Meet Ginger, a German Shepherd Dog recently rescued from an overcrowded county shelter. At 7, she's affectionate and playful, and likes to spend time with her humans. Her house manners are excellent; she knows and responds to many commands, and is quick to learn new ones. She gets along great with her 4-year-old GSD foster brother, and would probably live happily alone or with a simpatico male dog; other female dogs and cats, not so much. (Read about her here.)
Ginger was lucky, as German Shepherd Rescue of Sacramento Valley (a 501(c)3 non-profit) heard of her plight and had a foster home to take her. Many more aren't so fortunate. In theory, the economy may be improving, but hundreds of German shepherds are still ending up homeless—left at shelters, dumped on the streets, or abandoned when their owners move. With shelters unable to keep up, it falls on rescues to save most of these dogs' lives and find them good homes. Rescues, including GSRSV, also get a barrage of calls from desperate owners about to lose their own homes and trying to get their dogs a safe haven.
Which is why, says GSRSV director Brian Foran, foster homes are so urgently needed. A foster home is the crucial factor in many dogs' survival, and it's a great way to make a difference, whether you already have canine family members or aren't ready for long-term commitment. It's less about having the perfect setup than about having the willingness and commitment to help a dog in need. If you're in the greater Sacramento area and can help, Brian would love to hear from you: (916) 655-3125 or firstname.lastname@example.org.