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Guidelines for Adopting

Rescue is not just about the dog, it is also about the humans who rescue the dog, both inside and outside the shelter. If you are new to pet ownership, it is important to research, educate yourself, and always be open to receiving the guidance it takes to become great dog owner!

Learn and explore more of our available resources below!

What to Know Before Adopting

Puppy Socialization:

Animal shelters are loaded with dogs who did not get the proper puppy socialization or have been introduced to the wrong environment too soon –  and we do not want to add to the problem.


We like to have your dog walker and/or doggy daycare information on the application or at some point before we call your references. People who can spend the most time with a puppy will be given preference and we will consider dogs already in the household as companionship for an older puppy or young dog, but it is not a replacement for human-animal interaction.

Young puppies need lots of time, attention, and socialization. The rule of thumb is that the pup should not be left alone for more than one hour for every month of age. So a three month old puppy should not be left for more than three hours, a four month old for four hours, and so on.

Crate Training:

We highly recommend and stand behind crate training for puppies. The internet is a wonderful resource for learning the basics or we will be happy to help you with the process. Obviously, you cannot leave an 8 month for 8 hours as that’s too long to spend in a crate or home alone, and the dog will need to be walked mid-day, and/or have more frequent interaction, daycare, etc – depending on the dog.

Basic Training:

We recommend that any dog you adopt be enrolled in a professional training course. This not only helps the puppy or adult dog's development, but grows the bond you and your dog have. We're happy to recommend local trainers if you need help finding one.

Working Hours:

Please bear in mind that puppies need lots of socialization so we cannot place them in homes where they will sit alone all day. Even coming home for lunch is not enough for a young puppy. Dog walkers may not be appropriate for young puppies, and many daycare providers do not always accept young pups that are not old enough to be fully vaccinated and/or altered.


Untrained puppies and some adult dogs may not be suitable for a ‘take your dog to work’ situation and puppies that are not yet fully vaccinated are not safe from illness or incident.  


Key Application Considerations

Decisions to approve an adopter are not a reflection of doubt regarding your love for the dog, but rather stem from considerations that suggest it may not be the optimal moment for you or your family to bring a rescue dog into your home. The below highlights some key areas to consider when applying to adopt.

Additional pre-adoption requirements may also be instilled at any time. 

Lifestyle & HOUSEHOLD


Owning a puppy necessitates substantial supervision and dedicated attention. This stage is crucial for establishing a strong bond between you and your new furry companion. When considering your working hours, it is important to assess whether you will be away from home for extended periods of time, potentially compromising the puppy's well-being and overall development.


We understand now that COVID-19 is beyond us that people are returning to work. If you have to be gone for a full work day, please prepare additional resources to ensure your dog is not stuck in a crate all day - dog walkers, doggy daycare, or family or friends who can come check in on them throughout the day. It will benefit your puppy's well being as well as yours!


Uncertainty in work schedules, unemployment among household members, and employment longevity/consistency (a minimum of 6 months of current employment is required and work contacts may be requested) will be considered.

Home Life Environment/Demographics:

Potentially changing household members and differing lifestyles of household members can create challenges for an adopted animal. Permanency, length of residence, consistency in lifestyle and routine is essential.

  • Roommates: Having a dog is a 10 - 15 plus year commitment. If you currently have a roommate or are living in a shared space, all parties must be equally committed and it's important to consider any complications that may arise by bringing a pet into this environment.

Infants and Children:

Potential adopters with children under the age of 5 may not be approved. Knowledge of boundaries is extremely important considering both the children could get hurt or the dog.

If you are thinking about having a child within the first year of owning a new puppy, please consider the transitional process and additional training that may be required. Many dogs are returned due to parents attempting to juggle the needs of a puppy and a newborn. 

Pet Allergy Issues/Concerns:

If you have any pet allergy issues or concerns, we encourage you to share your plans for how you plan to manage this. We may require you to attend a preliminary meet and greet to get close exposure to the dog and wait a day or two prior to moving forward with the adoption. 


Turmoil in the family could lead to a divorce/separation/altered and confusing routine and animal risks returning to the shelter or experiencing emotional harm.


Dogs are expensive. There can always be unforeseen expenses that pop up. Ensure you are able to take care of the dog (and existing pets/family members) if the animal should fall ill, require extra training, or additional services like doggy daycare or dog walking.



Location is important when it comes to the dog you are interested in. Some rescues are very scared and city life may be overwhelming for them. Other considerations about location of your residence may be made due to other situational factors.

Size of Yard and Home:

If you live in a small apartment and are considering adopting a larger-sized dog or have size restrictions, we may deem the space to be inadequate for the size of the dog you may be interested in.



While having a fence is not a requirement to adopt through Shultz's Guest House, it will be a strong consideration depending on the dog you are interested in or your activity plans for your puppy.


Dangerous living conditions – the yard might be filled with or abut debris, materials or environmental hazards.

Rental Properties:

As a part of the application review process, we will contact your landlord to ensure they have approved you adopting a new dog. We will confirm with them on any Landlord or Property Management restrictions regarding breeds/breed mixes, sizes, ages of dogs, lease terms/renewals. If we are unable to secure the appropriate property management authorization, your application may not be approved.

Current Animals

Current Number of Animals: 

Too many animals on one property; town/city regulations.


Inability to properly look after/care for self/another animal.

Current Pet Vet Care:

We require all pets in the household to be spayed/neutered. We will confirm with your vet through the application review process that all pets in the household have been spayed/neutered, up to date on vaccines, preventives and routine veterinary care. 


This is to ensure that your current pets living in a safe environment and understand if there have been lapses in care to confirm our dogs will get the future health care/licensing/supervision required to live a safe and happy life. Your application may not be approved if you are unable to commit to vet requirements and timelines pre- and post-adoption.

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