ALWAYS Needed!

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News & Events

We will be having a special Adoption Day Saturday April 29th from 11 am to 3 pm, at the Pet Food Express at the Fountains in Roseville. 1009 Galleria Blvd. Roseville, CA 95678.

You can see the dogs scheduled to attend at Please check back on Friday afternoon for the final line-up and check out their bios on the Adoptable Dogs page. And don't forget to send in and bring your Adoption Questionnaire. We have a 30 day Foster-To-Adopt program!

Hope to see you there!

Can't Adopt? Can't Foster? Still want to help? Sign up to Sponsor on our Sponsorship Page!

For a list of our Events, Adoption Days and directions, see our Events Calendar!

Important notice about Puppies!

We rarely get puppies (6 months and under) and when we do, we want to make sure they have the very best start in life. Please see our Requirements for Adopting a Puppy. We also have a Supplemental Puppy Questionnaire just for puppies. Yes, we are very picky about our puppy homes, since we see so many adolescent dogs in the shelters who have outgrown their cute little puppy stage and have been left at the shelter!

The Adoption Fee for our Puppies is $350.

We do not put holds on puppies and we do not adopt any dogs out of state or our service area. If you would like to meet one of our puppies, please send in your Adoption Questionnaire and Puppy Questionnaire! See Adoption Info.

Who We Are

Greater California German Shepherd Rescue began its operations in December 2007 and is a nonprofit public charity under IRS code 501(c)(3). We are an all-volunteer group serving the communities surrounding Modesto, Merced, Greater Sacramento, and South Lake Tahoe, and occasionally parts of the North and East SF Bay area. Except for a portion of Nevada around Lake Tahoe, we don't adopt dogs out of state and rarely adopt out of our area. There are too many other German Shepherds in need of good homes in the other areas.

We are a small group of dedicated volunteers who rescue German Shepherd Dogs from life-threatening situations and find them permanent homes with qualified owners. We work cooperatively with animal shelters, professional trainers, and other rescue groups toward our common goals of saving dogs' lives and educating the public about responsible pet ownership. Please contact us if you would like to help!

About German Shepherds

German Shepherds aren't for everyone. They're big, energetic dogs with long tails, and can clear a coffee table with one swipe. They have a lot of hair with a double coat, and that means they shed year round - and they shed a LOT. They're active, alert, assertive, noisy and mouthy. They take work - a LOT of work. They need socialization, leadership, exercise and a job, or they'll find their own amusements, usually by chewing, digging, barking or escaping. They tend to get territorial, possessive, and protective.

If you don't mind all that, if you understand and love the breed, and are willing to put the necessary work into one, you'll end up with a very intelligent, very devoted, and very responsible member of the family. There isn't a finer family dog or for all-around purposes than a good German Shepherd that is well-trained and well-socialized.

We have a Rating Level system for both our dogs and our adopters to help place dogs in the appropriate household. We won't place a higher level dog in a lower level household, as that rarely works out and the dogs end up getting returned.

Please see our Dog Rating Levels below.

Adoption Policies

Our Philosophy. 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.

Adoption Fees. 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.

Home Visit. 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.

Outside 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 San Francisco Bay area, 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 or Out of State.

Adoption Requirements. 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.

Puppies. 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 is an optimum environment to raise a happy and well-socialized dog.

Adoption Restrictions. 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.

Adoption Questionnaire

If you are interested in adopting one of our fine dogs, please fill out an Adoption Questionnaire (AQ) and fax or mail it in to the contact information listed below **before** contacting us about a specific dog. Completed and scanned AQs can be sent to the email contact below (quickest method). One of our Adoption Counselors will contact you shortly after we receive your AQ.

If you're planning to attend an Adoption Day, please bring a copy of your completed AQ with you. Thank you!

Adopter Preferences

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!

GCGSR Dog Rating Levels

All German Shepherd Dogs (GSDs):

The Dog Rating Levels are based on the GSD's inherent drives, confidence, attitude and personality. The higher the Rating Level, the more confident and demanding the dog is, and the more of everything the dog will require. Young dogs under 2 years old will probably mature up a Level. Don't mistake a smaller size for an easier dog! Note: Any dog can exhibit atypical behavior under stressful conditions.

Level 1 - Soft & Submissive

Level 2 - Moderate & Adaptable

Level 3 - Confident & Challenging

Level 4 - Competitive & Intense

Level 5 - Tough & Serious

Giving Us A Dog

PLEASE NOTE: We do not 'rescue' stray dogs or dogs from abusive or neglectful situations without the owner's permission. We will only deal with the dog's legal owner. If you know of a German Shepherd or any dog that is straying at large or is being abused or neglected, you should report it to your local Animal Control. If you have found a dog and don't wish to surrender it to Animal Control, you can follow your County's guidelines for due diligence to become the legal owner.

We have great sympathy for people who must give up their dogs. It's heartbreaking all around and devastating for the dog. Sometimes we can help, sometimes we can't. Please read the information provided on our website about giving us a dog before contacting us.

Come Visit Us!

From 11 am to 2 pm every month, rain or shine, at these locations!

First Saturday of every month in Modesto:

2100 McHenry Ave
Modesto CA 95350
(209) 574-0441

Third Saturday of every month in Sacramento (Rancho Cordova):

10830 Olson Drive
Rancho Cordova CA 95670
(916) 851-1813

Fourth Saturday of every month in Roseville:
Pet Food Express

1009 Galleria Blvd
Roseville, CA 95678

Greater California German Shepherd Rescue Inc
P.O. Box 577663
Modesto CA 95357
Toll Free & Fax: (877) 268-0255 (voicemail only)

~ It's all about the dogs ~

Regrettably, we are unable to return phone calls outside our areas of service. We serve the North SF Bay, the Greater Sacramento area, Lake Tahoe, the Central Valley down to Merced, and parts of the East SF Bay, resources permitting.

Check out the wonderful dogs in our Rescue!

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