Are you considering getting a dog, but don’t know where to start? With so many options out there, it’s hard to figure out if you should go to a breeder, the pound, or a rescue. According to the ASPCA website, over 6.5 million companion animals go into shelters annually, and over 1.5 million are euthanized each year. In L.A., there are many wonderful dog rescue organizations, but Westside German Shepherd Rescue takes the cake!
The rescue dedicates itself to rescuing German Shepherd from high kill shelters in California. In their 15 years of operation, they have saved over 12,000 German Shepherds and found them forever homes. When my husband and I purchased our first home, we were eager to rescue our first dog. Westside had an incredibly up to date Facebook page, and in the months leading up to our move in, I followed their postings religiously. Westside is dedicated to matching the right dog with the perfect home, and each posting gave a thorough description of each dog. Even if you aren’t considering rescuing a dog, the postings are so much fun to read! Not only are they descriptive, but they bring each dog to life through pictures and descriptions.
After moving into our house on a Tuesday, we drove straight to Westside on Saturday morning. We wanted to be the first ones in the door, so we could have first pick! After filling out some paperwork, we met with a counselor whose main job was to pair dogs with families. This was like having a personal shopper for a dog! She asked us about our lifestyle, what we wanted from our pet, and why we were interested in getting a German Shepherd. Her questions included if we preferred a male or female, and if we wanted an active dog. She took our lifestyle and first-time pet ownership into serious consideration, and then asked us to browse through their complete listing of dogs. She really wanted to get to know us, so that she could pair us with the perfect dog. With over 100 dogs in their kennel, this took some time and consideration, but she was with us throughout the entire process, detailing the strengths and weaknesses of each dog, and what we could expect. We discussed a handful of dogs, and landed on a dog named, “Nana Von Nebel.” She immediately said that Nana was the perfect dog for first time owners, as she was sweet, timid, and loved to nap (not to mention, a staff favorite!). She asked us if we’d like to meet her, and we said yes!
Nana was brought out from her kennel, and we immediately fell in love. Considering she is a German dog, we wanted to give her a German name. After we signed the paperwork, and paid the $350 adoption fee, we named her Brezel and took her to our home.
Rescuing a dog from Westside was such an incredible experience. The staff and volunteers care so much about each animal, and truly get to know them so that they can find them the right home. Their care and consideration for animals is apparent from your very first interactions. By rescuing from Westside, you know that your adoption fee is not only helping run the organization, but also saving more lives. Westside is known for taking in sick and hurt animals that have no chance when left in animal shelters, even when funding is limited.
After adopting, you have the opportunity to join the Westside Alumni Network Group on Facebook. Not only is this a perfect opportunity to connect with other German Shepherd Lovers- it also provides a strong support network for new dog parents. I have used this network to ask questions about concerns that have come up such as dental cleanings, recommendations, and training tips. Westside also provides group training class (your first one is free) on Saturday mornings. This organization is truly dedicated to finding perfect homes for the dogs they rescue.
If you’re thinking about rescuing a dog, visit Westside German Shepherd Rescue at 3016 S. Hill Street Los Angeles, Ca 90007. They are open during adoption hours only, which are Wednesdays from 11AM-3PM, Saturdays 11AM- 4PM and Sundays 1PM-3PM, or by appointment.
If you’re unable to adopt, try volunteering for Westside! They are always looking for more dog walkers to spend time walking and getting to know the animals.
Do you know of any other great rescue organizations in Los Angeles? Post in the comments below!