By Marietta (Mary Beth) Barrett

There are ways to get involved with furry canines while at Northwest University. One is at True North GSD Rescue.

True North is a rescue that specializes in helping German Shepherds find their forever families.  They rescue dogs, take in canines being surrendered, perform temperament tests, play with the dogs and do extensive research into potential adopters.

Photo courtesy of True North GSD Rescue

Judie O’Brien, the President and owner of True North, shares the heart of the rescue. It’s about finding the right home, not just a home.

“We save them,” she says.  “We enable them to have a new and positive life [because] rescue is not about taking the dogs and finding homes.  It’s about doing the right thing for the dog and for the human. For us, it’s about doing the right thing always,” O’Brien explains.

One example of this, is a German Shepherd whose owner was moving to Hawaii for the military.  Sadly, she could not afford to bring her dog with.  So, True North donated the money to transport the dog to Hawaii to be with her.

True North found what was best for the dog and for the new owner in this situation and found a way to make it happen.

There are opportunities for Northwest University students to become involved at True North.  It is a way for animal lovers to become involved in the community, improve the circumstances of homeless dogs and spend time with lovable furballs.

O’Brien explains there are a variety of volunteer opportunities through True North including:

  • Calling applicant references
  • Scheduling and attending home visits and meet and greets
  • Updating the application portal
  • Occasionally transporting dogs
  • Attending dog temperament tests and learning dog language through tests observations
  • Hanging out with dogs and playing with them

Photo courtesy of True North GSD Rescue

In short, becoming a volunteer at True North results in being involved in the lives of rescued German Shepherds.  The best way to apply to become a volunteer is on the True North website at  Afterwards, referrals are requested.  True North then inquires as to what you are interested in and good at.  They use your strengths to best benefit their German Shepherds.