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Three Herding Dogs




Each year on average, Central Coast Herding Dog Rescue helps 300 dogs find their forever homes.

Founded in 2007, CCHDR is a volunteer-run 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to finding forever homes for herding dogs including, but not limited to, Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, Australian Cattle Dogs/Queensland Heelers and other herding breeds and mixes.

We are based in Paso Robles, CA but rescue dogs from overcrowded shelters all over the state of California. Our goal is to raise awareness about the often misunderstood herding dog breeds and educate people about the ever-growing pet overpopulation problem.

Wendy and Dogs



Wendy had an affinity for dogs from a very young age. When asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, she’d reply, “a Lhasa Apso breeder.” Determined to follow her dreams, Wendy started working for a commercial breeding kennel at the age of 12. She loved being with all the dogs and even knew all 65 of their names. Her goal was to earn enough to have her own breeding pair of puppies and the rest would be history, she’d have the best job and the best life…


(record scratch)

…But Wendy quickly realized that she was the ONLY one who knew all the dogs’ names and would work hard to clean their ears, maintain their coats, and show each one the same amount of love. Unfortunately, only the dogs going into the show ring were groomed to perfection and cared for like celebrities. Witnessing the inequity between the dogs made Wendy realize that this was an industry just like any other, and she could never abide. She hung up her dream of breeding dogs.

Wendy with Pup.jpg

Knowing she could never give up on dogs completely, at 15, Wendy got a part-time job at Guiding Eyes in the San Fernando Valley. Even her militant employer didn’t discourage her from a fascination and love of dogs, but this was not a place where they encouraged giving them any extra attention…she knew she had to go. This time, content to just have a dog of her own.

Fast forward…10 years with NO dog and 11 moves later, Wendy finally returned home, ready to stick around for a while and more than ready to have a dog again. The universe delivered when one day her landscapers walked in the back gate with a little beagle / chihuahua pup! They found her the night before on a rural road and Wendy quickly fell in love. Turns out, the dog was actually a corgi / jack russell, named Co-Jack, bred on purpose and very expensive. The dog would default to her property after 30 days, and on the 28th day, a woman called and said, “I believe you have my dog.” She didn’t sound amused. Tons of tears later, Wendy struck a deal with the woman and paid to keep the dog. She knew the dog was initially purchased by the woman to be bred, so she spayed and microchipped her with a vengeance!

Wendy with rescue heelers

Then came the very real issue of keeping this high energy pup busy and out of trouble! After skinning her knees riding a razor scooter, out came the mountain bike. Wendy was still unable to tire out this little superball, so 8 months later, she adopted Bonnie, a border collie from a local rescue. This was Wendy’s first time adopting from a rescue, and when she went to go meet the foster noticed she was living in a small 2-bedroom house with a roommate and 9 other dogs. Wendy immediately thought, “I could do that, with maybe one,” and within a year, she had her first foster dog. But it didn’t stop there! Anyone who knows Wendy knows that she doesn’t just do things “a little bit.” She took ALL the dogs still in foster or in need of a home at this rescue, and within a short amount of time had them all in the rear view, paving the way for Central Coast Herding Dog Rescue.

16 years and approximately 4,800 dogs later, if you ask Wendy what CCHDR has become, she’ll tell you, “It’s bigger than me."



CCHDR has had many wins over the years finding great dogs great homes. Click on a dog's image below to read their success story. For more happy tales, follow us on Facebook!


The cost to rescue a dog varies, but one thing is for costs! Below is a general idea of how much it takes a rescue organization to get a dog from the shelter, into a forever home. Note, if the adoption fee seems like too much or any of these expenses (most of which are ongoing for the entirety of the dog's life) are out of your budget, you are not yet ready for the responsibility.


  • Shelter Pull Fee: up to $80 per dog

  • Spay / Neuter: $200 - $400 (can vary depending on weight, complications, pregnancy, or cryptorchid)

  • Doxycycline / Antibiotics: $25 (most dogs from the shelter present with kennel cough)

  • Deworming: $10

  • Vet (exam only): $80


  • Flea and Tick Control: $15 monthly

  • Vaccines (if puppy): $50

  • Food: $40 monthly

  • Health Issues: up to $2,500+ annually (varies / case by case)


​Volunteers are an invaluable part of this organization and the only way the "dog door" stays open. We could all work every minute of the day and night and never finish. Some essential volunteer jobs consist of:

  • Fosters

  • Shelter pullers 

  • Shelter transporters and ground support

  • Pilots

  • Administrative support

  • Marketing and outreach coordination 

  • Technical support

All things considered, the cost to rescue a single dog is A LOT. Our adoption fee hardly covers it, but with the support of the rescue community we're managing to save a few

! BEFORE ADOPTING A DOplease take into consideration the maintenance costs above in addition to the cost of boarding, grooming, licensing, purchasing toys/supplies, training, etc. Too many dogs end up back in shelters because their owners can no longer afford them. Here at CCHDR, we only want to rescue a dog once.


Herding dogs have many strengths, which is why so many of us love them. But they have unique traits and needs, and it's important to understand what you are getting into before taking on animals with these particular characteristics. 

Click on a dog's image below to learn more about a particular herding breedIf the below traits seem too much for you, consider a mix. There are a lot of great mixed breeds that have the strengths of the breeds listed below but softened by the characteristics of other breeds. Shelters are full of these mixes, and they often make wonderful companion animals.


BOTTOM LINE: if you want a couch potato, or a backyard dog to sit around under a tree, herding breeds are not for you! 

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