Good Article About Rescue Adoption Donation Fees

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Good Article About Rescue Adoption Donation Fees

Post by Kathy »

Saw this on a Yahoo group & I wish to share... Kathy

Rescue's Adoption Fees Are Too High...

Author: Joan C. Fremo
Published on: March 21, 2002
"Rescue's Adoption Fees Are Too High"

Every Rescuer has heard it. The argument that if we really cared about finding "Good Homes", we would give the dogs away. There are folks who will tell us they could go to a Pet shop and purchase a dog for just a little more then the adoption fee. So what is the adoption fee paying for?


The assumption that Rescue is a business, or that Rescuer's make a profit from suffering, could not be further from the truth. While not all Rescue Groups are created equally, regardless of the size or breed of dog you are looking for, most will ask for a donation to adopt ranging from $100 to $300 dollars.

If a Rescue Group takes in a healthy pet that costs a minimal amount to make ready for adoption, the "profit" from that animal is applied to the vetting costs of the many others who are not as fortunate. When a dog comes into Rescue, funds must be spent on neutering/spaying, vaccinations, (Rabies, DHLPP, Bordatella), screening for HW and a fecal. Vetting expenses on a healthy animal can run as high as $175 and more with the larger breeds. The truth is the majority of found/stray/rescues DO require additional vetting. Worming is almost always a necessity. Rescuers treat HW positive animals, pay to set broken bones, to treat illnesses and injuries---providing treatment the original owners either didn't choose to or could not afford. Rescuers may do whatever is necessary, and it can often take several months to return an animal to good health. It is not unusual for the costs of this care to run from $450-$1000 per dog. Most Rescuers do this without benefit of financial backing or resources, choosing to spend money in saving lives, rather then on themselves. I do not know of any Rescue group that makes a profit, or comes anywhere close to breaking even.

Rescuers will foster these animals in their homes, making them part of the family while providing care and training. The animals will be screened for behavioral and health issues, those issues addressed, and every attempt is made to make the best possible match with adopting families. Rescuers spend hours on the computer each day seeking the perfect home, help for a dog, or transport from shelter to Rescue or Rescue to forever home. Setting up transports for these animals may take weeks to arrange, and require 100's of emails. Phone bills are frequently outrageous, as Rescuers still find it necessary to call shelters and vets that lack email capabilities, to interview prospective adopters and check their references.

Yes, one could go to a Pet Store to purchase a papered Pup for a little more then the donation a Rescue Group may request---and be responsible for encouraging the Puppy Mill industry to flourish. Perhaps there are those who are unaware of the conditions that these animals are born to? Perhaps the thought of that sweet puppy's mother living out her entire life confined to a cage, covered in mange, and barely able to stand does not trouble some folks. (See NBC's report on "Petstore Puppies": )

However, even if the plight of the pup's mother didn't concern them, if their motivation was to save a few dollars---they would be woefully misinformed. Pet store pups are notorious for costing their owners--not just in the funds to cope with the many health problems, but emotionally--as many owners fight a losing battle with bad genetics, compromised immune systems, and unstable temperaments. (See "Pet Store Puppies":

Prospective Pet Owners could also seek a Reputable Breeder, pay $500-1000 for a puppy and, IF they are responsible Pet Owners, they would still need to spend the funds to properly vet their new pet, (to neuter, vaccinate, etc.).

Rescuers care enough to provide for these dogs when their original owners did not, to screen homes, to invest their hearts, time, and personal funds. Rescuers care enough to know that if someone cannot afford a nominal donation for adoption it is likely that person would also be unable to provide proper veterinary care for the animal Rescue has loved to health. Rescuers care enough to have researched and know what happens to those "free to a good home" pets-- the neglect, abuse and abandonment that these animals, deemed of no value, will suffer. (See "FREE TO A GOOD HOME?": We care enough that we cannot be governed by expenses.

The idea that Rescuers make a profit hurts the 1000's of Rescuers who are trying, with all they are worth, to make a difference. There are more then enough misconceptions about Breed Rescues. (See "Some Common Misconceptions About Breed Rescues":

Owners always seem to have some excuse why they can't keep their pets. Please read "The Top Ten Reasons for Pet Relinquishment to Shelters in the United States". How many seriously ill, old, or untrained dogs can Rescues take? Yet this is Rescue. Rescuers care for these animals, providing vetting and training---and then seek the best of all homes. The home that will love and cherish these animals.
Rescuers devote a lot of energy trying to close down the puppymills and back yard breeders, the places that breed grief--that victimize the animals and the poor unsuspecting families that love and lose their beloved pets because of greed.

Most Rescuers drive old cars, repairs put on the backburner because yet another poor soul needs expensive vetting. Rescuers will do without things others probably take for granted---because money only goes so far and the number of animals needing help never diminishes.
We take calls at all hours of the day and night. Why not--not a one of us sleeps well after the horrors we've seen--and when we do sleep, we hear the whimpering of those animals in our dreams. Please visit Pyrangel Rescue Network's website at Look under "All About Rescue" to learn more.

What do rescue fees pay for?
Read about Hope and Freedom at Perhaps you'd like to read Eleanor's Rescue. Eleanor's vet bills have exceded $1500, she will likely be here until she dies--as few wish to take on a senior Pyr.

Or read about Shelby,
Or the TN 5,
In January, PRN was having a 19 week old rescue spayed in a clinic near Knoxville--the clinic called to tell me 5 Pyrs had just been dumped. I also had a Rescue in KY. In just two days I charged the neutering and vetting of 7 dogs to my credit cards. The females of the TN 5 will require extensive fostering. They were afraid and unsocialized, and very malnourished.

Are the fees too high?

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Post by Rachelle »

Amen! That's a terrific article.

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Post by Cindy »

GREAT article and a VERY good reminder. Just last week I was asking my regional coordinator about the adoption fee for Joey and thinking "geez, we didn't pay that much a year ago when we got Jill and she was only 2, not 7!" I've had a number of people ask me about the adoption fee and why it's so high and this spells it out pretty well. I'm thinking that something like this should be posted on the wesbite so people will understand how much the fee is and WHY it's that high. Maybe add some dollar amounts such as cost to neuter, preliminary exam cost, aveage expense incurred for worming, HW treatment, and other common problems dogs have that come into rescue. I keep coming back to the fact that when you adopt a dog you know it's "probably" a good match for you household. You NEVER know what you're getting with a puppy and a puppy is only as well trained as the time you invest. Geez, when we got Kayla she was so well behaved and trained to sit, stay, and come, something that we never could have accomplished without a lot of time invested.

Thanks for posting this - I hope everyone has a chance to read it over.
Kayla RIP 10/2/15, Pippa, and Layla

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Post by DLDoiron »

That was a great article. As a foster I know the expenses that a dog has. One of my fosters had $980 in vet bills before I could let him be adopted. With a rescue dog we try our hardest to match him/her to the family. I have been so fortunate that the 10 dogs I have placed have the best homes. I love getting the emails and pictures of them. I hope everyone reads this article.
Doc, Dazy Dew, & CJ


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Post by Dave »

AMEN , also :lol: . I have been berated and accused of being in the company of thieves :? . I've heard all those arguments . One guy a couple of years ago said "I ran a business for 30 yrs. and you guys wouldn't make it " I snapped and politely told him that I had spent lots of dollars out my own pocket , gone without ...... and I'm in good company .
You know , I ended up with that jerk's pup that cost him $500 because he was to D@#$$ cheap to spend money on medical care and simple training . At the end of the day , I post , chat with my rescue friends , drink a beer and sleep just fine with my foster dog hogging the blankets curled up sleeping against my chest . :wink: :P

Thank You Kathy . I am going to save this in a word document and use it . I am lucky to live in a state that only gets about 6-8 Brittanys a year , not a month or in some cases a week :shock: I have many sleepless nights just worrying about simple behavior problems . 8) Dave
If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.
-Will Rogers

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Post by Lorie »

Great article, thanks for sharing it.

"Yesterday I was a dog. Today I'm a dog. Tomorrow I will probably be a dog. Sigh! There's so little room for advancement."

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Post by Barb Wright »

What a terrific article :D ....and also all the links :D I wish we could get a copy of that to ALL shelters, Vets offices, pet supply stores, dog training centers, et al. Possibly that would lead to better informed people, professional and otherwise, who are also on the other end of the leash, and get everyone on the same page. THANKS for that post Kathy, it's a Winner 8)
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Post by Lisa »

Great post Kathy!! I'm going to save it for the next person that emails me and whines about the adoption fee! Sheesh, about half of the dogs we take in have to go through HW treatment...that right there is $500-$800!! If they have to be boarded, there's a good amount of money...treating tick diseases, worms, etc.

I've spent more out of pocket because I knew the expenses were going to be high than I care to admit (but will happily claim as deductions come tax time). Often, if I know the expenses are going to be really high for a dog, and I'm financially able at the time, I will ask to be reimbursed for shots and alteration, and cover the rest out of pocket.

I've got quite a bit of deductions to claim from last year, courtesy of Pogo (he had some major expenses, between 2 tick diseases and thyroid issues).

Nope, you're certainly not going to get rich doing rescue...but you will certainly be ENriched!
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Post by AuntieMom »

Great article. I would just add that rescue adoption fees are a bargain, and much cheaper than making sure "free" dogs go to a "good home."

I am unapologetic regarding adoption donations of our fosters. I tell potential adopters of healthy dogs straight up that their adoption donation lets us continue to help other Brittanys. When we have a Brittany that has had high expenses, I let the adopter know that the donations of others let us help their dog and ask them to consider donating as they are able from time to time.

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Post by kw »

Lisa, You're fortunate that you can claim the expenses at tax time. Because ABR is not a registered charity in Canada, we can't claim a single cent. Fortunately, all the dogs, other than the puppies I recently fostered, come to me fully vetted by way of Jen in Mo-Kan. To add salt to the wound, vet fees etc are much higher here than it is down south. My previous vet was the Rolls Royce of vets in my area. I don't know how they are able to charge so much and stay in biz - there must be a lot of rich and dumb a@#$s in Ottawa. My current vet charges anywhere from 30 to 50% less than the former one.

Anyways, only one dog I've fostered, so far, came to me from Mo-Kan with a vet bill (boarding etc) that totaled less than US$500 (and we're talking about a couple of bucks under 500). I've had people ask why we're asking for money for dogs that are abandoned and have no homes. Those are the ones I just don't bother to respond to.


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