Bay Area German Shepherd Rescue

GioOne of the hardest things for an owner is to arrive at the point where they decide to give up their German Shepherd.  It can happen for many reasons.  A change in health, living location, economic situation.  It's a difficult time, whatever the reason.

We take owner surrender dogs quite regularly and do NOT require you to first hand your dog into a shelter.  Gio (right) and Raja (below) are good examples.

Most people contact us through our hotline phone number (855) 473 5683 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  We will soon contact you and have a friendly chat to help you through the next steps.  What we will not do is blame or criticize you.  We have done this too many times and know that this is not an easy time.

We will want to meet with you and your dog and get to know your German Shepherd.  We'll evaluate your dog to make sure he or she is suitable for adoption.  If all goes well we will take your dog into our program and help it get a wonderful new family.  In some cases the dog will remain with the original owner, if the change is not urgent.

This week is a perfect example:

RajaJust a couple of days ago Gio found his forever home, another German Shepherd Adoption.  We had been contacted by his owner, who's job had changed.  he was doing the right thing because he could no longer provide the attention that Gio deserved and needed.  This is great news as Gio is a wonderful boy!

On Monday we were contacted by a lady about Raja.  On Wednesday we drove up into the wine country and met with wonderful Raja and his owner.  He will be joining our program in 4 days and will be at a foster home in Novato.

We will work with Raja on socialization and basic training and help him become the great dog that he surely is. This is German Shepherd Rescue working to help a dog in need. All across the Bay Area we are rescuing dogs like this.  

Our goal is to convert a sad situation into a happy ending for the dog.

My qualifications?  You want my qualifications?  My cuteness isn't enough???  OK.  When I was a wee kitten, my sister and I moved in with JJ and tons of German Shepherds.  She kept us safe, even though I wanted to snuggle and even tease some of them.  Over time, I was allowed to mingle with the foster dogs - the NICE ones, and then I began wanting to meet all of them. 

Over my four years of doing this, I've met a few hundred dogs.  I'm getting really, really good. There are three types of dog in my world:

* Dogs are GOOD with cats.

* Dogs are NOT good with cats.

* Dogs somewhere in between.  

Does that help?  Probably not.  Here's more of what I've learned.

If I feel completely comfortable with a dog, I will head bonk it.  I will wipe my head all over the dog's muzzle.  Sometimes I will even turn around and begin hitting the dog in the face with my bum.  When any of this happens, we all know we have a good, cat friendly dog.  And then I get all sorts of praise from JJ and her friend Chris.  They say it's cute to see me so touchy-feely with these dogs.

Sometimes I will walk away from a dog.  If the dog isn't reactive, but interested in me, JJ lets the dog come over to me to smell me.  I don't like that as much, so I keep walking.  We learn pretty quickly how the dog feels about me; oftentimes, the dog will follow then become disinterested in me. That's a good sign too.  Some dogs will put their paw on me to play, and I just fall down.  JJ says she can tell if the dog is going to be too "ruff', so together we have a pretty good idea of how the dog is going to be.  We would deem a dog 'cat workable' or some form of workable.

Sometimes I don't like my job.  Really, 3 dogs in a span of a few minutes is just too much for me!  I don't get treats for my work.  I really don't get anything special.  So seriously, why should I have to do this???  Sometimes I protest and I become dead weight or skedaddle  as soon as I'm on the ground.  That's when they bring in one of my kitty siblings, Emmie.  Emmie is a big main coon girl, and very nice all the time.  She says she doesn't like the job either, but she's only back up, so she really shouldn't complain.  We also have a 20 year old feral kitty, Seis, who really doesn't like any dogs, and boy does she let them know it.  She's a really good test to see how a dog is going to react to cat screams and scratches. 

Oh, I digress.  The last category is DOG IS NOT GOOD WITH CATS.  It's pretty easy to tell.  At some point,  JJ and Chris just stop the test and I really don't have to do anything.  Those are pretty cool too.  I kind of just sit there, huff on my paws, and polish my nails.  Ever so often, though, I'm forced to put my life in danger.  A "cat"astrophe awaits you might say.  Some of those dogs just aren't good with us cats.  Just lettin' ya know, I'm not going to say a dog is good with cats if it is not good with me.  So there!  Us kitties gotta stick together.

Yawn.  I'm tired.  I'm going to go nap on the couch.  Or, maybe I'll go eat some food.  Never know when I have to get my strength up to perform again. if you have a cat, look for my stamp of approval!

At German Shepherd Rescue Bay Area, one of the questions we are most often asked is where do our dogs come from? In the Bay Area we rescue dogs from two sources:


The main reasons dogs end up in shelters in the Bay Area is that that have either been abandoned by their owner at the shelter or with the county. the other reason is that the dog has escaped from the property of the owner.

Many people have a bad opinion of shelters as places where animals are locked up in cages waiting to die.  We have great relationships with shelters across the Bay Area.  The moment they receive a German Shepherd, we get a call. One of our evaluators will go to shelter and meet the team and then the dog.  We perform a multi part evaluation where we are learning about the dog's temperament and how appropriate it is for a family.  After about an hour we will know.

We then work with the shelter until the German Shepherd is available to us and then we move the dog into one of our foster homes that are across the Bay Area.  If you've ever been to a shelter you'll know how wonderful the staff really are and how they care for the dogs.


Just this week we have received 3 German Shepherd dogs from people across the Bay Area.  Baci and Gio's owner has seen major changes to his job that has resulted in lots of travel and longer days.  He realized that it was not fair to his 2 dogs and that it was not going to change.  He contacted us directly and we are meeting the dogs and putting them on our site.  They are four years old and seem gorgeous, from his descriptions. 

Earlier in theweek we received a call from a lady who had found a lovely male German Shepherd wondering in her neighborhood.  She took him in and advertised in the local area and nobody contacted her. Six weeks later she knew that her landlord was not prepared to let her keep the dog so she contacted us.  We are meeting her and the dog this weekend.

Knowing the dogs

The volunteers at Bay Area German Shepherd Rescue work really hard to learn all about the dogs and match adopters with a dog that will be perfect for them.  We have a huge advantage over shelters in that we put the dogs into foster homes and by living with the m we can see their personality and temperament.  That's why getting a dog from a rescue organization is so good!  

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. 


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Wine and Wags - Sunday June 2nd

June 2nd !!

Mark your calendar for this wonderful 2nd Annual Wine & Wags event, in Livermore. Big White House Winery/John Evan Cellar has graciously offered us a spot at their beautiful winery where we will have our BAGSR table ! More than 15 wineries are sponsoring this event and many rescues are participating. Please plan on a beautiful Sunday and come do ya thing....with the wine glass thing and support our dogs. We will have a few ambassadogs there. Thank you for Carmen and Mark Battle, as well as Kathy Ramirez, who reached out to us. Who wants to have some fun in the sun?

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!


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What is BAGSR?

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