A safe harbor for German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois

Saving Paws Rescue Arizona is an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) charitable organization in Phoenix, Arizona. We are dedicated to providing veterinary care, evaluation and adoptive homes for German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois dogs who are left in pounds to await uncertain fate, are owner surrenders (such as divorce, death, etc.) or are from abusive or negligent situations. We help provide a safe harbor for these dogs that might otherwise be destroyed. Learn more about our rescue.

Did you hear the exciting news?

For those who follow us on Facebook, you might have seen our founder Trisha’s special message in December 2018. If you didn’t, you missed some exciting news happening in 2019 – Saving Paws Rescue is getting a new home! To read Trisha’s post and learn how you can help us in this special milestone, check out A New Home for 2019!

Available Dogs

Are you interested in adopting a German Shepherd or Belgian Malinois? Head on over to our Available Dogs section and see who is ready for their forever home.

View available dogs

Love For Life Program

In March 2016, we started a program called "Love For Life." Dogs are placed in loving foster homes until their rehabilitation process is complete, or dependent upon circumstances, may remain in a forever foster home or the rescue center sanctuary until the end of their lives. We provide all the medical care, food, medicines and vaccinations while the forever foster parents provide a loving home.

Learn more about Love For Life

How you can help

If you would like to help Saving Paws Rescue Arizona, there are numerous options available such as volunteering or becoming a foster. But did you know you can also help us out by simply shopping on Amazon or grocery shopping at Fry's Food Store? Check out all the ways you can help us save more lives!

Learn more on helping

You can help make a difference!

Our mission will always be to help rescue a homeless or suffering German Shepherd or other dog out of a dire situation. We rely on donations and fundraisers to enable us to help needy dogs. It is the generous individual and group donations that empower Saving Paws Rescue Arizona to be able to help. We thank you for your support!

Saving Paws chosen by Grey Muzzle to start a Seniors For Seniors program

Phoenix, AZ–Old dogs have something to wag about this summer, as The Grey Muzzle Organization announces the recipients of its annual grants, and dogs at Saving Paws Rescue are among the winners. SPR is one of 66 animal welfare groups in 30 states who were chosen from more than 300 applicants to receive a grant to help local senior dogs.

The Seniors For Seniors program is aimed at placing senior dogs and senior hospice dogs in adoptive and foster homes with mature adults in the surrounding metropolitan Phoenix retirement communities.

“This grant will help SPR give senior dogs, like 7-year-old Apollo, the veterinary care, medications, and support he needs so he’ll be ready to go to his forever home,” said Trish Houlihan, Founder. “No one is more grateful or loving than an old dog, and SPR is looking forward to helping more senior dogs get the second chance they all deserve.”

Over the past decade, the national nonprofit Grey Muzzle Organization has provided nearly $1.5 million in grants to support its vision of “a world where no old dog dies alone and afraid.”

“Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we’re delighted to help deserving organizations like Saving Paws Rescue AZ make a difference in the lives of dogs and people in their communities,” Grey Muzzle’s Executive Director Lisa Lunghofer said. “Many senior dogs in the Phoenix metropolitan area are enjoying their golden years in loving homes thanks to the wonderful work of Saving Paws.”

“At Saving Paws, we’ve always focused on saving dogs who many others overlook. Now, with this assistance from Grey Muzzle, we can save even more,” said Trish Houlihan, Founder. If you are interested in adopting or fostering a senior, such as Apollo, please be sure to fill out an adoption or foster application.

Additional information about our Seniors For Seniors program may also be obtained by contacting Susan Pratt or Debi Palestina by telephone: 480-737-6089 or by email: SPRSeniorsForSeniors@gmail.com.

The national nonprofit The Grey Muzzle Organization improves the lives of at-risk senior dogs by providing funding and resources to animal shelters, rescue organizations, sanctuaries, and other nonprofit groups nationwide. For details, please visit www.greymuzzle.org.

Upcoming Events

  1. 2019 Phoenix Strut Your Mutt

    October 19
  2. Sparky’s 3rd Annual Rally For The Rescue

    November 9 @ 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm


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What happens when our director and adoption coordinator go to county for the afternoon… yep we have new dogs. Of course we are always happy when we can help one, but to help three was just the alignment of adopters and fosters to give us needed places for them.
We welcome Aiko (2 year old Doberman), Torro ( 6 year old GSD) and Noah ( 4 month old GSD/Rot mix) All three have won over the volunteers with their wonderful personalities. Aiko has already been adopted. Torro and Noah are just waiting for their forever family to come find them. Don’t let the age of Torro sway you as we aren’t sure he really is 6 as this big boy has strength and a ton of energy so an active home would be perfect. You can find more details on each of them on our website at www.savingpawsrescueaz.org (except for Aiko since she is already going home)

Welcome Aiko, Noah and Torro. #azfamily #azdog #azrescuedog #adoptdontshop #gsddog #gsdlove #germansheperdworld #germanshepherdcentral #greatsave #greatwork #needoffosters #greatvolunteers


The DNA results are in! It was recommended by our internal medicine vet that maybe a DNA testing would be a good option to see if the “unusual” skin/hair condition for Cherish was more related to genetics than to a illness. We had a little fun with it and our volunteers and adopters did a “guessing game” with the chance to win a DNA test for their dog.

Here is what we found out about her genetics…#azfamily #thankyouvoluteer #gsdlove #gsddog #azrescuedog #adoptdontshop #germansheperdworld #germanshepherdcentral #dnatest


Eva enjoying some time with her Dad. Great update from the Christofferson family. #azfamily #lovedog #adoptdontshop #adoptapet #familytime #azfamily #belgianmalinois #belgamalinoislove


Cole having a great day with volunteers!! First enjoying the Sunday with the morning crew and second having fun with his toys with evening crew. What a great boy!! #gsdlove #germansheperdworld #cole #thankfulforvolunteers #greatday


We’re less than 2 months away from Strut Your Mutt, a walk to raise money to benefit Saving Paws Rescue in partnership with Best Friends Animal Society. Do you know why Clive has his tongue out? Because it’s hot! But you can stay cool by supporting Strut Your Mutt. There are several ways you can support our efforts:
1) Join the SPR team and bring your furry friend for a leisurely walk at Cesar Chavez Park on Oct. 19.

2) Donate to our team and help us meet our event fundraising goal of $1,600!
3) Help spread the word! Share this post with friends and family so we can save more dogs like Clive, who would otherwise be euthanized.
Visit our team page at https://support.bestfriends.org/site/TR/2019SYM/StrutYourMutt?team_id=8557&pg=team&fr_id=1450 for more information or to join us!

P.S. Handsome Clive is still available! If you’re looking for a fun, sweet, but not overly active gentleman, fill out our application! Thank you Photographer Heather with Feathers and Tails for taking the great photo of Clive. #strutthemutt #lovedog #gsdlove #gsdseniordogs #germansheperdworld #germanshepherdcentral #clive


MARK YOU CALENDARS! SPRAZ has been selected as one of seven teams to compete in the 1st annual Relay for Rescue event.
On Saturday, December 7, SPRAZ and six other teams are joining forces and hitting the streets of Phoenix for RELAY FOR RESCUE! Join in on the fun and raise money for SPR.
Not only will teams visit up to SEVEN awesome venues, but we will also compete for the coveted grand prize while doing a relay and scavenger hunt. Tasks in the relay include a balloon hop, locked elbows, newspaper press, and more.It is $35 to participate and you receive a color-coordinated t-shirt that associates with our “team”, drink specials at all participating venues, and a donation straight back to the charity you choose. SPRAZ is the BLUE team

Let’s round up all our local animal loving friends, family, and co-workers and get ready to show all the other teams we are SPR Nation Strong! We are working with the organizers on how out of the area folks can sign up to support us too!
We want to start getting our team going so sign up for a day of fun. Register now a http://relayforrescue.com/phoenix/ Scroll down to the SPR Blue team registration. @relayforrescue @titosvodka #relayforrescue #goteamblue💙


Great update from the Cardoso family! “Chase and Kylie (Prancer) my smiling pups.😉🥰💗” #azfamily #adoptdontshop #gsdlove #family #happypuppy #germansheperdworld #germanshepherdcentral


At 8:46 am (EST) in NYC the chain of events would forever change the world. We are remembering the victims, their families and the first responders and their families today. We honor the legacy of the 911 search dogs and all they gave in the hours, days, weeks and months after the first attack. All Hero dogs have since crossed over the rainbow bridge but their legacies will live on. Our thoughts and prayers are with all on this day of memory and reflection. #azfamily #gsdlove


60 days and counting! If you haven’t put the event in your calendar don’t wait. Sparky’s Rally for the Rescue is our annual fundraiser and overall good time party! This event is a great way to enjoy good food, put in a bid, share some time with animal loving folks and raise money for SPR. Sparky will be on hand to say hi again this year!

We are looking for raffle and silent auction items so if you have access to something that would make a great auction item let us know and we will make arrangements to get you a donation receipt.Things that have been well received are anything we can include in a creative gift basket ( wine theme, personal gifts, dog theme), hotel nights, professional services gifts (nails, auto detailing, handy man services, photography, grooming). Last year an Instapot almost caused a riot! 🤪
We know this is the start of the holiday season and with the weather cooling your weekends will fill up, so don’t miss out and share with all your friends. Check our website for updates as tickets will be on sale soon.. #azfamily #adoptdontshop #azdog #sparkyevent #gsddog #gsdlove #germansheperdworld #adoptdontshop #fundraiser #sparky


Great update on Cesar. He was rescue from West shelter after being hit by a bull in the leg. He had to have two surgery to save the leg. He doing great now. Best part is he a Thepary dog helping others. We can not say Thank you enough to the Harrington Family for all they have done for Cesar. #azdog #azfamily #azrescuedog #gsdlove #doglove #adoptdontshop #cesar #theparydog #photooftheday #germansheperdworld #germanshepherdcentral