Eleanor Sasso is a Wilton woman who has dedicated herself to rescuing German Shepherds and finding them forever homes with local families. She will be in front of the Village Market tomorrow, Wednesday, March 30 from 12-4 p.m. with her own Shepherd, Largo, as well as two dogs for whom she’s hoping to find homes.

Sasso has been in the pet care and animal service business for the last 20 years, caring for pets, behavior training and nutritional counseling for animals.

“Having come from a corporate background, it is indeed a pleasure to be able to pursue my avocation, now a full time vocation…pet care and German Shepherd Dog rescue!” she says.

Sasso has owned six German Shepherds herself over the years. She adopted her two current dogs, Largo and Luna, from a large rescue organization in California, and was motivated to give back.

“I very much wanted to help them find adopters on the East Coast for their more than a thousand German Shepherds that passed through their kennels each year.”

She’s had some past success bringing dogs available for adoption to Village Market, as she did last December. She also works with another CT-based rescue operation called Passion Works Rescue.

“Passion Works Rescue has access to shelters across the country, many high kill, that have hundreds of Shepherds waiting to be saved from a death sentence. These are magnificent purebred shepherds (and mixes) who, through no fault of their own, find themselves in this tragic circumstance,” says Sasso.

Local people who are interested in adopting a German Shepherd fill out an application. Sasso will do a home check and learns more about the specifics of what type of dog the adopters prefer. Passion Works Rescue will locate dogs that closely fit the profile, and sends “pullers” to the shelter(s) to evaluate the dog(s). Pictures and a description are sent to the adopters, and if it seems like a fit, the dog is pulled and its life saved.

Once the dog is vetted, spayed/neutered, and fostered near its origin shelter for two weeks, it’s then transported to Passion Works Rescue, which keeps the dog for a few days to be vetted again and taught basic obedience, if needed.

“We then introduce the dog to his/her adoptive family, and an adoption contract is signed. We spend much time on the introduction and familiarize the forever family with all the information that we have,” Sasso says. She also sets up training sessions with the family and dog, and she stays in close touch to be available to help anytime.

Sasso has some advice for families who are considering adopting a dog.

“First and foremost, that they have enough time to introduce their new family fur member into their home and lifestyle.
Other pets and children must be taken into consideration as well as training, a containment system and knowledge of the breed characteristics. What I look for when evaluating forever homes for this magnificent breed is primarily love, appreciation and respect for their new family member. I check the home for any safety concerns and fencing. I listen closely to learn the potential lifestyle the dog will have. Mainly [I look for] lots of together time, regular exercise and more.

Sasso has three German Shepherds currently available for adoption in CT:

Kingsley:  a gorgeous 2-year-old red/black plush-coated male with a very sweet and gentle disposition.

Kingsley

Ronin:  a bi-color, 1-year-old male with “painted toes” who is, “Happy and has lots of puppy energy!”

Ronin to adopt

Pride:  a gleaming 6-month-old black male puppy, who Sasso says is, “Full of puppy happiness, walks well on leash, and knows basic obedience.”

Pride to adopt