How to Adopt a Dog

You found a dog on our site and you’re really anxious to hop in your car and meet the dog of your dreams! Awesome! We understand and share your excitement too. Unlike other shelters, we don’t list our address for a good reason. We are lucky to have use of an amazing facility, located on private property and it’s our responsibility to respect the owners.  In order to be respectful, we schedule private appointments for potential adopters.

Our goal is to make this a wonderful experience for you and help our dogs find loving homes. We are happy to work with you in finding the right fit for your family. A scheduled one-on-one appointment helps us do our job really well and also be respectful to the residents.

Read about the adoption process and complete the online adoption application.

Note: Please add to your “Safe Senders” list and be sure to check your spam folder if you do not hear back from us within 48 hours*.  On occasion, our replies go to spam. *During certain times when we have an unprecedented volume of applicants, we ask that you please be patient as our response times may exceed our normal 48 hours.

Adoption Application

Adoption Process

  1. The suggested first step is to read our guidelines for adopting a dog from Shultz’s Guest House. See guidelines below.
  2. Please fill out the Adoption Application form on this web site. We need an application first before you  visit the dogs and the application process is at no charge to you. Knowing a little bit about you before you come to meet the dogs saves both you and our adoption counselors considerable time. We ask that you select more than one (1) dog to meet as a single dog could be adopted prior to your appointment. We also ask that you select no more than 3-4 dogs as it is impossible to meet and get to know too many dogs during a meet n greet appointment. We also ask that you not just focus on the photos of dogs as some dogs take better photos than others and as well, the old ‘you can’t judge a book by it’s cover’ is really accurate, as all dogs and all families interact differently. What may be a perfect face, may not have the personality desired. *Please know that we do not accept applications for dogs that are not posted on our website. So if you are a Facebook follower of our affiliate team, BarkPlace4Dogs, not all dogs posted on their Page will be available through our organization. Our website updates always reflect our available dogs.
  3. Once you have filled out the application, please give us a day or so* to email the confirmation that your application was received. We are not a drop-in shelter where you walk through kennels, instead we set up PRIVATE APPOINTMENTS.  (*delays in processing may be in effect to due the unprecedented volume of applicants) .We have shelter visiting hours, by appointment only. We have appointments available 7 days a week, with a goal ensuring that the right match is made for both the dog and the adopter. If you work full time, for example, we may steer you towards an adult dog who we feel is able stay at home during the day or who can get along just along just fine with a dog walker or daycare.
    1. When you come to our shelter , we will introduce ourselves to you, and then to the dogs, on site, in which you are interested. We have play yards and/or meet n greet areas where we bring the dogs outside off-leash to meet prospective adopters. *During Covid protocol, our meet n greet area is more restricted.
      We require all decision-makers and all members of the home (adults and children in the home) be present when you come to meet the dogs. If you have a resident dog, it is required that your dog attend the meet n greet with you so that we can be sure that there are no obvious issues between the dogs. Remember, just like with people, not all dogs get along with all dogs.

Adoption Fees

Our adoption fees barely cover the cost of a young healthy dog, let alone the cost of saving those who need more medical care or training – and as well, the costs associated with bringing in out of state dogs.

Fees from the younger, more adoptable dogs help offset the cost of caring for the others. In any given year, our adoption fees only cover approximately 80% of our program costs.

Adoption fees include: Vaccinations Costs – Distemper, Bordatella (Rabies if applicable), De-worming, Fecal Testing, Other Illnesses/Treatment, Veterinary Exams,  Health Certificates (TN and MA), Transport, Flea & Tick Preventatives, Food, Daily Care, Shelter Facilities/Operation and non-essetials (i.e. toys, treats, beds), as well as Spay/Neuter procedures as performed (average cost of spays/neuters are $300 – $500)

Our adoption fees are as follows:

  • $250 for senior dogs over 7 years old.
  • $550 for puppies ($50 is rebated after you submit the spay/neuter certificate to Shultz’s Guest House. You are responsible for the spaying/neutering costs for your adopted pet, if not altered prior to adoption).
  • $500 for dogs 6 months and older that have been altered in TN
  • $600 for dogs that have been altered while at our guest house.

We are a grass roots 501c3 organization privately, and necessarily funded by donations and adoption fees. We are always very grateful if you can add a little extra donation to help us continue our rescue work. Many of the dogs we take in have special needs and theirs costs exceed the adoption donation, so your donations help us to support those special dogs.

Guidelines for Adopting Puppies

Young puppies need lots of 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. 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.

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.

Working people: 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.  Animal shelters are loaded with dogs who did not get the proper puppy socialization or have been introduces to the wrong environment too soon –  and we do not want to add to the problem. Puppies need time and attention. 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.

We may ask for employer contacts if we feel that verification of Work from Home (WFH) status or pet friendly work place details, are needed.

Due to timely veterinary appointment challenges, developed since the onset of Covid, we have been working with vet clinics across the state, in efforts to both ensure that no adopted dogs miss required vaccines, monthly preventives and timely post-adoption exams –  and to maintain a mutual  low margin for spreadable pet illnesses across the state. These measures come in the form of pre-adoption required vet appointments, that are based on vaccine, preventive schedules. We require these appointment confirmations prior to scheduling meet n greets. If /when scheduling becomes less challenging for our honorable veterinary partners, this may change.

Rescue is not just about the dog, it is also about the humans who rescue the dog, both inside and outside the shelter.  Sometimes people are new to pet ownership and education and guidance is all it takes to get them to become good pet owners. Sometimes, more education/research is recommended prior to adoption.

Children: Children in the home must be at least five (5) years of age.

Other Household Pets: All cats/dogs in the home must be routinely up-to-date on vaccines and routine care – and must be altered, before we will consider adoption.

Our Adoption Application

Our adoption application is available on this website. Once the application is submitted it will come into our email system so that we can communicate it’s receipt with you. 

Application Disapprovals

Sometimes applications are declined. This is usually not because we doubt that you will love the dog but rather for reasons that may incline us to believe that it is not the right time for you/your family. Some reasons why we may decline your adoption application include:

Fencing : May be required for certain dogs or activity plans.

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

Employment: Your working hours may dictate that you will be away from home for too long. Uncertainty of work schedules/unemployment among household members; employment longevity/consistency (minimum of 6 mo of current employment is required; this may be extended to 9 mo if work was interrupted by Covid ); work contacts may be requested.

Size of yard and home: The living quarters are too small/inadequate.

Infants and Children: Children might get hurt, or the dog might get hurt; child ages; knowledge of boundaries is very important.

Current number of animals:  Too many animals on one property; town/city regulations.

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

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.

Pet Allergy issues/concerns.

Rental properties : Landlords and Property Management restrictions on breeds/breed mixes, sizes, ages of dogs; lease terms/renewals; inability to secure property management authorization.

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

Affordability: a tough one, but are you able to take care of (that one more animal) if the animal should fall ill?

Location: City or rural

Current Pet Vet Care: Are all the other animals in the home sterilized, up to date on vaccines, preventives and routine veterinary care, a safe environment? Have there been lapses in care? Marked ‘no to providing future health care/licensing/supervision.

Applications absent required/detailed information as required.

Home Visit concerns/flags.

Inability to commit to vet appointment requirements/timeliness pre/post adoption.  

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