About Us

Sweet Shepherd Rescue Inc is committed to providing aid to the German Shepherd dog breed through rescue, education and rehabilitation. Through our expert medical care program we ensure difficult medical cases are given the best chances at survival, while our foster program provides care for surrendered and rescued dogs. We offer an assisted rehoming service which utilises our stringent adoption guidelines to rehome dogs into appropriate homes, stopping the cycle of animal abuse and backyard breeding. Our seniors program takes in old souls who are given the chance to live out their twilight years in comfort, often with complex medical needs. Sweet Shepherd Rescue Inc aims to educate families about the German Shepherd breed to ensure all of these sweet and often misunderstood dogs are a welcomed family member.

Our Rescue

Our Rescue Established in 2013 and based in Victoria, Sweet Shepherd Rescue Australia Inc. (SSRA) offers rescue, education and rehabilitation to German Shepherd dogs all across Australia, through our extensive network of volunteers and staff. We are a registered not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the German Shepherd breed, and are continually looking for support through assistance from volunteers, donations and pledges.

A pretty big task to take on; if you can assist us in caring for any of these dogs through fostering, adoption or donation, please get in touch!

Seniors Program

When dogs of any breed get older, they can become too difficult for many families to manage, and the German Shepherd breed can experience a range of afflictions in their later years. Thankfully, SSRA offers refuge to these beautiful seniors, complete with a comfy bed, blankets and all the creature comforts they deserve, as well as any medical needs attended to with our full support and consideration. We recognise that caring for a senior, especially through the inevitable, is a special job and not for everyone, which is why we offer a senior sponsorship pledge for those looking to care for one of these senior souls but without the ability to provide the emotional or medical support. These pledges enable us to provide ongoing care and medical treatment to seniors. In return for your commitment to them, we provide you with monthly updates and a 100% tax deductible receipt of your donation.




Our Team


Events Extraordinaire

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Hi I’m Sam’s dad; I have always loved Sam’s passion for animals and rescue. I only wish there was a lot more people like Sam.


Adoption Coordinator

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Ange has been part of SSRA from 2015, when first assisting as a foster carer. After 18 months fostering 14 dogs and foster failing with Maddi, (pictured) Ange took on the adoption coordinator role.

If you apply to adopt or inquire regarding adoption of a SSRA dog, Ange will be your first point of contact. Located within the North East Victoria region, Ange has two German Shepherds, Candy 4 ½ yrs old & Kane, 4 yrs old along with Maddi who will be 8 this year.

“Matching our dogs into their forever homes, seeing and hearing progress updates from their new owners, whether its been a couple of weeks or even over a year after adoption, is one of the best parts of being on the SSRA team. Our focus is providing the best home for the dogs in our care”


Foster Care Coordinator

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Hi my name is Caroline Southwell I have been with Sweet Shepherd Rescue for 4 years as a volunteer I started off with the occasional sausage sizzle but then became seriously involved 6 months later as the Adoptions/Foster care Coordinator among other things. For the past 12 months my role is now the Foster care Coordinator. I have a passion for animals in general but German Shepherds are my true love and always will be. I joined Sweet Shepherd after my old shepherd died and I was wanting to help a dog in need. This is how I met Sam and became involved in helping with the rescue and re homing of hundreds of dogs. Emotionally rescue can be very draining but the rewards of seeing a dog who has had a terrible life find a loving home makes it all worth while. My personal life is crazy I am married to the love of my life Rod who is very understanding of the demands of being involved in rescue. I have 2 adult children 3 gorgeous dogs Pippa my black and tan GSD who is a crazy nut job but I love her to bits. Charlie my chilled out white swiss boy and Tara my little 6kg papillion x shizhu. Eddie the cockatiel and Nickos the canary.



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I’ve been in rescue for 6 years, mainly being a puppy foster carer, we have opened our doors to over 150 dogs and found them all loving homes. Now I am focusing more on photography, education and general rescue awareness/promotion.



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I have volunteered with SSRA since early 2014 after discovering breed specific rescue and an opportunity to help my favorites, the GSD. What has stood out to me over this time and what I see as this rescues point of difference is the unconditional love afforded to any animal that comes through these doors. GSD’s no matter their age, colour, behavior, breeding or complexity of their medical issues. Each of them is shown the same level of love and respect as the last and given the very best chance of rehabilitation regardless the cost. That’s why I devote my time to SSRA



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Balancing passionate and crazy, Jessica thrives on the chaos that comes with running two business, three dogs, one never-ending post-grad degree and a side hustle photo booth business. How? With the support of her amazing partner and live-in slave/teenage son, and a little help from a Smirnoff with girlfriends on a Friday night. Volunteering for Sweet Shepherd Rescue as foster carer and surrender coordinator over the past three years has added to the chaos in a meaningful and valuable way, and she is looking forward to working with you at Sweet Shepherd Rescue soon!



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How did I get into rescue? I believe this is the path my life has traveled. I was always the kid that found the stray and took it home. Many a kitten I have found in a haystack, they eventually made it into my home when they were old enough to leave mum. From a young age all my pets were strays or from homes were accidents happened. Presently I have 2 adopted cats, 1 adopted dog from Sweet Shepherd and 1 pure breed GSD fully papered. To see a dog come into rescue lost and confused, then to move into a home were they will be loved for the rest of their life is beautiful. To be able to help them on this journey is gratifying.


Founder / Director

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Sammy says: “Adopting Lilly in 2010 was an eye opener to me and we wanted to find out more about the hidden world of back yard breeding, puppy farms and the organisations who rescue these animals. Initially I become involved by providing transport and organising German Shepherd rescues across Australia. Once I had amassed a significant amount of understanding and knowledge about the rescue world, I decided to apply for an ABN number in March 2013.  In July of 2013 we received our Incorporation status, I was very proud and excited for the future of SSRAI. Since then there have been many changes and additions to our organisation; ones I am particularly proud of; are our senior palliation program and our extremely high success rate of parvo virus cases. Our team continues to grow and strives to give the best to each and every dog that comes into our care.”


Fundraising Coordinator

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Since joining SSRA last year I have been welcomed with open arms to the rescue world. It has been an invaluable experience and one I treasure. I love working with an ethical and caring team that want what is in the best interests of each individual dog. The hard work and dedication required to run a rescue like this is enormous, exhausting and challenging but most of all; rewarding.



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I have volunteered for Sweet Shepherd Rescue for about 3 years. I love German Shepherds and own one called Phoenix and have a Husky X White Swiss Shepherd called Shadow, I actually just love animals in general and Sweet Shepherd Rescue seemed the perfect place for me to give my free time to and help when I can as I love what they do and believe in their work and the charity.



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I volunteer for SSRAI because I love German shepherds! I like giving back to the planet and helping out those who are so deserving and don’t have a voice.

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