Reviewed by the Sacramento Region Community Foundation

$8,311 raised by 69 donors

69% complete

$12,000 Goal

Powered by volunteers and funded by donors, we rely on many heroes to help deserving abandoned German Shepherd Dogs; in return, these shepherds provide unconditional love to the families adopting them. The goal of ShepHeroes is lifelong placement; we take pride in finding the ideal lifelong match possible for dogs and humans alike by placing all of our dogs in foster homes to allow them to decompress and for us to learn their personalities, temperament, and needs. 

When committed foster homes are available for long-term care of medical dogs, we prioritize assisting those shepherds as they are the most at risk in shelters. Bean, Hayzel, Shania, Tori, and Stewie joined us in the past year for extensive surgeries and lengthy recoveries. 

Bean arrived with a chunk of her lip missing and will have surgery to repair her maxillofacial trauma when her muzzle reaches the adult stage at seven to eight months of age for $2600 to $3200 in late Summer 2024.

Lilo, our 12-month-old adolescent shepherd, came to us undersocialized and fearful this spring. To provide the best future for her, Lilo is with Wholistic Canine, aka Paws n Play Community Center, in a five-week board and train program to carefully introduce her to all the good things in life. 

An unexpected expense of $4,000 for Lilo, along with Bean's surgical cost of up to $3,200 in addition to our regular expenses, has us concerned to specifically highlight our needs for both Bean and Lilo.

Hayzel joined us in October 2023 with a severely fractured leg which required a CT Scan and 3D modeling of her leg prior to surgery, her leg was ultimately repaired in March 2024, she will have her follow up x-rays in mid-May 2024 to confirm return to normal dog life finally released from months of crate confinement.

 In Shania's case, her fracture exam revealed a severe heart defect that, untreated, would have caused heart failure, which was repaired with heart surgery to give her a whole, healthy life. Shania was with us for seven months through three surgeries for her fracture, heart and spay. 

Tori, in addition to her fracture repair, had an eye enucleation and given the location of her fracture and concerns over healing correctly also spent months in crate confinement. Tori has an excellent update enjoying life here. Stewie also arrived with a severely fractured leg following a car collision, he experienced surgery to repair his leg with months of follow up confinement and physical therapy to learn to rely on his leg. We also sent Stewie to board n train after healing as he missed critical socialization during his months long healing. Abbott and Costello, two four month old littermates were also treated this past year for parvo immediately after arriving from the shelter and survived thanks to prompt medical care in the isolation ward of the local ER.

Multiple dogs have recovered in our care from surgeries for ingesting foreign objects like socks and balls before coming to our rescue. We have treated ear and severe skin infections, mange, influenza and kennel cough, reduced many hernias, altered cryptoid male dogs,  heartworm positive shepherds, and ensured emaciated ones received care to reach optimum weight for their age. And have provided routine ongoing veterinary care of vaccinations, heartworm, flea/tick preventatives, spay and neuters, and deworming for over 340 shepherds since 2018. One of our special pups, Kenzo, came to us at the behest of his ER vet. Found on the street hit by a car, Kenzo was rushed by a good Samaritan to the local ER. He suffered from a brain injury, fractured leg, and bodily trauma, initially unable to walk, hold his head up, and possibly blind. With the guidance of his neurology vet, we gave him supportive care, trusting that puppy brains can heal. His brain healed with a residual head tilt, giving us a sweet, loving, active pup thriving in his adoptive home. We also assisted many shy and frightened shepherds who needed to learn to trust people, become at ease in new environments, and learn good pack manners thanks to resident dogs of our foster homes. 

Two of our dogs have become working dogs, completing service dog training and supporting their owners as hearing and seizure-alert dogs. A few of our dogs have completed therapy dog training and provide comfort through various venues.

Since inception, we have assisted 24 municipal animal control shelters and partnered with seven rescues to bring shepherds to safety from the Sacramento Region south to Monterey County and north to Butte County. Our most significant concentration of work supports the Sacramento Region; 30% of our dogs arrived from the region's shelters. Last year alone, 40% of our dogs were adopted within the Sacramento Region.

ShepHeroes was established in Sacramento in May 2018; our volunteer board and management team's experience saving shepherds encompasses over a decade of dedication to the breed.

Giving Activity


ShepHeroes is a non-profit rescue organization with an experienced team of volunteers focused on carefully placing German Shepherd Dogs into loving homes matching their temperament, activity level, and needs. We focus on GSDs at risk due to abandonment, neglect, abuse, or significant change in circumstances. Our dogs receive veterinary care and reside in loving foster homes while waiting for forever families; they are altered, heart worm tested if older than six months, vaccinated, microchipped, given preventatives, treated for various medical needs, and receive an ID tag unique to them before adoption.


Our essential veterinary expenses include deworming, vaccinations, heartworm/flea/tick preventatives, spay/neuter surgery, and microchipping. Medications can be short-term or long-term depending on the severity of ailments, but we regularly see the need for antibiotics and medicated baths (among other things). More often than not, we care for dogs needing extreme medical care such as orthopedic surgeries, life-saving parvo hospitalization, hernia reductions, dermatology visits, and eye surgeries. Additionally, some of our dogs benefit from the expertise of professional trainers to remedy behavioral issues. We do whatever it takes to take care of them.

So many supplies are crucial to the success of our foster program. Donations consisting of food, poop bags, preventatives, collars, leashes, toys, crates, and bedding ensure foster homes are prepared to help our dogs transition smoothly from the shelters and/or streets. Discounted veterinary services and wholesale food purchases enable us to stretch our dollars further. We maintain active wish lists on Amazon and Chewy in hopes that our supporters will add something to their cart when shopping for their furry family members. We accept pre-owned collars, leashes, harnesses, beds, crates, and toys in good condition when outgrown or no longer needed. Lastly, the time our volunteers give us is immeasurable - we can never have enough help with our mission.

We are always looking to expand our ShepHeroes family!

Our needs range from virtual to hands-on tasks to support the care of shepherds while they are with us. Foster homes, transportation to/from shelters/veterinary appointments, dog walkers to assist foster families, puppy socialization with kids, adoption counselors, helping hands at adoption events, photographers, those that are tech-savvy...all of these avenues are open for new volunteers. Please join us with your time, talents, and love to lend a hand to help our furry friends.

Equity Statement

Get Involved

View our current participation opportunities.

In-Person Volunteering

Fostering German Shepherd Dogs

Northern California

Ongoing opportunity

In-Person Volunteering

Transporting Shepherds

Northern California

Ongoing opportunity

In-Person Volunteering

Adoption Event Volunteers

Paws N Play Community Center in River Park

May 25, 2024

In-Person Volunteering

Bark in the Park San Jose

William Street Park in Downtown San Jose

September 21, 2024 - September 22, 2024

Organization Data


Organization name


other names

Norcal German Shepherd Rescue

Year Established


Tax id (EIN)


Mission Category

Animal Related

Operating Budget

$50,001 - $100,000

Organization Need

Funding: Program, In-Kind Donations, Volunteers

Demographics Served


Local Counties Served

El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, Yolo


PO Box 981332
West Sacramento, CA 95798

Service areas

Sacramento, CA, US

Yolo, CA, US

Placer, CA, US

El Dorado, CA, US

Solano, CA, US





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