Why aren't rescue pets free?

It’s easy to see why some people would think that there should be no adoption fee for rescue pets. And in a perfect world, that would be reasonable.

But all rescue pets must be examined by a vet, vaccinated, microchipped, heartworm tested (for dogs) and desexed, not to mention the ongoing costs of food, and flea and worming treatment whilst the pet is in care. The rescue group pays for all of this out of their own pocket, and rescue groups are generally run by volunteers. So, in order to make the rescue process sustainable, the rescue group needs to recoup these costs (at least in part) by charging an adoption fee.

Adoption fees for dogs generally sit between $200 and $800. In some cases, dogs may be offered for a donation only, or for a higher-than-average adoption fee if the pet is a popular breed, or a puppy. If a rescue group can gain on the adoption fee in these instances, this allows them to cover the expenses of another pet that might need more extensive medical treatment over and above what the standard adoption fee would cover. Some pets may have had thousands spent on specialist medical treatment, yet they will be offered at a standard adoption fee.

Compare this to what you’d pay for a puppy from a pet store (that in all likelihood came from a puppy farm) - between $600 and $3,500, or $150-200 for a kitten. On top of that initial purchase price, you’d generally still have to pay for vaccinations, microchipping and desexing. So, when you add it all up, we think rescue pets are amazing value! And knowing you’ve helped save a life - that feeling is priceless.

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