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Shenandoah Shepherd Rescue (SSR) was founded in January 2017 and is a 501c3 Animal Welfare rescue focused primarily on the rescue of German Shepherd Dogs (GSD) & GSD mixes. Based out of the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, we expand our reach & work to save German Shepherd Dogs in heavily populated, high kill areas in south Texas.


SSR pulls the dogs that most other rescues can’t or won’t take. Most have medical issues, aren’t vaccinated, are heartworm positive, pregnant, needing costly surgery, etc. Once they are vetted in Texas and healthy enough for transport, they are brought to Virginia to meet their foster.


SSR is not a brick and mortar facility. Rather, we are foster-based, meaning that every dog that comes into our care goes into a home environment, where they can be readied for their forever home.

about shenandoah shepherd rescue


Our mission

Texas has one of the highest shelter euthanasia rates in the United States. With thousands of stray dogs living on the streets, low spay & neuter rates, and an overburdened shelter system, these dogs desperately need help. Our mission is to make a significant difference through the rescue, rehabilitation, and adoption of German Shepherds (& friends) from South Texas.

Together, we can make a difference in the lives of the suffering street dogs in South Texas, where there are more dogs dying on the streets and in shelters than there are rescues to save them.

meet the rescue founders

Jennifer Aufdenberg

our dogs were our  beginning

In 2016, Shenandoah Shepherd Rescue founders Jennifer Quesenberry Aufdenberg and Kaitlin Vazquez met while volunteering for another local German Shepherd rescue.  Their mutual love of the breed and desire to save German Shepherds at risk of euthanasia, neglect, and abuse drove them to establish Shenandoah Shepherd Rescue in early 2017.

Kaitlin Vasquez

Jennifer's story

I stumbled upon rescue after going through a particularly hard time in my life. I decided to join a local GSD rescue and had no idea what was to come. I had grown up with dogs and always loved them, but actively involving myself in the rescue of others was a completely different ballgame. Once I signed up with the local rescue, my very first volunteer assignment was to evaluate a nine month old puppy that was being surrendered. I didn’t have experience with the breed or evaluations, but I went anyway. 


My life changed forever. I wasn’t an approved foster at the time, so I decided to take the puppy home anyway – I couldn’t leave him behind, as the owner said he was going to take him somewhere in WV. It was my first real experience owning a GSD, a puppy at that. It was a rough first night, but we instantly became inseparable. I have never felt such love toward another dog, as I did towards Echo. Thus began my lifelong journey into the rescue and care of the German Shepherd Dog!

Kaitlin's story

I got my first German Shepherd (and first dog ever) three years ago, two months before my husband went on deployment. I was in love with him from the second he was born and I hadn’t even met him yet. When he finally came home to us, he was everything I had dreamed he would be and more. To this day I have a better understanding of him than I do most things, and I consider myself lucky to know the unwavering love of a German Shepherd.


I want every dog to have a home as safe and happy as mine, and I want every person to experience this wonderful breed. I can’t imagine a better way to spend my life than living on a big plot of land with a dozen foster dogs running around, enjoying the life they almost had taken away from them.

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