We are proud to announce our first opportunity to work with HARTT (Humane Animal Rescue & Trapping Team).

We were first contacted about Walter by our good friend Shelli, who volunteers for HARTT. It seems they had caught what appeared to be a white GSD in the far west valley and they were looking for a rescue for him. Shelli had met Walter and couldn't say enough nice things about him. According to Shelli: "I helped HARTT humanely trap a dog out in the desert last night. He's a beautiful white German Shepherd; he's neutered but did not have a chip. He is also extremely sweet but a hot mess, meaning he's very thin. He hasn't had any meals or fresh water for a little while. The lead trapper asked me to reach out to see if you had room for him or would like to meet him to see if he's a good fit for your rescue. Will do an owner search. He's going to go to urgent care today just to get checked over. And if you're interested in taking him but need time to you get a foster or you got one leaving next week it's all right if he stays at the shelter. They just like to hone in a date. ..." This boy was located in the middle of a desert, closest cross streets would be 287th Avenue and Sun Valley Pathway in Buckeye.

He is beyond thin

Here's Walter's story as posted by HARTT: On Thursday morning (3/25), a sighting was posted to Facebook of a very skinny, white dog. The person just so happened to be driving by when they noticed him. (The dog was spotted in the desert a few miles west of Sun City Festival Ranch.) HARTT Volunteer Jim Schander came across the post and headed out to search, driving 5 miles east and west, but was unable to locate. After work, HARTT volunteer Ramona Neuhaus searched as well but couldn't locate either. She left a feeding station setup in the last known location based on the social post.

The blue arrow is the tunnel Walter would hide in (also where Ramona Neuhaus setup a bed and feeding station). Yellow box is where we set up the trap.

Ramona Neuhaus left Walter a nice bed and made sure he had clean water and food!

Ramona headed back out later that evening to check on the feeding station when she came across the dog! She left another feeding station setup, this time where she had eyes on him. She also sent us a few more pictures - this was a tall dog and would definitely require HARTT's XL trap! Traci Porter-Cook got to work with coordinating getting the XL out that way!

Walter spotted us just as we were finishing setting up equipment. We quickly left!

Throughout Thursday and Friday, Ramona checked the feeding station every few hours and refreshed with food. This dog (who we named Walter) was so emaciated, we had to worry about making sure he didn't consume too much food at once (this can be very dangerous in dogs who haven't had regular meals - called refeeding syndrome). Thanks to Ramona's feeding stations, Walter got used to coming to a specific area to eat and bought us time until we could get one of our XL traps on scene.

Walter smelling the trail of liquid smoke we left! It didn't take him long to enter the trap!

Glenn (husband of HARTT Volunteer Judith Chiccarillo ) was able to pickup the XL trap from Phoenix and transport it to Surprise. Friday evening, Daniel Britts, Judy, Ramona, Jim and myself [Gina] met up to deploy the trap. Just as we were finishing getting equipment setup, we saw Walter appear from across the roadway. He watched us as we quickly wrapped up and trailed liquid smoke behind us as we left the area. It didn't take long before Walter made his way back to the trapping site, sniffing the liquid smoke and eating the small trail of food leading to the jackpot in the back of the trap. Within minutes of him showing up on camera, he entered the trap and was safe!

Walter in his trap with newest HARTT volunteers Jim Schander and Ramona Neuhaus

Ramona, Jim and Judy all got to the scene within minutes to sit with him and keep him calm. Daniel and I were a bit further out, but immediately turned around to join the rest of the team! HARTT Volunteer Shelli Woodward was notified and headed out with a van to help transport this handsome boy to HARTT's shelter.

On his way to HARTT in Shelli's vehicle

By the photos, we knew this boy was emaciated but seeing him in person was even more heartbreaking. Not only was he thin but his poor bottom had poop caked onto him (he must have had bouts of diarrhea - who knows what he had to eat to survive). Shelli, Daniel and I got Walter settled into the HARTT shelter where he immediately came out of the trap to explore his surroundings. He had a small portion of chicken with rice that Shelli made and got a lot of affection! He LOVED to be pet and even came up to faces to give kisses. The next day he got an initial workup at an emergency vet's office. (We're told that exam was less than thorough and consisted only of a cursory exam, temperature taking, etc., after which Walter was sent on his way with Metronidazole to control his diarrhea.)

Walter with Daniel at HARTT shelter

Waiting to be seen at the vet's office

At the vet's office with Shelli

Walter is currently safe at HARTT's shelter while we work on placement with White GSD Rescue. If you'd like to make a donation to them for his care, please visit: White German Shepherd Rescue's Donation Page and make a note that this is for "Walter"! An owner search is being conducted, as it's possible for dogs to travel for miles (he could have been lost for a while).

Walter at HARTT's shelter, getting some yummy rice and chicken that Shelli Woodward made for him! Love the little rice stuck to his nose!

Traci Porter-Cook spending time visiting with Walter at the HARTT shelter!

UPDATE 3/30: Walter is looking much better (and totally cute) now that he's cleaned up a bit and has some food in his tummy. ...and someone was even thoughtful enough to get him toys, which he thoroughly enjoyed. According to Shelli, he knows "sit" and possibly "down." This boy has been someone's pet. We cannot imagine how they lost him.


Walter will be seeing our vet tomorrow afternoon where we will be doing bloodwork and any other testing needed to get this boy back to health.

Click to help Walter on his way back to health via Paypal:


Checks made payable to WGSDR may be mailed to:

White GSD Rescue
2807 W Michelle Drive
Phoenix, AZ 85053-1732
(No dogs at this location; mailing address only)


If you would like a tax receipt for your donation, your donation must be processed through CABRA (Coalition of All Breed Rescue of Arizona), a 501c3 to which we belong as a participating member rescue. You can send your payment to CABRA in one of 2 ways:

  • Check: Please make your check payable to "C.A.B.R.A." and mail to:

    c/o Bill Ferrell, Treasurer
    116 Pioneer Street
    Gilbert, AZ 85233
    Note on the check "For the benefit of White GSD Rescue (Walter)"


  • Paypal or credit card: Please visit CABRA's website and click on the "Donate" button on the first page. PLEASE BE SURE YOU DESIGNATE YOUR DONATION TO GO TO "WHITE GSD RESCUE" and the dog's name ("Walter") that you are donating for once you are logged into PayPal. Please note: If you use a credit card, Paypal will take a percentage of your donation and we will not receive the full amount.
Daniel B   Nicole M   Gina D   Becky G

To all of Walter's faithful & generous supporters, we are eternally grateful... Walter has a long way to go but, with your help, he will surely get there.

UPDATE 3/31: Walter saw our vet today (thank you, Shelli!!) for an exam and microchipping. The good news is that he has gained a pound! To say that Walter has had a rough life of late is an understatement. Now that his diarrhea is clearing up on the metronidazole, we're having to keep him on a soft diet so that he's able to pass stool normally through his ravaged system. His rear end is so irritated and swollen that the vet was unable to insert a thermometer to take his temperature!

Shelli delivers Walter to Dynamite Creek

Walter is cautious

Very bonded to Shelli

49 pounds!

Dr. Jeff tries to make friends...

...and is very gentle with Walter

Walter was microchipped during his vet visit, but we decided to wait for the bloodwork results before doing any vaccines. We believe Walter had an owner at one point and may have already received his vaccinations, but we don't want to overload his recovering system right now. We'll revisit vaccinations once he's healthier. He was given a steroid injection and ointment to help soothe and take down the swelling in his rectum, and we'll await the bloodwork results.

UPDATE 4/1: We received a call from our vet this afternoon and Walter's bloodwork came back NORMAL!!! The vet said apparently Walter hadn't been without food for long enough for his body to start metabolizing his muscle for nutrition, which is great news (especially for Walter). We are still waiting for the valley fever results and, in the meantime, our friends at HARTT are attempting to get a stool sample from Walter so we can check for worms and parasites. There was a fecal sample taken from Walter when he was seen at the emergency vet upon intake, but somewhere along the line the sample was "misplaced." We will get that done as soon as Walter cooperates with a poop sample. Now that he's receiving good nutrition and his diarrhea has cleared up, he's being a bit "stingy" with his bowel movements. It's just a matter of time before he provides a sample and we can get that tested as well. Good news for Walter today!

UPDATE 4/2: Walter provided us with a small stool sample this afternoon which was quickly rushed to our vet for analysis.

UPDATE 4/3: Walter's stool tested NEGATIVE. He is free of internal worms and parasites. He is eating well and providing more "samples," but his bowel movements have not stabilized as yet. He is being fed small meals throughout the day and we're allowing his swollen rectum to heal before we worry about controlling any diarrhea he might develop -- being able to pass stools is more important at this stage.

UPDATE 4/4: Walter is loving life!

He's always happy and he always has good energy

UPDATE 4/8: Walter saw the vet again today. There's good news and not-so-good news. The vet said that Walter was definitely improving in the rectum area and should now be able to pass stool normally so we don't have to keep him on a soft diet. The bad news is that because Walter's been on a special (soft) diet for the past week, he's digesting and using everything he's taking in and not producing much stool BUT he's lost some weight. The vet has approved a change of diet to puppy food (both dry and wet) to see if we can put some pounds on this boy. He's happy and active and loves to play. Other than the fact that you can count every one of his ribs, you'd never know there was anything wrong with him! He did SO much better at the vet's office today.

Definitely a team effort at the vet's office today

Adoption fee to be determined.

If you are interested in fostering or fostering-to-adopt Walter, please fill out our PROSPECTIVE ADOPTER'S QUESTIONNAIRE. You will be contacted by return email. If you do not receive a response within 24 hours, please Email Nancy at This questionnaire link is only for Walter or other white German Shepherds on our site. WE WILL NOT CONTACT YOU until a questionnaire has been completed.

Please familiarize yourself with our adoption policies by reading ADOPTION BEGINS HERE. THANK YOU.