Recovery Road: German Shepherds Learn to Love Again

“These dogs needed our help.”

Take a good long look at recent rescue Aroon and you notice a few things:

1. He has the goofiest smile that puts clowns to shame.
2. He’s a German Shepherd with a story.

Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando was one of three first responders out of a network of multi-state animal welfare teams who aided in the rescue of hundreds of German Shepherds earlier this month — including Aroon. Staff, who are prepared to expect the worst from these kinds of recovery situations, were shocked by what they saw on the rural Georgia property.

“The dogs were living outside in terrible conditions. There was filth everywhere, they were barely sheltered from the elements, clearly underfed, and likely had conflict amongst themselves for resources for most of their lives,” said Director of Shelter Operations, Kathy Burns. “These dogs needed our help.”

So the team got to work transporting 21 German Shepherds back to Pet Alliance.

Rescue transfers are a huge undertaking that go beyond simply picking up and dropping off neglected animals. There are the necessary expenses after their capture needed to provide medical care, behavioral assessments, and boarding, but there’s also the concept of time. Time needed to help these shepherds succeed within their new normal.

“Recovery is different for every animal,” said Vice President of Operations, Fraily Rodriguez. “The neglect these animals experienced could define them for the rest of their lives. Our goal, and I think our supporters and adopters would agree, is to change that trajectory.”

Rescued German Shepherd Aroon with his new fur-ever family!

The dogs are slowly being adopted out into loving homes, going through the motions of experiencing simple things for the first time, like walking on a leash, navigating stairs, the all important bubble bath, as well as attention and love.

So while a little stinky and unfamiliar with a lot of their new surroundings, adopters of several of the Shepherds note that they’re just learning how to be a dog again. In particular, rescue Kahleesi who is “slowly coming around” and who recently “gave her first tail wag.”

Some of these Georgia Shepherds are still our care. Please consider supporting them as they find their forever homes by donating today.

Rescued German Shepherd January in her fur-ever home.