German Shepherd Rescue Elite (GSRE) has been formed with the aim of rescuing, re-homing German Shepherd Dogs and educating people on the breed. GSRE is backed up by a team of unpaid volunteers who strive to aid and promote responsible ownership of the breed.
GSRE’s aim is to be the prevention and not always the cure, through offering education on the lovely breed and how to look after these amazingly intelligent and energetic dogs. We not only look to re-home dogs but keep them in their original homes by offering training and behaviour advice.
Through our volunteers and website we want to inform people on all aspects of dog ownership before you decide to take the plunge especially as German Shepherd Dogs are a large working breed and are not suitable for everyone.
GSRE is a registered charity that works alongside many other reputable rescues which means that through team work and pulling together we can help even more dogs in need.
Please help a German Shepherd!
It is a harsh fact of life that many dogs are now becoming part of our disposable Britain; no longer are they always seen as Mans’ best friend, but often Man can be their worst enemy. Rescues are contacted on a daily basis with people wanting to rehome their dogs for a number of reasons; relationship breakdowns, moving into smaller or rented accommodation, change in working hours meaning their dog is being left for long periods of time alone, owners passing away and worst of all, cases of neglect and abandonment, both of which are on the increase. Maybe the most heart breaking reason of all is the faithful older friends that have just become too expensive because they need some veterinary help in their twilight years so are no longer wanted. Too many of these dogs end up being picked up as strays and are taken to the local council ‘pound’.
Rescues are fighting a daily uphill struggle to cope with the sheer number of dogs they are being asked to help, and not just from their owners. Many of the dogs we take in today, come straight from the pounds as dumping the dog is the quickest option! This means that as a rescue we do not have any history for the dogs taken into our care and have to quickly assess their medical needs and then their behaviour and temperament. The pound dogs are usually the most loving dogs as they are the ones that appreciate true care and love, however, they can come with their issues, such as aggression towards other dogs, maybe because they have had to fight for their share of food at some stage, so it is like unravelling a ball of string to understand them.
When we started in rescue the cases coming in were commonly, an owner had died or a family were having to move to rented accommodation, where dogs were not allowed, due to having lost their job and own home. The people rescuing dogs also seemed to be of a different calibre. People who applied to a rescue to adopt a dog seemed to accept the dog would not necessarily come trouble free and were prepared to work with issues and accepted there were no guarantees. Unfortunately, nowadays, too many people look to adopt a rescue dog and expect the perfect pooch. They think because they are rescuing a dog instead of buying a puppy they are doing their bit. They are, but they do not take into account how many of these dogs have been tainted by another human being and just need understanding and a helping hand to get them on the right road.
Apart from irresponsible owners, there are many reasons dog rescue has become such a challenge:
Buster came into the rescue in December 2013, along with a bitch called Storm. We never knew their true history as they had been dumped on a neighbour as no longer wanted. Storm found herself a home fairly quickly, but poor Buster kept on being overlooked.
During his stay he touched the hearts of so many of our volunteers with his fun loving antics and his truly individual personality. Buster was shared far and wide on social media in the hopes of finding him a loving home of his own and it worked. Finally Buster had his own Mum and Dad, Denise and Mark, who will honestly say he was not what they were looking for, but they fell for him hook, line and sinker.
Buster’s proudest moment was when he won the Goldie Oldie Competition in February this year, and he so deserved the honour! None of us knew then how little time he had left and he smiled the whole day, knowing he was King for the day.
Sadly and suddenly Buster passed on to Rainbow Bridge in April after suffering a very short illness. Buster had touched the hearts of so many people in his journey with us, the tributes and tears have poured in. Our hearts go out to his Mum and Dad who are just so thankful they had the chance to share in his life and to be there holding him at the end. Buster passed peacefully knowing love and happiness which is not much to ask.
Buster was one of the lucky ones. So many older dogs come into rescue on a regular basis, many from the pounds where they have been abandoned or picked up as strays. Today’s society seems to think it is OK to just turf the Golden Oldies out to make space for a younger version, or just because they no longer fit in with their lifestyle. The reasons are many, but these Golden Oldies all deserve a loving home to see their days out in.
They may not be around for long, but giving a Golden Oldie love and care until their time comes is so rewarding, as the love and loyalty they give back is more than you can imagine. They never leave our hearts but teach us how to open our hearts further to those in need. Please don’t overlook the Golden Oldies!
Very few people knew about this, but about 18 months ago we were approached by Crowood Publishers who asked Lizzy and Allison if they would be interested in writing a book on the German Shepherd. They had been trawling the internet for German Shepherd rescues, and were so impressed with our website and its content, that we were the ones they chose to ask.
They told us they wanted a book written in an accessible style whilst taking into account a rescue’s viewpoint. As you can probably imagine we were shocked, very excited and also a little scared as this was quite a task that had to be done well. So…..behind the scenes, along with running the rescue…..we have written a book!
Released 25th January 2016. Of course you can buy it via the website with profits going back in for the dogs, so we hope some of you will buy one through our website and support us, our dogs and the rescue.
All rescues have adoption guidelines and regularly we hear that a potentially good home has been rejected because an adopter has young children for example.
Here at GSRE, we use the guidelines of Common Sense. Each home is assessed on its own merits and all adopters are considered regardless of age.
Having applied to adopt one of our many beautiful dogs, you will initially be contacted by one of our Screeners who will run through your information and the process, and where possible obtain a reference from your vet. The Screener will then arrange for one of our many experienced Volunteers to visit your home to meet your family (including any other pets) and check the environment is suitable for an additional member to join your family.
(If you live in rented premises your application cannot be processed until the Screener has sight of permission from your landlord to have a dog/dogs at the premises so please have this ready to send on.)
Our Home Checker will contact you to arrange a mutually suitable time to visit, and once the home check has been completed the report will be sent to your Coordinator who will contact you to discuss which dogs you may be interested in adopting and their suitability to your home and family.
Unlike many breed specific rescues. the majority of our dogs are in our care, either in foster homes or approved commercial kennels we use around the country, so meeting the dogs is an easy process. You will also have the confidence of knowing that your new family member will have been microchipped, vaccinated and where possible neutered.
If a dog has come in with no vaccination record it is necessary for us to start the course from scratch. which involves an initial vaccination followed by a second vaccination 2-4 weeks later depending on where the dog is located. This does mean you may need to return to our vets for the second vaccination.
We neuter all male dogs that are in our care as a matter of course (unless very young or medically not viable) but with females it is not always possible as we may not know their season history (it is safest to neuter a bitch mid way between seasons).
We obviously cannot microchip, vaccinate or neuter dogs that come straight from their home to meet you, but will discuss and work with you to ensure your new dog receives any care that has been missed by their previous owner.
Your new family member will come to you with 5 weeks free insurance, regardless of age (and subject to terms and conditions of course) which will automatically be activated for you once you have adopted your new family member. This is thanks to our new partnership with Agria Pet Insurance which is one of the few insurance companies that offers Lifetime Cover for older dogs. Insurance can be continued with Agria after the initial free period, but there is no obligation.
GSRE will be with you every step of the way throughout the adoption process, and once you have adopted from us, it does not end there! Your Home Checker will visit you once your new family member has settled in to complete a Follow Up visit to check all is well, and of course we are always there to give advice and answer any questions. Joining our Facebook group is a great way of sharing experiences and seeking help, as is joining one of the many Walk Groups around the country. Check out the links on the right for more information.
Whilst many German Shepherd Rescue dogs have to go into kennels as a safe haven whilst a foster home or forever home is found for them, some dogs have to stay longer than others.
Please be sure to read our guide to adoption before considering adopting a Shepherd.
We’re always looking for foster homes, even if you can only spare time at a weekend to walk or look after our kennel dogs.
Volunteers are what makes our rescue, if you care about the breed and want to make a difference we’d love to hear from you.
Any money donated goes directly to the dogs we help, so please give whatever amount you can.
Visit our online shop and show your support for GSRE.
If we can help you with advice and support for your Shepherd, then visit our useful articles and information, get in touch or visit our Facebook page.
Great way to socialise your dog or just meet like minded people!
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German Shepherd Rescue Elite believes that pet insurance is an important part of responsible pet ownership allowing owners to undertake veterinary treatment at the earliest opportunity knowing help is there for the unexpected costs.