VGSR has rescued more than 4000 dogs since 2001.

Our adoption process aims to match the temperament and needs of our dogs with their new owners to ensure a rewarding experience for the entire family that will stand the test of time. For example, we will seek to place a large, energetic dog with an equally energetic family that will provide it with the exercise and discipline it needs to be healthy and happy. We seek to match an older dog that is accustomed to living alone or as an alpha dog without children into a home without another dog or small children. Our volunteers will do their best to match you with a dog that will complement your lifestyle and become an integral part of your family.

Our dogs live in private foster homes where the fosters have the opportunity to get to know the dog's individual behavior traits and temperament. The foster of each dog will make the final decision to determine if a prospective home would be the best placement for their foster dog.

VGSR does not approve all applications for adoption. Our vetting process includes personal and veterinary reference checks along with a home visit. VGSR supports spay and neuter. VGSR does expect current pets to be spayed or neutered. Some exceptions may apply and are considered on a case by case basis.

The state of Virginia has a code regarding the spay and neuter of dogs adopted from rescues and shelters. For additional information, review section 3.2-6574 of the Code of Virginia.

Adoption Application

You must be 18 years of age or older to adopt from VGSR.


Complete an online Adoption Application.

Please note there is a $20.00 Non-Refundable Application Fee.


Complete a paper Adoption Application.

Mail with a $20 check [non-refundable application fee] payable to VGSR:

Virginia German Shepherd Rescue
Attn: Adoption Application
P.O. Box 733
Centreville, VA 20122
Application Accepted

Upon receipt of your application, it will be reviewed to be sure all required information has been provided. At this time one of our volunteers will contact the references you provided. They will play a large part in helping us to place the right dog in your family. If you rent your home, we will call your landlord to verify that you live in pet-friendly housing that permits German Shepherd-sized dogs. (NOTE: Some townhouses and condos have size and/or weight restrictions on pets.) Part of the adoption process will be ensuring that the dog placed in your care will be welcomed into the neighborhood.

Home Visit

The next step toward final approval is a Home Visit. One of our volunteers will contact you to establish a mutually agreeable time to meet with you in your home to discuss what it means to own a GSD. Their personality traits, physical requirements, health and grooming issues and more are topics which will be reviewed to ensure that a GSD is truly the right breed for you.

Application Reviewed

Once your application has been approved, you will be assigned a caseworker. The job of this volunteer is to help you in selecting the dog that will blend with your family. They will keep you informed of upcoming events where you can meet our dogs; and keep an eye on the dogs coming into the Rescue to alert you when someone new could be a good match. They will act as a liaison between you and the foster families and arrange for you to meet dogs individually on a case-by-case basis.

Application Approved

Once you and the dog's foster have agreed that the dog's personality and activity level will be a good fit for your family and lifestyle, you are ready to adopt! The adoption fee and signed contract must be submitted to the foster parent upon receipt of the dog. To help defray the expenses VGSR incurs from the required spay/alter, vaccinations and other expenses, the required fee is $300 for VGSR dogs that are eight years old or younger. Dogs over the age of eight have a minimum fee of $250*. (Cash, check or money orders are acceptable.)