Every day a family in the Bay Area contacts Bay Area German Shepherd Rescue to get help rehoming their German Shepherd Dog. Perhaps surprisingly, BAGSR volunteer Rob Holloway says this is a good thing, because the dog will be safe and BAGSR can help.
Why are so many German shepherds needing new homes? Sometimes it's the economy. Maybe it's personal relationship issues. Often it’s an owner health problem. And all too frequently, people wake up to the fact that they didn't exactly think things through, and that fuzzy little puppy has grown up into a lot more dog, physically and mentally, than they can deal with.
The good news, Holloway says, is that there are actually lots of people looking for a German shepherd to adopt. The problem is where to keep the dogs safe until these folks find them. All-volunteer BAGSR has great foster homes, where dedicated people get to know the dog's personality and work on appropriate training, so that when the perfect human match comes along, it's a lifelong relationship. Dogs like the lovely Jett, a high-energy young girl looking for a new BFF to help her work on her skills and have lots of fun.
But foster homes are at a premium, and BAGSR's volunteer foster homes are often maxed out with shelter dogs pulled from life-threatening situations—meaning that when someone can no longer keep their dog, it's hard to help. So, says Holloway, they started a new program.
When they hear from someone who can no longer keep their dog, BAGSR arranges for them to visit one of the group's 11 volunteer evaluators. If the evaluator agrees that the dog meets BAGSR's adoption criteria, the dog's current family serves as the foster home for a few weeks while the adoption information is posted on BAGSR's website.
So far, Holloway says, the program's working very well and making good matches. It's less traumatic for the dog because it reduces upheaval and allows for a graceful transition to a new home. And, maybe best of all, it's allowing BAGSR to help more dogs.
Photo: Jett – Bay Area German Shepherd Rescue