3 Best German Shepherd Rescues in Montana

Categorized as Breeders & Rescue
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The German Shepherd is one of America’s most beloved dog breeds. Known for their intelligence, loyalty, and versatility, German Shepherds make wonderful companions and working dogs. However, due to overbreeding by puppy mills and backyard breeders, many Shepherds end up abandoned or surrendered to shelters each year.

Fortunately, there are some amazing German Shepherd rescues in Montana dedicated to saving these magnificent dogs. If you’re looking to adopt a German Shepherd in need of a forever home, be sure to check out these top 3 rescues in the state.

1. Montana German Shepherd & Working Dog Rescue

Located in Missoula, the Montana German Shepherd & Working Dog Rescue is a non-profit organization committed to rescuing German Shepherds and other working dog breeds like Dutch Shepherds, Belgian Shepherds, and Border Collies.

The passionate volunteers behind this rescue have made it their mission to save GSDs and working dogs from untenable situations like puppy mills, dog fighting operations, hoarders, and rural shelters with high euthanasia rates. Their goal is to rehabilitate and rehome every dog in their care.

All of the dogs rescued by Montana German Shepherd & Working Dog Rescue undergo thorough behavioral assessments. This allows the volunteers to identify any potential issues and provide specialized training as needed. Dogs receive training on basic commands, leash manners, and socialization.

Only once a dog has been evaluated and completed any necessary training do they become available for adoption. This helps ensure that the dogs adopted out are friendly, obedient companions ready to thrive in a home environment.

Since the rescue does not currently have a dedicated facility, all of their adoptable dogs are housed in a network of foster homes. This allows the dogs to receive love and attention in a home setting as they await adoption. Their Facebook page features profiles and photos of dogs currently in foster ready to meet potential forever families.

The adoption process begins with submitting an online application. Applications are carefully screened to find the best possible match for both dog and adopter. If approved, you’ll have an introductory phone call and vet/personal references will be checked. Finally, you’ll have a virtual home visit before getting to bring home your new furry friend!

While they may not have a fancy website, this rescue’s passionate and dedicated volunteers and foster network make them a top choice for adopting a German Shepherd in need in Montana. Reach out by emailing mtgsdrsq@gmail.com or connecting with them on Facebook to learn more about their adoptable dogs.

2. Maclean-Cameron Animal Adoption Center

The Maclean-Cameron Animal Adoption Center located in Great Falls is another excellent option when looking to adopt a German Shepherd in Montana. This non-profit adoption center opened its doors in 2015 with the mission of compassionately sheltering and rehoming homeless pets in the community.

As a DBA of the Animal Foundation of Great Falls, the adoption center has strong roots in animal welfare. The bright, modern facility was made possible thanks to the generous donations of Cameron and Maclean, dedicated supporters of the Animal Foundation’s vision.

The knowledgeable staff and volunteers at Maclean-Cameron care for homeless dogs and cats with love until they can find permanent homes. They also work hard to educate the community and strengthen the human-animal bond. Their ultimate goal is for every animal that comes through their doors is adopted into a stable, loving home.

In addition to adoption services, Maclean-Cameron offers many other ways for animal lovers to get involved and make a difference. You can volunteer on-site to help care for the animals, assist at their kids’ camp programs, or donate. They also welcome foster families who can provide shelter pets temporary housing as they await adoption.

Of course, adopting a furry friend in need is the most direct way to save a life through Maclean-Cameron. The adoption process is straightforward. First, browse their website to find current adoptable dogs. Search by breed to view German Shepherds and Shepherd mixes looking for homes.

Once you spot a good match, submit an online adoption application and complete the ASPCA Meet Your Match survey. This helps the staff learn about your lifestyle and preferences to find the right fit. Attend a meet-and-greet with any resident pets, provide ID/proof of residence, and pay the adoption fee. Fees range from $120-200.

The passionate staff at Maclean-Cameron will guide you through each step of the process. Contact an adoption counselor at 406-727-7387 or visit their website to learn more about making one of their wonderful German Shepherds part of your family.

3. Human Society of Northwest Montana

The Human Society of Northwest Montana, located in Kalispell, operates the Charlotte Edkins Animal Adoption Center – a no-kill rescue committed to saving the lives of abandoned pets throughout Northwest Montana.

This 100% volunteer-run organization has provided compassionate care to homeless animals in the region since 2002. Generous community support has allowed the Center to expand into a beautiful, modern facility equipped to shelter dogs, cats, and the occasional small critter.

In addition to adoption services, the Human Society of Northwest Montana offers an array of programs that benefit people and pets in the community. These include:

  • Injured Animal Fund – provides financial assistance to low-income pet owners for vet expenses
  • Microchip clinic – affordable microchipping to help lost pets find their way home
  • Pet food assistance program – distributing pet food to economically disadvantaged owners and area rescues

By supporting pet owners in crisis, they help keep pets out of shelters and with their families. The Human Society also engages in educational outreach focused on responsible pet ownership and animal welfare.

At the Charlotte Edkins Center, rescued dogs and cats receive quality care and enrichment as they await adoption into loving homes. The committed volunteers get to know each animal’s unique personality to make perfect matches with adopters.

Their well-organized adoption process begins with browsing available dogs online to identify potential candidates. Next, visit the center to meet your choice dog in person and submit an adoption application on-site.

The rescue will review your application and set up an adoption appointment once approved. At this appointment, you’ll sign the adoption contract and pay the $200 adoption fee to officially bring home your furry new best friend.

With its welcoming adoption center and strong community programs, the Human Society of Northwest Montana is a top choice for adopting a German Shepherd in Montana. Learn more about their adoptable dogs on their website or by calling (406) 752-7297.

Choosing the Right GSD Rescue

Adopting a German Shepherd is an extremely rewarding experience. Opening your heart and home to a dog in need of a fresh start is one of the best feelings. However, it’s important to take the time to find the right rescue for your needs.

Consider what’s most important to you. Do you want to connect with a smaller, volunteer-based group? Or are you looking for an established facility with more resources and programs?

If possible, visit the rescue in person to get a feel for their facility, meet the staff, and observe their adoption process. Ask lots of questions too. Volunteering can also help give you an inside look at how a rescue operates.

Whichever rescue you choose, remember that patience is key when adopting. The perfect German Shepherd match for you could take some time. Try not to get discouraged! Working with rescues that thoroughly vett and match adopters results in more successful, lasting placements.

With a little persistence and an open heart, you’ll find your new best furry friend at one of Montana’s amazing German Shepherd rescues. Good luck in your search!


What are the benefits of adopting from a rescue?

Adopting from a rescue saves the life of a dog in need. It also typically costs less than purchasing from a breeder or pet store. Rescues thoroughly vet dogs before adoption, so you can feel good knowing your dog’s history. Their matching process connects you with the right dog for your home and lifestyle.

What is the adoption process like?

The adoption process typically involves submitting an application, initial screening, meet-and-greet, reference checks, home visit, and final approval. There is usually an adoption fee ranging from $120-200. The thorough process is designed to ensure a good match between adopter and dog.

What kind of dogs are available from German Shepherd rescues?

Most rescues have purebred German Shepherds, mixes with Husky, Malamute or other shepherd breeds, and occasional purebred working dog breeds like Dutch Shepherds. Dog ages range from puppies to seniors. Their sizes, colors, coats, and temperaments vary.

How can I find a specific color, gender, age, etc?

Finding a dog with specific desired traits may take patience and working closely with the rescue. Provide your “wishlist” to the rescue but try to remain open-minded, as your perfect match may not “look” perfect on paper.

What if I can’t find the right match?

Let the rescue know what you’re looking for – they may get in more dogs soon that better fit your wants. Or expand your search to rescues in nearby states. Avoid impulse buying from breeders, as rescues get new dogs daily.

Do I need prior experience with German Shepherds to adopt one?

Not necessarily. Discuss your experience level with the rescue. Some may match you with a lower energy senior or adult dog if you’re a first-time GSD owner. Take time to research the breed’s needs and training tips before bringing one home.

What if I have kids, cats, or other pets?

Let the rescue know about any other pets or family members so they can find a dog that will integrate well into your home. Some rescues may facilitate introductions between your current pets and potential adoptee.

What about health or behavior issues?

Most rescues thoroughly vet dogs before adoption. Be upfront about what challenges you can handle. Rescues will work to match you with a dog that fits with your lifestyle and experience.

How can I get involved beyond adopting?

You can provide foster care, volunteer, help transport dogs, contribute supplies, or donate. Fostering and volunteering give you hands-on experience working with rescued Shepherds. Supporting rescues helps save more lives.

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.