Adoption Info

We only adopt out dogs to homes within 300 miles of Rochester, NY.

Once you have read all the below information
, fill out the application online or print it out and send through the mail.
Fill out the application online here and pay your adoption fee via paypal.

If paying by PayPal, please state that it is for an adoption application in a note (an option before you confirm your payment).


Download the application here, and send it, with your nonrefundable $20 application fee, to:

BrightStar GSD Rescue
PO Box 259
Spencerport, NY 14559

Make checks payable to BrightStar German Shepherd Rescue. Be sure to include your name and that it is your adoption application fee.

Please Note: We will not adopt a dog to a home with another dog that is not neutered or spayed, and remember to call your veterinarian to realease your information to avoid a delay in the processing of your application.

  1. Our German Shepherd Dogs are placed into family situations within 300 miles of Rochester, NY. If you are not in this area and are looking to adopt, please locate a rescue in your area.
  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 expert canine behaviorists on the BrightStar team before they are accepted into the program. We will not knowingly accept or place dogs that we deem aggressive. We do not accept dogs with a documented bite history. 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.
  4. We are solely committed to the dogs accepted into the program. Yes, we want to find them loving, permanent homes; but our dogs that remain of sound temperament are in no danger of any harm. We go to great lengths to place the right dog into the right family. We reserve the right to decline an adoption based on the best interest of the dog.
  5. 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 may be on a heartworm preventative medication. A second heartworm test must be performed following adoption.
  6. 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 do not ship or deliver dogs. We do not place rescue dogs with families where children are under 7 years of age unless we have a history of the dog with younger children or the dog has fostered in a home with younger children.
  7. 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.
  8. 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 still interested in adopting, please visit our dogs that are available for adoption and review our adoption process. Since we work with several nearby sister rescue groups and shelters, new dogs enter the program at different times. If you don’t see a dog that fits your needs, you might still want to start the adoption process and we will try to locate a dog that specifically meets your needs. Please note our application process usually takes 3 – 8 weeks. The length of time is driven by our volunteers time, your specific requirements and the ability to get to your home for the home visit. 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.

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. We also make sure the client checked the “willing to sign the adoption agreement box” on the last page of adoption application. During this time, we contact clients for additional information, if needed.

Fourth Step- Identification of possible matches and home visit

BrightStar looks for dogs within the program or at nearby Rescue groups that match the requirements, this may or may not be the dog a client is interested in. We will also look for dogs outside our program but at a nearby shelter or sister rescue group. All placements are discussed with the committee; including the current foster home.

If we don’t have a dog readily available that we feel is a match for your family, we will still visit with a German Shepherd to learn more about your family and assist in the search. We work with several local shelters and sister rescue groups in trying to locate the right dog for your family. Of course, a return visit would be necessary once a potential match is located to test that dogs interaction with your family.

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. We want to see that you and every member of your family is comfortable with the dog, the dog is comfortable with you or at least there is a very small sparkle of connection, at least a potential for a future strong bond. We want to make sure that the match is there and once the dog gets adopted this will be without a doubt his forever family. During our visit, we are not looking at the size of your house, backyard, not even the size of your bank account. The most important thing to us is the size of your heart and its ability to connect with a particular dog.

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. Again, 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. Sometimes we all need the second, sometimes the third visit. The process can be lengthy; but either attempt is made to assure success. Remember, you are looking to add a permanent member to your family.

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.