Adoption Info

Please note: We will not adopt a dog to a home with another dog that is not neutered or spayed. Remember to call your veterinarian to release your information to avoid a delay in the processing of your application.

  1. Our dogs are primarily adopted to homes in upstate NY. If you live outside the area and are interested in adopting a specific dog, please contact us before putting in an application to discuss your situation.
  2. An adoption fee of $375 is required when you receive your German Shepherd Dog, and a legally binding adoption agreement is required when the dog is placed. The adoption fee may vary per dog and can be found in their listing. A $20 non-refundable fee is required to process your application. All potential homes must complete our adoption process as outlined and must agree to abide by the terms of the adoption agreement.
  3. All dogs are temperament tested by BrightStar before they are accepted as a foster dog. We will not knowingly accept or place dogs that we deem aggressive. We do not accept dogs with a documented bite history.
  4. If you rent, a letter from landlord giving permission to keep a German Shepherd Dog will be required, and the primary adopter must be at least 21 years old or have parental consent.
  5. We are solely committed to our foster dogs. Yes, we want to find them loving, permanent homes, but we reserve the right to decline an adoption based on the best interest of the dog.
  6. Upon adoption, copies of all available records, including AKC registration or eligibility for registration, will be provided to the family. All animals are spayed or neutered before adoption or must be spayed or neutered 60 days after placement. Dogs are current on vaccinations, tested for heartworm, and on a heartworm preventative medication.
  7. As outlined in our adoption process, all family members are required to meet the German Shepherd to be adopted. A home visit by a BrightStar volunteer is mandated. We generally do not ship or deliver dogs.
  8. Many of BrightStar’s dogs have completed or are going through basic obedience training and socialization. Upon adoption, we discuss what degree of training you should take or complete with your dog. We can help you locate training classes in the vicinity. In addition, BrightStar provides life long support for all our dogs.
  9. We do our best to accurately assess each of our dogs. However, BrightStar carries no warranty of any kind, express or implied.

If you agree with and fit our adoption policies and are interested in adopting, please complete an adoption application. A link is at the top of this page. If you don’t currently see a dog that fits your needs, we still encourage you to start the application process as it can take several weeks to be approved. Please bear in mind that BrightStar is an all-volunteer organization with dogs, families, and commitments of their own. The wait is well worth it for your next forever friend!


Adoption Process

First Step – Read the following paragraph

The German Shepherd Dog is probably the most popular breed of dog in the world. But that does not mean that it is the right breed for everyone. Please make sure you really want to add a German Shepherd Dog to your family. Look into you heart and your life ahead of you. German Shepherds tend to bond strongly to a family and many rescue dogs need time to transition and heal emotionally. Please make sure you have the time and patience to make this long-term commitment. If you are not sure, please wait until your circumstances change. If you are sure, please continue with the next step of finding your next best friend.


Next Step – Fill out an application

Applications can be filled out online or downloaded and mailed. All applications are dated when they are received just in case there are two homes that both express interest in the same dog. If the homes are an “equal” match for that particular German Shepherd, the dog is adopted to the client who sent in the application first. Don’t worry if there is not a dog readily available today, you can still submit an application and BrightStar will work with you to find a dog that fits your requirements.

You can fill out an application online here.


Third Step – Application Review

BrightStar reviews and checks the references on the application. If the home has or had a dog your vet is always contacted. Please call your vet for to release your records as soon as possible. During this time, we contact clients for additional information, if needed.


Fourth Step- Home Visit

The home visit is to find out more about the family search requirements. All members of the family must be present. We want to meet children, other pets, everyone who will be a part of the dog’s new life. We want to make sure that the dog fits into your family, into your lifestyle. During our visit, we are not looking at the size of your house or yard, the most important thing to us is the size of your heart.

Even if the home visit is with an available dog, we do not leave the dog on the first visit. We do not want anybody to feel pressured to make a quick decision. We want to make absolutely sure that this is a good match. Often the family is a very good one and the dog is great, but the chemistry is just not there.


Fifth Step- Adoption Agreement

If everything goes well, BrightStar has the applicant sign an Adoption Agreement which contains terms that a client will abide by for adoption. It also contains any medical care the dog requires. This is a legal document, so please read the terms carefully and make sure you are comfortable abiding by them.

Once you’ve adopted a dog from BrightStar you have become a permanent family member. We offer lifelong support for our new family members. We will contact you regularly as the dog settles in to help you with your dog’s transition, and then when needed. You may contact us at any time.