German Shepherd Rescue Of Southwest Florida


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The Hoffer Family Foundation Inc. (a 501C3) founded South West Florida German Shepherd Rescue in 2007. Our Rescue implemented its program in early 2008.  To date in the past 7 years we have adopted out well over 525 pure bred German Shepherd dogs (as of 12/20/14) and about 10 not so pure bred, but tremendous four legged friends. We operate the rescue with dogs received from shelters and from owner turn-ins.

These dogs primarily come from an area just south of Tampa, to just South of Naples Florida including DeSotc County and the LaBelle area.

Our Mission:

To take in discarded or turned-in German Shepherd Dogs, give them a positive environment, healthy food, medical attention, socialization and lots of love and understanding in order to find them new forever homes in our local communities and throughout the State.  We are breed specific but at times fall in love with a dog or two that are not GSD's but that require and are deserving of our help.

We seek qualified families and individuals who wish to own German Shepherd dogs.  If you wish to adopt, please send us an email to schedule a qualification interview in Punta Gorda FL.  The interviews are held at our home in Punta Gorda.  Our ideal adopter is someone who has had a GSD in their past and knows the breed. We seek people who believe in training and the proper care of these great dogs. We especially want and NOW REQUIRE people who get dogs from us to dedicate the appropriate time and resources to train the dog. We do collect money from local residents to join the Peace River Dog Fanciers club for basic training at the time of adoption. The fee is $90 (for 6 weeks of basic training in Punta Gorda) if training is done with Southwest Florida K9 services or "Breezy" or Michelle in Naples, the fee is $165 for 6 weeks. If you live in Ft myers, Cape Coral or the Naples area these are the applicable fees which are collected at the time of adoption. For those outside the area we ask that you agree to find a local facility and to begin training immediately.  We require that people we adopt to have the resources for the medical any physical health costs of the animal. We will not rent to apartment dwellers without a certified letter from their landlord permitting them to own a GSD and have it on site.  We especially want people who will provide the kindness, compassion, love and affection these dogs crave in a forever home. Since there is a national shortage of heart worm medicine, we require all adopters to document that they have purchased 1 year of HeartGuard or equivalent medication from your vet before the adoption is done.

Adoption Process:

Our adoption process begins with an interview. We will ask you about your current pets, we will ask you for evidence of their up to date vaccinations, your vets name and number, your track record in keeping animal shots and registrations up to date, your training experience and about your commitment. We will ask to meet your entire family and anyone else that lives in the home with the dog. We will also ask that if you have pets, that you bring your dog here to meet his new friend. We will ask for your landlords phone number and a lease showing you can have a GSD in any rental unit.

We will require that you sign an agreement regarding the care of the dog you may be given.  We will ask that upon adoption that you provide your vets name and address and phone for verification purposes.

OUR 2015 ADOPTION FEE IS $225 EFFECTIVE 1/1/15 and $150-$250 for any we take in as give ups from owners based on the condition of the dog. If the turned in dog is not spayed or neutered the cost to take in a pet from an owner is $300 for a male or a female. If the dog is fixed the fee is $225. IF THE DOG IS HEART WORM POSITIVE AT THE TIME OF TURN IN THE FEE IS $500. We also require owner give ups to be spayed or neutered, at the owners expense prior to the turn over where possible. At the point when dogs are surrendered to SWFLGSD Rescue we require all medical records be given to us along with any chip registration information and numbers, complete shot record and vet who administered them as well as a current heart worm test paid for by the owner prior to turning the dog over to us.  Money we take in is paid to us by cash or in two checks made out to the Animal Welfare League of Charlotte County and the other to Erik Hoffer.  The AWL is a 501C3 charity as is our rescue and the 'donations are tax deductible. We will distribute $150 to the AWL and $75 to the rescue for adoptions or re-homing situations.

These funds provide us with medical resources we need to cover expenses required to restore the health of many of the dogs we get.  The AWL provides us with assistance and supports us in countless ways.

We strongly recommend researching the breed before deciding on a GSD.  Once you have adopted a dog, we recommend a qualified training program. WE NOW REQUIRE LOCAL AREA RESIDENTS TO ENROLL YOUR NEW DOG IN TRAINING AND POST A MINIMUM OF 1, 6 WEEK CLASS SESSION AT A COST OF $80 IN A CHECK MADE OUT TO THE Peace River Dog Fanciers Club. This class is taught buy the Peace River Dog Fanciers club. For those adopting outside the local Punta Gorda area, we require proof of enrollment in any dog training class from PetsMart to Schutzund. As affiliates of the German Shepherd Schutzhund Club of SW Florida, whose contact information appears above, we advise you to seek their help in developing a training regimen during the first 6 months you have the dog.

This needed training will insure a bond between you and your pet and give you the tool you will need to have the best experience with your pet possible. For those adopting outside the local Punta Gorda area, we require proof of enrollment in any dog training class such as Shelzmide's K9s in Naples, "" , Southwest K9 Services in Ft Myers or Disciple Dog in Cape Coral.. Call is for names web sites and and phone numbers. Quality training guaranties a great relationship for life, establishes the alpha in the home and sets the parameters needed by your pet to assimilate into your family pack.. Nothing is more stressful than having an animal you love be out of control, unruly or unsocialized. You can read more about the breed and training on this site.

It is important to note that we are not in the pet business, but rather a rescue. When we get dogs we do our best to find them qualified adoptive families. We do not seek out dogs to rescue nor do we take every dog that comes to us. We are very dog choosy and take dogs in on temperament and not cosmetics .

If you are approved to get a dog from us, we will not stop trying to find the perfect dog for you until you have the perfect pet. We never ask that you take any dog, but rather show you what we have in our system and allow you to decide. We will always take a dog back if things do not work out. You will never feel pressure from us to accept any animal we offer. We expect honesty from any potential adopter in giving us as much direction as possible in so far as your perfect dog.

If you feel that a German Shepherd is right for you and your family then give us a call at 941 575 0243 or email us at or to schedule an interview in Punta Gorda. We had so many false and questionable postings that we do not recommend using or monitoring our Facebook or Twitter. Many people post dogs they do not have on these public sites, so beware that even if a dog is posted on our GSD face book page, WE DO NOT RECOMMEND FOLLOWING THRU WITH AN INQUIRY.

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