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.

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.

Jefke the Belgian Malinois

Featured Love For Life Dog: Jefke

Have you met our Love For Life boy, Jefke? If not, you are in for a treat! This middle-aged Belgian Malinois came to our rescue about 2 years ago. Jefke is one of the smartest dogs we’ve ever met. He is great on walks and knows many commands in German. It’s safe to say we haven’t even tapped into everything he knows! As much as we get him out of his kennel and play with him and walk him and cuddle him, he’s going stir-crazy. He needs an outlet. He needs a job. And he needs a family of his own to love. Because Jefke has been with our rescue for a while, he is part of our Love For Life program. This means we provide all the medical care, food, medicines and vaccinations while the forever foster parents provide a loving home. If you’d like to learn more about this special guy and fill out a foster application, head on over to Jefke’s Love For Life page.

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  1. SPR at Aunt Chilada’s

    September 15 @ 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm


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Another Lona puppy update!! Look how big Tukee (fka Kermit) is!. “This is me, Tukee. I have been pretty busy, I go to the office about three hours a day during the week. I don’t know why people complain about work, all you do is meet people, I love all people. And I sleep under my dad’s desk. A few times during the week I go to three different horse ranches. I play with lots of dogs and my favorite is Barney, he is in many of the pictures because I follow him around. I’m very good with horses, even when people get on them! How crazy is that? I especially love the men who work on the ranch, I like to follow them around and they use loud cool equipment. I like water and I swim, not my favorite yet. I do not listen in puppy class, but hear me out. Put me on 40 acres, call for me to come and I come, makes sense. In puppy class, I’m on a leash, my mom walks three feet away and calls for me to come!?! She gets what she gets, I’m not the crazy one. Anyway, wanted the nannies and all interested to know all is good in Tukee’s world.”
#azfamily #gsdlove #germanshepherdlover #germanshepherdnetwork #azgsd #puppygettingbig #kermit #adoptapet #adopteddog #adoptfurry #adoptdontshop #greatfamily


Lira is quite a lucky girl! After 4 months of roaming a remote part of the valley, Carrie and her family were able to catch her and bring her into a safe foster home. Despite being on her own for so long, she has been super sweet with everyone she meets.
We think Lira is 18 months old as she still has all that youthful excitement and playfulness. Her fosters are working on housetraining, but being so smart, she will catch on in no time. As you would expect being alone to fend for herself, she needs to put on some weight but that is just a matter of time now that she is getting good food on a regular basis. She has been dog friendly in foster but we would still want to have her meet any new furry family members in advance.
She is scheduled for her spay and health check and will be ready for a forever home soon.
If you think you might the perfect forever home for our sweet girl Lira, please go to our website and complete our application for adoption www.savingpawsrescueaz.org. **We do not schedule any meet and greets without a pre-approved adoption application.** #lira #fosterdog #goodsamaritans #azdogs #azfamily #germanshepherdrescue #fosterdogsofinstagram #gsdrescue #germanshepherdworld #savealifeadoptadog #savingpawsrescueaz


Update on Chase!!! “Daddy let me out to do my business and I got bored while trying to entertain myself. Daddy said “NO!” when I looked at the pool but, I said “YES!” Every time he dries me off, I am not ready to be dry. I’ll teach him when I’m ready, I’ll let him know 😝👅😎”
Looks like Chase is keeping his family busy!!! We are so excited that he found such a great family and a place to call home. #azfamily #chase #pooltime #gsdpool #gsdlove #germanshepherdlover #germanshepherdnetwork #funtime #gsdpooltime #adoptfurry #adopteddog #adoptapet #adoptdontshop


Check out this photogenic duo! One of our super volunteers, @davemanan12, took little Rhett for a ride to get breakfast. We love having this cutie at the DH, but the big dogs make him a bit nervous. We’re looking for a foster – if you are in Phoenix and interested, please head to our website 👆to fill out a foster application.

#rhett #happylittleguy #terriermix #instapuppy #honorarygermanshepherd #fosterneeded #savealifeadopt #adoptdontshop🐾 #azdogs #azfamily #cutenessoverload😍 #savingpawsrescueaz


Puppy Anakin got a new cart from a couple of great supporters, so now he gets to go visit the chickens in style! It’s even got an umbrella and he gets tucked in with ice packs and a water bowl.
#pamperedpooch #anakin #gsdpuppy #gsdrescue #germanshepherdlovers #azfamily #greatsupporters #azrescuedog #ridinginstyle #instapuppy #savingpawsrescueaz


We got a great pupdate today! “HI. I’m Bane 👋 fka Fozzie (Lona litter). I’m 16 weeks old now and I weigh 48lbs 😳! I’m still suuuuper “sensitive” (I WAILED when the vet clipped my nails, like before she even touched my nail🙄). I didn’t care about getting shots though🤷‍♂️.
I know: get in (kennel), sit, shake, lay-down and come. I love my car seat rides to get pupcups. I did well on a recent weekend stay with my auntie and I’m also smooth on the leash, ladies😎. .
I just love to antagonize my sister too. I’m a sour patch kid; I like too see who can bark the loudest then smother her with 🐶😗.” We cannot believe how big he’s getting. Last two photos are of Bane now. We love updates-keep ’em coming!

#azfamily #lonapuppy #gsdlove #germanshepherdlover #germanshepherdnetwork #adoptapet #adoptdontshop #adoptfurry #gsdpuppy #gsdpuppylove #fozziebear #bane


SPR Alumni Aries (fka Blu) is currently boarding and training with Andrew at Destination Dog Training, working on his dog reactivity. What a transformation! He looks so happy and is being such a good boy. Andrew has helped several of our adopters (and us!) address behavioral issues with great success. He is also currently working with Jefke.
#destinationdogtraining #ares #goodboy🐶 #gsdrescue #azdogtrainer #germanshepherdrescue #azfamily #azdogs #handsomegsd #instagsd #welovegermanshepherds #savingpawsrescueaz


Look at miss Riley (formerly Hazel of the Fab 4) after just a week in her new home! She went from being a victim of backyard breeding and living in her own waste, not knowing what a bed was. She didn’t know affection or cuddling – now she’s embracing new comforts that should be the norm. How amazing! So wonderful to see her living the good life. According to her Mom, “not pictured is 5 minutes later when she got sassy with her sister, but we won’t talk about that.” 😂❤️ #fabfour #hazel #riley #amazingrecovery #stopbackyardbreeding #adoptdontshop🐾 #savealifeadopt #adoptadog #rescuedogsrule #azfamily #pupdate #welovegermanshepherds #instagsd #savingpawsrescueaz