Fostering a Rescue dog can be one of the most fulfilling experiences you will ever have.  Fosters are needed to help the dogs decompress from the shelter and learn about their new lives.  Fosters help with socializaition (both human and dog/cat), crate training, housebreaking, and showing these dogs compassion and love. The fosters help to observe all behaviors exhibited by the dogs as they settle into home life.  

"We certainly had a high learning curve the first few weeks together but I was rewarded with an extremely goofy, high energy, loyal and loving friend whom I cherish  Dutch has been such an amazing value add to my life. She's gotten me outside of my apartment on cloudy days, been a motivating workout partner, literally a shoulder to cry on, and was a recent road trip companion.  it was an extremely rewarding experience for me, I felt I learned a lot, did a good deed for my community, and also got so many benefits from having her." - Mallory, San Francisco

"I have fostered over 24 dogs for GSGSR in the past 6 years.  The dogs have all ranged from puppies to seniors.  As I have 2 dogs of my own, the #1 goal is to make sure they all get along.  I trust the GSGSR evaluation process & know that the dogs brought into the program are more or less open to being with other dogs.  I'm also lucky as my 2 dogs help to teach the proper hierarchy of the home to the newbie.  I'm always learning new things to teach them as well.  Sure, it can be difficult managing 3+ dogs some days, but in the end it's worth it.  I do my best to match them with the perfect home as well, and know that my foster is in good hands.  To see the personality of the shy/nervous dog bloom into something fun and lovable is just a wonderful thing"  -  Mike, San Francisco

"What is super exciting is when you can see them get excited about things and start to feel comfortable. You can see them settle in and start showing their personalities and that's when you know that all the scariness of the impact and transition are worth it. They know that they are safe and can expect to have love and a home.  It will impact your life. But it is worth it! In the beginning, things will not be perfect. But ultimately it is so rewarding. GSGSR vets the dogs beforehand to make sure that they are good with people and other dogs so you can expect a level of good behavior in that respect."  - Elizabeth, Oakland

'To My Foster Dog' flierThere are many special German Shepherds without permanent homes who need someone willing to give them a second chance. GSGSR strives to have every one of our Rescue dogs in a foster home as that is the best way possible to find out about its temperament and personality and ultimately what kind of home it needs. Sometimes the dog just needs a recovery period from time at a shelter facility. The more we know about the dog, the better we are able to find it the right forever home.

GSGSR provides food, crate and veterinary care for all foster dogs as well as support and information for their foster parents. We require that you live in our area, own your home (or have landlord's permission to have a GSD) with a securely fenced yard. We can also help with transporting the dog to vet appointments and adoption days.

We are committed to finding the appropriate environment for our dogs and foster parents and will take into consideration resident pets and children. Making a good foster match is as important as making a good permanent match. If you have time to foster, we will work to find a suitable dog for your situation.

Fostering can be long or short term so please don't hesitate if you have something planned and can only commit to a couple of weeks. Even a few days can be helpful while someone is on vacation. Sometimes our dogs are adopted in a few days, sometimes in a few weeks and sometimes a little longer. We also need volunteers who can step in to cover vacations.

If you want to try fostering or have any questions about fostering, please fill out our Foster Questionnaire or e-mail us at

You can also help by printing out our flier and posting it in locations such as your local coffee shop, vet's office, pet food supply store or elsewhere in your community.