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3 Top German Shepherd Rescues in Iowa (2024 Update)

Last Updated: January 1, 2024

Are you considering fostering or adopting from a German Shepherd rescue in Iowa? 

That would list you among many GSD lovers doing something to make a difference for homeless dogs in the state. We found you the best German Shepherd rescues in Iowa where you can start this noble cause.

Here are the top 3 German Shepherd rescues in Iowa:

  • German Shepherd Dog Rescue of Iowa
  • Animal Rescue League of Iowa
  • Second Chance Dog Rescue 

Whether you decide to adopt or help a German Shepherd rescue in Iowa through donations, volunteering, or fostering, the details in this article will help you choose the best place to start from. Read on to make your informed choice!

German Shepherd Rescue Iowa

German Shepherd Rescues in Iowa

Like other US states, Iowa has a rescue dedicated only to German Shepherd dogs and several others that target all dog breeds. We described the best dog rescues where you have a high chance of finding and adopting a German Shepherd.

1. German Shepherd Dog Rescue of Iowa

The German Shepherd Dog Rescue of Iowa is a charitable, no-kill dog haven started in 2005 by a group of volunteers. The Rescue invests time and resources into giving a second chance at life to neglected and abandoned GSDs. 

Changing a German Shepherd’s World

The saying of a renowned author and canine psychologist, Karen Davidson guides the work of personnel at the German Shepherd Dog Rescue of Iowa: Saving one dog may not change the world, but it permanently changes the dog’s world forever.

German Shepherd saving mission at the Rescue is realized through training, education, and fundraising activities. Through these activities, hundreds of dogs are able to find new forever homes where they can live happily, surrounded by care and the warmth of a loving family. 

Since the Rescue doesn’t have a physical shelter, the volunteer-run organization works with fosters to provide the same care a dog would get in a loving adoptive home.  

During their stay in foster care, the GSDs receive nutritional and medical care, as well as training and socialization classes courtesy of the Rescue. The dogs are neutered/spayed, microchipped, and vaccinated before adopters can bring home their new pets.

You Can Help!

The German Shepherd Dog Rescue of Iowa appreciates assistance in donations as well as volunteer and foster services for the good of rescued dogs.

Adopting a GSD also goes a long way to realizing their guiding slogan; change a dog’s world for the better permanently.

The Rescue has a precise GSD adoption process, completed in these 5 steps:

  1. Apply for adoption by completing an application form.
  2. Await contact from a representative of the Rescue.
  3. Conduct a reference check to confirm that you work with a veterinarian, have reliable personal references, and have your landlord’s consent to keep a dog.
  4. Allow a home visit to determine if it is fit to welcome the GSD.
  5. Attend a meet-and-greet with all family members, including current pets.

You can bring home your new GSD at the end of this process if the Rescue confirms your application. The adoption fee ranges between $300 and $375, depending on a dog’s age.

More information about the Rescue can be found on the website You could also email inquiries to [email protected] or follow the Rescue’s activities on Facebook.

Rescue GSD Lying In Cage looking sad

2. Animal Rescue League of Iowa

The Animal Rescue League of Iowa is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with almost 100 years of rich history. The organization has saved more than a million pets since its institution.

In 2021, Animal Rescue League (ARL) made news by rescuing more than 500 dogs from puppy mills. 

How ARL Works

Animal Rescue League of Iowa believes in helping both pets and their owners build a more lasting connection

For that reason, the Rescue runs several programs, including: 

  • Pet adoption.
  • Education on humane pet ownership.
  • Spay and neuter services.
  • Pet behavior training.
  • Campaigns against animal cruelty.

Becoming Part of the League

You can be part of the mission at ARL by giving a helping hand in various ways, such as:

  • Making donations (the Rescue accounts for all donations through an independent annual audit).
  • Becoming a volunteer or foster.
  • Taking part in fun and educational activities (for both kids and adults).
  • Hiring ARL’s facilities for your business events or kids’ birthdays.
  • Buying pet supplies at the ARL shop.
  • Adopting a dog.

Adopting a German Shepherd from the Animal Rescue League of Iowa follows the general steps for any dog adoption: 

  1. Look through the list of adoptable dogs. The list is updated daily.
  2. Once you have identified a probable adoptee, use the contact info in the dog’s bio to schedule a visit. You will be required to bring a picture ID or a valid Driver’s License as proof of address, a leash and collar, and other members and pets in the family.
  3. Bring home your GSD if you and the dog are considered a good match. It takes only a couple of hours to complete the adoption process. 

The adoption fee ranges from $60 to $450, depending on the dog’s age and weight.

More information about the ARL of Iowa can be found on the website,

You can also make inquiries on dog adoption by:

  • Sending a snail mail to PO Box 5452 NE 22nd St., Des Moines, IA 50313.
  • Calling (515) 262-9503.
  • Sending an email to [email protected]
GSD Wants Adopting

3. Second Chance Dog Rescue 

Many dog lovers agree that “every dog deserves a second chance.” But for the Second Chance Dog Rescue in Prole, Iowa, this certainty is translated into a commitment to rescuing and rehoming dogs.

The Rescue focuses on unfortunate furry friends called by alternative names such as ‘breeder trash’ and ‘puppy mill dogs.’ Dogs from surrendering owners are also accepted.

An Inspiring History

In 2009, the founders of Second Chance Dog Rescue started the organization following the loss of their son to spinal stenosis. Saving dogs without a home was the couple’s way of coping with the grief of loss and commemorating their late son.

As a guiding rule, volunteers at the Rescue give priority to the dogs’ care and well-being before adopter interests. They stand out in their resolve to honesty and transparency, asking only for what they need for the dogs.

How You Can Help

You can be part of the mission to give a second chance to a German Shepherd by opening your home to foster a dog, becoming a volunteer, or making a donation.

Adopting a German Shepherd or any other dog is even better. It will give a forever family to a homeless dog. 

The process of adopting a German Shepherd from Second Chance Dog Rescue commences when you fill out and submit an application form. 

Personnel at the Rescue will contact your vet to confirm you are up-to-date with medical requirements for any current pets. They will also check that you have your landlord’s consent to keep a dog.

Once your application for a particular dog is accepted, the pet is removed from the list of adoptable dogs until the adoption personnel can determine if you can adopt it.

The adoption fee varies from dog to dog.

You can make additional inquiries about adopting a German Shepherd from Second Chance Dog Rescue by sending an email to [email protected].

You can also visit their website,, and explore different aspects of their dog-rescuing mission.

German Shepherd By The Beach

German Shepherd Dog Clubs in Iowa

To our best knowledge, there’s no German Shepherd dog club in Iowa with a website for reference.

Nonetheless, we figured you’d appreciate knowing about all-breed dog clubs in the state that can serve as a suitable place to initiate connections with GSD lovers. 

Here are the top two:

Canine Country Club 
Mason City Kennel Club 

Helpful German Shepherd Articles

If you are thinking about rescuing a German Shepherd but are unsure if it is the right breed for you, these articles provide valuable information and insights about the breed. They can help you make an informed decision and improve a dog’s life.

Concluding Thoughts

As one of the most popular dog breeds in the US, you would expect to find German Shepherds in every state in the country, including Iowa.

Unfortunately, some of these loving and loyal furry friends end up in shelters and are at risk until a dog rescue saves them from the lethal injection.

You can be part of this saving mission by working with one or more of the German Shepherd rescues in Iowa discussed in this post.

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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