Close this search box.
Close this search box.

Adoption Guidelines

HSS has developed placement guidelines over the years to protect the safety of the dogs we assist. We know that guidelines sometimes do not allow for a wonderful potential adopter to adopt because the applicant doesn’t quite fit the mold, but please understand that our guidelines have been formulated through experience with over 1000 placements.

  1. We are Houston Sheltie Sanctuary. For reasons ranging from considerations of processing the application, including doing the home visit, to visiting the dogs in their foster homes, to adopting the dog, to returning the dog as our contract requires should the adoption not work out, we prefer to adopt locally (i.e. southeast Texas area). If there is a Sheltie rescue closer to you, we will be happy to put you in contact.
  2. We do not adopt to families with children under age 5. Our dogs are rescued dogs, often with unknown histories, and while we try to identify while in foster care their quirks and idiosyncrisies, most of our foster homes do not have small children in their home to test the dog’s responses on an ongoing basis, and we are simply not comfortable placing rescued dogs with very young children. Moreover, Shelties are herding dogs. With children, this sometimes translates into following them around, herding them, occasionally mouthing gently at their heels. Although the dog is not biting, this can frighten small children, and their responses can be unpredictable. Screeching, crying, running etc. actually makes this shepherd dog believe her attentions are needed even more urgently, and she redoubles her efforts to “help” the child.
  3. We require a securely fenced yard for exercise and elimination, with a physical enclosure as outlined below (no invisible fences). Shelties are working dogs, needing safe spaces which provide an outlet for their often-abundant energies. We will consider adopting to those living in apartment or townhome settings where leash-walking is required, and they will be matched with a more settled dog who does not require the same level of exercise.
  4. Unless the applicant is currently showing their dogs in conformation or performance sports, all resident dogs and cats must be spayed or neutered.
  5. Our dogs are adopted as indoor companions; we do not allow them to be kept exclusively in the yard or in outside pens or in the garage. Shelties are extremely social dogs, devoted to their humans, and do not do well separated from them. Moreover, Texas weather is brutal, and even the nicest days can turn ugly in only a few minutes. Add to that the danger of neighbors who don’t want to be bothered by barking, meter readers who don’t latch the gate properly, toxic plants, critters who find their way into the yard … outdoors alone is not the place for a pet.
  6. We do not adopt our Shelties primarily as “gifts” for family members or primarily as “buddies” for current resident dogs, though we certainly encourage adoptions of dogs to be companions for family members and one another. We also do not adopt our dogs through family members or any third parties, even if well-intentioned. Individuals or families wanting to adopt our dogs must go through the adoption process on their own behalf, completing the application and arranging for the home visit.
  7. It is unusual for us to place a Sheltie with first-time pet owners. Verifiable references, the kind only developed by owning pets, give us the confidence we seek that the promises we make to these dogs, that they will be placed in loving forever homes where they will receive appropriate veterinary care, will be kept.

If you have a special circumstance that you believe merits an exception, please contact us.