How to Adopt

You must be 18 years of age or older to adopt a dog.  Once the application process acknowledgement, application fee, and application have been submitted, the application will be forwarded to a volunteer who will perform the vet check. The vet check will ensure that any current and previous animals in the home are consistently vetted, up to date on shots and are altered. Dogs must be altered, up to date with rabies and dhpp vaccinations, and consistently receiving heartworm preventatives and annual fecal and heartworm exams. Cats must be altered, up to date on rabies and dhpp vaccinations. Please note, your veterinarian’s office will be contacted, so please let them know a volunteer from Freedom German Shepherd Rescue will be calling and give them permission to answer any questions about your animals. If the veterinarian’s office is not informed, your application may be held up and can take longer to process. Please also list any and all vet offices where your pet has been treated, to include low cost clinics, complete with their addresses and phone numbers, to help facilitate the vet check process.

Once the applicant has passed the vet check, an adoption coordinator will contact the applicant about setting up the phone interview. Once the phone interview has been completed and passed, the home visit will be scheduled. An applicant must pass all parts of the application process to be considered approved to adopt a dog from Freedom German Shepherd Rescue. Yes, the application process is very thorough. We do that to ensure that any dog that we adopt out is well taken care of to reduce the chances of the dog ending up in a bad situation and/or being returned.

Please note that it can take up to 4 weeks to process an application from start to finish, with the primary delay being getting the home visit scheduled. Our goal is for each volunteer to return communication within 48 hours. Applicants may apply for a specific dog; however, applicants need to understand that the dog may not be available by the time their application has been processed.

Once an applicant has been approved to adopt, our adoption coordinators will find the applicant an appropriate dog based on the applicant’s level of experience with German Shepherds or other working breeds, family members, situation, etc. Only dogs that are fully vetted, medically cleared and microchipped will be adopted out. Approved adopters will have a two-week trial period, unless otherwise noted, with the dog that the foster family and the adopter thinks is the best fit.

Q. Is there an age limit to adopt a dog?
A. Yes, you must be 18 years of age or older.

Q. Can I adopt a dog if I live outside of NC/SC?
A. No, not at this time.  

Q. Can I adopt a dog if I do not have a fenced yard?
A. Yes. However, adopters must be able to provide appropriate places for exercise and bodily functions. Please note that electronic fences are not recognized as fencing as dogs regularly escape them.

Q. I have children and other pets. How do I know if the dog I am interested in will get along with them?
A. Once you have selected a dog and the foster parent invites you for a meet and greet, you are required to bring your ENTIRE family including your spouse, children, and all pets.

Q. My roommate has a pet. Can I still adopt?
A. We will need to speak with your roommate and make sure they have no objections. The roommate's dogs and cats must be current with their rabies and dhpp shots, be altered and on heartworm and flea/tick prevention. 

Q. Do I have to take my new dog to a trainer? 
A. This depends on what your adoptive dog needs and your level of experience.  We encourage all adopters to at least take a basic obedience course with their new dog. Training strengthens the bond between dog and owner, helps socialize the dog and teaches the dog something new. Training may be stipulated for some of our dogs in the adoption contract.  Adopters will be made aware of this when speaking with the foster home.

Q. Do you offer service or therapy dogs?
A.  No, but once you are approved to adopt, we welcome your trainer to evaluate the dog that you are interested in adopting to see if s/he is an appropriate candidate.

Q. Once I adopt a dog from Freedom German Shepherd Rescue is there any additional obligation from me? 
A. You must adhere to everything in the contract. There may be spot checks on how your dog is doing and vet care.

Q. Do you adopt out guard dogs?
A. No.

Q. Do you adopt dogs to police departments and search and rescue organizations?
A. Yes. Please email our intake manager at

Q. Are your dogs cat and/or farm animal friendly?
A. We will do our best to cat/farm animal test our dogs. Unless the dog is fostered by someone who has cats or farm animals, we cannot guarantee that they are cat/farm animal friendly.

Q. Are all of your dogs purebred?
A. We cannot guarantee the pedigree of any of our dogs. Freedom GSR does not feel that the dog must be purebred to be pure of heart. We pride ourselves on rescuing dogs based on their temperaments, not solely on their looks. 

Q. If I experience a life altering emergency and I can no longer keep my adopted dog, what do I do with the dog?
A. Reach out to your adoption coordinator. We ask that you do everything in your power to keep the dog, but understand that people have life altering experiences. In the event you can no longer keep the dog, the dog is required to be returned to the rescue. Please allow us three weeks to find placement. If you have someone that you feel is a good fit for the dog, s/he would need to complete an adoption application with Freedom GSR.

Q. Do you ship dogs?
A. No. Once an applicant is approved, the applicant and everyone living in the home, including pets, are required to travel to the foster home to meet the dog.

Q. I want to surprise my child with a German Shepherd. Can you help me find a dog?
A. No. In order to minimize the risk of a dog being returned, we require that everyone living in the home meet the desired dog before taking him or her on trial. 

The adoption fee is $350 and is to be paid via PayPal, the preferred payment method, at before the dog goes on trial. Checks will be accepted with prior approval. Once the trial period has been completed, the check will be deposited without further notice. A $75 refund will be given to adopters who have adopted unaltered puppies less than six months old once proof of alteration has been received by the treasurer.

If the dog is returned during the trial period and you paid by PayPal, your money will be refunded. If you paid by check, it will be returned to you either at the time of returning the dog or within 10-business days.

If a dog is returned after the trial period, there will be no refund. 

As simple as 1 - 2 - 3

The applicant needs to complete these steps in this order. The applicant must pay for the application prior to filling it out and submitting it. Freedom GSR wants to be transparent on what is generally asked in the application prior to paying the non-refundable application fee. 

1. Read the Freedom GSR Adoption Process Acknowledgement.

2. Pay the application fee (donation) of $30 via PayPal. 

3. PayPal will direct you to complete and submit the Adoption Application.

1st step to adopting a dog...

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