Frequently Asked Questions

What are your adoption requirements?

Our adoption guidelines/requirements are available on our Adoption Info page-

Why are we so selective about who adopts our dogs?

We put a huge amount of time, love, and expense into each little fluff in our rescue. We designed our process to filter out undesirable adopter situations. Unfortunately, some good adoptive families may get filtered out in our approval process. We also regularly receive multiple applications on our pups and we try to determine which of the applications best meets the dog’s needs. Our primary commitment is to our dogs, not the potential adopter. Our goal is to make sure our dogs will never again find themselves in the horrible situation from which we rescued them.

Why do some dogs have special adoption requirements?

First of all, thank you for reading over the dog’s bio.  We spend a lot of time assessing our dogs and including as much information in their individual biographies as possible. Our goal is to find the home that is the last home that the dog ever needs.  Many of our dogs come into rescue with limited background information and many of our dogs come to rescue as survivors of commercial breeders, or puppy mills.  Typically, the mill survivors range from completely shut down to somewhat backward or shy and most are flight risks.   The dogs are much more comfortable around other dogs and look to them as a mentor. For that reason, we generally require a companion dog living in the home because it will help the transition process.  We also may require a secure, physically fenced yard. Most of these dogs have no concept of walking on a leash or even walking on grass, in addition to being a huge flight risk because they do not come when called.  They are a work in progress and will require a patient, understanding home to help them continue their socialization.

Common adoption requirements:

Companion dog – Many dogs, in fact most puppy mill survivors, require a companion dog already living in the home.  The mill dogs are much more comfortable around other dogs, in many cases, and having that companion dog in the home gives the newly adopted puppy mill survivor a buddy, a mentor that they can rely on and follow to continue to learn how to be a dog.

Only dog – Some dogs, for a variety of reasons, are not overly comfortable around other dogs.  They may have come from a home where they were an only dog or just prefer being with their people.  In these instances, we will indicate on the bio the behaviors that we’ve seen in their foster home and why we believe that being an only dog would be best going forward.

Secure, physically fenced yard – We do not have an across the board policy that requires a fence for every dog.  We do, however, assess each dog individually and some dogs require a fenced yard.  The fenced yard may be required because the dog does not walk or potty on a leash.  This is true of many puppy mill survivors.  The dog may have an activity level that requires additional time to expend their energy more than just a walk would do.  Some dogs are a flight risk due to a lack of socialization and if they are also not comfortable walking on a leash, the fenced yard provides a protective area to help continuing training the dog. 

No fence – There are some dogs who are master escape artists and take every opportunity when given to try to escape a fenced yard.  In these instances, we may recommend that they go to a home that does not have a fenced yard and that they must always be on a leash outside.

Strong veterinary history – Some dogs have been through a lot medically and may need to be monitored going forward for any resolved medical issues or medical issues that may need to be managed.  In these instances, we will want a strong, verifiable veterinary history of at least several years to show that you have cared for current or previous dogs and have experience dealing with a potential medical issue.


Why is there no phone number for your shelter listed on your website? 

We are not a shelter. We are a private, all volunteer, foster home based organization. We do try to have our adoptable dogs attend regularly scheduled events. We try to provide as much information as possible on each of our dogs so that you have a general sense of their demeanor and temperament. The first step in our process is to submit an online application at Once an application is received, there will be plenty of opportunities for you to talk to various volunteers within our group, and you can always email any questions you might have.

What is the cost to adopt one of our dogs?

The adoption donations/fees are based on the age of the dog and are not negotiable. The adoption donations range from $200 to $500. The donations are set so that older dogs, who as a rule, have a great deal more vetting that is required, also have a fair opportunity to be adopted. 

Why are the adoption fees more than the local shelter?

OFP does NOT profit from the adoption donations, and our organization is 100% volunteer. We also receive no government funding unlike a county shelter. Adoption fees are put in a fund that is used to help cover the basic medical expenses and boarding costs. Each dog we take in spends quite a bit of time at our veterinarian's office where they are given a full examination including vaccinations, heartworm testing, heartworm prevention, fecal testing and de-wormer, if necessary, treated for fleas/ticks if necessary, spay or neuter surgery if the dog is not altered, and a dental teeth cleaning. All OFP dogs are also microchipped. Many of the dogs we take in have not had regular routine care and the adoption donations/fees many times do not even cover these basics. Any additional medical needs have to be paid with donations we receive.

Why are we always being asked for donations? Shouldn't the adoption fees cover everything?

Ohio Fuzzy Pawz believes that every dog deserves a second chance at life (which possibly may be the first chance to ever experience love). Therefore, we rescue dogs in ANY condition, meaning many of the dogs we get are in need of extensive medical treatment.  Adoption fees only cover the basics mentioned above.  We do not have a facility and only have spots based on the number of foster homes available.  Many times, we must pay for our dogs to be boarded until a foster home opens up. This is not the ideal situation, but it's definitely better than the poor pups being put to sleep at the animal shelter.

How can I contribute to the on-going rescue work of Ohio Fuzzy Pawz Shih Tzu Rescue?

FOSTER:   We can always use new volunteers to foster our dogs until they go to their forever homes!
FOSPICE FOSTERS :  We sometimes have dogs, who due to their medical, and even behavioral circumstances, cannot be adopted.

VACATION FOSTER :  Please give a pup a place to crash for a night or two or a couple weeks when our long-term fosters go out of town or the pup is being transported on the way to its forever home.

TRANSPORT Please help with transporting dogs to adoption events or to their forever homes.

PHOTOGRAPHERS Take pictures of our new dogs so we can get their adorable little faces posted online quickly!

EVENT VOLUNTEERS :  Spread the word about our rescue by helping to man our booth or donate items to sell.

DONATE Please donate if you are able. It's tax-deductible!  Check our our Facebook page often to keep up to date on our needs. We always have dogs that are in need of special medical treatment above and beyond the basic medical care that our adoption fees can fund. In times when there are excessive numbers of needy dogs at the shelters, we need extra funds for boarding until foster homes become available. 

If you would like to become a volunteer, please go to to submit an online application.


If I am the first one to apply for one of your rescue dogs, will I get that dog?

Not necessarily. We do NOT adopt on a first come-first served basis. We try our very best to match up each of our dogs with the adopter who will be the best fit. Being first does not hurt as it allows us to begin processing your application, but it is in no way a guarantee. We commit to being as open and honest as possible with you during the selection process but please remember that we will not discuss applications with anyone but the applicant and we do not share information with outside parties except in the processing of the application.

I am interested in doing a foster to adopt so I can be sure that it's a good match?

We work very hard to match our dogs to the homes that best their needs.  We feel very strongly that a foster-to-adopt does not provide the best opportunity for the dog and hinders the dog in finding their forever home.  We always take our dogs back in the event that an adoption does not work so for that reason we do not do "foster-to-adopt" situations.  It is very important that adopters be committed to making an adoption work and we offer the services of a behaviorist to assist with potential issues that may arise after adoption as well as input from the foster home to help get the dog acclimated to their new home.

I've already submitted an application, but now I am interested in a different dog! Do I need to submit another application?

NO, as long as the application is in our current system, and the contact information remains current, a new application would not be needed. 

I've submitted an application and I now see that the dog I applied for is marked as adoption pending.  I haven't heard anything, does that mean it's for me or not?

We mark dogs as adoption pending in the system to stop incoming applications, but haven't yet placed the dog.  Most of our dogs receive multiple applications and it can take several weeks to process and review all of them.  To allow our process to work properly, this gives our volunteers the chance to review applications without continually adding more.  If the dog is not adopted from those application, we remove the adoption pending identifier and applications can then be submitted.

I have submitted an adoption application, so when can I meet the dog I want to adopt?

First, thank you for submitting the application! Your application will receive an initial review for completeness.  Incomplete applications cannot be processed.  Following the initial review, your application is assigned to one of our application volunteers, who will review your application and begin contacting the references you listed. We ask that you give us at least a 3 - 4 week timeframe to complete this part as our volunteers are processing hundreds of applications at any time, though please be assured we will attempt to make contact with you before that time is up. The wait time depends on volunteer availability as well as the availability of your references, along with the number of applications being processed. 
While your application is still being processed, there is one way to meet our dogs! Check out our available dogs on our website and our foster homes try to provide periodic pupdates on our private Facebook group, Friends of Ohio Fuzzy Pawz Shih Tzu Rescue. We do participate in periodic events, but not all events are adoption events that would have dogs present. Please check our website for the calendar of events-

 I've already submitted an application but had to place it on hold.  Now, I would like to resume the process. Do I need to submit another application?

No, if we have an application in our current system and the information remains current, then a new application is not necessary.  Send an email to to resume the application process.

I've adopted from Ohio Fuzzy Pawz previously and am looking to adopt another little furbaby.  Do I need to submit a new application?

Not necessarily.  We do need to have a current adoption application on file.  We have also made changes to the adoption application over the years so if you're adoption application was submitted more than 5 years ago OR if there have been significant changes to your information, like changes in household members, address, etc. we may want to do a new application as it could be easier to submit a new application rather than update a previous application. Please email the applications team at to see if there is an application on file.  As part of the re-activation process, we must contact your veterinarian and groomer and ensure that current/previous pets are/were updated on vaccines, annual heartworm testing and monthly heartworm prevention.  We will also conduct a follow-up home visit.

I do not own my home. Why do you require my landlord’s information?

One of the primary reasons dogs are turned in to shelters is due to the fact that the applicant does not own the property and either is not supposed to have a pet or did not get permission to get a pet. Our top concern when processing applications is the long-term successful placement of our foster dogs so we try to be as proactive as possible in processing applications. That way we can eliminate that reason before a dog is even placed! We check with your landlord to make sure dogs are allowed in your rental unit. We value the privacy of everyone we work with especially those who adopt our dogs and never share information outside the group.

Do you adopt out-of-state?

Yes! We absolutely do adopt to outstanding out of state adopters. We must have a verifiable veterinary history for all out of state adoptions.  We do conduct home visits on all adoptions, either in state or out of state.  In most cases, we conduct those home visits virtually with a video call with all family members.  We do not accept pictures or video of your home, the home visit must be conducted live.

Do you ship your dogs?

No, we do not ship dogs. If you live out-of-state and are approved to adopt, you will be required to travel to Ohio to meet and adopt your wonderful new pup!

If the adoption isn’t working out, can I give the dog back?

Yes! In fact, our adoption contract requires it.  Our contract, signed at the time of adoption, states that if for ANY reason you ever cannot keep the dog, the dog MUST be returned to our rescue.