501(c)3

How to Adopt a Happy Hearts Dog

Happy Hearts German Shepherd Rescue's goal is to find loving forever homes

for dogs that need homes.  We do our best to gather information from you and

from our foster families as well, so that we can match the right dog to the right home.  Adopting a dog is a lifetime commitment, and we take our part in the process very seriously.  


​Adoption Process

  • Submit Adoption Application 
  • Application Review 
  • Phone Interview
  • Landlord Approval verification
  • References & Veterinarian checked
  • Home Visit - (entire family, including other pets, must be present)
  • Meet & Greet with the dog you are interested in
  • Foster-to-Adopt contract + Adoption Fee 
  • Adoption is Final after successful completion of Foster-to-Adopt period



Our adoption fee is $300 for adults, and $400 for puppies under 1 year old.  Dogs will be spayed / neutered, vaccinated and microchipped. Under most circumstances we do a two week foster-to-adopt contract.  However, if a dog has medical issues we may do longer foster-to-adopt or possibly a permanent foster for the life of the dog.  

Happy Hearts German Shepherd Rescue is run by volunteers who dedicate their free time to help the dogs. If your application is incomplete or your references are unavailable, it will delay the process, since those must be checked before moving forward. The entire adoption process takes time and we appreciate your patience.

We are based in San Diego, California, but our dogs live with fosters all over California.  You will be expected to travel to meet the dog at the foster's residence so please make sure you know where your dog of choice is located.  Distance may be a factor in whether or not the required home visit can be completed. We are a 100% volunteer run organization. Although we do have volunteer contacts in many areas, some areas may be difficult for us to locate a volunteer to conduct the home visit. We will let you know ASAP if your application needs to be denied due to our inability to find a volunteer to conduct the home visit.

Once the adoption is final we do not refund your adoption donation,  If at any time you are having issues with the dog, please 
contact us  ASAP so we can help!


Optional Post Adoption Follow-up Visit

Our adoption contract contains a clause that allows one of our volunteers or a representative of Happy Hearts the ability to perform a post adoption follow-up visit. We may require such a visit if we feel that the terms of the adoption contract are not being met.  Happy Hearts German Shepherd Rescue is committed to the life, health and well being of every dog we place for the remainder of that dog’s life. Should you need to rehome the dog at any time during it's life, we require, by contract, that the dog be returned to us at your expense. Please contact us  ASAP.

Thank you for opening your home to a rescue dog!