We have a rigorous adoption process for potential families to go through to make one of our dogs a part of their pack. Why? Because someone already abandoned, abused, neglected or “threw away” the dog that we rescued, rehabilitated and are hoping to rehome – we don’t want to risk it happening again. Our goal is for every one of our shepherds to find a home deserving of their love and devotion.

After you’ve submitted the Adoption Application and the $30 application fee, your application will be assigned to one of our Adoption Coordinators. At any given time we have 5-8 tireless volunteers processing applications for our entire adoption area…so please be patient and kind to our folks.

Please note, that we do not accept applications for specific dogs. The application process can take 6-8 weeks to complete and a specific dog may not still be available once you are approved to adopt. During periods of high volume, applications may take even longer to complete.

If you are outside of the following states, we are unable to adopt to you at this time: NC, VA and MD. Please do not submit an application if you are outside our area – your application fee will not be refunded. 

An Adoption Coordinator will review your application and contact your vet for the current medical status of all of your pets. If your pets are not spayed/neutered and up to date on all of their vaccines, please do not apply. Your vet must confirm a reliable history of consistent care for all of your current pets in order to pass this portion of the application process, including a steady history of heartworm preventatives.

Next your Adoption Coordinator will contact you via email to arrange for a phone interview. Check your SPAM folder if you haven’t heard from one of our volunteers within 7-10 days. If the phone interview is successful it is followed by a home visit. The home visit ensures our dogs go to a safe, loving environment and will be conducted by a volunteer in your area. The home visit may or may not involve a sociable dog visiting to see how family members and current pets interact with a new dog. If you pass all of these steps you will be asked to review our adoption contract online and confirm that you’ll abide by all of the conditions it contains.

Once fully approved, your Adoption Coordinator will work closely with you to determine what type of dog you’re looking for and which of our Available Dogs might work best in your home. When potential dogs are identified, you’ll be put in contact with their foster home. The foster family determines if the dog would be a good match (because they know the dog best) and may arrange for you to meet. You must be willing to drive to the foster family or a location convenient for them.

If the meeting goes well, you may take the dog home for a 2-week trial period. Dogs typically take 7-10 days to settle in to a new environment, making the trial period important to ensure a lasting fit with your family. You must provide a check for the adoption fee ($250.00) at the time you take the dog on the trial period. We will deposit your check at the end of the trial period, or when you tell us the adoption is final – whichever comes first. If the trial period does not go well, notify the foster family as soon as possible. Notification must be received before the end of the trial period or we will deposit your check as scheduled and you will not be refunded.

All of our dogs older than 8 months will be spayed/neutered, fully vaccinated including rabies, distemper and bordatella, will have a current heartworm test and will be microchipped and dewormed. If the dog tested positive for heartworms, it will have been treated for them, along with any other known medical issues. Puppies will have all applicable vaccines completed and you will be required by the contract to spay/neuter them by a specified date or risk repossession.

Once a dog enters SGSR, it is always part of our pack, so our relationship won’t end when the adoption is final. We love seeing updates! We will also be here for the dog if something should happen that requires them to be returned. Once an SGSR dog, always an SGSR dog!

Complete the Adoption Application here.

You can review our adoption contract conditions here: Contract Review Form.