Shih Tzu and Japanese Chin Rescue

Our Pet List

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Donate a BedWe use Patented Kuranda Dog Beds because they are durable, chew proof and easy to clean. If you would like to donate a bed or fleece pad to us, click here.



Spek is a 1.5 year old male Japanese Chin. He is very friendly, and gets along well with other dogs and cats. He is curious, playful and energetic, and enjoys the company of humans. Spek is crate trained, housebroken and likes to play with other dogs. He's a beautiful and all-around *cool* dog!

Who We Are

Shih Tzu and Japanese Chin Rescue is a Michigan Non-Profit Corporation. All of our workers are non-paid volunteers. Although we are located in Michigan, our group is affiliated with Shih Tzu rescue groups in many states. We limit our placement to the suburban Detroit area. Please visit one of our affiliate rescues to adopt a Shih Tzu in your area if you are not in ours.

Things To Know Before You Adopt

If you have any questions or wish to fill out an application, please read this page first. It should answer any questions you may have about adopting from us.

As we work through the adoption process, please understand that our primary concern is the happiness and welfare of the dog and our goal is to find them a new permament

About The Breed

Before you adopt a Shih Tzu, please make sure you know this breed. Shih Tzu have many wonderful traits, but they do have some special considerations.

First, the Shih Tzu is a non-shedding dog, which means less vacuuming! But it also means the dog's hair grows like human hair, and it will need "haircuts." The dog will need to be professionally groomed every 4-6 weeks at an average cost of $40 per trip to the groomer. Additionally, the Shih Tzu needs regular brushing at home on a daily basis. If you lacking time and money, the Shih Tzu may not be the right breed for you.

Second, the Shih Tzu does not generally do well left alone for long periods of time. They are social dogs and need human companionship. We recommend that if the Shih Tzu is going to be alone more than 6 hours a day, you consider adopting a pair so the Shih Tzu does not develop behavior problems from being left alone too much.

Third, the Shih Tzu is more susceptible to ear infections and eye damage than other breeds. 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 on the Shih Tzu do not provide it with a natural protection from injury.

A Shih Tzu is a very loving and loyal dog that needs attention and affection. They will want to be with the family, wherever that may be. A Shih Tzu is not suitable as an "outdoor" dog. We will only consider those homes who want a Shih Tzu as an indoor family member.

Our Intake Process

Our Shih Tzu can come from a variety of situations:

We get dogs out of shelters

Owner surrenders

Dogs whose owners have passed away or gone into nursing homes

Dogs found as strays whose owners did not claim them after the legal waiting period

We bring the dogs into one of our foster homes and address their needs. The dog is also bathed, groomed, and evaluated for both medical and behavior issues that need to be addressed. We will treat any medical condition the dog has. Every dog is spayed or neutered, brought current on vaccinations, tested for heartworm and put on heartworm protection. Each dog stays in their foster home until they are adopted.

Rescue dogs may sometimes have behavior "issues" to work through. All dogs, and especially dogs with behavior issues, have love and affection to give, and it is our goal to find the root of the bad behavior and correct it, so that the good qualities of the dog can shine through. Consistency is the key to keeping behavior in check, and we will accordingly choose an adoptive home we feel is best suited and willing to continue with the progress we have made with the dog.

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 are showing the dog or cat in conformation shows.

A high percentage of our dogs surrendered to us by their owners, are turned in because they are not doing well with the children in their current household. We love children, but Shih Tzu like attention and are sometimes sensitive to the high activity level of young children. Also, as a high maintenance breed, parents of young children often find they do not have time to care for their Shih Tzu. Therefore, we do not place dogs in homes with children under the age of 6.

We do not place puppies (under age 1) in homes with children under 8 years of age. Shih Tzu puppies are very small and fragile and easily accidentally harmed.

We do not place puppies in homes where the puppy will be left alone all day. It will be impossible to properly socialize and housebreak a puppy if you work full time. We suggest you consider an adult dog that is already housebroken.

Because Shih Tzu can live 16-18 years, we do not place puppies in homes where it is likely the dog may outlive the owner or the owner is headed for a nursing home or assisted living facility. We have a great program and discounted adoption fees for Senior Citizens adopting Senior Dogs.

We do not permit people to adopt dogs as gifts, unless the recipient is willing to go through the adoption process and sign the adoption contract.

You must be 21 years old to adopt a dog from us.

Where are the dogs kept?

We do not have a shelter. Our organization is made up of volunteer foster homes. 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.

What Age Dog Is Best For You?

Puppy through 1 yr. old: Lots of chewing, not reliably housetrained, needs much attention and training, not good choice if you are gone all day.

1-3 years old: Still acts like a puppy, may or may not be housetrained, will still chew, needs lots of playtime to burn energy, will become bored easily if left alone too long.

3-5 years old. Able to be trusted alone in the house for short periods, needs several hours of playtime daily, will become bored easily, will chew from boredom.

5-10 years old: A perfect dog. Past the chewing stage, reliably housetrained, content to sleep while you are gone, will want to play for a few hours, but will be ready to sleep again when you do.

10+ : We highly recommend Seniors for Seniors. They are reliably housetrained, will follow you from room to room to sit by your feet, appreciate your love and companionship. A senior dog is also ideal for senior people who may need to change their living arrangements in the future. Many assisted living facilities and nursing homes allow residents to keep well-behaved pets. Shih Tzu can live 16-18 years, so there is plenty of "life" left in a 10 year old dog.

Adoption Process

The first step is filling out an online application. Once we review your application and call your references, someone from a local rescue will come to your home to meet you and your family. This is not a "white glove" inspection. We assess the home enviorment you have to provide you with a good match. All family members must be present. Once you have been approved, you may begin meeting our dogs. Whenever possible, we will bring the particular dog you have applied to adopt to the home visit with us.

Our adoption fees range from $200 to $400 and are based according to age. This is used to offset the vet expenses. All dogs are up to date on vaccines, heartworm negative, spayed or neutered and treated for any medical problems before they are ready for adoption.

Placing a rescued Shih Tzu in a safe and loving permanent home is our number one 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 pets.

If you are interested in adopting a Shih Tzu, click right here. 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 us know. Some of the boxes have a limit on the amount of information you can type in, so if you have information you feel is important for us to know, but there isn't room to type it all in, please send us a separate email in addition to submitting the application.

Our email address is


Donations to our rescue effort are much appreciated and are tax-deductible. We are most in need of:

Cash donations (send checks to P.O. Box 483, Royal Oak, MI 48068-0483)
Donations using your credit card or Paypal Account
Sponsor one of our special needs dogs
Supplies, such as crates, dog food, towels, blankets. Many of our dogs have special diets so we are always in need of Canidae canned chicken and rice, and Canidae Dry Kibble (any flavor).


We can 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 also from abusive homes. Please consider fostering! Typical time frames for fostering are from 2 weeks to several months at a time. It is very rewarding and you will enjoy watching the Shih Tzu blossom under your care. If you wish to join Shih Tzu and Japanese Chin Rescue or become a foster parent, email us for information and a foster application at

Shih Tzu and Japanese Chin Rescue
P.O. Box 483
Royal Oak, MI 48068-0483
Click here for a list of pets at this shelter

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