Bay Area German Shepherd Rescue

Every month we have German Shepherd adoption events across the Bay Area and we are often asked what they are like.  Just this weekend we were in Danville.

At about 10:15am we arrived at the Petfood Express store and started to set up.  This involves a table of materials for the public to read and take home.  Cookies and drinks. Banners and other stuff to let people know that we are Bay Area German Shepherd Rescue. Volunteers all wear super cool tee shirts to let people know they are in our team.

Trish had even designed a fun donations box.  Every dollar counts and every dollar goes to the dogs.

At about 10:30 the dogs and more volunteers started to arrive.  We have separate areas for each dog with water bowls, mats, a chair for the handler, everything to make the dog comfortable.

At 10:50 we had a team meeting and review safety guidelines and roles for each volunteer.  We want to have fun but it’s critical that everyone is safe.  Each German Shepherd dog has their own handler.  We have an adoption day manager and people to meet n greet the public and answer their questions.

At 11am we started

Over the next three hours we met hundreds of people who wanted to see and talk about German Shepherds.  Many have come from all over the Bay Area. On Saturday, Spicey Bean (below right) was adopted by a lovely lady and has gone to her forever home.  Another of our dog went adoption pending and will go to his home this week.

At 2pm we started to pack up and the team went for a bite to eat in the local sandwich store – we sit outside with our dogs! Another fun and safe event came to a close and two more dogs had been saved!

If you have ever considered volunteering for a German Shepherd rescue group in The Bay Area, attending an adoption event is the perfect way to start.  You can meet and handle dogs.  You can meet other German Shepherd dog lovers and start with a small role and then go from there. 

We operate events all across the Bay Area rescuing German Shepherd Dogs.  We have fun saving the lives of these gorgeous dogs.  This weekend we are the PetFood express store in Mill Valley.  Next weekend we have an adoption event in Novato!  We’d love to see you. 

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. 


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.


Come Adopt A Lovable Pet

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!



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 


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.