Bay Area German Shepherd Rescue

When we began Bay Area German Shepherd Rescue we wanted to create a rescue group that was focused 100% on the Bay Area and that was a local group that adopters and shelters could rely on.  But what does a rescue group in the Bay Area really involve?

Let's start with the dogs

Every week we are in touch with shelters across the Bay Area to discuss the dogs that they have most recently received. These are dogs that have escaped from their homes or been abandoned by their owners.  The moment we hear about a German Shepherd we drive to the shelter to meet the shelter team and then evaluate the dog.  We are checking to see if the dog is suitable to live with a family.  Our evaluators are very experienced and test the dogs in many ways to be sure that they will be a good fit for their families.

In addition, we are frequently contacted by owners across the Bay Area who's lives have changed and unfortunately they can no longer care for their dog. This could have been an illness, old age or changing financial conditions. We work with the owner to take the dog and ensure that he or she goes to a great new home. 

Adopting in the Bay area

If you live in the Bay Area you can apply to adopt one of our dogs.  One of our volunteers will contact you for a chat on the phone and then visit you at your home.  We are looking at the future environment of the dog, discussing your experience and the exact type of dog you are looking for (gender, age, energy levels, etc).  We have adoption events every month across the Bay Area and you can attend them to meet the dogs and likely find your new partner.


Our volunteers are located across the Bay Area and give up their time to help our dogs and our adopters.  We are evaluating, fostering and transporting the dogs all the time. We care for the dogs. This is what running an operation for German Shepherd Rescue in the Bay Area is all about.   

Most of all though, we do it because we love the dogs and the joy we can bring to the many families who adopt.

We typically have between 12-20 dogs at any one time.  Every week new dogs arrive, so something is always happening.  All of them are in loving foster homes.  Tre-Joe is a recent example.  Hit by a car and left for dead, we paid for his surgery, helped him recuperate and are now buying him wheels to help him get around. 


Have you ever wondered how the team at Bay Area German Shepherd Rescue know if these crazy dog creatures are good with cats?

Allow me to introduce myself. Everyone round here calls me Kittie.  My real name is Little Boy Kittie and I have the bestest job in the whole wide world.

I get to tease German Shepherd Dogs.  Yup it's true I'm allowed to just sit in front of them while the dog is on a leash. It's cat heaven!

My favorite human is called JJ.  She's my kinda sorta mom. Every couple of days she brings one of those dogs upstairs to where I live.  I just sit there, you know the way we cats do.  I really do just sit there and watch.  

Some of the dogs see me and just ignore me completely.  It's almost like I'm not there.  Quite bad for my self esteem. Some of the dogs stare at me curiously.  These are ones that make me wonder.  Are they being sneaky?  Then there are some dogs who take one look at me and get all frantic.  I used to worry about them, but Jj seems to have them on some sort of thing she calls a leash.  They don't get even close.

In my 4 years I've met over 150 dogs and just sat there. I have 5 other cat friends who live here and there always seem to be plenty of dogs downstairs. 

That's my job.  I meet a dog every couple of days.  How cool is this?  My pay rate is excellent.  I get fed lots, yeah, I know I'm a big boy. In fact JJ's friend Chris says my tummy bangs on the ground when I walk.  He's deluded!  I also get endless tummy rubs whenever I want.  

So now you know how we test the dogs to make sure that when you adopt one of our dogs.  When we say the dog is cat friendly or manageable, it comes with my seal of approval.  I'm Kittie the Dog Tester. 


The classic image of a German Shepherd Rescue dog is the sad animal cowering in the shelter with injuries and other health issues.  The dog who unfortunately got involved with the wrong humans.  I thought it might be useful to talk about the reality.

It breaks our heart and makes us even more resolved to help.  In these cases we put the dog into a foster home, sometimes for months and help it rebuild it's health and confidence.  We always discuss everything we know about the dog with anyone who is thinking of adopting.  The great news is that this is not the norm with German Shepherds - in fact it's quite rare.  

Where do you get your dogs?

Our dogs come from county shelters. The staff that we meet in the shelters do a great job and are wonderful people doing a difficult job.  

The dogs also come from private individuals who surrender them to us. In the vast majority of cases we see healthy dogs who have a nice temperament and we ask ourselves "How on earth did you end up here?". 

Every month we rescue stunning dogs that make our volunteers and adopters literally gasp.

So why do dogs end up with us?

In shelters we don't always know.  Often the dog has escaped and for whatever reason the owner has not called within the prescribed time limit.  Many will have been turned in to the shelter because the owners life situation has changed and others will be given up because the owner made a mistake, seduced by a puppy and then unable to cope with a woking breed dog.

Our second source of dogs from people who contact us directly to surrender their dog, knowing that their dog will be with people who love dogs and be treated super well.  usually the owner's health has deteriorated, or their financial situation has changed, a child arrives.... 

We undertake a very detailed evaluation of every dog that comes into our care.  each dog lives with our volunteers and we learn more about them.  That's why rescue is so much better than Craigslist and some other sources.

The bad news is that some dogs do get abused, the good news is that it's quite rare.


Holiday Pup Pics 2018

Come and join us and get great photos of your dog!

Holiday Pup Pics

Come and join us and get great photos of your dog!



Our dogs are super smart and learn very quickly with the right direction.  We are often asked to recommend a dog trainer by people who adopt their new dog.  Our belief is that trainer works with you to help you train your dog. Over the coming days and weeks we will be creating a list with contacts.  We will only list trainers that our members have personally worked with and recommend.

Based in Novato, they offer an extraordinary range of training and behavior classes at very affordable prices. Many of our volunteers have undertaken their dog training classes with their personal dogs.  We are huge fans of Dawn and her entire team. See them on line here and call them on (415) 883-4621


Lisa Caper runs DogOvation covering Marin County.  Several of our volunteers have worked with her and they give great reports.  Like all the best trainers her focus is more on training the owner to train the dog.  You can read all about Lisa's philosophy on her website here and phone her at : (415) 299-1158 


Foster Application

Foster Application

* Required

Please note that if you rent your home we will require that you obtain approval from your landlord to have a German Shepherd dog.

IMPORTANT - When you are finished, make sure you click Submit Application at the bottom of the form.

Your Information

Through this process we will be regularly in touch with you.
Your First Name *
Your Last Name *
Email Address *
Cell Phone # *

Street Address *

City *
State *
Zip *

Work Phone #
Home Phone #

Your family and home

Other adult name and relationship *
How many children live at your home? *
What are their ages? *
How would you describe the activity level at your home? *
Do you own or rent your home?
How many dogs do you currently have at home? *
How many cats do you currently have *
Please tell us about any other animals (birds, lizards, livestock, etc.) you currently have?

Your Experience with Dogs

Please tell us about your dog experience as an adult *
Please tell us about the your dog training experience *

Your Future Dog

Describe your activities with your dog *
Why do you want a German Shepherd dog? *
If you currently have a dog, why do you want another?
Are you looking for a male or a female dog? *
What age of dog would you be open to fostering? *
Where do your dogs spend their time? *






This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

See our dogs

Click below if you would like to see all our dogs. They are available to be rescued right now.



How do I adopt?

Check here if you would like to see just how easy it is to adopt one of our wonderful dogs.



What is BAGSR?

We are a proud group of volunteers who love German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois. Click here to learn more.