Whilst many dogs are taken into kennels as a safe haven until we can find them a foster home or forever home, here is a story of a lad we have in kennels long term.

Minoas’ Story

Minoas in Greece

Minoas in Greece

In July 2011, the previous rescue I worked with were asked to take in a lad called Minoas from a rescue centre in Greece. His history from what I understood was that he was found badly injured and needed surgery to his back. We were told Minoas was about 6 and being a shepherd cross, they were having difficulty finding anywhere for him to go as he was a big dog and came across as being aggressive. They asked if they paid to get him over could we please find somewhere for him to go to give him a chance as deep down they thought he could be a lovely lad. They also realised they did not have the experience to work with him in the long term and rescue conditions were so precious; Minoas was lucky to have a space where he was chained to a tree in the rescue (and we think we have problems here!). The lovely people at the rescue were determined to do the very best they could for him though.

Here are some of the updates we received on Minoas:

“Now, I don’t need to give him any treat when approaching him for a walk, he wags his tail as he knows he is going. He seems to have “come alive”. When we return , he kind of makes a sound which is not growling…I don’t know how to describe it, more like snorting??? He lets me put him back on the leash but I wonder if this sound he makes is his way of showing his disapproval??? Susanne who was also helping me has left for the summer and Kostas who took over got snapped  at by Minoas (I don’t know if this is a dislike of men??) so it’s only me again. Susanne will be back in September so over the August time he might not get out for a two week period as I will be away. I am trying desperately to get somebody else but everyone is still a bit weary of him. Maybe I will bribe Kostas… ???!!”

Happy lad at the Greek rescue

Happy lad at the Greek rescue

“It’s been a while since I have written to update you on dear Minoas!! He is doing fine. However, the date for him to go to the UK has been extended  because Mrs Kiki(our president) couldn’t get some paper work done on time so he  won’t be able to leave until January now!!!!! As you know I was away in the summer for a few weeks here and there. When I got back and went to the shelter Minoas was in a joyous mood. It is so funny now, he is just like a puppy when he sees me, he licks my hand, gives me his paw and can’t wait to get off the chain for a walk. He gallops like a beautiful horse and he lets me brush him. He is still very obedient and will sit when instructed.  The only thing which hasn’t changed is he is still protective of his area. He has snapped at a few (stupid) peoples ankles. For some strange reason, members of the public seem to wonder right into his area despite read tape circling his area!!!!!!!!!!!!  I have started working on socialising him with other dogs. It is going very well. He seems a  little scared of the younger more energetic dogs ..they spook him a little so he tends to avoid them. He is a bit of a womaniser…he likes the girls, thank god most of them like him! He seems to know the dogs to avoid. Many of the volunteers are calming down around him a bit now too. My daughter has taken him for a walk (she is 13) and he didn’t mind. He went off quite happily, sniffing here and there and doing his business!  One day he broke off his chain and Maria freaked out and run to her car to hide but she told me, Minoas just wanted a walk and wasn’t bothering any other dog. I couldn’t stop laughing when I heard this!! I do hope all is well . I am really sorry about the delay in Minoas going to UK. Believe me, no one more than us wants Minoas to be off that bloody chain and in the safety of the UK.”

We had an update in October to tell us he had been castrated a couple of weeks earlier which turned out to be quite a major operation as he was cryptorchid. All had been well but he had been tetchy and grabbed one of the girl’s arms when pulled back on the lead. They were assured he was probably just sore and his hormone levels would be fluctuating. Remembering Minoas was essentially kept on a chain 24/7 as well, he was behaving amazingly well under the circumstances.

The next update we got was:

“I have enlisted the help of a expert shepherd/police dog trainer and behavourist . The trainer just called me to say from the videos he saw, he doesn’t think Minoas is an aggressive dog, he doens’t show dominance. He is just being defensive and he believes we can make him more secure through training . He sounded very positive!!”

Saying goodbye to his saviours at the Greek airport

Saying goodbye to his saviours at the Greek airport

By December Minoas was being taught to spend time in the travel crate with the aid of chicken, and had been promoted to a kennel run rather than a tree space. The plan was that Minoas would arrive the 26th January 2012 at Heathrow, and one of the ladies he trusted was actually travelling on the same flight so she could see him safely out of the Animal Reception and hand him over to me. Everybody who had supported this trip his end were now on tenterhooks and it was an emotional goodbye to Minoas at the airport in Greece.

At Animal Reception at Heathrow that evening I met Minoas’ travel companion and together we waited for his clearance. It was just as well he had somebody there he knew as he would not have come out of his travel crate otherwise, that or it was going to be a long night in their car park convincing him. Could hardly blame the lad having just been through the trauma of being on a plane but at least this way the travelling time was kept short. I explained that I would like to put a basket muzzle on him so when I arrived home it would be easier to get him out of the car as I could see he was nervous and would probably try guarding that space as well. His travel companion was adamant he would not need it so I bit my tongue and went with the flow.

Arriving back at my house it was immediately apparent that it was not going to be a case of open boot, take hold of lead and welcome! This lad had decided this space was safe and it was now his and he was not letting anybody in he did not know. At this point I had to make a judgement call, get firm and muscle in or take the time he needed so he could learn to trust and realise he was safe. I chose the latter, so nearly 3 hours later, with a lead contraption built around him whereby he was still secured in the boot if I opened it, but able to have a lead to stand on, yes stand on, not get hold of, as he came out, Minoas finally decided that having let me into his space he was now ready to come out and explore. He was very nervous of me going towards his neck area but this is common with dogs that have been chained.

Saying goodbye to his saviours at the Greek airport

Minoas’ first morning in the UK

From here on I had no problems handling him and Minoas came into the house and after a walk round the garden, he was given dinner and allowed to settle down and chill out. I had been given all sorts of advice to heed to from the Greek rescue such as not to stroke him, avoid eye contact and be firm but at the end of the day I had let my instincts guide me. The next morning I was greeted with a waggy tail and Minoas was jumping around all excited. I let him out into the garden off lead which is when I got the first photos of him in the UK. He had totally accepted me as his handler and spent much of the day asleep under my desk as I worked with his head on my foot to make sure I didn’t go anywhere without him.

The plan had been that Minoas would come and spend a couple of days chilling with me and giving me a chance to assess him, and then I would take him to the kennels we used in Cornwall being the calmest and most ‘open plan’. Plus he was not impressed with my smaller and hyper male lad and vice versa! With the experience of the couple who run the kennels, I knew this would be the best place for him to completely unwind and get some much needed socialisation. The hopes were that we would then find him a foster home or forever home of his own. We knew it would not be an overnight affair but the kennels in the UK were 5 star luxury compared to what he had known.

Minoas slept in the back of the car down to the kennels. I sometimes wondered if I had a dog in the back! We stopped half way and he got out and had a drink and did his business and jumped back in no problems. The kennels gave him a double sized kennel because of his past and I took the blanket he had with me and piled it on top of the others on his bed. He was friendly and happy to meet everyone there. They couldn’t believe his age because he was so bouncy and playful!

Minoas at the kennels with his oinky pig that he takes everywhere.

Minoas at the kennels with his oinky pig that he takes everywhere.

The update from the kennels after a couple of days was that Minoas was eating well and loved coming out into the big run to play and watch the world go by. This was going to be done for a few days and then he would start being taken for walks around the field and in the woods. Within a few days he was running free in the kennel’s fields. He was not stressed in any way and had great recall. Minoas settled into the routine really quickly. The kennels gave him a pig that oinks and he took it everywhere with him. It went out to play and was put to bed when he went back into his kennel.

The rescue in Greece were thrilled:

“Thank you so much for the update! This is like a dream come true for us, for a dog that had no friends, who everyone was scared of, who stood no chance in Greece because of peoples ignorance and prejudices. I am so thrilled!!!!!!!!! I can’t wait to hear how his training goes, just the thought of him running free without leash in his run is fantastic!!”

After Minoas had a few weeks to truly settle in, he had the once over from the vet. The vet said he was actually a lot older than 6 and was probably 10 plus. When being groomed it was also discovered he still had some stitches in his back, presumably from his original surgery. To think the poor lad had been through all this at his age made the fact he was safe and happy so much more important. So we now started looking for a home for him.

Minoas had claimed his kennel as his space, as we knew now was his trait, so the kennels would regularly move him to try and prevent this. As he had done all along, he quickly bonded with his handler/s but would bark and snarl at anyone else who tried to enter his space. Outside of his kennel he could be a teddy bear. He was not interested in other dogs in the slightest and actually preferred to have an empty kennel next to him.

We had an older couple who lived locally who showed an interest in Minoas and were more than happy to do several visits to get him used to them with the hope being he could one day go home with them. Unfortunately during this time, Minoas had some form of fit and was in such a state nobody could enter his kennel. The kennels described it as a kind of stroke as he seemed paralysed down one side. The vet was called and all checks were made but nothing seemed obviously wrong and no conclusions could be drawn. Within a few days he was on the way back to being his old self.

I'm a happy chappy - thank you everybody!

I’m a happy chappy – thank you everybody!

At his age, and with the added problem of not knowing what caused this episode, it was decided that it would not be safe for Minoas to go into a home environment. Who could know if he had other small episodes at times, and what would happen if he had another and went beserk again in this way. Whilst we would never like a dog to spend its life in kennels, Minoas was happy and settled and had actually never had life so good. He was also devoted to the kennel owners, especially the man. All of this was relayed back to the Greek rescue who totally understood our decision and were just happy that we were prepared to let him live out his days in a place where he was so happy. The founder of the rescue was also kept updated and did not dispute the decision at the time stating it was difficult to find homes for older dogs anyway. I have seen him on a number of occasions since he arrived  and he always looks fit and healthy and happy in himself, but no way am I allowed into his space!

On my departure from the rescue, the rescue decided for reasons unknown, to deny any working arrangement/agreement with the kennels where Minoas was and he, along with several other dogs were basically abandoned by them. Their treatment of the dogs during this time was no better than many of the people who palmed their dogs off to rescues in the first place. I had kept the people involved with the Greek rescue updated all the way through as to start with we had no idea what the other rescue was planning. We had thought maybe they would move the dogs but they chose the route of denying the dogs were their responsibility, which was rather strange as they had been paying the bills for months.

I assured the people in Greece I would not let Minoas go anywhere as it would not be fair on him, and so for many months now GSRE has been paying to keep this lad safe and settled. Whilst we get a very special rate for Minoas, and he wants for nothing, obviously it is not cheap keeping a dog in kennels long term, but as long as he is enjoying life, that is where he shall stay.

In January 2015 we went to court against German Shepherd Dog Rescue to reclaim the costs for Minoas and the other dogs they had disowned. The judge ruled that the dogs had legally belonged to them and therefore awarded us all costs to the 31st December 2014. This was a staggering amount which we were able to put back into our ‘pot’ to help other dogs.

We continue to care for Minoas and thank everyone who has donated towards the costs of all the dogs we have in kennels under our care. Without your donations we could not help as many dogs as we do.

If you would like to sponsor Minoas or a kennel space for one of our many other dogs, please donate through the link below and don’t forget if you are eligible for Gift Aid, tick the box as the charity will receive an additional 25%!

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Fudge, a lovely oldie was adopted by Elaine and Mark from our Chesterfield kennels a couple of weeks ago. This is what his new Mum just sent me.

"Fudge less than 2 wks in to his new home with us. Was a bit flighty with the horses....but now with just a couple of tweaks is happy around them. He's a lovely dog."
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Fudge, a lovely oldie was adopted by Elaine and Mark from our Chesterfield kennels a couple of weeks ago. This is what his new Mum just sent me. 

Fudge less than 2 wks in to his new home with us. Was a bit flighty with the horses....but now with just a  couple of tweaks is happy around them. Hes a lovely dog.

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Sunita FrancisAwww...bless her!🐾💕🐾

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Margaret MillwardShe is beautiful so glad you were able to help her xxx

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This doggy is the love of my life we have had him since he was 3 weeks old .he has had epilepsy since he was 5 he is now 10. he is on tablets from the vets and has blood test every 6 months to make sure his liver and kidneys are coping with the medicine .but sadly this week his liver results came back high so he is now on liver tables. He had a fit the other day and it really affected him this time. I'm so upset because I no one day I won't have him and it kills me 😭😢 ... See MoreSee Less

This doggy is the love of my life we have had him since he was 3 weeks old .he has had epilepsy since he was 5 he is now 10. he is on tablets from the vets and has blood test every 6 months  to make sure his liver and kidneys are coping with the medicine  .but sadly  this week his liver  results came back high so he is now on liver  tables. He had a fit the other day and it really affected  him this time. Im so upset because  I no one day I wont have him and it kills me  😭😢

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Pauline AngusSo sorry, I have an epileptic collie, I know how difficult it is x

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Caroline LenoirSo sorry to hear that x

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Sue WoodheadSo sorry to hear about your lovely dog, they give us so much pleasure and love in life and it's very hard when they get older and have health problems. It's just a shame they cannot live longer than they do and I dread the thought of life without my girl. Up until 4 weeks ago she was a very healthy 12 years old, and very agile. She collapsed and was diagnosed with cancer of the spleen, every day now is a bonus and I'm spoiling her rotten. It's so heartbreaking and I can imagine how you must be feeling too. Sending you both love and hugs xx ❤️❤️

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Ann HarrisSo very sorry. It is heartbreaking when they are ill and elderly. I lost my beautiful cocker spaniel, William, last August, aged nearly fourteen, and also my wonderful GSD, Rufus, who was just seven. It is so hard. xxx

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Christine Jonesso sorry to read your news

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Sheba has officially been adopted! Thank you Karen and family for giving her a wonderful new life. X

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Paul Tob HardingDifficult face to resist not to want to keep her xx

1 day ago   ·  1
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Alan PritchardWonderful news for this gorgeous girl 😁

1 day ago   ·  1
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Karen ConnollyShe has her moments but then she can be so sweet. Thus was her morning walk today

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Cath FosterYippee!!! X

1 day ago
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Morgan Silas Skye HyettBeautiful girl, well done 💗💗💗💗xx

1 day ago
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Carol DriscollGreat news be happy Sheba xx

1 day ago
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Jan GallierGreat news xx

1 day ago
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Lesley WrapsonGreat news 😊😊xx

1 day ago
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Glynis de RokebyFantastic be very happy sweetheart

1 day ago
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Linda HarperFantastic, have a great life with your new family.x

1 day ago
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Ann PembertonBrilliant news. Happy life Sheba 😘

1 day ago
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Lynda DaviesLovely news. X

1 day ago
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Dee Ford-HuntThat's wonderful news xxxx

1 day ago
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Julia TappingGreat news ,great face xx

1 day ago
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Charley Gtrmacs🙂 🙂 🙂

1 day ago
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Susan EdenGreat news she is a beautiful dog!!

1 day ago
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Chris SkinnerShe is Beautiful enjoy your new life Sheba.

1 day ago
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Sheila BakerBest news , well done Sheba , be happy princess . XX

24 hours ago
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Joy KirkWow Sheba your gorgeous. My type

23 hours ago
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Barry LaneBeauty

23 hours ago
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Judy van RensburgBe happy Sheba, great news xx

23 hours ago
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Sandra HandsBrilliant news! Enjoy every minute, dear Sheba ❤️ xx

22 hours ago
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Sue ShepherdSo pleased for her

22 hours ago
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Lexi Mutch

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Lexi MutchGreat news for beautiful Sheba 💝💞

21 hours ago
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Iz my Hed Still dry?

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Pauline Drakesbeautiful

9 hours ago   ·  1
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Tina EvansI have seen everything now, lol

9 hours ago   ·  1
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Karen FaulknerAwe I've melted xx

9 hours ago   ·  1
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Lyn TurnerAww so cute x

9 hours ago   ·  1
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Sandra PidgeonOh that face! You darling!

8 hours ago   ·  1
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Steph SmithAwwwwww that's just too cute xx

8 hours ago   ·  1
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Sheila BakerWhen you have such huge ears , you MUST keep the water out ! Xx

7 hours ago   ·  1
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Esther DeanDon't let the soap get into my eyes please

7 hours ago   ·  1
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Anne RobinsonSo so cute. What a cutie. Xx

7 hours ago   ·  1
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Maggie Whitmarshhes got my hat x

5 hours ago   ·  1
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Claire Pemberton

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Lynsey SmithKarl Frazer

3 hours ago   ·  2
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Abby O'NeillAwww lil cutie!x

3 hours ago   ·  1
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Beverley HewettHahaha brilliant....love the expression!!

1 hour ago   ·  1
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Ann Belllove the look lol

58 minutes ago
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Pat Wright shared Madly Odd's This Candle Is For You to the group: German Shepherd Rescue Elite.

Madly Odd
For you Larry, thank you for sending another rescue to me, Berry, Love and Miss you boy!
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Sam Greenfield, Joan Knowles and 56 others like this

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Sue ClagueHappy Birthday Alaska, Miss You beautiful girl 💔💔

Attachment7 hours ago   ·  1

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Esther DeanI miss every one that we were blessed with

7 hours ago   ·  1
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Alan PritchardSo many - Guy, Judy, Giz, Fred, Kaz, Sandy, Ranger & Rebel. Miss them all 😭😭😭

7 hours ago   ·  1
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Pat WrightMy boy Larry x

Attachment6 hours ago   ·  1
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Ann Belli miss all of mine that will never ever be foregotten x

59 minutes ago
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I will go nuvver burger bar...Called Home! ... See MoreSee Less

I will go nuvver burger bar...Called Home!

Shah Wharton, Tina Evans and 89 others like this

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Yolande Aline HelmTrue honey

2 days ago   ·  1
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Anne RobinsonThat is so true. Xx

2 days ago   ·  1
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Steph SmithHe can have mine. Lickle sausage he is xx

2 days ago
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Esther DeanYes and most people,maybe they think I would eat them all,yes I probably would ha ha

2 days ago   ·  1
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Ann HarrisMost dogs behave better than most of the kids round here.

2 days ago   ·  1
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Maggie Whitmarshpull down all these signs x

2 days ago   ·  1
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Anna HopkinsI would buy him one No PROBLEM bless shared

2 days ago   ·  1
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Ann Bellbless lol

2 days ago   ·  1
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Tina EvansYes so very true

17 hours ago   ·  1
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Beverley HewettLove me.....Love my dog!! If my doggies can't go then I don't want too either!!!

1 hour ago   ·  1
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Why we do what we do

German Shepherd Rescue Elite was not only set up to help as many unwanted, abandoned and neglected German Shepherds as possible, but to also offer education to the general public on the responsibilities / pros / cons of owning a large working breed dog and to be able to offer help and advice so hopefully we can become the prevention for once instead of always being the cure.

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