German Shepherd Rescue of New England, Inc. (GSRNE) is looking for new foster homes.  The number of dogs that we can save depends on the number of foster homes we have.

Becoming a foster home for a rescue German Shepherd dog can be one of the most rewarding activities you will ever engage in.  Helping out a dog in its hour of greatest need is also a caring, wonderful way to contribute something meaningful to the German Shepherd breed.  If you enjoy working and living with German Shepherds, and  love to love them, fostering a rescue dog for GSRNE may be for you!

GSRNE representatives evaluate dogs before they are accepted into our program, and we exclude dogs that have been known to show aggression to humans or that show aggression toward the evaluators. Since this is a snap shot of what we can see about the dog and that the dogs are very stressed out, we do not always get an accurate assessment of the dog.  This is why we need foster homes to get a better idea, in a home environment, of what the dog’s personality is like.

Many dogs needing rescue need a better situation or an emergency home right away before euthanasia becomes a reality.  Once a rescue dog is evaluated and approved by GSRNE to come into our foster program, the dog goes on a waiting list for the next appropriate foster home that opens up.  For shelter dogs especially, this can be a dangerous time.  We cannot stress how important foster homes are for these dogs!

Rescue dogs generally range in age from six months to ten years, in colors from black and tan, sable, bi-color, pure black or white.  The dogs are usually neutered or spayed before they go to a foster home; if not before, it happens soon after placement in a foster home.

Rescue dogs come from all walks of life! Most come from shelters and pounds, as owner turn ins or strays.  Shelter dogs are usually living on borrowed time, and we often need to place them in foster care quickly to help them in time before they are put down.

We work with you to determine what general type of dog will adapt to your household for a successful fostering experience for you and the rescue dog.  We provide strong support for you after you take in a dog to foster.  In some cases, you may need to work with us often, and in other cases, things may be easier.  This all depends on the dog and its needs.

We usually try to give new dogs a bath before they come to you.  Sometimes this isn’t possible, but we try to schedule that in for you, especially for dogs that have been kenneled at shelters.  We always inspect the dogs for ticks/fleas in their vet exams, and treat for that if it’s an issue, as well.

If you would like to apply to foster a Rescue German Shepherd Dog for GSRNE, please review our Foster Home Requirements.  If you meet our requirements, please fill out and submit the Foster Home Application.  Once we receive your submitted application, we will review it and contact you with any questions.  If all looks good on your application, and your references are checked, we will then schedule a home visit with you and your family members.


Foster Home Requirements

  • GSRNE foster homes must be located in one of the six New England states (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont).  Our foster homes must also be located where GSRNE volunteers can support them.  As we add new volunteers our areas of support are growing, however there may still be some locations with too much distance to travel.  Please inquire if you have questions about your location.

  • Any children living in your home must be ten years or older.  This is a safety consideration for all.

  • If you do not own your home, you need your landlord’s written permission to have a GSRNE foster dog in your home.

  • If you live/own a town house or condominium, you will need the association’s written permission to have a GSRNE foster dog in your home.

  • If you have roommates in your home, you will need their written permission to foster.  In addition, if you are approved as a foster home, your roommate(s) will be required to sign a liability waiver.

  • All foster home applicants must have a fenced area attached to their home’s back or side door.  The fenced area is for the dog’s safety and your convenience. The fence needs to be a minimum of 4′ high and 5′ high is preferred for most dogs.  The fence doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive, nor does it have to encompass your entire yard.  The Invisible Fence alone cannot be used for foster dogs as most German Shepherd dogs will run through the boundary.

  • For senior and some special needs dogs, the fencing requirement may be waived as exercise requirements for some of these wonderful dogs can often be fulfilled with leash walks and in-house play.

  • If you own a dog, it needs to be at least tolerant of other dogs and you must have the ability to separate the dogs from interacting at times.  We want to minimize the risk of fights.  If you have more than one dog in your home, you may not be approved to foster as it increases the risk of fights in the home with multiple dogs.  It also changes the dynamics of the other dogs in the home.

  • If you own a cat(s),  small dog, or other small animal (e.g., ferret rabbit, etc.), we may put you on a waiting list to complete the fostering process until we have a dog that is used to living with small animals or does not have a prey drive (chase behavior) to go after the small animal.  It is hard to keep the smaller animals from the foster dog.

  • If you are currently fostering for another rescue, and you are approved to foster for us, we will wait until your current foster period is over to place a GSRNE foster dog in your home.

  • You must agree to follow GSRNE policies and guidelines regarding treatment of and training for the dog.

  • Foster dogs legally belong to GSRNE – you cannot show the dog to non-GSRNE adopters or place the dog on your own.  If someone is interested in adopting, please ask them to call us at the hotline to apply to adopt. The foster dog may already be matched with an approved adopter.

  • We need understanding and patient foster homes to commit to fostering a dog until he/she is placed in a permanent adoptive home.  The average placement time for a GSRNE dog is three months, but could be longer depending on many things, like medical care, extra training, and/or finding the right match of an approved adopter for the dog.

What GSRNE Provides to our Foster Homes

  • All food for the foster dog. We ask that you purchase the food as we are unable to store it and we reimburse you monthly for the expense.
  • All “authorized” veterinary care for the foster dog.
  • Exact instructions to follow.
  • Support and aid for you with any questions you have along the way on your foster dog.
  • Loan of crates, feeding and watering dishes, bedding, brushes, toys, leash and collar for the foster dog.
  • The knowledge that you are giving a German Shepherd dog extra time to live and another chance to find a loving and safe home!

Most of the items provided to our Foster Homes are generous donations from people like you! If you’d like to help, please visit our Donate page and/or visit our Wish List of items.



Foster Home Process


Step 1: REVIEW OUR REQUIREMENTS – Review our Foster Home Requirements, listed above, to ensure your lifestyle and place of residence meets our guidelines. You must meet these requirements to proceed with the Foster Home Application. Unfortunately, some good homes may be passed up because of these requirements, because GSRNE feels like these requirements are what’s best for everybody involved . 

Step 2: FILL OUT OUR FOSTER HOME APPLICATION – Once you’ve reviewed our Foster Home Requirements, fill out our Foster Home Application below! GSRNE will review it and follow up with you, if we have any questions. If we don’t have any questions and we feel like you’d be a good fit to foster one of our rescue dogs, we will send you our Orientation Packet for you to review.

Step 3: REVIEW OUR ORIENTATION PACKET – Once you receive our Orientation Packet, read it thoroughly. It will outline what GSRNE’s guidelines are and provide helpful hints when fostering one of our rescue dogs. This packet will help prepare you for what we need from our foster homes, and to make sure that you understand and agree with our guidelines and policies.

Step 4: REFERENCES – We will contact the references that you provided on your Foster Home Application. If we have any follow up questions, we will contact you.

Step 5: SCHEDULE A HOME VISIT – If there are no follow up questions and all the references are checked, we will contact you to set up a Foster Home Visit.  For the home visit, we will view the yard, visit the home, and meet your pets. We will also sit down with everyone living in the home to ask some questions, and go over our Fostering Program. Once the process is complete our foster home coordinator will contact you.


We realize fostering is not for everyone, but there are other ways you can help one of GSRNE’s rescue dogs – you can Donate, become a Member or Volunteer, and/or join our Buddy Program.

Please remember, we are all volunteers, most of whom work full-time day jobs, have our own dogs and families, and are volunteering out of a desire to make a difference in the lives of needy German Shepherds. We appreciate your patience while we work through the Foster Process.

Foster Home Application

Applicant Information

Note: Some homeowner’s insurance companies will not insure or will cancel a policy if you have a German Shepherd in your residence. If you rent, live in a townhouse, condominium, or other home association, GSRNE will contact and require a written approval letter from your landlord and/or home association.
Note: With a few exceptions, GSRNE requires that Foster Homes have a fenced area attached to the house for safety reasons. Currently, we are in need of homes with fences. We have many applicants on hold to finish the Foster Home process that do not have a fence.
Wood stockade, vinyl, chain link, etc. The fence needs to be a minimum of 4' high, but doesn't have to be elaborate or expensive, nor does it have to encompass your entire yard. The fence must be sturdy and in good condition, so that a dog cannot find a way to escape. The Invisible Fence alone cannot be used for foster dogs as most German Shepherd dogs will run through the boundary.
If you do not know the exact height, please enter an estimate and note that it is an estimate.
If you do not know the exact length, please enter an estimate and note that it is an estimate.
If you do not know the exact width, please enter an estimate and note that it is an estimate.
Note: GSRNE requires that your tenant(s) and/or roommate(s) sign a liability waiver.
Note: Any children in the home or visiting regularly must be at least ten years old.
Note: GSRNE requires that your present dog (s) have been in your household for at least six months, and that no additional pets are brought into the home during the foster period. This is to ensure the GSRNE foster dog will receive your full attention in the training and stable environment required to prepare the dog for an adoptable home.
Note: Currently, we are in need of homes without cats and small dogs. Your Foster Home Application may be put on hold until there is a dog that we know we can put into a home with cats and/or small dogs. Most of the dogs we take in have a high prey drive and will chase after your small pet.
Note: If you are fostering for another rescue or shelter, and are approved after our Foster Home application process, GSRNE will wait until the foster period from the other rescue or shelter is over to place a GSRNE foster dog in your home. This is to ensure the GSRNE foster dog will receive your full attention in the training and stable environment required to prepare the dog for an adoptable home.
If this is not applicable to you, please enter "N/A" or "None" in the response.

Foster Dog

Note: Some foster dogs are in and out of rescue after 8 weeks, others typically stay 12 to 16 weeks, and others can take a while before the right home is found. We ask Foster Homes to foster a dog until the dog is placed. We need the homes to realize that the dog may be a resident for some time as we look for an appropriate home.
Note: Our policies and guidelines are in place for the benefit of the dog and the foster home. You may question some, but they must be followed.
Note: All our foster dogs are evaluated before they are approved to come into our fostering program. The evaluation is a snap shot of what the dog is about, but most of the dogs are very stressed out when being evaluated and do not give an accurate reading, so putting the dog into a foster home helps us get a better picture of the dog's personality.
Note: GSRNE will setup up an account at your vet's office if the foster dog has any medical needs. All vet services and products must be authorized by GSRNE.
Note: GSRNE will give you a list of dog food options you can choose from to be purchased for the foster dog.
If you have no preference, please enter "No preference".
As you answer this, please think about your lifestyle - are you active, in and out a lot, are there lots of people/children around, etc., or are you more sedentary, quiet, with few visitors? Is a puppy, younger dog or a senior dog best for your situation? Do you have other pets that need consideration?


Please provide three personal references (name, telephone number, relationship, and how long you have known the reference) as well as your veterinarian contact information).
By typing my name in the signature box above, I certify that this is a valid and legal substitution for my written signature on this legal document titled Foster Home Application