German Shepherd Escapes Shelter and Goes Looking for Her Former Human

Ginger was surrendered by her human because they became homeless, but she escaped her kennel and went looking for her family anyways.




Ginger is a two-year-old German shepherd that was at the Apple Valley Animal Shelter in California, after being surrendered by her human.  He became homeless and didn’t want Ginger to suffer because of it.  This was something she just found unacceptable, as she escaped and went to try to find her human.

“Her previous owner didn’t want her to live out of a vehicle.  It was a very difficult thing for him,” said Gina Whiteside, who with the Apple Valley Animal Shelter.

Ginger didn’t want to surrender, and most certainly wasn’t going to just hang around the shelter waiting for someone to adopt her.  She did what anyone would have.  She broke out of the shelter and went looking for her human.  She jumped over a six-foot gate at the front of her kennel, snuck past not one, but THREE closed doors and around shelter staff to get out.

While making her escape, she accidentally set off the motion detectors in the shelter.  This prompted animal control to be called in to investigate, and when the officers arrived, the place looked as if someone was rifling through things inside, but Ginger was nowhere to be found.

“When the animal control officer came, he noticed that the front counter phones were all over the floor and papers as well,” said Whiteside.  “It looked like someone trashed the front area.”

Ginger was recovered three days later, completely unharmed and seeming no worse for the wear.  She was found just a short distance from her former home, so that’s why it’s assumed she was looking for her family.  Since the incident hit the news, there’s been a lot of interest from people looking to adopt her, and the shelter has put her in a more secure space.




32 thoughts on “German Shepherd Escapes Shelter and Goes Looking for Her Former Human

  1. Oh, I wish I was in CA or could get to CA soon, because I would take this smart GSD home! As a long time GSD owner, I know how brilliant these dogs are. I wish the owner had kept her, she would have been happier to live out of a van with him than to be in a shelter, or to adapt to a new owner. GSD’s adapt very well when with their people. Mine LOVED living out of our trailer with us for half the summer while we traveled the country in our truck and travel trailer.

    1. Me, too. I wish the owner had kept her. She would have been fine living in a van. Someone else adopting her is not the answer; she will be forever lonely until she is reunited with her owner. Just breaks my heart.

    2. Ginger needs to stay with her rightful owner. She is hurting deep inside. I wish I could have her, she is the most loyal dog ever…

  2. Is there anyway we can help her owner so she can stay with him ? did he leave any contact info???

  3. I think that GSD’s are the most intelligent and most “human like” dog in existence. As such, they deserve to have a “proper” home with alot of room to run and play, which they love to do. This is why I waited over 40 years and spent over a million dollars before purchasing my GSD. I understand that not everybody is able to do that but, that is why not everybody should have a GSD. The worst possible situation is where a person realizes that they can’t provide a proper home for their dog AFTER they have owned a dog for a couple of years. That would be like taking one of your children to a shelter. That is to say, be a responsible owner, a responsible person and a good Christian. You will have to answer for your misdeeds and your only excuse can be “no excuse”!

    1. You’re awfully critical about a situation that was only briefly discussed. The individual became homeless because of reasons UNK. All you described may have been Ginger’s circumstances. You cannot say it was not.

      My heart breaks for both the owner and Ginger. Having lost my own precious Juice in Nov 2013 to Trifexis poisoning I know the owner must be suffering from giving up his precious girl, Ginger.

    2. You are not understanding the emotional value of the bond between an owner and his dog.
      Of course having a huge yard for our pets to run and play is ideal, but the first and most important need a dog has, is the heart of his owner.

    3. You are not understanding the emotional value of a bond between an owner and his dog.
      Of course having a big yard for our pets to run and play is ideal.
      But the number one priority for a dog, is to be with his owner, is the connection with the heart of his owner.
      Nothing replaces that. Not even the biggest mansion.

    4. Ginger would be happier living in a vehicle with his owner than anywhere else. Yes, GSD need exercise for their bodies and challenge for their intelligent minds, but most of all they need love, loyalty and companionship which can be accomplished even when living in a van.

    5. Sometimes tragedies can happen in life with no warning , I know due to my current situation . I always had a job and was always able to take care of my bills and spoil my furbabies with everything they needed …….. they had me wrapped around their paw . My heart is totally with this girl as I have been close to the same decision with my 7 yr old German Shepherd , I face this heartache everyday . Im 56 yrs old and it seems that finding work has gotten really harder these days . Harley ( my GS ) has been my rock & the shelter is NOT AN OPTION for me , I cry constantly because I know he would not make it due to missing me . I ‘ve had him since he was 5 wks old , he is my heart ….. my life ………. MY WORLD <3

      1. I hop you and your baby will be okay. I have a 2 year old German Shepherd names Sierra and she is my world. I know how you feel. Id like in a tent with her before I ever let her go. I couldn’t imagine my life without her. I would rather die than lose her

  4. Omg! Someone really needs to help them both! She really loves her daddy to go through all of that. They deserve to have eachother.

  5. I’d like to help that owner out, anyone who could raise and keep such a beautiful dog that loyal can’t be all bad.

  6. She’ll be fine living with her owner in a van. It will not solve anything by someone else adopting her; she will always be pining away for the original owner. Just breaks my heart. I hope the animal shelter folks will contact the owner and see if they can’t talk him into taking her back.

  7. God bless her and her owner. I pray her owner can find a home and get her back. Hopefully, an adoption will be arranged with the intention of reuniting them. If I could, I would offer long-range care for her until her owner is in a better position to care for her. I would be sad to lose a dog like her, but so happy if I could bring them back together.

  8. Ginger needs to stay with her owner and her owner needs her.
    They both need eachother. The harder the times we go through,, the more we humans need our pets, and the more our pets feel the need to be by our side.
    Ginger KNOWS THAT VERY WELL, that’s why she RAN BACK HOME.
    Helping the owner keep Ginger is the right way, and temporary foster care until things get organized, a great temporary solution.
    Many of us want to help, let’s find Ginger’s owner and keep that heart in one piece.

  9. Please let us know if the owner is located and if he gets help so he can keep his precious pet Ginger.

  10. you need to find her owner and make sure they stay together, if that means someone sponsers vets services and food, they really need each other.

  11. I have never owned a GSD but many mutts. I have loved each and every one. The only exception was Nugget a Dalmatian/Basset Hound mix. He was more like another son to us and our son treated him more like a brother. In Oct. 2013 we lost him to cancer. It has just about killed my wife and I. It was only in Sept 2014 when we found Foxey, an abused Sheltie/Besenji mix that our healing began. I said all that to show that not all stories are apparent from the small amount of information given in these comments. You still do not know everything about me and my family, so people should not judge others. I understand Ginger and what her true owner are going through. They need each other more than Ginger needs a new owner. If I could help her owner I would, but, not being able to work and hold a job, my finances are tight. I will be praying for them though.


  13. Danielle R Gregory, are you for real? There is really a place that is ever so cruel?? Oh my God, I don’t know what I’d do if someone came to my door for that purpose. I’m old and have two furry girls but I’d dare anyone to even think of something so cruel. Maybe the dude on here thought of that rule!! It’s obvious they have never had a puppy to warm their heart. Thanks for the report.

  14. Instead of someone to adopt Ginger, how about someone to help Ginger’s owner get in a position so that he & Ginger can be reunited. I think that is what Ginger would prefer.

  15. Anyone curious about the status of this sweet German Shepherd. check the Apple Valley Animal Shelter Facebook page. They have current photos of her, and there is quite a bit of interest from people wanting to adopt her. I know the overwhelming wish is to reunite her with her former owner who is living out of his car, but imagine if this loyal, loving dog had a medical emergency? Also, there could be other underlying reasons he is living out of his car, and for being homeless. Now, this dog will hopefully have a chance for a new life with a stable family that will be able to provide a loving home for her and take proper care of her. Perhaps that man really did a selfless thing by giving her that gift, even though it must have been super painful.

  16. Thanks to everyone for trying to help us reunite with our baby ginger me and my wife really miss her and are heart broken if anyone can help us u can text or call me at 760 979 9875 I do have a job just need an adorable place to rent that allows a dov

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