What dog shelter adoption fees cover, and why they are charged

What dog shelter adoption fees cover, and why they are charged

Life As A Pet Parent

If you have decided that the time is right for you to get a new dog or puppy, one of the first things that you will need to decide is whether you wish to buy an adult or puppy dog, or if you would like to adopt one. Adopting a dog or puppy rather than buying one has a lot to recommend it, and if you are lucky, you might even be able to get a pedigree or near-pedigree of some of the most popular breeds (albeit without papers) for a fraction of the cost of buying from a breeder or professional seller.

However, getting a dog from a rehoming shelter might be cheaper, but it is not free-all shelters, rescue organisations and rehoming shelters charge an adoption fee in order to allow people to adopt their charges, and this is generally a set fee that may vary a little depending on the age of the dog, but is otherwise not related to the potential value or desirableness of the dog in question.

For all shelters and rescue organisations this adoption fee is important, and not only because it provides the shelter with some much-needed funding-in fact, the adoption fee charged to the new owners will rarely come close to covering the costs incurred by the dog while they were in the shelter’s care, and the fee itself and the level that it is set at are both important for many reasons.

In this article, we will look at what dog adoption fees cover, what they don’t cover, and the additional reasons for why they are charged. Read on to learn more.

How the adoption fee is set

Different rehoming shelters will charge different amounts of money, which are set based on a variety of variables including the cost of living (and the cost of pet care) in the area that the shelter is located, and which may also vary slightly based on how difficult or easy it is likely to be to rehome any given dog.

The adoption fee for a puppy under one year of age is likely to be slightly higher than that of an adult dog, and senior or elderly dogs may be slightly less again, which reflects both the expected remaining lifespan of the dog, and the potential cost of their future care. Because puppies are usually easier to rehome than adult dogs and also, because the cost of preparing them for adoption is higher, the adoption fee for them is likely to be higher.

Pedigree dogs with papers may have a slightly higher fee than mixed breeds or even purebreds that do not have papers, again, reflecting the higher demand for pedigree dogs.

What the adoption fee contributes towards

It is important to note that the adoption fee is not a purchase price for the dog, but rather a contribution towards the costs incurred by the shelter in rescuing and caring for the dog in question.

The adoption fee will not be broken down into component parts, as it is more a contribution to the general care of the dog and the running of the shelter, but it will go towards the cost of the dog’s food and veterinary care, including health checks, vaccinations, spay or neuter if this was required, microchipping, and all of the other costs of dog ownership such as flea and worming treatments.

What the adoption fee does not cover

It is important to note that unless a dog comes into the shelter in perfect health, already microchipped with up to date details and neutered and also up to date with their vaccines-and they are adopted almost immediately-that the adoption fee itself is highly unlikely to cover the complete cost of the care given to the dog before rehoming.

The fee will contribute to the total cost of everything that the dog needs and allows the shelter to continue to rescue and care for future dogs, but it will not cover the cost of everything they need-and remember that the adoption fee is only the minimum accepted donation, and that shelters will be more than happy to accept more!

Other reasons for charging a fee

Not only is the adoption fee necessary in order to help to support the cost of running the shelter and caring for the dogs within it, but it is also important in order to make people think twice about whether or not they really want to adopt a dog, and to show a small level of the necessary commitment to paying for its care.

Dog ownership is not cheap, and if a potential adopter cannot raise the fee to adopt it in the first place, this does not indicate a responsible and well thought out approach to life with a new dog.

By charging the adoption fee, even a low one, rehoming shelters gain some level of reassurance that their adopters have given some thought to their adoption, and that they have the funds and inclination to fund the dog’s ongoing care-which is why it is virtually impossible to adopt a dog without some level of charge, even if said dog has been awaiting rehoming for some time.

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