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Top 7 German Shepherd Rescues in Arizona: Our Favorites

Last Updated: December 10, 2023

German Shepherds are intelligent, loyal, and loving family dogs. Unfortunately, some often end up in shelters and rescues when their owners lose or abandon them for different reasons. If you live in Arizona, you can help a needy dog by working with the best German Shepherd rescues.

The top German Shepherd rescues in Arizona are:

  • Saving Paws Rescue Arizona
  • Southwest German Shepherd Rescue
  • White German Shepherd Rescue 
  • Valley of the Sun Dog Rescue
  • Halo Animal Rescue 
  • Stealing Hearts Rescue
  • Arizona Humane Society

These German Shepherd rescues in Arizona work to provide care and save German Shepherds and other dogs from euthanasia. They work by the conviction that every dog deserves a chance at life and should live in a caring home.  

Whether you want to donate, foster, or adopt a German Shepherd, finding a good rescue can be challenging. I took the challenge for you and put together a list of the 7 best German Shepherd rescues in Arizona with details about their history, mission, unique features, how you can help, and their contact details. 

German Shepherd Rescues Arizona

German Shepherd Rescues In Arizona

Arizona has rescues exclusive for German Shepherds and others that rescue dogs of all breeds. Each Rescue provides care and a safe haven for dogs before they find their new loving families. With their unique histories and missions, you are sure to find the German Shepherd rescue of your interest.

1. Saving Paws Rescue Arizona

Saving Paws Rescue Arizona is a volunteer, 501(c)(3) charitable organization founded in 2012 by Trisha Houlihan. The Rescue is in Maricopa County, Phoenix, Arizona.

History and Unique Features

While working as a volunteer at a local animal control shelter, Trisha was disappointed at the number of GSDs euthanized for being homeless. She decided to work with other volunteers to save the dogs.

The first beneficiaries were a group of 26 German Shepherds abandoned by the breeder for lack of resources. 

Today, the Rescue targets both German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois dogs. Over 200 dogs are saved each year.

The shelter relies on volunteer foster homes and private and charitable donations to care for the dogs. The volunteers act by the conviction that every dog deserves a chance. As such, no dog should be put to sleep for age, lack of resources, or behavioral issues.

Adopting/helping a German Shepherd

Adopting a dog from Saving Paws Arizona follows this process:

  1. The prospective adopter completes an adoption form online.
  2. The Rescue personnel assesses the adoption form and makes a background check of the adopter.
  3. A volunteer conducts a phone screening session once the application is approved.
  4. Rescue volunteers make a follow-up home visit after the dog is adopted.

Prospective owners must also meet these conditions to adopt a GSD from the Rescue:

  • Be from the state of Arizona.
  • Pay an adoption fee of $350 for adult GSDs and $500 for puppies.
  • Adopt a “foster-to-adopt agreement” if the dog is not neutered or spayed. Legal ownership is transferred only after spaying or neutering.

If you want to know more about Saving Paws Rescue Arizona, you can mail queries to 87148, Phoenix, AZ 85080 or contact the Rescue through their website:

Black German Shepherd Dog

2. Southwest German Shepherd Rescue

Southwest German Shepherd Rescue is another 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in Phoenix. The Rescue works with volunteers to rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome German Shepherd dogs in Arizona.

How the Rescue Works

Southwest German Shepherd Rescue prefers to give details about the organization directly to interested adopters. You can call their staff at 602-866-2880 from Monday to Saturday between 10.30 am and 8.00 pm if you want to adopt. 

If, instead, you are looking for answers to general questions, you should send an email to [email protected]. The Rescue is quite strict on these contact directives.

You can also follow German Shepherd adoption activities on the Rescue’s Facebook page (

Adopting a German Shepherd

On the Rescue’s website (, you’ll find details about the adopter requirements. I picked the most important ones for you:

  • You must be above 25 years.
  • Your home should be safe and securely fenced.
  • You should have prior experience with a purebred German Shepherd.
  • You intend to adopt the GSD as an indoor member of the family.
  • Your home does not have more than two dogs (including the prospective GSD), toy breeds, chickens, ferrets, or livestock.

Southwest German Shepherd Rescue works in partnership with the White German Shepherd Rescue.

3. White German Shepherd Rescue 

If you want to adopt a unique white German Shepherd, the White German Shepherd Rescue in Phoenix is the place to go. 

History and Unique Features

The White German Shepherd Rescue has partnered with Southwest Germans Shepherd Rescue since 2003. The Rescue consists of a limited group of volunteers that target white German Shepherds at risk. The dogs are rescued, rehabilitated, and rehomed into their new forever loving homes.

White German Shepherd Rescue volunteers work with the dog’s interest at heart. Rather than send a dog to just any home to free up space in the rescue, their primary role is to find the best home for each dog.

Adopting a White German Shepherd

If you intend to adopt a dog from the White German Shepherd Rescue, the first step is to visit the Available Dogs page on the partner website and spot your preferred white German Shepherd. 

You then proceed to fill and submit the Prospective Adopter’s Questionnaire included in each white GSD’s bio page. The Rescue personnel will get back to you in 24 hours to initiate the adoption process. That translates to introducing you to the dog and finding out if you are a good match.

The fee for adopting a white German Shepherd ranges from $150 to $450. This amount caters to nutrition, vet care, microchipping, and transport, among other expenses. The fee varies depending on the dog’s age, health status, training level, and similar factors.

To learn more about the White German Shepherd Rescue, you can:

White German Shepherd Dog

4. Valley of the Sun Dog Rescue 

Valley of the Sun Dog Rescue is an all-breed rescue registered as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. It started in 2000 as a family-run dog rescue organization.

Unique Features

The Rescue is guided by the “No Kill” policy. Adoptable dogs at the Rescue are either surrendered by their owners or picked from other local animal shelters.

Although the Rescue specializes in American Staffordshire Terriers and American Pitbulls, other dog breeds, like German Shepherds, are also accepted. In fact, I was pleased to spot a German Shepherd named Mavis among the dogs listed for adoption at the time of writing this post.

The founding family runs the Rescue with the help of volunteers and foster care providers. Valley of the sun gives special attention is given to sick, maimed, injured, abused, and unwanted dogs with the intention to rehabilitate, vaccinate, neuter/spay, and eventually find them their new loving home. 

The Rescue also works with the community to create public awareness about humane ways to treat those dogs considered ‘bully’ breeds.

Adopting/helping a German Shepherd

To get info about rescued German Shepherds at Valley of the Sun, you can attend their adoption clinics on Saturdays from 10.30 am – 2.00 pm at the PetSmart Pet Center, Mesa. 

Alternatively, you can surf details on the Rescue from their web page:

If you decide to adopt, you’ll be required to complete an Application and commit to an Adoption Contract. The Rescue personnel will then make a series of home checks for a year. You’ll also pay an adoption fee. 

To demonstrate their continued care for adopted dogs, Valley of the Sun Dog Rescue reserves the right to take back any maltreated dog or one that lives in unfavorable conditions.

General inquiries and expressions of interest to adopt a dog can be directed to the Rescue using their email address: [email protected]. You can also send an email to request the adoption form.

Other ways of helping a German Shepherd at Valley of the Sun is by joining their Amazon wish list or becoming a foster.

5. Halo Animal Rescue

Halo Animal Rescue is in Maricopa County, 3227 E. Bell Rd. D151, Phoenix, AZ 85032. The non-profit organization saves German Shepherds and dogs of other breeds from euthanasia by rescuing them and finding them a new loving home.

Mission and Unique Features

Volunteers and employees at Halo Animal Rescue dedicate their lives to ‘Helping Animals Live On’. The acronym HALO describes this mission.

Halo Animal Rescue does not only provide care for animals awaiting adoption, but they also work with the community to promote a solid animal welfare system. This initiative has the ultimate goal of ending animal euthanasia

Adopting/helping a German Shepherd

If you want to adopt a German Shepherd from Halo Animal Rescue, you’ll be required to download and complete an adoption questionnaire and mail it to [email protected].

After that, an adoption counselor conducts a phone interview that leads to one of these options:

  • Adopting a dog blindly without meeting the pet first.
  • Meet your prospective furry friend before committing to the adoption.

If your interest is to help GSDs in the Rescue, you can do so by volunteering, making a donation, or providing a foster home. 

More details about HALO’s mission and dog care can be found on their website: You may also call them at 602-971-9222.

Four German Shepherd Pups.

6. Stealing Hearts Rescue

Stealing Hearts is a non-profit dog Rescue located at 4008 W Camino Del Rio Dr., Glendale, Arizona, 85310. It was founded in 2015 to save large breed dogs, often treated with prejudice.

Mission and Unique Features

Stealing Hearts’ mission is summarized as “saving one dog is saving many.” The volunteers are convinced that rescuing large-breed dogs and giving them a chance to be in a loving home keeps them from a death sentence through euthanasia.

The Rescue’s statistics confirm the hope restored to many dogs. In 2022, for example, Stealing Hearts saved 139 dogs from euthanasia and successfully placed 170 in loving adoptive homes.

Volunteers at Stealing Hearts give particular attention to those dogs that other rescues and shelters overlook, including the sick and nursing or pregnant dogs.

The Rescue also focuses on community education. The goal is to make more and more people adopt a needy dog and believe that saving a single dog impacts many other dogs positively.

Adopting/helping a German Shepherd

If you intend to adopt a GSD from Stealing Hearts, you’ll begin by completing an adoption form on their website ( Your application will then be reviewed, and a scheduled interview conducted. These steps mark the beginning of the adoption process. 

Other ways to help a GSD at Stealing Hearts include volunteering, becoming a foster, or making a monetary donation.

You can make additional inquiries by calling the Rescue at 602-686-4158 or emailing them at [email protected]

7. Arizona Humane Society

The Arizona Humane Society is not an exclusive German Shepherd rescue but a shelter for all pets, including dogs. Its headquarters is at 1521 W Dobbins Rd, Phoenix, Arizona.

History and Unique Features

The Society began taking in pets in 2013 to save them from the deplorable conditions they were living in. The Human Society volunteers took in thousands of homeless pets and saved them from euthanasia.

Arizona Human Society acts by its “ethical no-kill philosophy” which states that no pet should be killed for lack of space or for being in a shelter for too long

The Society gives particular attention to the abused, sick, and injured pets that other rescues would turn away. 

As part of its mission, the Society has also started several donor-funded animal lifesaving programs. As a result of these programs, pet euthanasia has been reduced by more than 80%

Adopting/helping a German Shepherd

You can collaborate with the Arizona Human society by providing a foster home for pets, making a monetary donation, or working as a volunteer or a ‘no kill’ advocate.

If you wish to adopt a German Shepherd from the Arizona Humane Society, visit their Adopt a Pet page and search for a GSD available for adoption. You can filter the search by

  • Breed
  • Size
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Length of time the dog has been in the shelter
  • Location (Whether the dog is at Nina Mason Pulliam, South Mountain Campus, or PetSmart, Old Town Scottsdale) 

You then schedule an appointment to get details on the adoption process. 

Alternatively, you can set a wish list alert to be notified when a German Shepherd dog of your choice is available for adoption.

You can contact the Arizona Humane Society directly by calling them at 602-997-7585. Following them on their Facebook page ( is another option.

Sable German Shepherd

German Shepherd Clubs in Arizona

If you want a more consistent connection with German Shepherd rescues and other lovers of the breed in Arizona, joining a GSD club is a superb way.  

By becoming a club member, you can get reliable breeder referrals, interact with other supporters of the breed, and hear about other people’s experiences with German Shepherd rescues, among other information.

Here are two German Shepherd clubs you can join in Arizona:

Club NameWebsite
German Shepherd Dog Club of Southern Arizona 
Grand Canyon German Shepherd Dog Club 
GSD clubs in Arizona

Helpful German Shepherd Articles

Are you considering rescuing a German Shepherd but still unsure if it’s the right decision for you? These articles offer valuable information and insights into the breed, helping you make an informed choice and potentially change a dog’s life for the better.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking to foster, adopt or help a dog at a German Shepherd Rescue Arizona, the above 7 rescues are an excellent place to start. 

These rescues provide a safe and loving environment for German Shepherds, other dogs and animals, often saving them from euthanasia. 

By collaborating with these rescues, you can make a difference in the life of the smart, loyal, and loving German Shepherd.

Hey! Are you looking for a German Shepherd rescue countrywide? Check out this article, 45 Best German Shepherd Rescues In The US.

Joice Njeru
Joice Njeru is an avid pet lover, professional author, and skilled researcher with a heart for pets. A former university lecturer of 14 years but now turned freelance writer, Joice has created hundreds of articles on dog behavior, training, care, and pet health. She is an expert in everything pets and hopes to educate and inspire other pet lovers through her writing.

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