• The best possible match always takes precedence over who came first. Please do not take it personally if another family is chosen for a specific dog. We foster our dogs in private homes for anywhere from one to four months (or more) in order to get to know them and their needs. Our decisions are based on that knowledge and the history of the dog, along with the circumstances and/or schedules of the adopter. Some dogs require less alone time than others. Still some are in need of more schooling. Others may be best suited with or without other pets or children. There are many factors involved in the decision-making process and one’s ability to love and nurture a dog is not the only criteria.

  • We make every effort to learn as much as we can about the temperament, health, training level, behavioral issues, special needs, and history of each dog. Each dog is hands-on evaluated prior to placement and introductions to other pets and family members in the household are conducted before approval to adopt

  • All of our adoptions require that the dog live indoors as a member of the family. NO EXCEPTIONS

  • A safe, secure, fenced yard and clean indoor sleeping area is required. We generally place only senior or special needs dogs in apartments.

  • All adoptions require an initial phone interview PRIOR to being shown any available dogs, followed by a home visit.

  • Tethering as a means of containment or transport in the open bed of a pick up truck is in violation of the terms of our adoption contract and can result in repossession.

  • All adoptions are under contract and allow for a two week trial period during which adoption fees are refunded (less an administrative fee) should the placement prove unsuccessful.

  • Some, not all, contracts require that, after an initial acclimation period, you and your dog be enrolled in and complete an approved obedience class.

  • We rarely place 2 males or 2 female German Shepherds into the same household. One German Shepherd with some other large breed dogs of the same gender can also be problematic. YES, it can work; however, it is the exception rather than the rule. We would be happy to elaborate when we speak. When looking into a third dog, we ask that you consider the impact that adding a third dog will have on the dynamic of your existing pack, as well as whether or not you really have the time to give each dog the individual attention they need. We discourage third dog adoptions and do those adoptions only under very specific circumstances. We also require that any and all dogs already in residence be spayed or neutered.

  • We also discourage adoptions to families with small dogs and other small mammals for obvious safety reasons. Not all of our rescued dogs have been exposed to small animals while in foster care or with their previous owners. While initial meetings could go well, this does not guarantee compatibility after they have shared a residence for a period of time. There always exists an element of risk with German Shepherd Dogs living with much smaller, particularly very active mammals.

  • All rescue dogs are required to be spayed or neutered, vaccinated and microchipped prior to placement. Post-adoption shots are available at a substantially reduced cost from the CABRA (Coalition of All Breed Rescue of Arizona) clinics which are held bi-monthly starting in January. Please visit the CABRA website for clinic dates, locations and directions.

  • Renters are required to provide written proof from the owner of the property stating that you have permission to have a GSD on their property.

  • If you have just moved into a new home and your rear yard is all dirt, we are unable to place a dog with you until there is dust containment in the form of grass or gravel or both. This is due to the skyrocketing incidence of Valley Fever we are seeing in such environments. We will be happy to work with you after your yard is landscaped.

  • If you are new to the Valley and would like more info on Valley Fever, please click on Valley Fever Center - Valley Fever in Dogs

  • Complimentary sessions of "Training the Trainer, Laying the Foundation" are available to all who adopt a dog from Southwest German Shepherd Rescue.

  • We follow up with our placements for a minimum of six months.

  • Minimum age for adopters is 25 years.

  • Folks in their 60's to 80's are all different, as are their lifestyles, health and activity levels. Generally speaking, however, we prefer not to place very young dogs with the elderly. We ask that you seriously consider the dog's needs and be realistic as to how well you are able to fulfill them. Please give thought to any physical challenges, as well as your ability to accommodate the dog's need for exercise, training and socialization. What might have worked very well in the past may not be quite the same now. Keeping the dog's best interest in mind usually results in a successful placement

  • We are available to address questions, problems or concerns for the life of the dog; however, we are not responsible for any bills (veterinary or otherwise) which occur after the dog has been adopted.

  • Please don't come to rescue in the hopes of getting a "perfectly trained" dog or getting a "bargain" or indeed of "getting" anything. Come to rescue to give, to love, to save a life and to mend your own spirit. For a rescue dog will reward you in ways you never thought possible.

  • Rescued dogs run the gamut from previously neglectful or even abusive situations, untrained and unsocialized, sick or just plain having lacked proper veterinary care, to trained, well cared for dogs merely victims of circumstances or life's changes such as divorce, illness, death or financial difficulties.

  • Some were back-yard bred and others papered from titled parents. Some have been thrown outside or isolated and are depressed, anxious or just uncertain. This is why we "live" with our dogs for a period of time prior to rehoming. We get to know them, we learn into what type of home they would best fit and we work with any issues that might have resulted from having had indifferent or uneducated owners. We know that they're ALL living beings, with a spirit, heart and feelings and they deserve as much love, care and respect as the next Westminster champion.

Why is your criteria so specific; I thought I was doing you and the dog a favor by adopting?

While we feel that adoption is the only way to go and the partial solution to the overwhelming problem of over-population, we also want a good fit between dog and owner. The success of our policies are reflected in our return rate which is a remarkable less than 1%!!!

By taking the time to match a dog's temperament, energy, drive levels and needs with a potentional adopter's household we further ensure that the dog will spend the rest of its' life where we place it. Asking questions and establishing parameters are known to equate with success.

We know why these dogs are in a rescue situation and make every effort not to duplicate the mistakes previously made, usually at the dog's expense. We also know that statistically, well over 50% of all adopted animals are no longer in that adoptive home after the first year.

ABOUT ADOPTION FEES: Adoption fees vary with each dog and typically range from $75.00 to $450.00. In the case of some special needs or senior dogs there is no adoption fee, rather, a freewill donation.

Fees are set taking into account the dog's age, training level, temperament, medical condition(s) if any, and other factors. Some dogs require that hundreds, even thousands of dollars and many weeks or months be spent before they are ready for adoption, others do not. Adoption fees are used, not only to rescue and place the dog you are personally adopting, but to aid in the future rescue and rehabilitation of other deserving dogs.

In 2009 we were forced to raise fees as a result of rising costs in addition to a significant drop in donations due to economic conditions. Veterinary and lab charges, gas, boarding/fostering costs, equipment, et al, have all risen to the point that most adoption fees were not covering each dog's expenses. Adoption fees are necessary. If we did not charge fees, our rescue efforts would quickly come to an end.

Our greatest expenses include the cost of: gas, microchips, vet visits & surgery, blood work and lab fees, spays/neuters, medications, vaccinations, dog food, collars, leashes, crates & toys, websites, domain names and ISPs, and sometimes we even have to pay adoption fees to rescue a dog. Office expenses add up as well.

Rescue is an expensive undertaking, both financially and emotionally; we are motivated strictly by our passion and concern for German Shepherd Dogs.

We are volunteers. We volunteer our time...countless hours every day...knowledge and experience. We are by no means wealthy. We do not make a profit and seldom break even.

Adoption fees come in and go right back out to the next rescued dog.

No staff member of Southwest German Shepherd Rescue is compensated in any way.

Southwest German Shepherd Rescue is a non profit charity which relies soley on donations.

Please follow posted instructions to ensure you contact the right rescue group.

Adoptions from Southwest German Shepherd Rescue start with an initial, in-depth phone visit with Steff. Please feel free to Call Steff at 602-866-2880
ANY TIME BETWEEN 10A.M. and 8P.M., preferably weekdays.
Please don't send us an email with your phone number ... just call !!
Adoptions from White German Shepherd Rescue start by filling out the online PROSPECTIVE ADOPTER'S QUESTIONNAIRE found on the bio pages of the dogs available through WGSR. Please feel free to Email Nancy at WhiteGSDRescue@aol.com



We really appreciate your taking the time to read this important information; it saves us both considerable time.

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