More about Fern


Fern is a 7 year-old GSP with medium level energy needs; however, we believe an active household with an active family will be a good match for her.  A fenced yard with another dog will be wonderful, BUT NO CATS or smaller animals that are allowed to wonder freely in your home.  Very good with children.


Fern (also known as Fernie) is a beautiful, all liver GSP that has only been with ISR a short time, so we’re still learning about her as each day passes.   So far, we know she’s extremely sweet, loving, and adores being with her 12-year old foster brother.  She’s very happy snuggling with him any time she finds him at home, and she especially loves sleeping with him.  She’s approximately 7 years old and is spayed.

Fern is very good with children and has lived with children from the ages of 5 through 12.  She’s very friendly, tolerant, and loving with children, but NOT with cats or animals she considers prey.  She’s highly prey-driven so beware to all those little backyard critters…probably best to give Fern a wide berth if she’s out getting good sniffs.  She’s also very smart and eager to learn and please…very GSP-like in those ways.  She’s crate-trained and already knows what sit, come, down, and leave it mean.  Fern does pretty well on leash walks; however she tends to pull a bit, so more training and time on leash walks will be helpful. 

Fernie really enjoys being with other dogs and will do well in a house with other doggy brothers or sisters, but she’ll be fine as an “only child”, too. She currently lives with 2 other GSPs and a 12-year old boy; she’s found her way into his heart and his bed. J  She hasn’t displayed aggressive behaviors toward people or other dogs with her food or toys, but she does try to eat her doggy siblings’ food, as well as her own.  She’s a bit of a food gobbler (including her treats) and happily jumps in to finish up for her 4-legged siblings (tsk, tsk).

Her foster family says she’s a very happy girl and shows you how happy she is with her cute little “wiggle butt”!  Her favorite pastime is snuggling and loving with her foster family.  She’ll often “budge” right in front of or between her GSP siblings to make sure she gets her share of snuggles and pets first.  She also thinks she’s a lapdog, wanting to be as close as she can get to you.  At 50+ pounds, she’s a bit heavy for this, but you won’t convince her of that.

If Fern isn’t getting snuggles, she loves to run in the yard and play with balls, ropes, Nylabones, sticks, flip-flops, etc.  Get the picture?  Pretty much anything she can get in her mouth runs the risk of becoming a Fernie toy.

We’ve mentioned Fern already knows several basic commands, but as with all of our rescues, we believe that Fern will, like most dogs heading for a new home and environment, benefit if her new family attends behavior/obedience classes with her.  The benefits of this type of training are many…bonding, instruction, understanding, etc.  Additional training will also help her learn better manners on her daily leash walks. 

Fern’s foster mom has loads of positive things to say about Fern.  “She loves to snuggle, sniff your face, rest her head on you, is a wiggle butt, loves attention, and is easy-going.”  All in all, it appears our Fern is a very happy girl with a ton of positive traits.

If you’re familiar with the book Charlotte’s Web, then perhaps you thought of the little girl in the book when you saw Fern’s name on our website.  In the book, Fern loved Wilbur the pig and saved Wilbur’s life right before he was going to become somebody’s next meal.  Egads!  She argues with her father that a small piglet has a right to live and grow into an adult pig.  Yay Fern!  In thinking about Fern and what she does in the story, she sort of symbolizes what ISR believes and stands for, too, but with GSPs and not piglets.  We believe all GSPs have a right to live, grow, and have a happy, loving family, which is why we have our own Fern available for adoption for the right family.

Are you ready for Fern to become a part of your family?  If so, please contact ISR and we’ll be more than happy to give you more information and even set up a visit if you think you’re a good match for this special girl.

  • Fern is up to date with routine shots and is already house trained.
  • Fern is altered

        Sponsor Fern     Adopt Fern


More about Lucas (a.k.a. Luke)


Lucas will need an active household with a family who has the time to exercise him.  Great with other dogs but is not compatible with cats.  He previously lived in a household with teenagers.  A fenced yard and lots of love because he is a true Velcro GSP. 


Lucas (Luke) is a very handsome liver and white male GSP with a beautiful disposition.   He’s about 5 years old and weighs about 55 pounds.  His markings are gorgeous and he has a long, natural tail. 

Lucas is a Velcro GSP in every sense of the word.  If he isn’t running, he wants to be with you – on your lap, next to you on the sofa, with you on the chair, etc.  Anywhere you are is where you’ll find Lucas.  While he’s very much a true people dog, Lucas loves to play with his GSP sibling, too.  And play he does!  He’ll play until he’s “dog-tired” and then he becomes that cozy Velcro dog we spoke about.  His new family is going to be so lucky!

Lucas is lovingly known as Luke to his foster family.  Lucas or Luke, whichever name you chose is a win-win situation for everybody.  We say win-win because any dog that has both names undoubtedly commands great respect from movie goers all over the world.  If you’re not sure what movie(s) we’re referencing, think of Luke Skywalker and George Lucas. That’s right!  The phenomenal, bigger than life Star Wars movies; George Lucas created the Star Wars concept and Luke Skywalker was the central character and hero.  This comparison means our Lucas/Luke has big shoes (ahem…paws) to fill, and fill them he does.  He’s spectacular and a huge hit with everybody who’s been with him.

Lucas is prey-driven and loves to hunt for little backyard ground critters.  Squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, etc., are all fair game with Lucas on the prowl.  He’s very high energy, loves to run, and will play hard and enthusiastically; however he hasn’t shown any interest in dog toys, mostly running and hunting (sniffing).  His foster mom says, “this boy has some wheels, and if he sees something he considers prey, watch out, because he’s after it…and gone!”  In order to keep Lucas well exercised, he gets a lengthy walk, twice a day (even in rainy weather). Additionally, there are bouts of exercise that are off leash (supervised, contained area) where he can actually run and play at whatever pace he chooses.  However, when he’s tried, he’s a true lap-dog who wants to cuddle up with you and take a well-deserved rest.  Of course, while he’s resting in very close proximity to you, he also wants all the petting and love you’re willing to bestow upon him.  He’s a lover and can’t get enough of it.

Lucas hasn’t shown any aggressive tendencies with food, toys, or people.  His foster family has been working on teaching him the concept of personal space…that it’s OK if he’s not with people all the time.  But…we’re not sure he quite gets this concept and may be a Velcro dog forever; meaning Lucas’ new family will need to be OK with this guy wanting to be close by all the time. Wink Wink wink His foster mom says, “He wants and loooooves attention.  He is very interested in pleasing you, as long as he is exercised.”

We think our Lucas is every bit the celebrity as his famous namesakes and we can’t wait for you to meet him.  If you’re interest is piqued and you’d like to see Lucas, a.k.a. Luke can wield a light saber, then contact us and we’ll be happy to set something up.   P.S.  Spoiler Alert…sorry, but our Lucas can’t wield a light saber, but wouldn’t that be cool? LOL laugh

  • Lucas is up to date with routine shots and is already house trained.
  • Lucas is altered

        Sponsor Lucas     Adopt Lucas


More about Nash


Nash is younger GSP (approximately 3 years old) with a very high energy level.  He’s a love, but with an energy level at a strong 8 out of 10, it will be necessary to home Nash with a family who understands a lot of exercise must be part of his regular, DAILY schedule.  Nash is currently trained for an invisible fence; however, we recommend he have a yard with a physical fence to help restrain him inside obvious boundaries – his energy level could affect how he will adapt to new surroundings, so his containment will be a priority.  No small children (under 5) or small dogs (due to his high energy level).


Nash is a beautiful, sweet boy with a ton of love and ENERGY plus!  He’s approximately 3 years old and loves nothing more than playing fetch…with anything!  Check him out in the picture above where he’s waiting with “bated breath” for that huge stick to be thrown again! Silly boy!  He currently lives with another, younger GSP and they play constantly.  Nash’s energy level and rambunctiousness keep him from being the ideal GSP to be homed with small children (under 5) or small dogs.  Even though there’s not a mean bone in his body, his playfulness can make it very easy for him to accidentally hurt anything smaller than he is.  We’re not positive how Nash would be around cats, but his foster mom guesses cats will be seen as possible prey to Nash; making them fair game for a possible fetch toy. YIKES! 

Nash is a fast learner and wants to please.  He is already crate-trained and doesn’t show any anxiety when crated.  Commands he currently knows are: sit, fetch (his favorite), and his foster mom says he knows “come”, but doesn’t respond to it on a regular basis.

Nash has a high prey drive, especially with ground critters…squirrels, gophers, chipmunks, rabbits, etc.  He goes on high-alert if he sees one and acts like he’s just spotted an enemy that must be dealt with…now!  He sees these little furry animals as anything but his friends.  Even though he is highly prey driven, he doesn’t seem to be very interested in birds. 

In order to keep Nash happy and out of possible trouble created by boredom, it’s necessary to keep him active on a daily basis.  Exercise is his friend.  Playing fetch seems to be his favorite thing to do – any time with anything.  He’ll fetch balls, sticks, pine cones, Nylabones, Kongs, and anything that can be thrown for him.  He likes fetch so much that it’s not uncommon for him to toss one of his toys on top of the dining room table to get his foster mom’s attention and entice her into playing fetch with him.  Pretty smart, right?   Nash loves his toys, but hasn’t shown any toy aggression or food aggression, either.

Nash is a wonderful GSP with tons of great traits that make him a wonderful catch, but full disclosure is always our intent.  Nash’s curiosity and highly developed (to scent) GSP nose may get him into trouble if he smells goodies on the counter.  Counter surfing could be a problem if he isn’t supervised.

Like most dogs heading for a new home and environment, it’s advisable his new family take the time to attend behavior/obedience classes with Nash.  The benefits of this type of training are many…bonding, instruction, understanding, etc.  These trainings will also help his new family learn how to get Nash to avoid counter-surfing and respond consistently to all commands.

Nash will be fine if homed with another high-energy dog, but not with a smaller or older dog.  If his forever family doesn’t have another dog to match his energy level, that’s fine, too; however, we recommend Nash’s new family be willing to incorporate Nash in daily activities to keep his energy level satisfied. Running, biking, hiking, long walks, playing a lot of fetch, swimming…just about anything that gives him an outlet to release all that fun-filled energy he has.  Mental exercise such as agility training could be a good outlet for him as well.  Did we mention he loves to play fetch? Wink Wink wink

A family who loves the outdoors and outdoor activities will be a great match for this guy.  He’s so full of fun and love we’re sure there’s a fun-loving, active family just waiting to bring him home.  If that’s you, please contact us so we can set up a meeting.  We’re sure you won’t be disappointed.

  • Nash is up to date with routine shots and is already house trained.
  • Nash is altered

        Sponsor Nash     Adopt Nash


More about George


George is about 8 years old and will need a home where a member of his family is home much of the time.  A fenced yard will be important, as he is quite prey-driven and forgets his boundaries.  He’s good with other dogs and adults, but unsure how he is with children and cats.


George is about 8 years old and still has plenty of energy to keep him on the go and interested in everything going on around him.  He came to ISR after he was found as a stray.  Unfortunately, his time as a stray (we think he may have been a stray for some time) took a bit out him as far as his overall appearance and health.  The good news is that since he’s arrived to ISR, he’s quickly picking up weight and getting all of the best medical attention and care that he deserves.  His foster family has been great at making sure he receives his vitamins and all the good food he needs to get back into tip-top shape!  He’s making great strides under all of this excellent treatment and loving!

We gave this boy the name of George, but not for any reason, other than he seemed like a George.  Since there are so many important/famous men by the name of George, you can decide which George matches the personality and good looks of our sweet, handsome George.  So many to pick from, too!  Let’s see…there’s George Washington, George Clooney (my personal favorite), George Bush (you pick which one), George Harrison of Beatle fame, George Michael (singer), George Carlin (comedian), George Takei (Star Trek), George Foreman (boxer and grill guru), George Burns (wonderful comedian), Boy George (singer) etc.  This list of famous Georges goes on and on.  You can decide which George you want to associate with him when you adopt him…which is exactly what we think you’ll want to do after you read more about him.

George is a white, liver spotted, medium-sized (about 45 pounds) GSP with a long, natural tail.  His a little lean right now, but is quickly putting on weight and getting in shape.  He gets along great with the other GSP living in his foster home; however, he doesn’t seem to have any interest in initiating or engaging in doggy play.  He’s content just to follow his buddy around and keep an eye on things in the yard.  He loves squeaky stuffed animals and doggy toys, and even though he doesn’t actually seem to know what to do with them, it’s clear he loves to hold on to them.  Sometimes he’ll play keep away with you if you try to get one his adopted “babies” – all in good fun of course.  He doesn’t exhibit any aggressive tendencies with humans or animals in any situation.

George is prey-driven and will hurriedly check out the fence line for any sign or scent of something he can chase.  He loves being on the move in the yard!  When he’s first let out in the yard to get a bit of exercise and do his business, he runs full speed briefly, and then slows down to enjoy his time sniffing for intruders.  Click here to check him out his backyard.

We’re not sure how George will be with children or cats.  When he is greeted by strangers, he’s very apprehensive and will back away and bark until he becomes more acquainted and comfortable with them.  If he were to be homed with a family that has children, George would need to be given time and space to allow a slow “getting to know you” period of time to ensure his comfort in a new setting.  George will also need to be in a family that has someone home with him more time than they are away from him.  George experiences separation anxiety if he’s left alone for too long; however, he is crate-trained and accepts going into a crate with no problem.  But, due to his anxiety issues, it’s best not to leave him alone for long periods of time.

George loves his food and feeding time.  He loves his food so much that he’s quite the gobbler.  He’s recently been eating out of a cupcake/muffin tin with a little food in each cupcake holder.  This has helped slow down his eating and he doesn’t seem to mind taking the extra time to get each bit of food.  We think he gobbles his food because of his time as a stray; having to fend for himself with whatever he could find.  Once he realizes food will be given on a regular basis, he may slow down on his own.

George has the cutest tendency to carry things around with him.  The first thing he chooses to do when he’s released from his crate is to find something to carry around with him.  A shoe, squeaky toy, socks, food bowl, etc.  He’s not particular, just whatever’s closest that he can put in his mouth for a while. 

Even though George was a stray for a while, he seems to be a fast learner and already knows commands, such as, sit, come, and fetch.  His foster family has been working on helping him understand and learn what’s not acceptable in a home…no counter surfing, no garbage foraging, and no jumping up on people.  George is learning to walk on a leash, but this is still a work in progress.

George is a great big cuddler and likes to spend his “down time” relaxing under the covers, all sprawled out somewhere…sofas and chairs are prime real estate!  He also likes his fair share of loving and attention from his people – and sometimes more than his fair share.  He thinks nothing of scooting (better known as “pushing”) in front of his doggy brother to get ALL the pets and rubs.

Recently his foster mom sent us this update on George.  “George really likes to play, so his new family should make sure they’ll have the time to play with him.  He’s a real good boy, just a lover, with a long deadly tail!”  Maybe that’s why GSPs so often have their tails docked as puppies?  To protect their loved ones and their valuables?  Wink! Wink!  Of course, we know it’s not, but if you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a happy, wriggling GSP with a long tail, you know what we mean. smiley

We’re at the end of our story for George, and by now you’re probably ready to check this guy out.  If so, let us know and we’ll be happy to set something up.

  • George is up to date with routine shots and is already house trained.
  • George is altered.


        Sponsor George     Adopt George

available soon!

Here's a sneak peek at some of our orphans who are not yet available for adoption.  All of these beautiful, loving GSP's came to ISR heartworm positive, are at various stages of heartworm treatment, and are expected to make a full recovery!   heart Yay! heart

Please keep your dogs on year-round heartworm preventation!  Heartworm is completely preventable with proper management.



Young female




FACT:  Heartworm disease, if detected early enough and treated correctly, is curable.

ISR does not refuse to rescue a dog because it is heartworm positive.  We accept these dogs because we know heartworm disease can be cured; however, it can be costly and the process to cure a dog of this disease can be grueling for the dog and their caretaker.  Appropriate and correct treatment for a heartworm positive dog can easily cost up to $1,000, but this expense does not prevent us from making every attempt to cure these deserving orphans and place them in their forever homes.  

All of our GSP orphans have faced countless difficulties throughout their journey to us, but heartworm positive dogs have faced even greater hardships because they have lived with this disease and fought the hard battle to beat it.  And beat it they will AND have!

Meet Pepper and Jessie.

These 2 GSPs were heartworm positive dogs.  They were successfully treated by ISR, adopted, and are now living happy, active lives.  Read more about Pepper and Jessie on our News and Events page.

ISR allows approved adopters to adopt a heartworm positive dog; however, this can only happen if the adopters agree to follow the treatment protocol and continue to take their new GSP family member to the partner vet where he/she is currently being treated.  We are featuring these heartworms dogs as adoptable because we believe that with the right family and continued treatment, they're ready for their forever home and are definitely worthy of your consideration.

Dogs cured of heartworm disease can live happy, high quality lives.  Heartworm disease has become very common in the United States, so we are in need of caring adopters like you that are willing to open their home to a dog that is heartworm positive.  We believe our heartworm dogs - cured, as well as being cured - have as much to offer their new adopters as any of our GSPs, and also deserve a chance at a new life.  

If you're unable to consider adopting any of our orphans at this time, but wish to support our efforts, please click the DONATE Paw found on each page of our site. Thank you for your consideration and assistance.


Our Orphans Have Found Angels in Their Lives!  ISR wishes to thank our special friends who have donated to our orphans recently.  Your gifts make our work possible. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, which makes your donation tax deductible. If you would like to join our efforts, please click on the Donate Paw on any page on our site.  Many, many thanks to the following donors!

ISR Donors:
In Memory of ISR Dog Ruger: Bradley Lakin and Ashley, In Memory of ISR Dog Phelps: Richard Brent. On behalf of Charlotte: Three Scoops of Vanilla, Debbie Emmons, Laurie PiekarskiStephanie Horner, Jessica Statz, Sarah Gard, David Stibbe, Donna Hurst, Anna Taylor, Holly Hirsch, Joy Beatty, Denise Sheridan, Sujata Varadharajan, Dianne Tibbs, Neeraja Lockart, Tina Mastello, Debi Carson, Lisa Marcordes, Cynthia Wiklund, Jane Schryer, Klenk’s Collision, Mike Ransom, Sherri Crawford, Kristie Katch, Rebecca Baker, Brian Myers, Rachel Blood, Karina Erickson, Robyn Gartne, Kathy Swanson, Miriam Swietek, Barbara Troy, Jack Salyer, Stephanie Boeder, Michelle Burgess McMullen, Jenna Bucholtz, Toby Ward, Elizabeth Breslin, Sabrina Granner, Fred Szponer, Judith Zimmerman, Tamra Mitchell, Calla Millwaters, Melissa Wattonville, Nedy Bennett, Tina Nelson, David Gum, Melissa Virgin, Kathryn Leyden, Rebecca Mangnall ,Carol S DeBenedet, Karen Soule, Cynthia Purtell, Karen Lee, Janet DeRoo, Sandra Pinzker, Kristy Ostergard, William Ostergard, Stephen Julien, Steph, Johnny Czerwinski, Stephanie O'Donley, Nancy Ridenour, Magdalena Szczech, Felecia Murch, Arthur Linz, Kathy Price, Kelly Kupiec, Anne-Maree Amies, Cara Dunn, Prue Dawson, Deborah Fields, Christy Carrano, Lucretia Coonrod, Carlos Almonte, Sue Hewitt, Joanne Lyth, Christiane Hecker-Schlünz, Pia Christiansson, Sandra Millwaters, Jeff and Maria Wendler, Vinyl Dog Sports, Jeremiah Waldeck, Lisa Pittiglio, Stephanie Herbek, Kathleen Alexander, Deborah Miller, Margaret Farone, Sarah Barge, The Old Brown Dog, Pamela McGrath, Tricia Bobowick, Cammay Caudillo, Amy Ducat, Dale Thomas, Marie Squire, Courtney Owens, Allison Hermann, Jonathan Crawford, Jason Trabakoolas,Tonya Zalenski, Sue Wilson, Fernando Lopez, Jacqueline Artymiuk-Moe, Jennifer Reed, Mark Galkowski, Sheila Hickmott, Kurt Hargarten, Cathy Vey, Renee Fliss, Deborah Stelmok, Phillip Peet, Melanie Balzer, Evelyn F Matkin, Earlene Simich, Billie Weeks, Kaitlyn Osterman, Carolyn Avery. On behalf of Dollie: Bill Green. On behalf of Addie: Nedy and Denny Bennett. Tonya Zalenski. On behalf of Clyde: Kelly Mesa. On behalf of Tara: Barbara Troy, Nedy Bennett, Debbie Emmons, Francine Petrucci, Sandy and Ron Pinzker, Judi Zimmerman, Jennifer Hohe, Sue Wilson, Jodi Onley, Jennifer O'Hara, Janet Burroughs, Tara Kawa, Michael Schmidt, Paul Schmidt, Stephanie Herbek, Sherri Crawford, Russ Pagen, Maria Boedigheimer, Kathy Swanson, Tricia Roth, Barbara Jo Pallo, Carolyn Kaercher, and Aaron Supita.  Christine LaLonde, Mitchell Cohen, Brenda Piekarski, Christy Carrano, David and Patti Stibbe, Catherine Kramer-Fouty in honor of rescued girl Holly (Wasabi) who brings us joy every day, Erica Petersen, Jayne Seibel, Sandra Pinzker, Richard Cashman, Erin Gabor Supita, Jo Ann Ziech, Melanie Balzer (for Sunny), Patty, Marissa and Bob Ten Eick, Jeff, Patty, and Harley Pearce, Shelbie Bontemp, Margie Holzkamp, Geri Binkin, Giving Campaign, Tracie Palmer, the Mark family, Imaginary Kids, LLC, in memory of Jack and in honor of the Lydon family, Maria Boedigheimer, the Zook family in memory of Jack Lydon, the Hicks family in memory of Jack Lydon, Dave Johnson, Forrest Pendley, Bob Wener, Mark DiTomassi for Rocky, Karen Fouts, Erika Chen, Nicolas Camino.  Bontemps family (mutiple donations), Allstate, Peapod, AT&T (multiple donations), IBM (multiple donations), Jim Mouroukas Memorial: M. Mourorukas, Rudolph Tardin, Mary Lynn Dawson, Jennifer Rochedieu, Bonnie R. Allen, Cindy Landolt, Rich and Liz Maynard on behalf of the Lochanora Home Owners Association, Lean LoPorto.  Siemans family, James and Mary Robertson. Allstate Giving Campaign, Friends of Sangamon County Animal Control.  



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