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 GSD Rescue --- Rescue a dog and get a devoted friend for life! 

There may be no breed of dog more versatile than the German Shepherd Dog (GSD). This muscular, agile, intelligent dog shines in many areas beyond herding - flashy show dog, watchful guardian, relentless police adjunct, effective search and rescue tracker, trusted guide and loyal family companion. To some, the Shepherd is the ideal dog, but is it the right breed for you? Click on the link above for the full article.

Questions & Answers about adoption  

From Mid-Atlantic German Shepherd Rescue:
In bringing a German Shepherd into your home, you are making an addition to your family and he will quickly feel a part of it. Your house, your garden, your possessions and in fact all that you own will from then on be in his special care. He needs your love, but he also needs correct attention to his grooming, exercise, food, and generalwelfare. Once given these, your German Shepherd will devote his very life to you.  Your life will be richer for this as well as for the companionship and love you both will share.

Before you decide whether to adopt one of our dogs, please take a minute to review the following Top Ten Myths of Adopting a MAGSR dog.

Myth 1: I have small children, so I want a puppy.
Myth 2:  It's better to get a puppy. With an older dog, you never know what you're getting.
Myth 3: If you train your dog right, he'll stay in the yard without a fence.
Myth 4: When I was growing up, we had a PERFECT German Shepherd.
Myth 5: German Shepherds stop being puppies around a year old.
Myth 6: I want a dog without dominance issues, so I want a female.
Myth 7: White GSDs are mutants.
Myth 8: My 8 month old German Shepherd is biting people. He's not lunging or growling, but he makes little nips on arms and legs. I can't keep an aggressive dog.
Myth 9: I'm unsure about getting a rescue dog, because I'm afraid he won't bond to me.
Myth 10: I don't want to have my rescue dog spayed or neutered because it's not natural/ she should be able to have a litter/I want my children to see the miracle of birth/etc.

Myth 1: I have small children, so I want a puppy.

Without a doubt, this is the most common reason people want a puppy. A sweet, small puppy just seems like the best choice for sweet, small children.

You know that cute Kodak commercial with the puppies climbing all over the giggling little boy? Have you ever noticed how short it is? That's because they could only film for a few seconds before the welts rose, the blood dripped, and the boy began to scream for his mother. Puppies have needle-teeth that they happily sink into anyone who walks by. They also have sharp nails that scratch when they jump up -- and on little Ryan, those front feet land right around his face.

Puppies leave  "presents" that your toddler always seems to find before you do. Puppies wake your children during the night. And a puppy doesn't know the difference between his stuffed toy and Sarah's Piglet that she MUST have to fall asleep.

And suppose you get a puppy when little Morgan is 2. In six months, Morgan will be about 1 inch taller and 3 pounds heavier. However, the eight month old puppy will now be as tall as Morgan and outweigh her by 30 pounds. And those baby teeth will have been replaced by big snappers that need to chew.

Of course, puppies and small children do successfully cohabitate. But, in our experience, your child will go through far less Neosporin and Band-Aids with a calmer 2 + year old dog who is road-tested with children.

Myth 2: It's better to get a puppy. With an older dog, you never know what you're getting.

Seems to make sense, except the exact opposite is true.  All puppies are cute; all puppies love everyone. It's not until a dog hits sexual maturity that some innate behavioral problems start to surface.  We can't even estimate how many calls we've had from people who paid thousands of dollars for a purebred puppy, who is now a year or two old and biting people, attacking other dogs, or engaging in some oddball neurotic behavior. Purebred is not the same as well-bred, and sometimes it feels like the disreputable breeders grossly outnumber the responsible ones.

The truth is this: when we list a 4 month old puppy, we can only guess what kind of adult she'll make. When we list an 18 month old dog, we can predict pretty accurately what kind of dog you'll have forever.

Myth 3: If you train your dog right, he'll stay in the yard without a fence.

Many people believe this, right up until the moment the dog is hit by a car, eats poison in the neighbor's garage, or is stolen.  We insist on a fence or leash walks. Rescue dogs are typically either strays (which means they have a history of wandering) or owner-surrenders (which means they're going to go look for their ex-owner first chance they get). We just can't risk it.

Myth 4: When I was growing up, we had a PERFECT German Shepherd.

No, you didn't.  Trust me, he was only perfect because you were 8 and didn't have to clean up after him and be responsible for him. I know you believed he was perfect, but you also believed in Santa and honest government then, too.

I had a perfect GSD named Max when I was growing up. He died in my freshman year of college, and has since, in family lore, gone on to be canonized as "Saint Max". Bow your head when you say it.  Everyone in my family seems to forget the time St. Max was hit by a car he was chasing. Or the time he bit the kid biking by. Or how he used to sneak in and sleep on the furniture when no one was home. Or the time he had diarrhea all over the hardwood floors. Or how he used to eat the Christmas ornaments off the bottom half of the tree.

Since I've been an adult, I've never had a perfect German Shepherd--but every single one of them was perfect for me!

Myth 5: German Shepherds stop being puppies around a year old.

BUUUUZZZZZ! I'm sorry. Try 2 or 3. Many shepherds don't calm down and hit their stride until they're 4 or 5.  And you know that wonderful mental image you have of the stoic and noble shepherd sitting on the hill surveying his domain?  He's 9!

Myth 6: I want a dog without dominance issues, so I want a female.

In the wacky world of GSDs, that's just not true.  For starts, it's impossible to make gender-based absolutes. But once you spend time around GSDs, you'll start to notice there are plenty of hyper, dominant females out there. You'll also notice lots of mellow, roll-with-the-punches males (especially after they make that all-important trip to Dr. Knife).

It all depends on the individual dog, but don't think for a minute that a female is a sure ticket to a passive, submissive pooch.

Myth 7: White GSDs are mutants.

Well, if they are, more breeds should mutate.

People who don't like white shepherds are often, coincidentally, the same people who have never spent any time around them.  While the AKC does not YET recognize the whites, most other registration organizations, like the UKC, do!

For more information on the MANY GSD colors go here.

Myth 8: My 8 month old German Shepherd is biting people. He's not lunging or growling, but he makes little nips on arms and legs. I can't keep an aggressive dog.

The secret here is to look at the last 4 letters in the breed name: herd. German Shepherds herd. It's what they do. And chances are, that's all he's doing to your friends and family.

This is called this mouthing. It's what happens when those cute little puppy bites go uncorrected. And if your dog's doing it, he will continue to do it--and do it harder and stronger--until you DO correct it.

Fortunately, it is relatively easy to fix in most dogs. There's lots of tips on the internet (just search for "dog mouthing") and your vet can probably help as well. If the problem is really out of hand, you may need to call in a trainer for a few sessions.

Myth 9: I'm unsure about getting a rescue dog, because I'm afraid he won't bond to me.

That sound you hear is all the people with rescued dogs falling over laughing. Because the exact opposite is nearly always true--your rescue dog will CLING to you.

Look at it from the dog's perspective. He's spent the bulk of the last year on a 6 foot chain in someone's back yard because he committed the unconscionable sin of no longer being a puppy. At some point during the day, someone may remember to bring him food and water. The only attention he gets is when they yell at him for barking - or worse.

Finally, they take him for a car-ride--dumping him in a wooded area where he can have a "fighting chance." Despite everything, he waits there for their return or tries to get back home. He finds water somewhere. He raids trash cans and gets sick. If he's extremely lucky, he survives long enough for an animal lover to find him and bring him to the shelter.

Then he sits in the loud, scary shelter run, starting to lose faith that his family will ever find him. The kennel people are nice, but he is one of a hundred needy dogs they have to care for so he gets no real attention.

Finally, the shelter calls us. And you take him home.

You not only bring him into your house, you give him his own bed and bowl, and maybe a crate where he feels safe. You speak quietly to him. When he messes on the carpet, you don't seem to mind--you just take him outside and then clean it up. You feed him regularly AND give him toys and treats and nylabones. He sleeps in your room. He may even have a big brother or sister to play with. He gets kisses and hugs all the time for "no reason". And when he goes out in the car, he always comes back.

Your rescue dog's biggest fear is that you will spontaneously combust.  GSDs are particularly sensitive about the connections with their people so once they have the attention they so desperately crave and need, they do whatever they can to ensure they never, ever lose it.

He's not going to let you out of his sight for one minute. People with rescue dogs learn to function with a 70 pound shadow following us everywhere.

That said, there are some dogs who just never learned to connect with people, but that becomes apparent very quickly--long before we place him with you.

Myth 10: I don't want to have my rescue dog spayed or neutered because it's not natural/ she should be able to have a litter/I want my children to see the miracle of birth/etc.

Spay/neuter policies should not negotiable. If everyone prevented irresponsible breeding, rescue would be happily out of business. Do not humanize your dog--no one's asking you to neuter yourself. Your dog will be healthier and more comfortable once s/he's shifted into neutral--and will also be a much more pleasant companion.

Neutered male dogs roam less, mark less territory, and are generally less aggressive. Spayed female dogs avoid the messy and annoying heat cycles, and are not at risk for unwanted pregnancy. And both males and females are less likely to get certain illnesses.

As for the miracle of birth, well, there's another "rite of passage" occurring to 20 million dogs a year in this country, 25% of them purebred - euthanasia. It happens every day at your local animal shelter. But most parents are not as eager for their children to see that.

Article by Betsy Morris of MAGSR. 

Good reasons to choose a rescued dog. 

Dogs who have been uprooted from their happy homes or have not had the best start in life are more likely to bond very completely and deeply with their new people. Those who have lost their families through death, divorce or lifestyle change go through a terrible mourning process. But, once attached to a new loving family, they seem to want to please as much as possible to make sure they are never homeless again. Those dogs that are just learning about the good life and good people seem to bond even deeper. They know what life on the streets, life on the end of a chain, or worse is all about, and they revel and blossom in a nurturing, loving environment. Most rescues make exceptionally affectionate and attentive pets and extremely loyal companions.

Unfortunately, many folks think dogs that end up in rescue are all genetically and behaviorally inferior. But, it is not uncommon for Rescue to get $500 dogs that have either outlived their usefulness or their novelty with impulsive owners who considered their dog a possession rather than a friend or member of the family; or simply did not really consider the time, effort and expense needed to be a dog owner. Not all breeders will accept "returns", so choices for giving up dogs can be limited to animal welfare organizations, such as rescues, or the owners trying to place their own dogs. Good rescues will evaluate the dog before accepting him/her (medically and behaviorally), rehabilitate if necessary, and adopt the animal only when he/she is ready and to a home that matches and is realistic about the commitment necessary to provide the dog with the best home possible.

Choosing a rescue dog over a purchased pup will not solve the pet overpopulation problem (only responsible pet owners and breeders can do that), but it does give many of them a chance they otherwise would not have. But, beyond doing a "good deed", adopting a rescue dog can be the best decision and addition to the family you ever made.

Rescue a dog and get a devoted friend for life!

Written by Mary Clark at Labrador Retriever Rescue Inc.

The Reason 

I would've died that day if not for you.
I would've given up on life if not for your kind eyes.
I would've used my teeth in fear if not for your gentle hands.
I would have left this life believing that all humans don't care.
Believing that there is no such thing as fur that isn't matted;
Skin that isn't flea bitten;
Good food and enough of it;
Beds to sleep on;
Someone to love me,
To show me that I deserve love, just because I exist.
Your kind eyes, your loving smile, your gentle hands, your big heart saved me...
You saved me from the terror of the pound, Soothing away memories of my old life.
You have taught me what it means to be loved. I have seen you do the same for other dogs like me.
I have heard you ask yourself, in times of despair, why you do it.
When there is no more money, no more room, no more homes,
You open your heart a little bigger, stretch the money a little tighter,
Make just a little more room... to save one more like me.
I tell you with the gratitude and love that shines in my eyes,
In the best way I know how,
Reminding you why you go on trying.
I am the reason;
The dogs before me were the reason;
As are the ones who come after.
Our lives would've been wasted,
Our love never given,
We would die if not for you!

-Author Unknown to me-
The Old Dog 
ONE BY ONE they pass by my cage,
None of them can get past my age.
"Way past his time, he can't run and play."
Then they shake their heads and go on their way.
A little old man, arthritic and sore,
It seems I am not wanted anymore.
I once had a home, I once had a bed,
A place that was warm, and where I was fed.
Now my muzzle is grey, and my eyes slowly fail.
Who wants a dog so old and so frail?
My family decided I didn't belong,
I got in their way, something was wrong.
All the excuses, false tears that they shed,
Can't justify how they left me for dead.
Now I sit in this cage, where day after day,
The younger dogs get adopted away.
And When I had come to the end of my rope,
I saw your face, and felt there was hope.
You saw past the grey, and legs bent with age,
And knew I had life beyond this cage.
You took me home, gave me food and a bed,
And shared your own pillow with my poor tired head.
We snuggle and play, and you talk to me low,
You love me so dearly, you want me to know.
I've spent my time with others much longer,
But you've given me a love so much stronger.
And I promise to return all the love I can give,
To you, my dear person, as long as I live.
I may be with you for a week, or maybe for years
We will share many smiles, you will no doubt shed tears.
And when the time comes God deems I must leave,
I know you will cry and your heart, it will grieve.
But know when I arrive at the Bridge all brand new,
My thoughts and my heart will still be with you.
And I will brag to all who will hear,
Of the person who made my last days so dear.

Author unknown, revised by EB
Room For One More 

I see by his coat he must be a stray,
The untidy look gives him away.
He's lost his will and is so thin,
Hasn't eaten since God knows when.
There's always room for one more.

The other night in the freezing rain,
That little female came again.
Matted and soaked, crying in need,
Lost and alone with babies to feed.
Her pleading eyes I couldn't ignore,
There's always room for one more.
There's a new face on the docks today,
Hungry but clean, to our dismay.
I stroked her head, her body rippled,
When she got up, I saw she was crippled.
She started to go, but fell on the floor.
There's always room for one more.

There's the poor doggy standing in the rain.
I've tried to entice him time and again.
One ear is lopsided, the other's been torn,
Blind in one eye, lost and forlorn.
He's coming now, so I'll open the door.
There's always room for one more.

These stories are true,
As I've said before,
There's always room for one more.

Author unknown to me

A Rescued Dog 

They always seemed to pass me by, I never knew the reason why.

All my friends had found a home, And only I remained alone.

But finally somebody came, And spoke to me with gentle tone.

I hardly dared believe it true, Into my human's arms I flew.

Our first embrace - my heart beat fast,

A family of my own at last!

And when tonight I rest my head, In my new warm and cosy bed A prayer I'll send, high up above,

May all the shelter pups find love.

Author Unknown

This Old Dog 

I'm getting on in years,
My coat is turning gray.
My eyes have lost their luster,
My hearing is just okay.

I spend my days dreaming
Of earlier times with you
When I could run and jump and play
And fetch the ball you threw.

I remember our first visit,
I was coming to you free
Hoping you would take me in
And keep me company.

I wasn't young or handsome,
Two years I'd roamed the street.
There were scars upon my face,
I hobbled on my feet.

I could sense your disappointment
As I left my prison cage.
Oh, I hoped you would accept me
And look beyond my age.

You took me out of pity,
I accepted without shame.
Then you grew to love me,
And I admit the same.

I have shared with you your laughter,
You have wet my fur with tears.
We've come to know each other
Throughout these many years.

Just one more hug this morning
And as you drive away
Know I will think about you
Throughout your busy day.>

I'll faithfully wait here for you
And though my head's a fog
My heart is yours forever.
I promise-
This old dog.

Room In Your Heart 
Sorrow fills a barren space
You close your eyes and see my face
And think of times I made you laugh,
The love we shared, the bond we had,
The special way I needed you-
The friendship shared by just we two.
The day's too quiet, the world seems older,
The wind blows now a little colder.
You gaze into the empty air
And look for me, but I'm not there-
I'm in heaven and I watch you,
And I see the world around you too.
I see little souls wearing fur,
Souls who bark and souls who purr,
Born unwanted and unloved-
I see all this and more above-
I watch them suffer, I see them cry,
I see them lost, I watch them die.
I see unwanted thousands born-
And when they die, nobody mourns.
These little souls wearing fur
(Some who bark and some who purr)
Are castaways who- unlike me-
Will never know love or security.
A few short months they starve and roam,
Or caged in shelters- nobody takes home.
They're special too (furballs of pleasure),
Filled with love and each one, a treasure.
My pain and suffering came to an end,
So don't cry for me, my person, my friend.
But I think of the living- those souls with fur
(Some who bark and some who purr)-
And though our bond can't be broken apart
Make room for another in your home and heart.
By Caro Schubert-James
German Shepherd Rescue Links 

Garden State German Shepherd Rescue

Austin German Shepherd Dog Rescue

BrightStar German Shepherd Rescue, Rochester, NY

Central Illinois German Shepherd Dog Rescue

German Shepherd Rescue of New England, Inc.

German Shepherd Rescue of Northern California, Inc.
phone: 866-SAVE-GSD

Golden State German Shepherd Rescue  

Golden State German Shepherd Rescue is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization. We are a small group of volunteers and have no paid staff, facility, office or kennel. Our volunteers are located mainly in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Our mission is to help German Shepherd Dogs in life threatening situations, and to educate the public about this highly intelligent and versatile breed. Most of the German Shepherd Dogs we rescue come from the Northern and Central Valley regions of California.

The Animal Rescue Site

"They are your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog.

You are their life, their love, their leader.

They will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of their heart.

You owe it to them to be worthy of such devotion." author unknown



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