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Lonely GSD in the shelter

For only 75¢ a day you can help us pay for one month of food for a rescued German Shepherd.

Volunteer of the Month

Here are the Golden State German Shepherd Rescue Volunteers of the Month! We appreciate all of them for their tireless work.

Volunteer of the Month for January 2013 is Denise Williams!

Denise Williams

Volunteering with dog rescue has been one of my joys since I retired.  From the time I re-homed a spaniel mix that was thrown from a car (years ago) to my latest work with Golden State German Shepherd Rescue, I have had some of the most rewarding times.   Every time I hear about some lucky dog who has found a forever home, I realize how lucky I am to work with such a wonderful organization.

Over time I have been a dog walker at the shelter, a dog evaluator and training assistant, Board member, adoption counselor and now, an adoption coordinator.  I have also been involved with fundraising and event planning.

German Shepherds are an extraordinary breed of dog.  My parents had Dusty when I was born.  Rusty (rescue adoption) and Hannah are my 4th and 5th German Shepherds. 

I have also found, that the people who love GSDs are very special.  I have been so impressed with how much everyone pulls together to help these amazing dogs.  I feel very lucky to be able to volunteer with this organization.

Volunteer of the Month for December 2012 is Kelley Allison!

Kelley Allison

My fondness of German Shepherds began when my husband, Ted and I adopted our first GSD, Alex in December 1998.  Alex was in the shelter’s euthanasia room when he was rescued by a local rescue group at the last minute.  I then realized how important a rescue group was to saving dogs lives.  When we brought Alex into our lives, we realized we didn’t know much about taking care of a dog. With the help of the volunteers at the rescue, we learned a lot.  It was then that I decided to volunteer any extra time I had to help local rescue groups and use that information to help others.  Over the years, I have worked for several animal rescues and have been a home visit counselor, adoption and foster counselor, adoption day volunteer, a foster and a even a failed foster.  It has been such a wonderful experience to have placed many dogs that were in need of second chances into homes with great families.    

In July 2012, we were looking to add a GSD to our family.  We researched many rescue groups and came across Golden State German Shepherd Rescue Group.  I sent in my application to volunteer and possibly adopt and was immediately contacted by several volunteers.  We were looking for our second dog and knew it had to be the right dog, so we signed up to foster.  We ended up with Blackstone (now Smokey, pictured) who is by all accounts the perfect match for us; 2 weeks later Smokey became a permanent part of our family.  I would encourage anyone looking to adopt a GSD, to volunteer their time as a foster because it the best way to find your perfect match and help the rescue group at the same time.   

Working for GSGSR has been such a positive experience.  Volunteers are recognized for their hard work and efforts in helping with the organization.  They communicate well and are very respectful of the time you donate.  It’s amazing to me that such a wonderful breed ends up in the shelters so often.  It’s nice to know that I belong to an organization that really is all about helping the GSDs have a better life.

Volunteer of the Month for November 2012 is Yamin Bilal!

Yamin Bilal

My efforts in rescuing German Shepherd dogs began with German Shepherd Rescue of Northern California (GSRNC) in the summer of 2010. At that time, it was a way for me to spend time with and learn more about the German Shepherd breed, with which I had absolutely no experience at the time, but which is one of several very near and dear to my heart. I originally joined as a dog handler, and as time passed and my skills grew, I began to integrate my skills and experience as a wildlife photographer into my rescue efforts, with the hope that the photos would help boost interest in the dogs. In March 2011, I began conducting combined photo shoots and rural outings for GSDs awaiting their forever homes.

My continued passion to help these majestic animals find homes via photography soon led me to Golden State German Shepherd Rescue, which I joined in July 2012. These days, I can sometimes be found with a camera at adoption days; occasionally walking GSGSR dogs at the beautiful Briones Regional Park in Martinez or the lovely Tilden Regional Park in Berkeley; or scouting for dogs at the Pinole or Martinez Animal Shelter. Because not much is known about the dogs when I pick them up from the kennel, I also provide my first-impression observations to the adoption counsellors to help them match dogs with potential adopters.

I currently own a high energy, all-black, male German Shepherd named Holt, whom I rescued from the Martinez Animal Shelter in August 2012.  I also volunteer with Northern California Sled Dog Rescue (NorSled) and can sometimes be found at the same parks with a camera and one of the beautiful Huskies, Malamutes, or occasional Samoyeds that are available for adoption.

Volunteer of the Month for October 2012 is Sonja Peterson!

Sonja Peterson

You might have heard the inspiring story of the child walking along a beach picking up starfish at low tide and throwing them back into the sea.  The child was told he could never save all the starfish, but as he held one in his hands he said, “But I can save this one.”

This story reminds me so much of how we at GSGSR think about rescuing German Shepherds. When I first entered the UC Davis Vet School, I considered adopting a German Shepherd but realized I could do so much more fostering dogs and finding healthy homes. My role is to teach basic house manners and boundaries.  I have now started to try my skills as an adoption counselor which I’m finding very rewarding. Connecting the families with the right dog is definitely an art.

I’ve fostered several dogs but the one dog that I couldn’t let go of was a handsome boy named Thunder. Thunder has been with me for almost a year now.  This beautiful shepherd had been adopted twice, but was not a good match for these owners.  I kept taking him back and was thrilled when GSGSR was able to send him to a professional trainer. He did great but when I took him to his next adoption event I realized I couldn’t let him go. I formally adopted him and he now serves as a companion for new foster dogs. Just goes to show how a troubled, hard to handle, thrown away dog can turn into a wonderful friend.

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