Things You Need To Know About Adopting!

Who We Are

Furever Shih Tzu Rescue Missouri is a member of the national Shih Tzu Rescue group. Although we are located in St Louis, our group has members as far east as Kentucky and Tennessee, north to Wisconsin and Minnesota and west to Kansas. We do not limit our placement to the St Louis area and have dogs available for adoption in other areas of the country.

Things To Know Before You Adopt

About the breed
Please read through this WHOLE page. It should answer any questions you may have about adopting from us.

As you work through the adoption process, please understand that our first and ONLY concern is the happiness and welfare of THE DOG.

Before you adopt a Shih Tzu, please make sure you know this breed. Shih Tzus have many wonderful traits.... but they also have some not-so-wonderful traits.

First of all, the Shih Tzu is a high maintenance breed and requires frequent and regular grooming. This means a trip to be groomed about every 6 weeks at an average cost of $60 per trip. If this is not in your budget, this may not be the right breed for you.

Second , the Shih Tzu does not generally do well alone for long periods of time. They were bred to be pets and are unhappy when they do not have people home. We often recommend that if you cannot be home during the day that you consider adopting a pair so the Shih Tzu does not develop behavior problems from being alone too much.

Third , the Shih Tzu is very susceptible to temperatures and must be protected from both heat and cold. They can easily have heatstroke if left in a car or left out too long in the hot weather.

Fourth , the Shih Tzu is susceptible to ear infections and eye damage. The ears must be properly cared for to prevent infections that could result in deafness and you must watch for dangers to the eyes as the short muzzle and nose on the Shih Tzu do not provide it with a natural protection.

A Shih Tzu is a very loving and loyal dog that needs attention and affection. A Shih Tzu will want to be with the family, wherever that may be. A Shih Tzu would be miserable as an "outdoor" dog, therefore we won't even consider it. We will only consider those homes who want a Shih Tzu as an indoor family member. Further, IF in one of our follow-ups, we find one of our dogs is left outdoors unattended, we will reclaim the dog.

Our Process

Our Shih Tzu can come from a variety of situations... We get dogs out of Shelters, owner turn-ins, dogs found running loose, dogs who are abandoned because of their owners death...etc. Rather than leave these dogs to die in a shelter, we take them in and address their needs. We will treat any medical condition the dog has. Then we spay and/or neuter every dog (no exceptions), bring him or her current on all shots, and begin it on heartworm and flea protection. The dog is bathed, groomed, and put into a foster home for evaluation. Each dog stays in their foster home until they are adopted.

Rescue dogs may or may not have some "issues" to work through. (We will advise you of any "issues" a dog has prior to you adopting it). These dogs are often very scared, and unsure of where they belong. There may be some training involved or some bad habits to correct. Some of our really traumatized dogs may take 1-2 years to turn around. However, rescue dogs usually have plenty of love, affection and gratitude to give back. And you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you saved a dog. (We do not place aggressive dogs or known biters)

Here are some general guidelines we follow in choosing the homes for our dogs:

All pets in the house must be altered before we will place a Shih Tzu with you, unless you show for conformation.

If you have young children (under 8), please don't ask for a puppy. Children hurt puppies. An adult dog could protect itself better from small children.

If you are elderly, please don't ask us for a puppy. A Shih Tzu can easily live 16 or more years.

If you are gone all day long, please don't ask us for a puppy. Young Shih Tzus especially, do not do well alone for so long.

If you have children under the age of 6, please don�t ask to adopt a Shih Tzu from us.

If you are unsure as to whether you can commit to a dog for the rest of it's life, (regardless of whether you move, change jobs, or get divorced) then please rethink your decision to adopt a dog. Adoption is for the rest of the dog�s life.

If you are in hurry, please slow down! This is a lifetime decision and should not be made in haste. Our adoption process takes time and does not happen the same day or even overnite.

Here are some things we insist on if you do adopt a Shih Tzu from us:

The dog may never be allowed off a leash unless it is in a securely fenced yard.

The dog must be kept on Heartworm and Flea Prevention medicine at least 9 months out of the year.

The dog must be an indoor dog and treated as a member of the family.

The dog is never to be left outside when you are not home.

The dog must wear ID tags at all times.

You must be 21 years old to submit an adoption application. Our adoptions require a person to be of legal age to be able to sign the adoption contract.

You may not adopt a dog as a present for another person or as a surprise for someone. This is not fair to the dog or the person involved.

Please remember.......our first and ONLY consideration is the safety and happiness of our dogs.

We do not have a shelter. Our whole organization is made up of volunteer foster homes. We have dogs in foster homes all over the state. is NOT possible to go to a "shelter" to view all our dogs. (Please do not call me asking where to go to look at the dogs!) We ask that you submit an application first, and once you are approved to adopt, we will suggest a few dogs and make arrangements for you to meet them. We do not place dogs in homes that we do not believe will work out... so please respect our advice.

Out of the Area? We will gladly do a "long distance" adoption, however we do not ship our dogs. We would expect you to come and pick up your dog. As all our dogs are in foster homes in different places, that would mean you would need to travel to the foster home to pick up the dog (not necessarily in St Louis). When you inquire about a specific dog we will let you know its location prior to discussing adoption plans regarding that dog. If you are not prepared to go pick up your dog, it may affect your application to adopt that dog.

The first step to adoption is filling out a written application. Once we review your application, someone from a local rescue will come to your home to meet you and your family. (We like to see where our dogs are going) Once you have been approved, you may begin meeting our dogs.

Our Adoption fees range from $175 to $500 and are used to pay the vet expenses. All dogs are up to date on shots, heartworm negative, spayed or neutered and any known problems are treated before they can be adopted.(If you cannot afford the adoption fee, then you cannot afford to properly care for the dog. Please do not ask us to subsize your dog, we do not receive federal or corporate funding. All our vet costs come out of our own pockets!)

Also... if your idea is to adopt a rescue Shih Tzu, because you don't want to pay a breeders price, please stop right here, because that is not what rescue is all about. Rescue is about giving a dog a chance who otherwise would not get one.

Rescue dogs range in age from puppies to 13 yr. olds. Everyone seems to want the young please consider opening your heart to an older dog. They are so much harder to place, and most often are the best behaved. They need homes just as much, if not more, than the younger dogs. If you have made it this far, and are still interested

......Fill out an adoption application

Adoption Application

Placing a rescued Shih Tzu in a safe and loving home is a high priority. Besides assessing the Shih Tzu for its needs, we also assess potential homes to assure that the environment and caregivers will be able to provide the right balance of love and attention that each and every Shih Tzu deserves. We are always searching for that special person or family that is willing to open up their home and is ready to be smothered with love by these most wonderful animals.

Adopting a friend

If you are interested in adopting a Shih Tzu; here is further information:

Our rescue web page is:
Furever Shih Tzu Rescue
Furever Shih Tzu Rescue
You may go there and find out information about our group. This web site also has other links so you can find out more about this breed, etc.

Our procedure for adopting is as follows: First of all you will need to fill out the
Shih Tzu Placement Application
Adoption Application
This application can be done directly at this web site and it has some drop down boxes with several choices. Choose the most fitting answers and submit. If you have any problems with submitting this application be sure to let me know.

My email address is

We require a completed adoption application & home screening. Prospective homes must meet adoption criteria. After you fill out an application and the references are called, we will meet with you and your family in your home. We want to ensure the Shih Tzu you adopt will have a forever loving permanent home. By having a personal meeting and instructional home visit, we will then be able to help you to determine which Shih Tzu in rescue would fit well in your household. We will also offer you suggestions at that time to ensure the comfort and safety of the pet. This will also make the transition of the Shih Tzu to your home go smoothly. Then we will always be available by phone or email whenever you have any questions concerning the pet. In all cases, the final placement decision is based on the suitability of each dog for a particular home and will not be made until the application has been approved, references checked and the homevisit has been completed.(Please don't call me expecting to get a dog the day you call!)

Donations and Volunteering

Donations to our rescue effort are tax deductible. We are always grateful to receive cash donations, or donations of supplies (all sizes of plastic crates, premium dog food, towels, blankets, shampoo, toys and treats, etc.) Any donation in excess of the adoption fee is TAX DEDUCTIBLE! Some of our dogs have special medical needs and donations can be made directly towards their medical treatments. We can also use help with transporting dogs and fostering. FOSTER HOMES are a great need! For every foster parent there is one more dog saved from the shelters, from being unwanted, and sometimes from an abusive home. Please consider fostering! Typical time frames for fostering are from 2-4 or more weeks at a time. It can be rewarding and lots of fun. If you wish to join Furever Shih Tzu or become a foster parent please go to our website and complete an application or email me at

Contact Us!

We do not have a permanent shelter facility. All of our dogs are kept in foster homes. Please contact us to set up a meeting with the dog you are interested in AFTER you have completed an adoption application.

Furever Shih Tzu Shih Tzu Rescue Email:

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