6 Best German Shepherd Rescues In Texas

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Texas is home to many wonderful German Shepherd rescues that are dedicated to saving this noble breed. With their intelligence, loyalty, and versatility, German Shepherds make excellent companions. However, they are also one of the most surrendered breeds to shelters.

Fortunately, Texas has no shortage of breed-specific rescues focused on German Shepherd dogs. These rescues work tirelessly to rescue Shepherds from shelters, take in owner surrenders when possible, and find them loving forever homes.

If you’re looking to add a German Shepherd to your home, considering adopting from one of these top-notch Texas rescues is a great option. Here are six of the best.

1. German Shepherd Rescue of Texas (GSRTX)

German Shepherd Rescue of Texas is a statewide nonprofit rescue group started in 2010 by Craig and Kristin Hensley. Their passion is saving German Shepherds from euthanasia in rural Texas shelters.

This no-kill rescue pulls dogs primarily from high kill shelters with limited adoption traffic. They occasionally take in owner surrenders but most intakes are from shelters.

Rescue Statistics:

  • 500+ German Shepherds rescued per year
  • 95% of dogs rescued from shelters
  • 5% owner surrenders
  • No breeder dogs accepted

GSRTX utilizes a foster-based system. Volunteers open their homes to provide love and training until adoption. The rescue provides everything needed for fostering including crates, leashes, training support, etc.

Those interested in adopting must submit an application that is typically processed within 5 days. Vet references and home visits ensure dogs are matched to the best homes for their needs. There is no first-come, first-served model.

GSRTX is an all-volunteer organization funded solely by donations. To learn more about this devoted rescue group visit gsrtx.org.

2. German Shepherd Rescue of Central Texas

This foster-based nonprofit rescues German Shepherds and Shepherd mixes from Central Texas and beyond. Their focus is saving Shepherds from euthanasia and situations of abuse or neglect.

Their personalized adoption process aims to match sensitively placed creatures into nurturing forever homes. They strive to keep bonded pairs together.

Rescue Statistics:

  • 200+ German Shepherds rescued per year
  • Most dogs rescued from shelters
  • Some owner surrenders accepted
  • Foster and adoption processes very thorough

Potential adopters can browse adoptable dogs online and follow available dogs on social media. The adoption process involves an extensive application, vet checks, and home visit prior to matching dogs with new owners.

To learn more about this dedicated Central Texas rescue visit gsdrescuectx.com.

3. DFW German Shepherd Rescue

DFW German Shepherd Rescue saves Shepherds from north Texas shelters. Their focus is on the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex but they rescue statewide.

This nonprofit pulls from area shelters but occasionally takes in strays and owner surrenders. They pride themselves on helping Shepherds who need extra care and rehabilitation.

Rescue Statistics:

  • 300+ German Shepherds rescued per year
  • 40% need extensive rehabilitation
  • Most dogs rescued from DFW shelters
  • Some owner surrenders and strays accepted
  • Adoption events held at Petco

DFW German Shepherd Rescue utilizes foster homes. Approved applications require vet/personal references, home visit, and landlord approval. Adoption fees range from $250-$400.

To learn more about this north Texas-focused rescue visit dfwgermanshepherdrescue.org.

4. Good Shepherd Rescue of Texas

Good Shepherd Rescue of Texas is a Dallas/Fort Worth area foster-based rescue operating since 1999. They rescue Shepherds from area shelters and take owner surrenders when space permits.

All intakes are vetted, vaccinated, and treated for common parasites and diseases. Their personalized adoption process focuses on finding the right forever home for each dog.

Rescue Statistics:

  • 200+ German Shepherds rescued per year
  • Most dogs rescued from DFW shelters
  • Some owner surrenders accepted
  • All dogs fully vetted prior to adoption
  • Adoption fees $250-$400

Good Shepherd Rescue has an open-door policy for dogs they rescue. If an adoption does not work out they will take the dog back. Approved applications require vet/reference checks and home visit.

Learn more at goodshepherdrescuetexas.com.

5. Austin German Shepherd Dog Rescue

Austin German Shepherd Dog Rescue is a nonprofit rescue group operating in the Austin, TX and surrounding areas. Founded in the 1990s, their mission is saving German Shepherds across Texas.

AGSDR takes in Shepherds from shelters, owner surrenders when space allows, and occasionally transfers from out of state. Their focus is ensuring the right match between dog and adopter.

Rescue Statistics:

  • 100+ German Shepherds rescued per year
  • Most dogs rescued from Austin shelters
  • Some transfers and owner surrenders
  • Lifetime commitment to dogs rescued
  • Adoption fees $250-$400

AGSDR utilizes a foster program for all rescued dogs. Fostering is a great way to help the rescue save lives. Potential adopters can browse available dogs online and follow on social media.

Learn more about AGSDR’s lifesaving work at austingermanshepherdrescue.org.

6. Greater Houston German Shepherd Dog Rescue

Greater Houston German Shepherd Dog Rescue focuses on saving German Shepherds from euthanasia in Houston area shelters. They do not deliberately take in mixed breeds.

Rescue Statistics:

  • 200+ German Shepherds rescued per year
  • Most dogs rescued from Houston shelters
  • Some owner surrenders accepted
  • Membership-based organization
  • Adoption fees $225-$425

All intakes are thoroughly vetted, altered, and microchipped prior to being placed in a foster home. GHGSDR is always seeking more foster volunteers to help save lives.

Potential adopters can meet many available dogs at the Gulf Freeway Petco. Approved applications require vet/landlord checks and home visit prior to matching.

Learn more about Greater Houston GSD Rescue at ghgsdr.org.

Things to Know When Adopting a German Shepherd from a Texas Rescue

Adopting a German Shepherd from one of the many wonderful Texas rescues is extremely rewarding. Here are some key things future adopters should keep in mind:

Adjustment Period

German Shepherds form intense bonds with their people. Even dogs coming from bad situations will likely have difficulty adjusting initially to a new home and family.

Have realistic expectations, be patient and allow time for your new Shepherd to settle in. Maintain routines and use positive reinforcement training to build trust.

High Maintenance Breed

German Shepherds are high-energy working dogs that need extensive daily exercise and mental stimulation. Adopters should be prepared to provide a job or “work” for their Shepherd.

This is an intelligent breed that excels at canine activities like agility, obedience training, hiking, etc. First-time owners should take training classes.

Public Perception

Unfortunately German Shepherds are often negatively stereotyped. Responsible owners must serve as breed ambassadors through training and proper socialization.

Teach solid obedience commands. Don’t allow undesirable behaviors like jumping, lunging, or barking. Seek professional help for serious behavior issues.

Benefits of Adopting From a Rescue

There are many advantages to adopting your German Shepherd from a dedicated rescue organization:

  • Saving a life: Shelters euthanize millions of dogs yearly. Adopting gives a deserving dog a second chance.
  • Vetted dogs: Rescues thoroughly vet dogs, treat medical issues, and evaluate temperament. You have a better sense of what you’re getting.
  • Support: Texas rescues have experience with the breed. They provide training tips and take dogs back if needed.
  • Give back: Rescuing allows you to give back. Fostering and donations are other ways to help.
  • Cost: Adoption fees of $225-$425 cover vetting and expenses, a fraction of the cost of purchasing a Shepherd puppy.


What is the adoption process like?

The adoption process is quite extensive, involving an application, vet and reference checks, landlord approval if renting, and a home visit. Rescues want to ensure each dog is matched to the ideal home.

What is the average adoption fee?

Adoption fees typically range from $225-$425. This helps cover the rescue’s expenses for vet care, food, supplies, etc. The fee is a fraction of the cost of purchasing a German Shepherd puppy.

Why adopt rather than buy a puppy?

Adopting saves the life of a homeless German Shepherd in need. It also provides you with a dog that is already vetted, spayed/neutered, and often trained. Purchasing puppies supports irresponsible breeding and overpopulation.

Can I meet dogs before adopting?

Yes, most rescues allow meet and greets or have regular adoption events. This gives you a chance to interact with dogs to find the right match before adopting.

Do rescues adopt outside of Texas?

Most Texas German Shepherd rescues focus their adoptions within the state. Some may consider out of state adoptions on a case by case basis, but this is less common.

What if it doesn’t work out?

Reputable rescues will take back any dog at any point in its life if an adoption does not work out. However, adopters should be fully committed for the dog’s sake.

Should I adopt a puppy or adult?

There are benefits to both. Puppies allow for training from a blank slate. Adults offer predictable size/temperament and can be a good option for first-time owners. Consider your lifestyle.

How can I get involved if I can’t adopt?

Ways to help include fostering dogs, making donations, volunteering at events, assisting with transport, or helping with administrative tasks. Every little bit makes a difference!


German Shepherd rescues across Texas work tirelessly to save the lives of countless Shepherds annually. They provide vetting, training, foster care, and ultimately the joy of a new forever home for rescued dogs.

The six rescues profiled above all have stellar reputations, experienced volunteers, and a shared passion for the breed. Adopting your Shepherd from one of them is extremely rewarding.

By welcoming one of these noble dogs into your home you’ll experience the companionship and loyalty German Shepherds are famed for. You’ll also save a life and support the rescue’s lifesaving mission of helping more Shepherds in need.

By Andrew Garf

Andrew Garf has loved dogs, especially German Shepherds, since he was 10 years old. Though he also loves burgers, training dogs is his real passion. That's why he created the website TrainYourGSD.com - to help dog owners learn how to properly train, care for, and bond with their German Shepherd dogs.