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  #1  
Old May 25th, 2011, 07:34 PM
mybubbles65 mybubbles65 is offline
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Why Are Adoption Fee's so High?

My husband and I looked at a dog today at our local SPCA. She was a puppy mill dog that will need a lot of socialization but she was very sweet. I would have taken her home in a minute but they wanted $358 to adopt her. That's ridiculous! We can go get a pure bred puppy with no issues for that amount. I thought SPCA's were in the business of finding homes for their dogs not gouging people! The adoption fee at other branches of the SPCA and the Toronto Humane Society range from $150 to $220. That's a big difference. Looks like we will be taking a drive to the city to adopt a dog. I really feel strongly about adopting an older dog but how do they expect to find homes for them when they charge so much? Why such a huge difference in fees from shelter to shelter?
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Old May 25th, 2011, 08:03 PM
SamIam SamIam is offline
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My "free" dog cost me $385 in her first month with me to cover her spay, microchip, and vaccines, and that was 6 years ago. She's worth every penny. I don't know how the shelters still charging $150-200 can survive to cover their costs. Big donations, maybe?
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Old May 25th, 2011, 08:08 PM
Etown_Chick Etown_Chick is offline
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Scruffy's $285 covered: neuter, two vet checks, behaviour analysis, microchip, 6 weeks free pet insurance, plus the usual room and board, food etc all animals receive while in the shelter.
That's a bargain!
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Old May 25th, 2011, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by mybubbles65 View Post
My husband and I looked at a dog today at our local SPCA. She was a puppy mill dog that will need a lot of socialization but she was very sweet. I would have taken her home in a minute but they wanted $358 to adopt her. That's ridiculous! We can go get a pure bred puppy with no issues for that amount.
I'd be curious to know what kind of purebred dog you could get for that amount that was from an ethical breeder. If you were to only pay that much, chances are you would be supporting a BYB

Personally, I would have no issue handing over that amount of money for a shelter/rescue dog. Most of the rescues here in Montreal charge at a minimum 350$ - I'd do it in a heartbeat knowing all the hardwork and expenses they have.
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Old May 25th, 2011, 09:30 PM
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Thats a steal of a price if you ask me.
Already vaccinated, spayed ect... I paid $580 for a spay 6 years ago, and my most recent neuter cost me over $300 NOT including vaccinations.
As for purchashing from a reputable breeder for less than or equal to that price... laughable. I have paid $2000.00 + for each of my guys so clearly you are talking about BYB or mill puppies which most likely will NOT be free of problems that you are finding off of classified ads.

Shelters pay a lot of money to help various dogs cats ect and while one dog may come in already altered and vaccinated its adoption price will help the one needing thousands of dollars of surgeries ect due to neglect.
To me paying under $400 for a dog and not having to worry about the initial things such as altering and vaccinating is nothing to complain about.

ETA: How would you know if there were " no issues" for your purebred pup at that price? I highly doubt that ANY breeder would sell a pup out of health tested (not just vet checked) lines for a price like that. You could be running into things like cardiomyopathy, hip and or elbow displasia, thyroid problems, eye problems, hearing problems, luxating patellas ect ect with out having breed specific health testing done on parents PRIOR to breeding to reduce the chances for future pups.
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Old May 25th, 2011, 09:52 PM
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Erykah pretty much made all my points. To think that you can buy a purebred puppy from a reputable breeder for under $400 is completely disillusioned. $400 for a dog to also include initial care, vaccines, etc that all shelters include with their adoptions is still a bargain.

Try calling a vet and find out what they would charge you if you were to bring in your new pup in for: initial vet exam, all puppy shots, and a micro chip. That alone will easily add up to close to $200. Spay and neuter depending on the size of the dog any where from $200 to I've been quoted as high as $700 once for one of my dogs.

So no, these adoption rates are not at all out of touch with reality. I think actually the $150 adoption rates are, that's giving away the dog at "under cost" so to speak and it gives some people the wrong image that owning a dog is cheap. It is not even when all things go right. I really don't mind seeing higher prices for dogs, helps to keep people from treating them like cheap or free disposable items, unfortunately too many times the puppy millers and byb's charge ridiculously high prices claiming quality or some rare colour or breed, and people buy into it thinking if it's expensive it must be high quality.
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Old May 25th, 2011, 10:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mybubbles65 View Post
Why such a huge difference in fees from shelter to shelter?
To touch on this... many "shelters" wont put as much effort into saving as many lives. Many dogs/cats are euthanized even in the best of shelters due to either long term health problems where other shelters will put the effort and time into the same dog. The ones that may try a little harder for each animal that comes through may have higher adoption fees.
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Old May 26th, 2011, 07:38 AM
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To expand on Erykah's point on difference in fees, some shelters are lucky enough to get a vet to do spays/neuters at a discounted rate to help them out.

$360 for an altered/vaccinated dog is a great price! Don't let a couple of hundred dollars stand between you and a dog that you feel will steal your heart for many years. . A special pet is priceless.
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Old May 26th, 2011, 08:01 AM
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A few points on this fee for adoption:

1) The point of getting a dog from a shelter is not to 'save some money'. It is not a 'discount pet store'. The fee you are paying is a donation that goes towards the care that was provided to this dog and that will be provided to other dogs.
2)Having a fee also ensures that people think a bit before deciding on getting a dog. If it was very easy and cheap to get a dog, more people would just get one and then return in back to the shelter because they didn't consider the impact a dog has on someone's life style.
3)This fee is very reasonable. If you think this is too much... i think you are in for a surprise as to how much a dog would actually cost to keep (this initial fee is just a drop in the sea compared to the rest of the money you will have to pay each year)...
4)Anyone who who offer a purebred puppy for this price is a BYB and i would stay FAR away from them.

I hope that you dont decide to go the BYB(backyard breeder) way because of this fee... this fee is here for a good reason.

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Old May 26th, 2011, 08:07 AM
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Firstly..I don't know where you can purchase a purebreed dog from an ETHICAL breeder for less. That does not make any sense whatsoever.
Let's do the math realistically based on your price of a dog from your 'breeder' (all my costing below is the absolute minimum):

$350.00 for the puppy
$45.00 for the vet exam
$25.00 to open a medical file (administrative fees)
$20.00 for deworming (a must)
$50.00 for 2nd vaccinations (assuming the first was done)
$45.00 for 2nd vet visit
$50.00 for the 3rd set of vaccinations
$300.00 for sterilization (not necessarily for lazer surgery).(also an average as I do not know the sex nor the breed of the dog you would choose...regardless I am being very average on the sterilization fee)

This of course does not include if there are any health issues.

Total: $885.00.

So - I am curious how this LOW price provided are in comparison with the $358.00 for a vaccinated, sterilized dog you would adopt at a local shelter...not to mention the price to save a life.
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Old May 26th, 2011, 08:53 AM
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I was lucky, the last rescue dog I took in only cost me $420. in vet fee's, and she was already spayed!!! She was near death when we found her, this of course is not counting her food (hand made), the time we put into her rehabilitation etc. She is now a wonderful pet for a great couple!!!
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Old May 26th, 2011, 09:10 AM
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Good points everyone on the price.

My free dog cost over one thousand when we took her to be spayed and a couple of other things. She is worth every penny.

How can you put a price on rescuing an animal, it is priceless.
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Old May 26th, 2011, 09:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mybubbles65 View Post
My husband and I looked at a dog today at our local SPCA. She was a puppy mill dog that will need a lot of socialization but she was very sweet. I would have taken her home in a minute but they wanted $358 to adopt her. That's ridiculous! We can go get a pure bred puppy with no issues for that amount. I thought SPCA's were in the business of finding homes for their dogs not gouging people! The adoption fee at other branches of the SPCA and the Toronto Humane Society range from $150 to $220. That's a big difference. Looks like we will be taking a drive to the city to adopt a dog. I really feel strongly about adopting an older dog but how do they expect to find homes for them when they charge so much? Why such a huge difference in fees from shelter to shelter?
My purebred has cost hubby and I just under $25,000 and it's ongoing. Search my threads

Being purebred does not mean you will have no issues. In fact, if it comes from a backyard breeder (which is what it would be at anything under $2,000 typically), there is more of a risk in getting a puppy with health problems. What the SPCA is asking is very reasonable. If someone can't afford that fee, that probably can't afford to properly care for the dog
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Old May 26th, 2011, 09:21 AM
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I just wanted to add that shelters and rescues do have various adoption fees based on what the vets charge at special rates. Remember that not all shelters have city contracts and therefore they rely heavily on adoption fees to TRY and cover the cost of the animal in their care. Shelters and rescues also rely mainly on donations. I can assure you that their goal is to save as many lives as possible and whatever they are asking does not cover all expenses to house, vet and feed all these deserving souls.
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Old May 26th, 2011, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenMax View Post
Firstly..I don't know where you can purchase a purebreed dog from an ETHICAL breeder for less. That does not make any sense whatsoever.
Let's do the math realistically based on your price of a dog from your 'breeder' (all my costing below is the absolute minimum):

$350.00 for the puppy
$45.00 for the vet exam
$25.00 to open a medical file (administrative fees)
$20.00 for deworming (a must)
$50.00 for 2nd vaccinations (assuming the first was done)
$45.00 for 2nd vet visit
$50.00 for the 3rd set of vaccinations
$300.00 for sterilization (not necessarily for lazer surgery).(also an average as I do not know the sex nor the breed of the dog you would choose...regardless I am being very average on the sterilization fee)

This of course does not include if there are any health issues.

Total: $885.00.

So - I am curious how this LOW price provided are in comparison with the $358.00 for a vaccinated, sterilized dog you would adopt at a local shelter...not to mention the price to save a life.
BM, where do you go?
It must just be Alberta
I paid just under $600 for Thorin to be neutered, then another $450 for bladder stone removal while he was being neutered
The "typical" exam fee here is $82.00, x-rays $240, and so on. It's SO expensive here
And that's at the regular vet. Our holistic vet is $250 for the first visit and then $120 for each following visit (plus the cost of herbs/homepathics)
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Old May 26th, 2011, 07:33 PM
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yes trust me....rescues & shelters make no profit. if anything we are always dipping into our personal bank accounts to be able to provide the necessary care for the dogs (food, vet bills, shots, transport, supplies etc.). There isn't always money in the rescue account
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Old May 27th, 2011, 08:27 AM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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Originally Posted by Rgeurts View Post
BM, where do you go?
Well Rgeurts, this is a minimum quote. I was taking the absolute minimum and I am absolutely certain that the costs would be higher. I also forgot to add the vet visit price for the 3rd visit. My bad.
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Old May 27th, 2011, 08:31 AM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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Originally Posted by totallyhip View Post
yes trust me....rescues & shelters make no profit. if anything we are always dipping into our personal bank accounts to be able to provide the necessary care for the dogs (food, vet bills, shots, transport, supplies etc.). There isn't always money in the rescue account
Oh do I hear you! Funny how people cannot do 101 math. To be very honest, I find the adoption and rescue fees far too low. At this rate, I would 'think' that people would donate an extra few dollars as they should know better. Sadly, people cannot see past the initial fee and do not take the time to understand all the expenses and time it takes to get an animal ready for adoption.

I will never understand why people would not adopt because they are counting pennies. Ridiculous.
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Old May 27th, 2011, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Sylvie View Post
Good points everyone on the price.

My free dog cost over one thousand when we took her to be spayed and a couple of other things. She is worth every penny.

How can you put a price on rescuing an animal, it is priceless.
LOL! I joke about how expensive my free dog has turned out to be!

Really, the purchase price of a dog is a fraction of what you will end up spending on that animal over it's life in vetting, food, training, equipment, toys, and repairs to what ever the dog destroyed in your house

The one pup I bought from a breeder for 1200 cost me more then that in vet fees within the first few weeks of owning her (we had a small emergency and she required xrays and an overnight stay).
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Old May 27th, 2011, 10:37 AM
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If we only talk dollars and cents, at the end of the day the 385. is not just for the dog.

It's (likely) for various shots/vaccines, and hopefully being spayed/neutered.
and you'll need all of this for any dog.

If another shelter is charging half the price then it might be because they are not spayed/neutered there.
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Old May 27th, 2011, 12:15 PM
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the shelter i volunteer has a set fee for surrendering and adopting an animal. our shelter survives off of these fees that we really just consider donations.

so even if you might see it as overpriced, you have to remember that the "extra" money is really going to be used to take care of the other animals around.

in my opinion, if you're looking to adopt an animal, you shouldnt really knit pick at everything, and just try and understand that this is for the shelters best.

shelters' best = the animals in the shelters' best!

my
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Old May 27th, 2011, 12:25 PM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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Originally Posted by marko View Post
If we only talk dollars and cents, at the end of the day the 385. is not just for the dog.
In the end...and in this particular case, this seems to be the main focus here...the $$.
I wonder if the same consideration goes into the retail mark-up for all products.
Let's see now...(being from the garment industry at one time)...price of XXX brand of jeans to produce: $6.00 including fabric, cutters, sewing, wash, packaging, duty fees, shipping, unloading and distribution. Retail price: $140.00.
Paying $140 for something that does not breath and feel - this I challenge.

There is no mark up for a life in a shelter or rescue.
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Old May 27th, 2011, 08:20 PM
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I think a lot of people mean good in adopting a dog or a cat and they are potentially loving owners but nowadays A LOT of people are on tight budgets so this is understandable.
I paid for Scully (female spayed cat) 200 bucks plus I had to buy a cat carrier (30 to 45 bucks) at the spot to transport her back home (and future use). Plus cat litter, litter box, etc.
Now that I think of it 358 is not that far from what expected considering it's a dog.
I do firmly believe though that spaying, deworming and overall rescue treatment provided to shelters should be WAY cheaper than the average price at the vet clinics, should be given as a social service (not free but low cost) to make it easier for the pets, the shelters and the potential person(s) adopting the animal.
I think they should try to keep the prices as low as possible (within reasonable)
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Old May 27th, 2011, 08:57 PM
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Koteburo, most of us do get a "rescue" discount at our vets, I have a set price for my own dog and chinchilla, and a discounted price for any rescue animal, be it lizard, dog, feline, bird or rodent. Have I mentioned I love my vet? *L* plus they allow me to keep a running tab.
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Old May 27th, 2011, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Koteburo View Post
I think a lot of people mean good in adopting a dog or a cat and they are potentially loving owners but nowadays A LOT of people are on tight budgets so this is understandable.
I paid for Scully (female spayed cat) 200 bucks plus I had to buy a cat carrier (30 to 45 bucks) at the spot to transport her back home (and future use). Plus cat litter, litter box, etc.
Now that I think of it 358 is not that far from what expected considering it's a dog.
I do firmly believe though that spaying, deworming and overall rescue treatment provided to shelters should be WAY cheaper than the average price at the vet clinics, should be given as a social service (not free but low cost) to make it easier for the pets, the shelters and the potential person(s) adopting the animal.
I think they should try to keep the prices as low as possible (within reasonable)
As stated by others that are with rescues..this is the 'special vet rate' when you adopt either from rescues or shelters. If you break even in adoptions (either rescue or shelter) then you are lucky. Normally, it is those that are feeding, vetting, supporting the dog or cat that are dipping into their own pockets to keep the animal going. I think that the rescues and shelters should ask for more in order to support the next animal in their care.
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Old May 27th, 2011, 10:44 PM
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In light of that I think $358 is pretty darned cheap.
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Old May 27th, 2011, 11:06 PM
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I do firmly believe though that spaying, deworming and overall rescue treatment provided to shelters should be WAY cheaper than the average price at the vet clinics
Some of the vets here generally give us a 10% discount when we as a volunteer group, bring a shelter dog in for treatment. We did just get a low cost spay/neuter clinic that will also do discount vaccinations at the time of the surgery! As a county run shelter, our adoptions are CHEAP! It covers the sterilization, and just a bit more (I am down south, so prices would not compare), but we had a guy come in one day that said "I thought you just gave them away, since your just going to kill them (if they don't get adopted)" We just stood there, stunned, as he left.
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Old May 27th, 2011, 11:24 PM
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Adoption Costs

Check if the SPCA is offering a year's free insurance included with the adoption. This could be the case as they do offer insurance (which incidentally was the best out of all the ones I compared).

When I take my pets in for their annual shots, it ends up costing me at least $200 each. Neutering/spaying is at least another $250. Owning a pet can be very expensive, especially when they start getting sick. Between haircuts for my dog, premium dog/cat food and vets, I've probably already spent $2,500 this past year. I didn't ever expect it would cost this much and it's been a real eye opener for me.

I'm guessing maybe the SPCA may be short of funds right now because they just went thru that whole fiasco with the Toronto Humane Society which must have cost them a fortune in legal bills.
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 07:19 PM
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I could dig into my rescue files to show how it all works but my last rescue cost me over $800 in vet bills his adoption fee was $200. Let's say there wasn't much profit....

Shelters, SPCA's, Humane Societies all function differently but there are animals that will cost more than others, so in the end we all pray that we break even, worse for established societies, they have paid staff, over head, etc. It even costs money to put animals down and dispose of them. So that $385 probably doesn't scratch the surface of costs. They rely on additional donations to make ends meet. If you ever question a society, if they are a registered charity their books are online and you can see how they are doing financially.

As Masha posted the shelters are not a discount pet store, it's a place where animals have ended up because of irresponsible humans. If you don't want to help one don't, go to a reputable breeder and pay some big bucks for a well bred animal. This isn't the cheap way to get a pet, it's a compassionate way. There is nothing cheap about adding a pet to your life, financially or emotionally.
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by MIA View Post
I could dig into my rescue files to show how it all works but my last rescue cost me over $800 in vet bills his adoption fee was $200. Let's say there wasn't much profit....

Shelters, SPCA's, Humane Societies all function differently but there are animals that will cost more than others, so in the end we all pray that we break even, worse for established societies, they have paid staff, over head, etc. It even costs money to put animals down and dispose of them. So that $385 probably doesn't scratch the surface of costs. They rely on additional donations to make ends meet. If you ever question a society, if they are a registered charity their books are online and you can see how they are doing financially.

As Masha posted the shelters are not a discount pet store, it's a place where animals have ended up because of irresponsible humans. If you don't want to help one don't, go to a reputable breeder and pay some big bucks for a well bred animal. This isn't the cheap way to get a pet, it's a compassionate way. There is nothing cheap about adding a pet to your life, financially or emotionally.
Very well said, MIA
The OP ended up getting a puppy, I'm assuming from a private party from the intro post.
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