About Us

BrightStar is a 501(c)(3), a nonprofit organization based out of Rochester, NY dedicated to saving the lives of German Shepherd Dogs. We are a NY registered rescue, RR175. We were “officially” formed September 5th, 2002. Every year, BrightStar helps hundreds of homeless German Shepherd Dogs find new forever homes. BrightStar is a dedicated, geographically dispersed team of volunteers made up of experienced owners, handlers, trainers, and GSD lovers that have one common goal:


We receive our GSDs mostly from animal shelters, other rescue organizations, breeders, and individuals that for one reason or another cannot keep their dogs. According to the US Humane Society, every year between six and eight million dogs and cats enter U.S. shelters; three to four million of these animals are euthanized because there are not enough homes for them. Twenty-five percent of all the animals entering shelters are purebreds. That is approximately 450,000 purebred dogs in our shelters EVERY YEAR. According to AKC 2003 registrations, German Shepherds are the 4th most popular breed in the US. In 2003, 43,950 or 4.8% of all AKC registered dogs were German Shepherds. Many of the 450,000 dogs in our US shelters every year are purebred GERMAN SHEPHERDS…and thousands do not make it out of the shelter alive!

Want to Help?

We could not save these animals without our fosters. Fosters provide short-term in-home care for the dogs while they wait to be adopted. Please visit our Foster a Dog page for more information. If you are unable to foster, please visit our Other Ways to Help page and explore the many ways you can show your support. Check out our wish list too! Cash donations are always gratefully accepted and are tax-deductible. You can make a cash donation on our Donation Info page via check sent in the mail or by clicking our Paypal button.

Our volunteers:

Our volunteers reside mainly in New York State, but we have some volunteers in other states (Ohio, Kentucky, and Massachusetts to name a few). We welcome all volunteers who are dedicated to the German Shepherd Dogs, regardless of your experience. Any help is really appreciated and will help to save the lives of our four legged friends.

When BrightStar accepts a German Shepherd Dog into our rescue, we make a commitment to that dog to make sure that it will be happy and healthy for the rest of its long life. In placing our dogs with their new forever families, we have a lengthy screening process to assure the quality and commitment of each home. Before adoption, our dogs live in foster homes where they live as part of the family, being socialized, trained, and loved until adoption. Our dedicated team of volunteers is what makes us able to save so many lives. New team members, sponsors, and foster families are always needed and VERY WELCOMED! Our dogs receive the best of veterinary care; including spaying and neutering. All dogs are altered before adoption.

We will find you the perfect forever friend for your family.