German Shepherd dogs are a highly active, energetic, working breed. They require considerable exercise, socialization, training, leadership and mental stimuli in order to be well-adjusted, well-balanced, and well-mannered dogs. If you are new to German Shepherds, please research the breed to make sure this is the dog for you. We ask that you consider the time and financial commitment that your German Shepherd will require before applying for one.
Heartland German Shepherd Rescue (HUGS) dogs will receive necessary veterinary care and will be up-to-date on vaccinations, tested for Heartworm disease (started on Heartworm preventative, or treated if Heartworm positive), spayed or neutered, and microchipped.
Neptune is a handsome and spunky, approx 3 month-old puppy. Neptune's mom, Juno and her 7 pups, were found this summer on a SD reservation, hungry, thirsty, emaciated, and crusty with mange. Reservation dogs lead a very hard life with no shelter, little food, and no vet care. Many of them die young due to accidents, deprivation, and/or sickness among other causes. We are so glad that we were able to help Neptune and his family! They are now all fully recovered and looking for their forever homes!
Neptune is one of 7 puppies from the Juno (aka the Roman Gods) litter. When Neptune first came into rescue, he had opinions about everything that he wasn’t afraid to share. If he was hungry, wanted to be held (even though he would squirm the whole time), wanted water (and boy does he love water - must have to do with being named after the Roman god of the sea!), wanted to play, was tired – no matter what it was, if Neptune wanted something, Neptune announced it to the world. What a difference a few weeks of good nutrition, water, toys, and a clean place to play and sleep have made! Neptune is still vocal and still likes to bark when he plays and when he is excited, but he now loves be held and he will kiss you forever if you will just hold him and pet him. Neptune is full of courage, and loves learning new things and exploring this wonderful new world around him with his humans.
Like all German Shepherd and German Shepherd mix puppies, Neptune will need training, consistency, boundaries, and lots of activity and socialization, in order to become a well-balanced, well-behaved dog.
-Heartland German Shepherd Rescue (HUGS) dogs will receive necessary veterinary care and will be up-to-date on vaccinations, tested for Heartworm disease (started on Heartworm preventative, or treated if Heartworm positive), spayed or neutered, and microchipped.
-We do not guarantee hips or future health beyond what may be apparent to our veterinarian while the dog is in foster care.
-We require household pets to have a good routine and preventative vet history; that they be up-to-date on Rabies & Distemper vaccinations; Heartworm testing; flea/tick preventative and heartworm preventative at least during mosquito season; and be spayed/neutered.
-HUGS requires its applicants have prior dog-owning experience with verifiable routine and preventative care. German Shepherd dogs are a particularly rewarding breed, which brings with it particular challenges. Therefore, they are generally not appropriate for first-time dog-owners owners.
-The dogs we have in rescue are all working dog breeds. Working dog breeds need lots of direction, strict boundaries and limitations, and lots of exercise and dedication in order to become well-rounded adults. That is why we look for experienced dog-owners, with a proven history of great vet care and dedication to their dogs, regardless of medical or behavioral issues.
-Puppies up to 6 months $450, Puppies up to 1yr $400; Adult Dogs (1-6yr) $350; Senior Dogs (7yr+) $300; Senior Plus Dogs (10yr+) $250.
-There is a $25 non-refundable fee associated with the application for adoption that must be paid before your application can be processed. In the event that you are denied for any reason, or that you may decide not to adopt from HUGS at this time, for any reason, the $25 application fee is non-refundable and will be treated as a donation to the HUGS dogs.
-These are our regular adoption fees, but they may vary. From time to time, a high-profile pet may have a slightly higher adoption fee. All adoption fees go back to the dogs that we rescue.
-There is an added difficulty in arranging out-of-town home visits, coordinating adoption meet and greets, and conducting post-adoption follow-up with out-of-town adopters. Because of that, we prefer to adopt dogs locally. We may however consider other qualified Midwest applicants within an approximate 200 mile radius of the Omaha-Lincoln, NE area, on a case-by-case basis, for dogs who may not have sufficient local interest. We may consider larger distances for harder-to-place dogs (ex: dogs who need to be the only pet in the household, etc...).
-In all cases, we must be able to complete a home visit that meets our standards. Applicants must be willing to travel to the Omaha-Lincoln area for an adoption meet and greet with their prospective new HUGS dog. All household members, including current dogs, must attend the meet and greet.
-Dogs that are allowed to free-roam or be outside unsupervised are at a much higher risk of getting injured, lost, stolen, or otherwise get in trouble.
-We require a securely fenced area, at least 1,000 sq ft, attached to the house at the back or side door, with lockable gates. This will help ensure that your GSD has a comfortable, convenient area where he/she can safely get some exercise, potty breaks, and fresh air. Outdoor kennels or pens do not qualify as a fenced area.
-Even if you have a securely fenced area, we expect that it be used as a safe place for the dog to run, play and potty, not as a place where the dog will live or spend time alone. German Shepherds are very intelligent, social, people-oriented dogs that need to be with their people, in order to be happy, well-socialized, and well-adjusted.
-The use of an invisible fence is not approved for a HUGS dog. Invisible fencing doesn't keep out potential dangers to your dog: other dogs or rabid animals; strangers who may come onto your property with intent to harm or steal your dog; or kids who might come taunt your dog and who could get bit. Additionally, not all dogs can be trained to obey the system and can still escape, get lost, or get run over.
-Tie outs are not approved as they do not keep out potential dangers to your dog either. Additionally, they can be a tangle/choke hazard, and they are believed to increase frustration and aggression levels in dogs.
-Even if you have a safe, secure fenced yard, HUGS dogs should only be allowed to use the fenced area when supervised (ex: you are home watching them, or you are outside with the dog). German Shepherds are intelligent, very family-oriented dogs. If left outside alone for extended periods of time, they can become anxious and frustrated, and develop issues such as digging, barking, and running the fence/fence reactivity.
-Dog doors that allow unsupervised access to the outside when you are not home are not considered safe and are not approved (see paragraph above).
-The fenced area is meant to be a safe outdoor exercise area for the dog, NOT a place for the dog to live. German Shepherds crave bonding and being in close proximity to their humans. They are social dogs who love to be involved in all aspects of family life and who need to be with you to be happy
-All HUGS dogs MUST be INSIDE, family pets in their adoptive home. HUGS dogs may NOT be outdoor, free-roaming, backyard, porch, outdoor kennel, dog house or garage dogs. NO EXCEPTIONS, PLEASE.
-We regret that some great homes may be passed over because of these policies, but our first concern must be the safety of the rescue dogs entrusted into our care. Thank you for your understanding.
-Apartment living may be approved for some adult lower-energy dogs and seniors. This will be approved on a case-by-case basis.
-If your apartment allows German Shepherds but has other breed-restrictions, you will not be able to adopt one of our mixes. We are not able to determine their parentage and there's always the possibility that they could be mixed with the restricted breed.
Some Basic Information:
-As part of the application process, we ask that you provide references (to include a veterinarian), and a home visit is required.
-Applicants must be adults 19 years old or older.
-In an effort to comply with zoning regulations and local animal ordinances, which vary by location, as well as recognizing that German Shepherds and other working breeds require more time, energy, and financial support than many other dogs, HUGS has a three dog limit, meaning that dogs will not be adopted to homes that would have more than three dogs.
-Submission of an application for adoption is not a guarantee of approval. There is no guarantee that applicants will be approved to adopt a specific dog, or that a specific dog will still be available by the time that your application is approved. Applications are valid for 1 year from the time of submission. After 1 year, you will be asked to re-apply. Thank you for your understanding.
-Please note that submitting an application requires HUGS to go through a series of steps. Receiving a phone interview or Home Visit does not guarantee approval either. The adoptions team can approve or deny the application at any time during the process.
Meeting the Dogs:
-We do not have a shelter facility. German Shepherds do not do well in a shelter-like environment. All of our dogs are living in great foster homes until they are adopted.
-We have adoption events almost every weekend, that are open to the public. They are a great way to meet some of the adoptable dogs.
-We can also do a private meet and greet at the applicant's home, for approved applicants who are immediately ready to adopt a specific dog (who is deemed a good match), if the meet and greet goes well.
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NOTE: Some shelters have physical locations you can visit; some of these shelters may only have pets for a limited time, so please do not wait for a reply—just go visit the shelter! Other organizations are rescue groups run by busy volunteers who may take a while to reply. You can find information about the shelter or rescue group caring for this pet, and their adoption procedures, on the pet's details page on Adopt-a-Pet.com.