Fostering shih tzus

Fostering shih tzus DEFAULT

Foster Application

STFBR Foster MomThank you for inquiring to foster for Shih Tzus & Furbabies! We do not operate a shelter or have any formal facility so we rely on people like you to give of your time, heart and home to help the furbabies.  All of our rescue pups are lovingly cared for in private approved foster homes throughout the United States. We ask that you be their transitional home between where they came from & where they’ll be adopted to. We ask that you treat them as a family member while they’re in your care. Spoil them rotten and give them love. That’s not hard to do!

We have an URGENT need for foster homes in the following states:

Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, New England, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas

For more information on what fostering a rescue dog involves, you may also contact us. We appreciate all inquiries!


Become a Foster Parent

What will I be responsible for as a foster parent for Crossroads Shih Tzu Rescue?

Foster homes are extremely important in the operation of Crossroads Shih Tzu Rescue. CSTR does not operate any kind of shelter or kennel, and so we rely on foster homes for the temporary housing and care of the dogs that come into our program. We are also limited in the number of dogs that we can take in by the number of available foster homes that we have, so the need for additional foster homes is always ongoing.

Foster homes provide such information as whether or not the dog gets along with other dogs, cats, children, etc. and other behavioral observations. They also give the dogs their first opportunity to have a loving caregiver, something many of these dogs have never had. Using the information provided by the foster home, we are able to then screen potential adopters to find the right one for the dog as well as give the adopting family as much information about the dog as possible.

We ask that foster homes provide regular reports to the CSTR board regarding behavior and temperament observations, provide reinforcement of basic obedience commands, as well as provide love and security to dogs who have just left what was probably a very traumatic experience.

What will CSTR provide for my foster dog?

Crossroads Shih Tzu Rescue covers all veterinary costs for the dogs in our program with the requirement that foster homes use the vets that CSTR has developed a relationship and has an agreement with. We ask that foster homes provide a high quality food and toys for their foster dog and anything else that they feel inclined to provide, but food and other supplies will also be provided by CSTR if the foster home requests it. Heartworm and flea preventative are also provided by Crossroads Shih Tzu Rescue. Grooming costs are reimbursable, as well, or a donation verification letter can be provided for tax purposes.

How long will I be expected to foster a CSTR dog?

Crossroads Shih Tzu Rescue requires that dogs remain in foster homes for a minimum of two weeks for evaluation and observation, but the actual placement length depends on the particular dog. Healthy, young dogs may only be in the foster home for a few weeks while dogs in poor physical condition when entering rescue may be in the home longer as they convalesce. Other factors affecting the length of foster placement may be the age of the dog and the number and quality of adoption applicants. We understand that foster home situations may unexpectedly change; however, we ask that whenever possible the dog remain in the foster home until it is placed in its own forever home.

Do I have to have a fenced yard to be a foster for CSTR?

CSTR does not require that a foster home have a fenced yard, although in certain fostering cases it is preferred. Puppy mill dogs and dogs from other situations are sometimes what we consider a “flight risk” and so are more secure in a fenced yard. All CSTR foster dogs must be harnessed and leashed when outside in an unfenced area.

Who chooses which dog(s) I will foster?

CSTR does everything possible to match the right foster dog with the right foster home. The CSTR foster application asks a series of questions as well as includes a place to list your preferences for the dog you will foster. CSTR then utilizes that information to make the best possible match.

What kind of training will I receive as a foster parent?

Foster parents are given a Foster Handbook that includes a lot of information and guidelines that are useful when fostering a CSTR dog. New foster parents are also assigned a mentor to assist the new foster parent/foster family. CSTR board members are also always available by telephone or email to answer any questions or help with any problems or situations that arise.

What if I want to adopt my foster dog?

The purpose of a foster home is to provide a loving and safe environment for a dog that has, most often, been literally pulled from death’s door. The ultimate goal is to prepare the dog for its forever home. For every foster dog that is adopted by its foster family, that is one less foster placement opening for future dogs needing to come in to rescue.

CSTR understands, however, that sometimes the bond that develops between a dog and its foster family is a forever one. In those cases and after discussion with the CSTR board, foster families will be allowed to adopt their foster dogs. A foster contract will be signed, and the appropriate adoption donation will be required, based upon the dog’s age.

What if I am currently fostering for another rescue?

When fostering for CSTR, we ask that our foster parents only foster for us.

I understand and want to be a CSTR foster parent. What do I do next?

Complete the online Foster Application. Once it is received, it will be reviewed and references called. The next step is a home visit, which will be scheduled once the application and references are approved. Please allow 2 weeks for the processing. If after two weeks you have heard nothing, please e-mail us.

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Fostering A Dog:  Your Guide on How to Become a Dog Foster Parent


As a dog lover, at some point you’ve probably thought about fostering a dog in your home.  What it would be like or even how to become a temporary guardian of a shelter animal.

Fostering can be extremely rewarding, but it also takes a lot of patience, dedication, and effort.

small white dog running towards camera

If you think you may want to take in shelter dog, or maybe you’re just curious, then check out this step-by-step guide on how to become a dog foster parent.

The first step to fostering a dog, is to contact your local rescue organizations and ask if they have a foster program.  

This initial contact is an excellent time to find out the specific requirements for that rescue and see if you meet the minimum qualifications for the program.  If you do qualify you will likely be asked to fill out an application.

Be sure to review the application closely, and ask any questions you have before completing the process.

If your application is accepted you will be notified of potential dogs that you can foster.

Pet overpopulation is a huge problem, but fostering a dog is one way that you can help give these animals a better life.

Shelters and rescues only have limited space so when they run out, certain pets either need to go elsewhere, or they are, sadly, euthanized.

Fostering can help save a life, but it’s important to know your limits and understand what fostering a dog entails.

Think you want to give fostering a try?  

Keep reading to learn tips on finding rescues; what will be expected of you as a pet foster; and questions you should ask before taking on the commitment of fostering a dog.

Getting Started in Fostering a Dog

A liver colored Shih Tzu named Max, lying on the floor in his new forever homeMax

Shelter environments can be stressful places, especially for dogs that are older, very young puppies, pregnant dogs, or animals with health issues.

Unfortunately, some of these dogs also have the most trouble getting adopted, so they get stuck in the shelter, but this is where fostering a dog becomes so important.

When you are willing to open your home to these animals, you also open your heart, and incredible things can happen, but you need to know what to do first.

A good place to start is

This site is a great resource for finding rescue organizations that are near you, but if you are willing to branch out from your local area, you can also search for breed-specific rescues or other organizations that hold a special meaning for you.

There are rescues, for example, that concentrate on only toy breeds, or pregnant pups, or senior dogs.

The possibilities are almost endless if you are willing to travel a bit.

Check out the different rescues that you come across and find one or two that tug at your heartstrings.

Your next step is to contact the rescue in order to request an application for fostering a dog.

When you receive the application, review it carefully, and make sure you understand everything that would be required of you as a foster.

You want to know all of the expectations upfront so you can make an informed decision about whether or not you are able to handle taking care of a shelter animal.

Have your references ready.

The rescue will most likely expect you to deliver references so they can evaluate your potential as a care giver.

If you already have pets, they will also want a reference from your vet, or may even want to speak with your veterinary clinic.

If you plan on fostering a dog, and you do not already have a pet, then it is important to get established with a veterinary office.

The rescue will most likely have recommendations of vets they already work with that they can refer you to.

Be prepared to ask a lot of questions.

After you take in a foster is not the time to start asking questions about the dog or the fostering process.

Before you agree to the big commitment of fostering a dog, ask the rescue all of your questions.

You’ll most likely have an interview with the rescue as part of the application process, so this is a great time to get answers.

Here are some questions that you should include on your list:

  • Does this dog require specific medical attention?
  • Will you be required to give the pup any medications?
  • Who pays for the vet bills?
  • Does the dog have a microchip? If not, are you expected to get the dog chipped?
  • Who pays for the necessary items like food, medicine, leash and collar, grooming needs, and other supplies?
  • Are you expected to have a fenced-in yard for the dog?
  • Will you be expected to train the pup? If so, to what extent?
  • Where do you bring them for adoption events? How many are you expected to attend?
  • Does the rescue hold meetings that you are expected to attend?
  • Are you expected to bring the dog to meet potential adopters? If so, are you able to set the schedule?
  • Is the dog good with other animals and children?
  • How is the dog with strangers?
  • What is the animals history?  For example, does he come from an abusive environment, is he a stray, or was he in a loving home that for whatever reason could no longer keep him?
  • Will you need to be home with the pup all day?
  • Where is the dog currently on his shot schedule? You will need to know his medical/vet history so that you can keep up with the appropriate timeline of vaccinations and well visits.

In addition to the questions that you ask the rescue, there are other questions that you need to have answers to.

These are the questions that you have to ask yourself, and in some cases, your local governing agency and homeowner’s insurance.

You will want to find out if your city has any breed restrictions in place where you live, and you will want to find out the same from your homeowner’s insurance.

Certain insurance companies, for example, will not cover you or will require extra coverage, for certain breeds and dogs like pit bulls or German Shepherds.

If you live in an apartment or condo complex, you will want to find out what the restrictions are for pets such as if you can even have one, what are the weight restrictions, and the number of dogs allowed.

Then ask yourself these questions.

  • Are you willing and able to put in the time required to foster this particular animal?
  • Can you handle a dog that needs someone with him all day?
  • If you have stairs in your home, can the dog handle going up and down the stairs?
  • If you have other pets or children, are you willing to take the extra steps necessary to acquaint them all together?
  • What are you prepared to deal with when it comes to specific issues like separation anxiety, excessive barking, jumping on people, socialization issues, and so forth.

    If you don’t have the necessary knowledge to deal with these problems, are you willing to consult with and work with a trainer?
  • Are you willing to deal with health problems like incontinence, allergies, or more serious health conditions that require a lot of extra attention? Are you willing to administer medications?
  • Are you willing to take in a dog with mobility issues like using a wheelchair, missing a leg, or a dog that is deaf or blind?
  • Are you willing to groom the animal as needed, or pay for grooming services if necessary?
  • Are you willing to completely change your living situation to care for these animals?

Once you have the answers to all of these questions, you can make an educated and informed decision about whether fostering a dog is for you.

If it is, then you can finalize the application process and bring home your foster pup.

You will usually get to choose which dogs you are able to foster out of those that are eligible.

For example, if you have small children at home you can choose a dog that is known to be good with kids.

If you know you will not be home all day long, you most likely will not choose a young puppy or a dog that has serious health issues that need to be monitored twenty-four-seven.

So let’s recap. If you want to become a foster parent for dogs, then, in a nutshell, the steps to follow are:

  • Find a rescue to work with that interests you.
  • Fill out an application to foster.
  • Read the application carefully.
  • Provide references to the rescue.
  • Ask a lot of questions.
  • Finalize the application process.
  • See dogs that are eligible to foster.
  • Bring home your foster.

What Are Your Responsibilities When Fostering a Dog?

When you agree to fostering a dog, you take on a considerable amount of responsibility.

After all, you’re in charge of another living thing’s life and future, and that’s a big deal.

As a foster, your main responsibility is to ensure that the animal receives all necessary age-appropriate shots, attends any and all veterinary well-checks and visits, and receives any special medical attention for any health issue the pet may possess.

You also need to make sure that your foster pet is properly fed, and of course, give him lots of love.

It is critical to remember that a big role that foster pet parents play is prepping the dogs in their care for adoption.

This means you need to work with the pup on socialization, behavior and training, the extent of which will depend on the individual dog.

Once a pet in your care is considered to be ready for adoption, it is also your responsibility to do everything you can to help find a forever home for your canine charge.

This can consist of attending adoption events with the animal and performing house checks and interviews of potential adopters.

Those are the logistical things that you are expected to take care of when fostering a dog, but there are also unseen things that you are responsible for, for example, only taking in a dog if you know you will fully be able to care for it.

It is your responsibility to make smart decisions and to know when to say yes, and when to say no.

It does a dog no good to be fostered by someone who really doesn’t have the time or patience to care for him.

This can ultimately make him take steps backward in his path to becoming an adoptable pet.

These dogs need proper attention and love, some more than others, in order for them to get where they need to be if they want to be adopted.

Preparing Your Home for Fostering Dogs?

Anytime you bring a new pet into the house, you can expect big changes.

Whether you are adopting a pet of your own or taking in a foster dog, you will need to make certain preparations to make the transition easier for all those involved, both man and animal.

First things first, make sure that you have discussed fostering with anyone who is also living in your household, including children.

Remember, this is a big change, and things will be different, so everyone at least needs to be on board with the idea, and hopefully, everyone will agree to chip in and take care of the dog, too.

For example, perhaps one child can be in charge of making sure the dog always has fresh water in his bowl, while someone else may be in charge of the evening walk.

Next, you want to make sure your house is ready inside an outside so do a quick assessment.

If there are certain rooms the dog will not be allowed in, then do you need to install pet gates?

If you have stairs and do not want the dog to go upstairs, then you might want to put a gate across the bottom of your stairway.

If you don’t have a fenced-in backyard, you may want to consider putting up a fence, especially if you plan on fostering dogs on a continuing basis.

This is especially handy if you have dogs that need to be let out at night to potty, or at times when you are unable to take them for a walk, say when it’s raining.

Instead, they can do a quick potty stop and take a few laps around the backyard.

You will also want to set up a designated spot for your temporary housemate.

You might get a special dog bed in the corner of the living room, or maybe even designated areas in multiple rooms that can be the dog’s safe place.

A crate works well for this too, as many dogs will associate it with their den.

However, it works best if you can leave the door to the crate open so the pet can come and go, and not feel trapped or punished.

Take some time to gather all the necessary supplies and organize them ahead of time.

You don’t want to be scrambling for things that you need once the dog is already in your house.

Plus, you’ll have more time to devote to your new furry friend and acclimating him to his new, temporary home.

Also, make sure to work out the new schedule with anyone involved before Rover arrives.

This will help make the transition go more smoothly for everyone, including your new pup guest.

If you already have a pet, there are extra precautions that you may want to consider taking when fostering dogs.

Your foster could potentially bring some communicable diseases into your home from the shelter.

You may want to consider setting up a temporary quarantine of sorts for your foster dog in order to keep your pets safe.

Your vet is a good person to talk with about this idea.

If you want, when you get your foster, make it a point to have an appointment pre-scheduled with your vet so that you can introduce your foster and have him checked out, that way your vet can give you a more informed recommendation of what should be done, if anything.

If after reading this, you feel like fostering a dog is something you strongly desire to do, then a great starting point is to get in touch with your local rescues.

These organizations can help you get on the right path and help guide you through the process.

Just make sure that you are ready for the commitment that fostering entails.

To learn more about dog fostering, adoption, and all things Shih Tzu, make sure to check out the rest of our blog!

We wish you and your furry companions the very best!

10 Things Only Shih Tzu Dog Owners Understand

STRMN Shih Tzu Rescue of Minnesota

Rescue, Rehabilitate, Rehome

Your donation will help

STRMN rescue a Shih Tzu

in need.  You may make a

tax deductable donation to

STRMN at P.O. Box 46562,

Eden Prairie, MN  55344

or through our secure

Paypal account. (You do not

have to have a Paypal

account to make a donation)

Shih Tzu Rescue Of Minnesota
P.O. Box 46562
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Follow us on




The 2021 STRMN Rescue Reunion
Photos are
now available!




Visit our Etsy shop for

handmade blankets, paw

towels, belly bands and




Visit our Ebay shop for

toys, clothes, bowls and



r/shihtzurescuemn )

Need a harness or

leash?  If you know the

size you need, email

([email protected]


If you are unsure of the

size, visit the harness and

leash tab on the left side of

this site. 

Visit the STRMN YouTube channel for delightful videos featuring adopters, foster homes and board members.


First Saturday of every month
10:00 am to 12:00 pm



This site has been visited 353074 times!

Who We Are
     Shih Tzu Rescue of Minnesota (STRMN) is an all volunteer organization with a mission to Rescue, Rehabilitate, and Re-Home Shih Tzus and Shih Tzu mixes who are in need of loving homes.   We believe every dog should have a second chance, and should be treated as a living creature with respect, dignity and compassion.  While our volunteers are located in Minnesota, we are committed to rescuing Shih Tzus from other states as well.  As long as we have an available foster home, we will rescue and care for another Shih Tzu.  STRMN is a 501c3 charitable, non profit organization.  All donations to STRMN are tax deductable and 100% of donations go toward the care and comfort of our rescued dogs.

Where do our dogs come from?
     Our rescued dogs come from a number of places and situations: owner turn-ins, strays, shelters, puppy mills and some from retired breeders.  Regardless of where the dogs have originated, they are given love, kindness and attention in our foster homes and provided full medical care.  Shih Tzu Rescue of Minnesota has high standards for the quality of care provided for our dogs, both in foster care and in their forever adopted homes.

How can I help?
     The strength and success of Shih Tzu Rescue of Minnesota is in our volunteers.  Each volunteer brings their skills, talents and expertise to our organization.  We work closely with our volunteer foster families in an effort to guarantee a successful experience for all.  Throughout the year we plan a number of social activities, hold quarterly membership meetings, fund raising events, and our annual STRMN Rescue Reunion each September.

     There is always a dog needing to come in to rescue and a foster home.  We very much need more homes so we do not have to turn away any dogs.  If you have space in your home, and love in your heart for a Shih Tzu or Shih Tzu mix, we want to talk with you!  Please also read “Why Become a Foster Parent?” written by one of our foster moms who especially cares for puppy mill dogs.   STRMN will cover all necessary veterinary care at pre-approved veterinary clinics

How can I learn more?
     We welcome and encourage individuals and volunteers to visit the rest of our website and consider becoming a volunteer with Shih Tzu Rescue of Minnesota (STRMN).  Click HERE to learn more about Volunteering for STRMN.

We appreciate your interest and future support.

Copyright © 2008-2021STRMN Shih Tzu Rescue of MinnesotaAll Rights Reserved

Website Developed and Maintained by Website to the Rescue

Find out more about this wonderful breed
Click HERE~

This breed is more closely related to the wolf than any other breeds.
Whether a star in the ring or at home, the Shih Tzu is one of the oldest breeds of dog

Dear Shih Tzu Rescue of Minnesota,
We at are pleased to present you with a Dog Rescue Award for excellence in providing underprivileged dogs a much valued resource. We take pride in acknowledging the best organizations around the country with our special award emblem, recognizing them for their outstanding work - Shih Tzu Rescue of Minnesota certainly qualifies as one of them.

Thank you for all the work you and your organization provides for dogs in need. We wish you the best in continuing your highly valued service.  DogBreedsInfo have recognized your dedication to dogs and your willingness to help them out. And if anything deserves an award, wouldn't that be it?

Why STRMN does NOT endorse the use of Retractable Leashes.

Foster A
Shih Tzu

At any Petco event,
ask us about
fostering!  Pick up our
information packet
and let's talk about
the details and
rewards of being a
foster home.  Get your
questions answered.
There will be foster
families available to
share their insights
and experiences.

We have a wonderful dog waiting just for you!

Many online retailers participate in iGive.  When you visit a participating online store, you will see a button that says “iGive ON”.   You can see that store’s deals by clicking the button.  When you make a purchase, a portion of your purchase goes to your cause.  It never costs more, the stores pay for it, and  iGive takes care of all the details.  Initially just log on to and select Shih Tzu Rescue of Minnesota from the dropdown as the cause you wish to receive the donation.  Then make your online purchase with the retailer.  iGive will even let you know when they have sent a check  to STRMN.

Also, another way to financially support STRMN is to think about including Shih Tzu Rescue of Minnesota as a possible beneficiary in your estate planning.  Our rescued dogs will always need vetting, our greatest expense.

Thank you to the Petco Foundation for their generous grant this spring.  Thanks to your help, we’ll be able to afford more veterinary care for more dogs. The animals thank you, too!

Our Rescued Shih Tzus

Click on these photos to visit
them in our Photo Album

The Shih Tzu Rescue Of Minnesota
would like to say
Build-A-Bear Workshop Bear Hugs Foundation
for the
Generous Grant they have given us to help us increase the number of dogs we rescue and be able to take in more of the medically needy.

The Build-A-Bear Workshop Bear Hugs Foundation is committed to making life more bearable for children, families and pets, in need of a helping paw.  With the sale of each full-sized Bearemy’s Kennel Pals® friend -- a collection of Build A Bear Workshop® plush dogs -- one dollar is donated to domestic pet programs including local animal shelters, stray pet rescue and rehabilitation organizations, and pet education programs around the country.  These funds are available to qualified non-profit organizations in the United States and Canada

The Shih Tzu Rescue of Minnesota
would like to say THANK YOU
To the ASPCA
for the  Generous Grant they have given for our
North Dakota Puppy Mill Dogs Veterinary Costs

Shih Tzu Rescue Of Minnesota


We have one sweet, beautiful, yet expensive little girl asking

for your help: Mandy has now entered our HOSPICE program

where she will be kept safe, loved, and all her medical needs

taken care of for the rest of her life....this is where any

donation you can spare will help.

She was found dumped on a lonely country lane in

western Minnesota. A wonderful woman picked her up and

contacted STRMN to see if we would take her in, which we

did. After several medical visits and multiple testing it was

determined she had been used for breeding and had been

poorly treated with no medical help--for years, if ever.



Shih tzus fostering

Shih Tzu (medium coat)  : :  Female  : :  Young  : :  Small

Every minute matters when it comes to rescuing a Shih Tzu.  We may get a short notice that someone needs to surrender their dog or a puppy mill dog needs a temporary home. We can’t help if we don’t have families willing to foster, and we are always in need of more foster homes!

If you live in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Rockford or Chicago, IL areas and want to help save lives, please complete either our online Foster Sign-Up or download a word version here:

(please note: neither dog pictured are available to foster or adopt, both are in their forever homes)

NorthStar Shih Tzu Rescue exists to benefit both Shih Tzu and Shih Tzu blend dogs and the people of our community. We operate as a no-kill rescue that provides rescue and adoption services, and meaningful outreach programs in order to advance the welfare of these companion animals, to serve and educate our community, and to make a positive, loving impact on the lives of both.

NorthStar, located in Excelsior, MN, actively works to rescue Shih Tzu and Shih Tzu blend dogs from dangerous environments and shelters with the ultimate goal of placing them in loving, permanent, adoptive homes. We rescue unwanted, abandoned, and abused dogs. We have them vaccinated, micro-chipped, spayed or neutered, provide other medical care, and rehabilitate them in carefully selected foster homes.

We also serve as a resource to our community and all pet owners by providing education and information on the benefits of adopting an animal in need as well as responsible pet ownership, including the importance of spay/neuter, good nutrition, and positive behavior training. We strive to increase public awareness about companion animal overpopulation, commercial breeders, and to offer solutions to end the killing of adoptable animals.

We work in alliance with local animal shelters, pounds, other rescue groups, and humane society organizations to ensure these animals are not forgotten.

shihtzu's first day at foster home 🏡


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