10 Best Great Dane Rescues for Adoption (2021): Our Top 10 Picks!

Best Great Dane Rescues for Adoption

Are you up to the task of rescuing a Great Dane? If you’ve been thinking of having your own Scooby-Doo, then you should definitely consider rescuing one.

They may be towering to look at but Great Danes are sweet, affectionate, and patient dogs who will warm your home with so much love.

Don’t know where to start on your Great Dane adoption journey? I’m here to help!

In this guide, we’ll dish out our top 10 choices for Great Dane rescue centers and a list of other options. We’ll also give you everything you need to know in taking that big step of adopting a Great Dane to your life.

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Most of the Great Dane rescues in this list follow the same adoption process. If you want to ace your application, I suggest that you read our ultimate adoption guide which features key tips and techniques starting from choosing the breed to home introduction.

Top 10 Great Dane Rescues to Find Great Danes for Adoption

All adoption organizations have the noble purpose of matching their rescued Great Danes to their forever homes.

My advice to increase your chances of adopting is to reach out to as many rescues as you can. Don’t worry too much about the process because it just takes one right match.

I hope you’re excited as I am to share our top 10 Great Dane rescue organizations in the US. Here you go!

1. Great Dane Friends of Ruff Love (GDFRL) – North Carolina

True to their byword of “saving one until there is none,” Great Dane Friends have rescued 725 purebred Danes, mixed breeds, and dogs with special needs and health problems since 2009. They are an extension of Ruff Love which pretty much shares the same goal.

GDFRL operates on principles of foster care, second chances, and transparency.

Their dogs learn socialization from their foster families for better adaptability to future homes. Full disclosure of the dog’s condition and medical care are given prior to adoption.

Here’s a quick check if you meet their requirements:

  • Your home must have a fenced yard. You can appeal this but there’s no exception for pups or deaf/vision-impaired dogs.
  • If you have other pets, they must be spayed or neutered and vaccinated.
  • All dogs must be treated like family and live inside the house.

Their approval process involves an online application, vet and reference checks, phone interview, and house visit.

Check out their adoptable Great Danes on their website, where each dog profile has a background and personality details to help you gauge your compatibility.

Great Dane Friends of Ruff Love (GDFRL) Information and Details:

2. Waters Edge Great Dane Rescue, Inc. – South Carolina

All Great Danes for adoption at Waters Edge come from being strays or from owner surrender. They highly encourage opening your home for old Danes which are already housebroken, crate trained, and have been through obedience training.

Their adoption process follows the standard interview, vet check, reference check, and home visit. The volunteer will check the dog’s future living conditions, including the quality of the fence.

If you’ve been cleared, you’ll meet the Great Dane they deem to be the perfect fit for you and your family. The process takes anywhere from one week to one month.

Even if this may take a while, only click apply when you’re ready. Sometimes there are many approved adopters to the same dog and they will prioritize the first available match.

While most of their requirements are the same as others, you must also meet the following conditions:

  • Applicants must be 25 years old and above.
  • All animals must have heartworm and flea preventatives.
  • Purchase a Bloat Buster and bring it to their Meet and Greet or Adoption Day.

Waters Edge Great Dane Rescue, Inc. Information and Details:

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3. Mid-Atlantic Great Dane Rescue League, Inc. (MAGDRLI) – Mid-Atlantic

For over 25 years, MAGDRLI has been rescuing Great Danes and mixed Dane dogs in Maryland, Delaware, Washington DC, Virginia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York.

To ensure their Great Danes get the best care, they require the following:

  • The Dane must live inside the house.
  • All pets must be spayed or neutered and get a yearly check-up.
  • All interior stairs must be slip-resistant.
  • The house must have a fenced yard.

They’re strict in their fencing requirement unless you’re an exemplary dog owner. Thus, you can petition by submitting a letter explaining how you’ll exercise your Great Dane and a letter of endorsement from your vet.

If you can’t have a fence due to the structure of your home, you may get a two-year-old Dane or older. Meanwhile, If you have decided not to put a fence for personal reasons, you may get a five-year-old Dane or older.

Mid-Atlantic Great Dane Rescue League, Inc. (MAGDRLI) Information and Details:

4. Northwest Florida Great Dane Rescue, Inc. (NWFLGDR) – Florida

With a record of rehoming 1,104 Great Danes to date, Northwest Florida surely knows how to find the best match for their adoptable Danes. They have foster homes in the Florida Panhandle area from Mobile, Alabama to Jacksonville, Florida.

Part of their mission is to educate the public about the Great Danes and the importance of spaying, neutering, and shots. Advocating responsible Great Dane ownership and care, they encourage people to report any knowledge of potential neglect or abuse to dogs.

NWFLGDR does a careful assessment of both the Great Dane and its potential family to fulfill a harmonious home. They follow these nine steps in their adoption process:

  • Application
  • Property Record Check
  • Vet Reference Check
  • Home Visit
  • Phone Interview
  • Matching of Dane
  • Meet the Dane
  • Sleepover Contract
  • Finalize Contract

Their website’s adoption application page is easy to navigate with graphics that show preferences like a home without cats, small children, other dogs, or people with special needs.

Northwest Florida Great Dane Rescue, Inc. (NWFLGDR) Information and Details:

5. Rocky Mountain Great Dane Rescue (RMGDRI) – Colorado

Rocky Mountain rescues, rehabilitates, and rehomes Great Danes in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Arizona, Oklahoma, Iowa, Missouri, and South Dakota.

They are PACFA licensed with the Colorado Department of Agriculture and they started in the year 2000 with 2,269 successful adoptions to date.

Similar to some of the previous rescues, they require a fenced yard unless you can show alternatives for exercise.

Adoptees should also be at least 21 years old and families with children would only be accepted if their kid is not under the age of five. In addition, all the animals at home must be spayed or neutered and vaccinated.

On their available Great Danes page, look for those marked with “A” for available or “AWL” for available with an active waiting list.

Once you have decided to apply, fill out the online form and pay an application fee of $20. The process takes two to four weeks which includes a reference check and home visit.

Rocky Mountain Great Dane Rescue (RMGDRI) Information and Details:

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6. Upper Midwest Great Dane Rescue (UMGDR) – Minnesota

Since 2008, the Upper Midwest Great Dane Rescue has been finding forever homes to Great Danes in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Iowa.

Rescued Great Danes by UMGDR receive veterinary care, in-home training, and behavioral interventions before they start a new life with their chosen adopters.

If you’re sure that you want a Great Dane in your life, they recommend applying even if you don’t have a specific dog in mind. However, if you have children at home, they must be over eight years old.

After you apply, a volunteer will tour your home and yard with your family in attendance. For Upper Midwest, the foster family assigned to the Great Dane evaluates the application.

The approval process takes three to eight weeks. You’ll then be put on the waiting list and you have to pay a $25 non-refundable application fee.

Upper Midwest Great Dane Rescue (UMGDR) Information and Details:

7. North West Great Dane Rescue (NWGDR) – Washington

NWGDR rescues Great Danes in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and Montana. Since 2014, they have given medical care and placed 120 Danes in new forever homes.

Here are their specific requirements should you choose to adopt from them:

  • The fenced yard has to be at least five feet high.
  • If you have other dogs, they will only place Great Danes with dogs of the opposite sex.
  • In case you adopt puppies, you’ll pay a deposit that will be refunded once you prove your dog has been spayed or neutered.
  • Your online application must list all your family members and pets at home plus two references.

If your application is approved, you will be invited to join their closed Facebook page for their adopters. There, you’ll be able to choose among their Great Danes and take care of them overnight.

If all goes well, there will be a two-week trial period. However, if it doesn’t work out, the adoption fee will be refunded.

Northwest Great Dane Rescue (NWGDR) Information and Details:

8. White Kisses Great Dane Rescue – Texas

Their passion and priority for rehoming are the deaf, blind, and Great Danes with special needs. They promote double merle awareness, commonly known as white Great Danes.

These are dogs with partial or full white coats which may have special needs but they are adoptable, trainable, and much more rewarding to share a home with.

Since most of their Great Danes have special needs, they are very careful in choosing a family for their dog. You have to be at least 21 years old and are willing to enroll your new Great Dane in obedience training.

Here’s their adoption process:

  • Submit your application online.
  • In two to five business days, a representative will call you to discuss.
  • Complete the home and vet check.
  • Once cleared, pay the adoption fee and follow the contract guidelines.

All their dogs have been heartworm tested and started on heartworm prevention. They are also fully vaccinated, checked by the vet, and are microchipped.

White Kisses Great Dane Rescue Information and Details:

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9. Save Rocky the Great Dane Rescue and Rehab (SRGDRR) – Texas

This rescue center is also based in Texas, operating statewide, except in Massachusetts. They were founded and named in honor of a Great Dane, Rocky, who was irresponsibly euthanized in 2011.

To address unwarranted euthanization, overpopulation, and neglect, they made it their goal to educate pet owners on proper health care. They’re also dedicated to providing qualified and caring homes to their rescues.

Currently, their adoptable dogs are posted on their Facebook page. If you find a Great Dane that speaks to you, apply online and fill out their detailed questionnaire which will require three references. You also have to pay a non-refundable $20 application fee.

After going through checks and visits, their final approval is based on the family that fits the Great Dane and not on a first-come-first-serve basis.

They provide medical care and individual rehabilitation to nurse back Danes to good health so that they’re in good condition when they start their life with you.

Your Great Dane will be on heartworm prevention, microchipped, and will undergo training to adapt better to its new home.

Save Rocky the Great Dane Rescue and Rehab (SRGDRR) Information and Details:

10. The Great Dane Rescue and Sanctuary (GDROMN) – Minnesota & Wisconsin

Last but not least is the Great Dane Rescue and Sanctuary which rehomes purebred Great Danes.

Their approval may take from two to six weeks which starts by completing the online form and payment of $20 non-refundable application fee. All answers should be complete for quicker processing, and your submitted references should be ready to take their call.

If you’re approved to adopt, you can choose the Great Dane you want to be part of your family through their adoptable dogs.

If you haven’t found a match yet, they will keep you on an approved adopters list for three months. You can also ask them to share your profile with another legitimate rescue to expand your options.

Beyond adoption, GDROMN is proud of its sanctuary which is the only one of its kind in the US. The Great Dane Sanctuary is a place for unadoptable Great Danes to live out their lives where other dogs from the country are also accepted.

The Great Dane Rescue and Sanctuary (GDROMN) Information and Details:

Another thing that can help you significantly with your dog hunt is reading our ultimate dog adoption guide. This, alongside the Great Dane rescue options from our directory, will increase your chances of bringing home the dog you desire.

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Other Sources for Great Dane Rescue or Shelter for Adoption

Great Dane adult and puppies for adoption

To increase your odds of finding your Great Dane, you can check out these pet adoption websites:

  • Adopt-a-Pet – Known as North America’s largest non-profit pet adoption website (used to be 1-800-Save-A-Pet.com), Adopt-a-Pet provides the network to link homeless pets and future pooch parents. They are partners with over 21,000 animal shelters, pet rescue groups, and pet adoption agencies so you have a great chance of finding a rescue Great Dane with them.
  • Petfinder – Petfinder is an online database of pets who need a new home. Around 11,000 adoption organizations and animal shelters use this as a directory and are updated daily. For easier browsing on available Great Danes and to know more about this breed, you can also download their app and be part of this community.
  • Petango – Partnering with over 1,800 animal welfare organizations, Petango is the first adoptable pet search site offering real-time updates of adoptable pets in shelters. Just key in your location and you’ll have quick access to a network of Great Dane rescue centers. Have fun with their Petmatch to see pet personality traits that match you.
  • Rescue Me – This is a network that helps all breeds of dogs, cats, and other animals anywhere in the world. The site boasts of 11,364 adopted Great Danes. It is easy to navigate and has a map showing how many Great Danes are available for adoption in your state.
  • Local Animal Shelters and Rescue Organizations – Apart from our recommended rescue centers, there could be other local animal shelters near you. You’ll get the local advantage of seeing the Great Danes right away and the approval process may be faster. Who knows, the Great Dane you are looking for is already close to your home.

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Why Do People Put Great Danes up for Adoption or in a Rescue?

Despite the elegant charm of these gentle giants, Great Danes are surrendered to shelters and rescues or advertised for adoption based on the following reasons:

  • Their owner is moving out of town.
  • Their owner is moving to a new home where they don’t have enough space or a fenced yard to give proper care for their Great Danes.
  • The cost of caring for their dogs has gotten above their budget or financial capabilities.
  • They have too many pets at home.
  • New family members or babies prevent them from continued care for their dogs.
  • The owners’ change in lifestyle, health, or mobility keeps them from taking good care of their Great Danes.
  • The dog has many illnesses.
  • The dog has shown aggression.

Don’t be alarmed with the last two items on the list as these are not frequent reasons for giving up Great Danes for adoption.

Responsible rescue centers place the dogs in foster homes for medical treatment and behavior modification before they are turned over to their forever families.

How Much Should It Cost to Adopt a Great Dane?

Adopting a Great Dane goes for about $300 to $500 as compared to purchasing from commercial breeders which can cost anywhere from $1,700 to $3,000.

If you want to learn where your money goes, refer to the table below:

ExpensesAverage Cost
Vet Check-ups$50 – $100
Rabies Vaccination$15 – $25
Distemper Vaccination$60
Spaying/Neutering$150 – $300
Heartworm Test$15 – $35
Flea/Tick Treatment$50 – $200
Deworming$20 – $50
Microchip$50
Collar and ID Tag$5 – $10
Total$415 – $830

As shown on the table, the standard costs of your Great Dane’s healthcare and upkeep while they are in the rescue facility are often more expensive than what you’ll shell out for the adoption fee.

Some rescues may waive some of the charges depending on your adopted Great Dane’s condition or what has been provided for them by their former owner.

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Is It Difficult to Adopt a Great Dane From a Rescue?

Great Dane rescue playing with a kid

The two important factors to consider are your readiness to be a Great Dane owner and the adoption process of the rescue center you chose.

Since most of the Great Danes for adoption are going into their second homes, rescues take it upon themselves to conduct a strict screening process to ensure a good family for them.

There are many factors to consider in pairing a dog and its owner. From all the rescues we’ve scouted, the standard requirements are interviews, references, photos of the adopting home, and actual home visits.

Great Danes are the tallest dogs in the world, even taller than some people when standing on their hind legs. This entails long-term planning to be able to provide them quality life as they grow older.

Despite their daunting size, they are not yard dogs. Great Dane rescue organizations cannot stress it enough in their requirements that they must live inside the house.

As you explore different rescue centers, check the specific requirements so you can meet the qualifications. They usually accept applications until they find the best match.

The stringent process is something to be looked forward to and not dreaded because when you find your match, you know everything checks out and it’s meant to be!

5 Tips for Getting Approved By a Rescue to Adopt a Great Dane

Getting approved for an adoption application is not easy since you have to go thru the process of interviews and multiple screenings.

For you to successfully bring home a Great Dane, here are some tips for applying:

  • Be an expert in Great Danes. Research their needs, health, and temperament from rescue websites which provide a wealth of information about them. If you can, talk to some owners and check out online groups about Great Danes so you can have a general idea of living with them.
  • Provide your detailed information. The online application forms can be long and very specific. Be open and transparent with your information. Make sure you give complete and accurate answers.
  • Build a fence. Due to the size of the Great Danes, they will need outdoor exercise and playtime which is why a fence is a major requirement. Some rescues may have exceptions based on a history of caring for Great Danes or other big dogs. However, you will still get better chances by having one.
  • Ask the rescue staff a lot of questions. Be engaging with the rescue staff or foster family when applying for adoption. Show your interest by asking how long it has been in the facility, its background, health issues, and personality.
  • Visit the Great Dane in the rescue facility. Nothing beats visiting your future pet in the facility or foster home. Seeing how big they are in person will manage your expectations and make you better prepared. This will also earn you some extra points in your application.

Note that these tips will work on a case-to-case basis. Please make sure to read the policies and specific requirements per dog before sending your application or visiting the rescue center.

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Final Thoughts: Which Great Dane Rescue Is Right for You?

Taking that big step to adopt a Great Dane is a compassionate decision that should not be taken lightly.

It’s definitely a more economical and charitable approach to adopt than to buy. Money saved from spending on commercial breeders can go into better care for your rescued Danes.

In choosing a rescue center, I would advise you to check the closest one to you first. Being close to the foster homes is usually a plus when you are assessed.

If you did not find one, feel free to go through the other rescues we featured on our list. However, be prepared for a trial and error process until you find the right one for you.

Don’t give up easily as many rescue Great Danes need new families to love and love them back.

John Carter

My name is John Carter and I absolutely love pets, especially dogs. I've got a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare and have several years’ experience working in animal shelters and rescues. My passion for animals started at a very young age as I grow up on a farm with several horses, cows, cats, chickens, and dogs on our property.

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