How to Adopt

Summary of the Application & Adoption Process

Please note that MNSR does not operate a central shelter. Our dogs live in foster homes, as we strive to make each dog's transition to an adoptive family as smooth as possible.

In order to ensure that all of our dogs go to their best and last homes, we require that an adoption application is completed and submitted prior to requesting an appointment to meet a Sheltie.

Our adoptable Sheltie bios are found on the Available Dogs page. The bios explain the type of home that is appropriate for each Sheltie, indicate if a fence is required, and whether the Sheltie can be placed with children, dogs or cats. Please read the bio carefully before applying for a specific dog. Please note that we cannot guarantee the availability of the Shelties in our program. Our priority is to meet the needs of the Shelties in our care.

Prior to submitting an application, please be sure to read our Frequently Asked Questions page as well.

Below is a summary of what you can expect during the application & adoption process

  1. Currently, our volunteer base enables us to adopt to Minnesota, Eastern North and South Dakota, Western Wisconsin, and Northern Iowa. We also work in cooperation with other Sheltie rescues and are happy to refer you to these organizations when they are logistically closer to your location. We encourage everyone outside of those areas to look for a local shelter or rescue group from which to adopt.
    The majority of our foster homes are located in the Twin Cities metro area and Fargo, North Dakota. Please keep in mind that if you apply to adopt a dog and your application is approved, you will be asked to travel to the foster home(s) to meet the dog(s) of interest prior to an adoption.
    To find a Sheltie rescue group near you, please visit The National Sheltie Rescue website.
  2. When your adoption application is received by MNSR, we will send you a confirmation letter.
  3. One of our adoption team volunteers will contact your veterinary and personal references, and we will then make arrangements with you for your home visit. This part of the process usually takes about 2-3 weeks (sometimes longer if you live outside of the Twin Cities metro area).
  4. After the home visit, your application is reviewed by the adoption team and discussed for approval.
  5. Once approved, we will make recommendations of Shelties for whom we feel your family and your home life are a good match.
  6. After approval and recommendation of potential matches, you will be able to speak to the foster family and arrange a meeting with the foster Sheltie.
  7. Finally, the moment you and your dog have been waiting for: Arrangements are made to finalize the adoption and we celebrate another happy ending for a Sheltie in need!

Adoption Fees

  • Under 4 years: $350
  • 4 to 8 years: $250
  • 9 years & up: $150

We understand that this process may seem overly complicated or even invasive to some people. However, our focus is to ensure that every dog we place goes to its best and last home. We pride ourselves in the fact that while we have successfully placed over 700 dogs since our inception in 2003, only a handful have been returned to our program due to various circumstances. We attribute this strong rate of success to our application process and the time we take with each family to educate them about the breed and determine what personality of dog will truly be the best match for their lifestyle. If you have additional questions about our process, please email us at

Please fill-out our Online Application

Alternatively, you can download and print an application that may be submitted by mail. (Please note, the application is a pdf file and you will need to have a pdf viewer, such as Adobe Reader installed on your computer).

MNSR Alum/Ambassador, Owen Adoption team members bring Cooper to his forever home MNSR Alum/Ambassador, Autumn