I found a dog, what do I do?

Thank you for being a Good Samaritan! Can you hang onto the pup while trying to find the owner? If so, here are some things that can help reunite a found dog with his or her rightful owner. Always assume someone is looking.

 1. Check for a microchip. Any Petsmart, Petco or vet's office will do it for free.

2. Register as found on www.petharbor.com. Start with city or zip at top left and follow steps.
 3. Create a free Pawboost   alert, then share that alert with us via our website.
4. Create a free ad on  nextdoor.com  or their phone app.

5. Place an ad on Craigslist

 6. Register as Found with Helping Lost Pets.  and you can get a free template for fliers here too.
 7. Place a post on ‘Lost Dog’ group pages on Facebook.

8. Place fliers around the neighborhood and place a sign in your yard. Lost pet found here. Not everyone is internet-savvy and they’re probably driving around the neighborhood looking. WARNING: Scammers may contact you claiming it is their dog. They may even send you photos that may resemble the dog but are actually just taken from internet sites. Please make sure they provide vet records or recent conclusive pictures before you release a dog. You can ask for links to ads that they posted showing their missing dog. When in doubt, ask for help.
 If you need immediate assistance with the dog, Rescues cannot take in strays from individuals and then adopt them out. If you keep the dog while trying to find the owner, you are supposed to register the dog with the Animal Foundation. You must actively search for the owners for 30 days by listing it as found on the sites mentioned above. After 30 days, you can rehome them, keep them, or contact a rescue about taking the dog in. Otherwise strays are to be taken to The Animal. Foundation (TAF).TAF is the open admission shelter where Animal Control takes strays dogs. Because they are open admission, they are only required to keep strays for 72 hours before either moving it to adoptions or listing it on the transfer list for a rescue.
Is the dog a shepherd? If not, please contact The Animal Foundation or a local all-breed rescue. .

I need to rehome my dog, what do I do?

At this time, VSR kennels are full with a waiting list that exceeds 3 months. If you're in need of rehoming your dog, please click here   for a list of area rescues and shelters that may be able to help.

I'm interested in fostering, what do I need to know?

Please read the following General Guidelines and Foster Application and carefully.
We view fostering as one step closer to finding a fur-ever-home and we want to make sure the person (family) fostering understands their responsibilities.
If you have any questions please email or call us.

General Requirements and Helpful Hints
Please read & review the following important guidelines:

Prior to approval, all potential Foster Homes must complete an online Foster Home Application and agree to a home inspection (“Application Process”).

All Foster Homes agree to accept primary responsibility for providing lodging of and care for their foster dog until a permanent adoptive family is found.

While, food donated to Vegas Shepherd Rescue will be made available to all Foster Homes as it is received, it is the responsibility of the Foster Home to provide an acceptable dog food.

Medical care will be provided only via a Vegas Shepherd Rescue representative. If you think your Foster Dog needs any medical care, including vet visits or over-the-counter medications, you must contact your VSR representative before acting.

Foster Homes are asked to keep their VSR contact apprised of their foster dogs behavior and if any issues arise.

Foster Homes are not required to foster any dog that they do not wish to foster. However, there may not be an immediate alternate foster home for your dog. We will work on moving your foster dog out as soon as possible, but ask for your understanding as we work on it. Only those dogs that have received prior approval for fostering and are deemed adoptable by a Director of Fostered Dogs may be fostered within VSR’s Foster Program. Volunteers and/or Foster Homes are not authorized to pull dogs directly from the shelter or accept Owner-Surrender dogs.

We do not foster-to-adopt. Potential adopters should go through our regular application process rather than become Foster Homes. Foster Homes are asked to commit to fostering for a minimum of 6 months before they consider adopting a dog, whether it is from VSR or elsewhere.

All applicants for a particular Foster Dog must go through the Vegas Shepherd Rescue Application Process. If a friend or family member of the Foster Home wishes to adopt your Foster Dog, that’s great! But, the adopter must go through the same process as other applicants. Your own dogs are required to be current with their vaccinations. We also recommend that you vaccinate your dogs with a Bordetella vaccination to prevent kennel cough, a common illness with shelter dogs.

Vegas Shepherd Rescue is not responsible for any veterinary bills for resident dogs. The Foster Home assumes responsibility for any veterinary bills that result from resident dogs becoming ill due to exposure with a Foster Dog.

If you are planning a vacation, please notify VSR as far in advance as you can. We will need at least 2 weeks to arrange for alternate placement for your foster dog. If you want to take your foster dog with you, even for just a weekend, you MUST notify VSR beforehand. If VSR has an applicant interested we may make arrangements to keep your dog locally to be able to show him/her to prospective adoptive parents.

Do not leave your dog with anyone else without prior approval from VSR. Anytime a foster dog is left with someone other than the approved Foster Home we MUST have a signed release of liability. Getting Your Home & Family Ready for Fostering

Fostering is a commitment that will affect your entire household: your family, your permanent-resident pets, and your house and yard! Here are some tips to ensure that fostering will be a positive experience for you and your family.

Discuss your plans with other family members and get their input on how to make it work out best for everyone. Include in the discussion what kind(s) of dogs are appropriate for your household: small/large, young/old, active/not active. Do you thrive on a spunky dog with lots of energy who is a willing playmate for your active dog? Or, do you have an older dog who would resent being pestered? How long are you gone during the day? We’ll need to match you with a dog that works with your schedule. You’ll need a dog that fits your lifestyle, even if he/she is only a temporary resident. Your VSR representative can work with you to ensure that we understand your personal situation and what types of dogs are appropriate for you.

You should have the following on hand before your foster dog arrives:
Food & water bowls: it is best to have separate bowls for your foster dog. Plan to feed your resident dog(s) & foster dog separately so that they can eat in a stress-free environment as they are getting to know each other.

Food & Treats: VSR can sometimes supply food and treats depending on our donations. Otherwise, we will advise you as to what kind of food or treats is best for your foster.

Dog crate: We strongly recommend you have a crate for your foster dog. Crate training is a very helpful way to introduce a dog into a new home. We can loan you a crate if you do not have one, and give you some excellent articles on crate training if you are unfamiliar with it.

Bed: Cotton blankets or large beach towels are best as they are washable and less likely to be chewed up by your foster dog.

Toys: Kongs are excellent for stuffing – they will keep your foster dog occupied, especially while you are away from the house. Stuffed toys or balls are also great, depending on your dog’s temperament. VSR can sometimes provide these depending on our donations.

Collar & Leash: We will provide a collar and leash for your dog. A VSR ID tag will be on your dog’s collar as well. This collar and tag should stay on at all times as it will help ensure the dog is returned to VSR if the dog ever gets out and is picked up by Animal Control.

Introducing Your Foster Dog to Your Home
Everyone needs their space

If possible, it is best to keep foster dogs & resident dog separate from each other for the first 2 days. This is a stressful time for both the foster dog that may have been on the street, in the shelter, or in another transitional or foster home before arriving at your house – a lot of change for an animal that likes to have a “pack” and some stability in his/her life! Also, there are some common sicknesses that sometimes don’t show up for 1-2 weeks that dogs often get at the shelter, so separation can ensure that your dogs don’t get sick.

If it is not possible to keep them separate, be aware that your dogs may be exposed to illness. However, also be aware that many of the diseases that shelter dogs get (Kennel Cough, Diarrhea, etc.) are stress related. Many have had poor nutrition and a hard life before coming to your home. VSR cannot be responsible for resident dog vet bills; we do not have the financial resources to make that commitment. We advise you to keep you resident dogs up to date on all vaccinations.

If it is not possible to physically separate the dogs, try to ensure that everyone has their own “personal space” of a bed, a crate, or a special area. This will keep the stress levels lower for you own dogs and the foster dog.

The backyard is not an acceptable place to leave the foster dog alone & unsupervised. They may be destructive (digging, trampling plants), they may be escape artists, they may bark incessantly, or they could be snatched. A crate or a room that is enclosed (like a kitchen) is the best choices.

Dog Introductions
Introduce your resident dogs to the foster dog on neutral territory, at a park or down the street from your house, for example. Introduce them on leash, with an adult holding each leash. Allow a quick “hello” sniff or walk-by, and separate them, even if things seem fine. This gives them a chance to think about things, and often, they will then seek each other out to get a lengthier greeting. Give lots of positive reinforcement so that both dogs feel safe and that the other dog is a friend, not a foe. If one dog gets aggressive, separate them quickly, comfort the dog, and slow down the pace of the introductions.

Don’t force things if they are not immediate best friends; sometimes it takes a few days for dogs to accept each other. Sometimes, dogs just don’t like each other. By giving them each attention separately, and making them feel safe about the bed, toys, and food, you can minimize any tension.

Getting Along
Dogs are pack animals. There is usually one who dominates. Correction of one dog by another (whether it is your resident dog or the foster) is normal. As Long as the dogs are responding positively to each other and seem to recognize the “pecking order”, this is fine. If they are constantly battling for the “alpha” position, then they will have to be separated, and may not be a good fit for each other.

Never leave the dogs unsupervised together. They are still getting to know one another, and will need correction on appropriate behavior toward each other, which means supervision. If you are leaving the house, then crate the dogs or otherwise physically separate them.

Again, feed the dogs separately. This reduces stress for everyone. Food aggression between dogs is common, but if corrected early can be reversed and eliminated.

Cat Introductions
First; make sure that your cat has his/her own sanctuary – preferably a room where the foster dog will not be allowed to go. If you can keep the cat’s food & litter box in this room, and keep the door closed, then the dog & cat can sniff each other under the door for a few days before meeting face to face. This will make things go a lot smoother, as they will most likely feel they have already “met”. Supervise the dog’s behavior even at the door, reinforce playful, curious behavior and correct any aggression or obsession.

When introducing the dog & cat for the first time, put the dog on a leash & just allow the cat to walk by if he/she wants to. Here, you’re looking to evaluate both dog & cat. Is the cat fearful or curious? Is the dog happy/playful or chomping at the bit?

After introductions have occurred, keep in mind the following tips:

• Never leave the cat & foster dog unsupervised, even if it looks like the get along great. A playful dog can still unintentionally harm a cat.
• Make sure your cat has places to jump up to in each room or hide under where the dog can’t get him/her.
• Playful chasing is normal, but always remind the foster dog to play nice/slow down/not run.
• Don’t allow the dog to stare down the cat. The dog should know that he/she is not allowed to obsess on the cat.
• The cat may swipe at the dog or hiss in order to correct. This is usually a great help in ensuring the dog knows his/her place. But, keep an eye on interactions to ensure the cat doesn’t injure the dog, as well.

With all resident pets, allow the animals to accept one another on their own time. Never push them towards each other or force interaction. Many animals become companions and playmates, while others simply tolerate each other.

Working with your foster dog
While your foster dog is living with you, you can provide some basic training along with lots of tender loving care. No formal training regime is needed for most foster dogs, but if you can work on the following, it will make your foster dog much more “adoptable”.

Socializing is definitely the first priority. This means ensuring that you foster dog is acclimated to meeting new people, dog, cats, children, as wide a group as possible. If you have a shy dog, this is a big task, and should be approached slowly (but all the more important to address it so that your dog overcomes his/her shyness.) With a more outgoing dog, it’s more about curbing enthusiasm so that people aren’t overwhelmed upon meeting the dog (or knocked over with love!).

Food aggression with other dogs is a fairly common trait; however food aggression towards people is not acceptable. If your foster dog is growling when you are near his food, you need to work on correcting this behavior. Hand-feed the dog, so that it’s clear the food is yours, and you are the giver of food. Then, when feeding with a bowl, take it away several times during the meal, giving it back after the dog sits & waits politely. With a non-food aggressive dog, these are still good tips, along with taking chewiest away & giving them back. If the dog growls a bit, tell them “no” and then practice taking it until they get the idea. Repeat daily. If your foster dog is showing food aggression with your dog over food and chews, always feed them separately. Another good reason to crate your foster dog, as you can use that place as a safe place to give treats, chews, and toys.

House training (potty training) is definitely desirable for both you and the future adopter. The best way to house train is to use a crate, and to be vigilant about taking the dog outside regularly, including after naps and meals. If a dog is particularly stubborn about house training, keep them on a leash in the house; this will prevent them from wandering off to hide to go potty.

Crate training is a great way not only to potty train, but also to establish general house manners since the dog will not be roaming free in the house unless he/she is being supervised. So, no chewing on couch cushions, counter-surfing, or garbage can diving if the dog is not left alone. We have more materials on crate training available to you.

Sitting is relatively easy to teach and pays big dividends. A dog that sits for his/her leash and food knows they are subservient to the person commanding them to sit. It also helps to get an overly excited dog under control.

Jumping up is a common problem with our foster dogs – they are so happy to have someone to love! But, it’s best if they are taught not to do this, since it can knock people over or just be rude. The best prevention is to see it coming and tell them to stop and sit. Once they have this down, they can be invited “up” for a visit, but only with an invitation.

Leash walking is challenging to teach. Many of our dogs have never been on a leash and have no idea how to behave. If you’re ambitious, you can work on “heel”, but even “easy” is fine. “Easy” is when the dog isn’t necessarily heeling at you side, but they are also not dragging you down the street. This takes time to learn and patience on your part. A nervous dog may not be pulling but reluctant to walk or trying to get away from you and the leash. The goal then is to get the dog to relax and walk confidently with you. We can give you some pointers on either of these cases.

Squirt bottles can be a great way to get the point across to a dog that is not responding to a verbal correction. Fill a squirt bottle with plain water, and set the nozzle to stream (not spray). A quick squirt in the face with a verbal command such as “no” or “down” at the same time can be very effective. It does not hurt the dog, but it catches them off guard and can be helpful in getting their attention. Generally, you can move to verbal commands shortly thereafter.

Dogs and kids go together like peanut butter & jelly; they are great playmates, guardians, and confidants. But, children must learn proper handling and discipline, and dogs must learn self-control so that they do not play too rough. Children must be supervised and taught that dogs are beings, not dolls or toys to dress-up and handled constantly. Teach children not to tease or rile up the dog unnecessarily. This includes chasing around the house, which can scare a dog, who may snap if cornered or frightened.

Make sure your children know that it is not the dog’s fault if the dog chews up toys that are left out. Keeping doors shut & toys in toy boxes can help minimize damage. Make sure the dog has his/her own toys, and keep them in the same place all the time (like in a basket, or in the dog’s crate). Children like the idea of caring for a dog, but the daily work of feeding, bathing, brushing, and cleaning up after the dog is not really suited for them. Recognize that the initial enthusiasm will wane quickly, and the true responsibility of caring for the dog will fall to the adults in the household. Young children should not walk foster dogs, as, even if the dog is easy to walk, the child cannot really handle any encounters with other dogs or cats that are bound to happen.

Children should not play unsupervised with foster dogs. For puppies, teach proper handling (pick up by body, not the limbs), and limit interaction. Children need to be taught that a puppy’s mouthing is not biting, and that the puppy is not trying to hurt them. Perhaps most importantly, children must learn to properly discipline the foster dog/puppy (a sharp “no” or squirt with a water bottle). Children may think that squirting the dog is fun, and need to learn to only use it sparingly. Children often react to a dog’s bad behavior by hitting the dog, unacceptable.

Our Foster Requirements
Applicant must be at least 18 years of age. A ‘home visit’ will be done after approval of the foster application to ensure a safe, loving, & nurturing environment. Approved foster families must commit to bring their foster dog to at least 2 events per month, for two hours at each event. Events typically take place on Saturdays or Sundays. Please take the time to read our guidelines before completing this application.

How much are your adoption fees?
Our adoption fee is $350 for dogs aged 1 - 6 years, $400 for puppies under 12 months of age and $225 for seniors 7 years and over. We also have reduced adoption fees through our "Seniors for Seniors" program for qualifying adopters. Our orphans are all spayed/neutered, current on vaccines, fully vetted, and micro-chipped. Every adoption also comes with 30 days of free insurance through Trupanion upon activation.
Can I get financial assistance to pay my vet bills?
Yes, there are multiple resources for getting financial assistance through organizations listed below. Please visit their websites to see if you meet their criteria. Vegas Shepherd Rescue does not pay outside vet bills.

Veterinary Bill Assistance Programs:
Frankie's Friends
Handicapped Pets Foundation
Labrador Life Line
The Mosby Foundation
The Onyx and Breezy Foundation
Paws for a Cure
The Pet Fund
Shakespeare Animal Fund
The Magic Bullet Fund
Red Rover
Canine Cancer Awareness
Brown Dog Foundation
Align Care
Care Credit
I'm in the military and being deployed. Can you take care of my dog while I'm gone?
Vegas Shepherd Rescue is unable to board your dog while you're away, but one of the following organizations may be able to assist you. Please visit their websites and see if you meet their criteria.
Pact For Animals
Dogs on Deployment
Do I need a dog fancier's license from the county?
Once you get your 4th dog, you will need to apply for a dog fancier's license. You may not apply prior to getting the dog. Once your application is received, you will be placed in "pending" status. Click Here for Animal Permits
How do I prepare for a puppy?
Supplies and Equipment for Your New Puppy
There’s lots of puppy stuff you’ll need to make your puppy comfortable, happy, and successful as he learns to adapt to your alien environment.

A crate is an indispensable behavior management tool; it facilitates housetraining and prevents puppy misbehavior by keeping your dog safely confined when you’re not there to supervise. It allows you to sleep peacefully at night and enjoy dinner and a movie without worrying about what the pup is destroying. (Check out WDJ's Ebook on Crate Training if you need extra help.)
Puppy pen/exercise pen. This is another extremely useful management tool, but it expands the “den” concept of a crate to a slightly larger area, giving a pup more room to stretch her legs, yet still keeping her in a safe, confined area. Many people include a “restroom” facility, by using a tarp underneath the pen and newspapers on top of that at one end.

This is a short (about four feet in length) plastic-coated cable with sturdy snaps at both ends. Tethers are intended to temporarily restrain a dog for relatively short periods of time in your presence, as an aid in a puppy supervision and house-training program, and as a time-out to settle unruly behavior. They should not be used as punishment, or to restrain a dog for long periods in your absence.

Collar, ID tag, leash, and harness
Seat belt. Use a restraint that fastens to your car’s seat belts and your dog’s harness (never a collar) to keep her safe, and safely away from the driver.

Properly used as a reward marker, a clicker significantly enhances your communication with your furry friend and speeds the training process.

A clicker, of course, is nothing without an accompanying reward. We use treats as the primary reward to pair with the clicker because most dogs can be motivated by food, and because they can quickly eat a small tidbit and get back to the training fun.

Long line
A lightweight, strong, extra-long leash (10 to 50 feet), the long line is an ideal tool to help your dog learn to come reliably when called regardless of where you are or what other exciting things are happening.

Kong toys
If we could buy only one toy for our dog, it would be a Kong, a chew-resistant (not chew-proof), rubber toy with a hollow center. A Kong can be used “plain” as a toy, but makes an irresistible treat for any dog when stuffed with kibble or treats that are held in place with something like peanut butter, cream cheese, or yogurt.

Balls, interactive toys, fetch toys
Grooming tools. Choose combs and brushes appropriate for your dog’s type of coat (ask a groomer or vet), shampoo and conditioner, scissors, nail clippers, cotton balls, and toothbrushes. Start using these tools on your puppy early, pairing the experience with tasty treats so she forms a positive association with the task. House cleaning tools

For more information on bringing home a new puppy, read the ebook Puppy Basics from Whole Dog Journal
Can you recommend a good trainer?
Vegas Shepherd Rescue does NOT recommend any trainers that recommend you board and leave your dog with them while they train! It is critical that you train side by side with your dog. If they want you to leave the dog, don’t walk, RUN.
If they’re on this list, please notify us right away.

Dan Rana
Certified Professional Dog Trainer
K9 Advanced Training Services
“A well trained dog is a pleasure to own”
I’m 100% positive. I’m certified through animal behavior college and have mentored other trainers for both animal behavior college and catch academy.

Antonio Diaz
K9 Trainer & Behavioral Specialist
Leader of the Pack LV
"There are many different dog training methods to teach dogs what we want and do not want them to do. I have studied several of them and I've found that the common thread running through all successful methods of dog training is the use of positive reinforcement such as praise, food, toys, and pressure and aversion. Rewards-Based Balanced Training offers the option to utilize all tools available to us, provided that they are appropriate for the dog, the owner, and the moment. No two dogs are trained in exactly the same way.
From basic to off-leash obedience, dog walking to behavior modification, I'm here to help.
My goal is to simplify dog training and help you and your dog establish a clear line of communication so your dog understands exactly what you want and expect from them while looking to you for direction."

Renee Davis
(702) 839-0479
6650 N Durango Dr, Las Vegas NV 89149

Stephanie Gerken
Michael's Angel Paws

Scott Thompson
Scott started his basic handling skills while stationed in W Germany with the US Army MPs.For the last 5 years, K9 Command has developed the most consolidated and effective course in dog training. The leaders and Volunteers of VSR have seen these techniques first hand and can attest to the immediate impact on the dog's behavior. Scott achieves such rapid results by working more with the handler than the dog. Each session consists of an introduction, assessment, explanation of why unwanted behavior is occurring and then a series of drills that transform the dog owner into a leader.
Scott splits his time between being a Dog Trainer and an International airline pilot so scheduling does require a bit of planning, but is well worth the wait.
Scott's primary profession as a pilot affords him the ability to charge very low rates. The assessment, training and follow up are all covered in the $100 fee. There is no additional by the hour cost and Scott will come back out free of charge to help you achieve your goals.

Mike Whitty
Southern Nevada K9 Training
Owner Michael Whitty is a former police Officer K9 trainer with years of experience training dogs in LV. With extensive training and experience, Michael helps your dog reach his or her full potential. In home, group or K9 Camp. Contact Mike to discuss what is better suited for you and your dog.

Donna Foreman
Smarty Paws
4161 N Rancho Dr. Ste 120, Las Vegas, NV

Danny Chavez
Danny's Dogs
Danny’s Dogs Training is different because its’s not just about “training the dog” its about us, the evolved species, learning to communicate with ours dogs. He goes beyond training by teaching you, the human. Plus it’s very important that your dogs Trust and Respect YOU! not the trainer. You only need one session with Danny. He will take as long as necessary. You apply your knowledge going forward to various training needs.
Can I donate blankets or towels?
Absolutely! Please contact us to make arrangements. For additional items the rescue needs, please see our Amazon Wish List.