You have decided after research and reading about Shelties and our program, including the restrictions, that you want to adopt. Congratulations! HSS is a foster-based organization; as such, we do not have a central location at which to view the available dogs. Our dogs are fostered in private homes, and in order to safeguard our volunteers' privacy, as well as to respect their time and effort, serious applicants must use the application process below in order to meet our dogs.
- Complete and send the application linked the main page, allowing five business days for us to respond.
- Include the name(s) of dog(s) you are interested in on your application, but please understand there may already be a waiting list, especially for young small females. We have dozens of wonderful dogs, and new dogs coming into the program all the time, all of whom need loving new homes.
- Complete the application FULLY. We reserve the right to decline incomplete applications. If you are renting an apartment, condo, or single-dwelling home/duplex, you must provide written, signed permission from the landlord to keep this Sheltie on the premises. If there is a pet deposit required, it must be paid by the prospective adoptive home with copy of both the permission and the deposit receipt included with the application. We will not contact the manager for these required documents.
- Work with us to arrange for the home visit, which will be set up at the convenience of both the adoptive home and our volunteer. The home visits are very friendly, and applicants should feel comfortable when the volunteer comes to visit. All members of the household MUST be present for the home visit.
- We will arrange the visit with the dog(s) only after application, veterinarian check, and home visit approval. If you have a resident dog or dogs it is a good idea to bring your dog with you when you visit the dog(s) you are interested in to watch the interaction between the dogs. Once you have decided on the right dog for you, the foster family will take the final adoption agreement and adoption check. Though the foster family will let us know, we also appreciate hearing from you that you have made your decision.
Bookmark and check the web site frequently as healthy rescues and owner relinquishments to our program are quickly adopted after home approval. Because we have many dogs coming into the program and many applicants waiting for them, it is best to submit the application and have the home check done even if you don't see the dog you would like to adopt yet. The right dog for you could come into the program any day; or upon careful review, you may decide a Sheltie who has been waiting for his or her home is actually the dog for you.
Our adoption fee is currently $300.00 for adults age 1 to 9; $200 for adults age 10+; $375.00 for puppies up to age 12 months. Adoption fees are non-negotiable. This adoption donation goes directly to our program and helps cover expenses in rescuing and getting our dogs ready for adoption. The average expense of vetting and getting our dogs is currently $500-600. Your adoption fee brings you a healthy, spayed or neutered, vaccinated, vet-cleared, rehabilitated, microchipped Sheltie. The adoption fees keep our program viable; and helps the next Sheltie in our program.
If you do not get to adopt the dog you wanted, please understand and respect that we carefully match the dogs with their new homes. And everything happens for a reason. The dog you may have thought was perfect for you was actually perfect for the family he or she went to; the dog that is perfect for you is another dog in the program or one coming into the program. Adopters who are patient and who trust the process are rewarded with an amazing dog whose gratitude for having been rescued is boundless.
In order to adopt, a prospective family first reads about our program and available dogs, completes and sends the ADOPTION APPLICATION, and allows a home check by one of our volunteers. One of our members will visit the home to meet the family and check on safety, recommending any needed changes before one of our dogs would be adopted to the home. Examples of our safety requirements are as follows:
- The home is not directly on a busy major intersection or thoroughfare.
- There are no dangerous objects or containers with anything poisonous within the dog's reach in the home or yard.
- The back yard is fenced with at least 5' height, with no holes in the fence, low spots, or broken boards; or a 4' wrought-iron fence with narrow spacing -- we would need to match that with the dog, as some of the larger Shelties could jump over it. We recommend a padlock for the gate(s). There is no exception to the required fencing of yards, including country homes. If there is a doggy door, it must open from the house (not the garage) into the fenced yard only, with no access to a pool.
- We do not place our Shelties in mobile/trailer home environments.
- If you live in an apartment/town home, there must be a safe place to exercise the dog on lead.
- Food and water dishes must be available and clean; dog's sleeping area must be shown to our volunteer.
- Unless the adopter is a breeder active in conformation or performance events, all resident pets must neutered or spayed. All resident dogs and cats must vaccinated according to their veterinarian's recommendations; all dogs must be on heartworm preventative. N.B.: We absolutely REQUIRE proof of consistent purchase of heartworm preventative for an applicant's current or previous dogs. The #1 killer of our rescued Shelties is heartworm disease, a disease which is completely preventable through the use of a pill costing less than $10 per month. As a result, we cannot make exceptions to this guideline for "lost receipts" or "the vet must have been mistaken."
Please understand that our dogs are very precious to us, and many have been through terrible experiences in their lives we never want repeated if we can prevent it. So please do not request a home visit unless you meet all of the above requirements before the visit. This program is about our dogs and a great match with wonderful families who want and need them. We are committed to adopting our dogs to loving, carefully chosen homes; therefore, because of the efforts we take, 99% of our adoptions are successful. However, Houston Sheltie Sanctuary will refuse adoption of one of our dogs if we feel the home situation would not be a safe or happy one for our dogs. We will reclaim our dog for the same reason if we discover the applicant has misrepresented the conditions or is not taking care of our dog as promised.