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  1. #21
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    I do think $500 is too high an adoption fee. $250-ish MIGHT be reasonable, depending on the work that dog needed (remember, the price you as owner pay for vet work may not be the same as the rescue pays; rescues often get big discounts). I'm not that into rescues sinking hundreds and thousands into springing sick or injured dogs when so many healthy, adoptable dogs are euthanized in shelters. If anything, they should take them in and give them a decent end, not spend money to save them that could have been spent on taking in and adopting out five healthy dogs. If the time and money spent saving ONE dog could have been spent saving several, that's not really a rescue doing its job, IMO. So, whether a fee is reasonable, to me, depends on the practices of the rescue as a whole.

    But then, I'm not big on rescues as a whole. I find that most have overly restrictive adoption policies (for example, demanding a fenced yard from someone who is willing and able to provide ample exercise on leash or at a dog park, or not adopting to unmarried couples because they might break up and that would traumatize the dog, etc). IMO, they aren't doing right by the animals if they deny them a home that might be perfect for them based on a black-and-white set of rules.

    Bottom line, I've gone through rescues, through the vet, and through the city pound for various pets (I would not buy from a breeder unless my intention was to breed or show an animal of top quality; there are too many in need of homes already). The last dog came from the county shelter in the next county over from me, and they were wonderful. They were honest about the needs of the dog, questioned me carefully about my experience, etc, and asked if I was okay with a home visit during the first year. I was able to take my dog home that day, which was something important to me; after being strung along by a rescue on a dog that I'd fallen in love with (and as ultimately denied because on the questionnaire, they asked a question about plans for the dog in the event I could no longer care for it. I said that I have arrangements with family for my pets--turns out the ONLY acceptable answer was that the dog would be immediately returned to the rescue), I wasn't going to get my hopes up on a dog again and have it snatched away last minute. I paid the fee ($110 IIRC; puppies were more because of spay/neuter etc.), took the dog home (he's asleep at my feet right now), and that was that. They didn't do the home visit, though I'd have had no issue with it; I think they were satisfied when I sent them an update after the dog finished an advanced training course for CGC/therapy dog. So my advice is to go to your local shelter if you truly want to rescue a dog. The ones in rescues are already safe.


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  2. #22
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    Sep. 7, 2009
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    The rescue I volunteered with (past tense, too much drama for me), had a sliding scale for purebred dogs...they were a breed rescue. Puppies were about $400, seniors about $100, mixes (depending on the age) were about $150. Dogs with special needs were either free we asked for a small donation. The average spent on the dogs was about $250 and although vets did give the rescue a discount, there were no free spay and neuters. Of course, for the most part, the seniors required more expensive care, teeth cleaning (at least $150 to $250) and senior blood work.

    The advantage to adopting from a rescue that utilizes foster homes is that you're
    more likely to know a good bit more about the dog's personality, it's house and leash trained and has been given some obedience training. Depending on the dog, it's a good deal even at $500.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant


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  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alagirl View Post
    well, on the other hand they could just spring the healthy ones.
    Euthanasia is not the worst thing to end life.

    but springing the hard luck story dog is also part of the vicious cycle.
    You have the poster child on hand, you can just about bank for people to run your doors down, with cash in hand.

    on the other hand, the other dog would not require as many resources.
    Sure, but that's not the point of a well-run rescue. A well-run rescue is not a shelter. It's a last resort for dogs that aren't going to make it in the shelter system (dogs that are going to be euth'd for whatever reason in a shelter setting- extremely emaciated, underweight, abused/injured/etc). My (extremely well funded 501c3) city shelter posts a list of dogs as "Needs Rescue or Foster ASAP" every other day on their Facebook page. A lot of them end up in rescue or foster, but many of them end up getting euth'd because the shelter is a place for dogs that are adoptable, not dogs that need rehab.

    If rescues just picked up healthy, adoptable dogs and posted them on their websites for "adoption fees", they'd be shelters or foster networks, not rescues. Of course there are pseudo-rescues that do this, and they charge ridiculous fees for the amount and type of work they do. But the true rescue organizations that pour time, and money into rehabbing dogs from situations they wouldn't have made it out of do have justifiably more overhead than your typical 5-20 day city dog shelter.
    Here today, gone tomorrow...


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  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alagirl View Post
    well, on the other hand they could just spring the healthy ones.
    Euthanasia is not the worst thing to end life.

    but springing the hard luck story dog is also part of the vicious cycle.
    You have the poster child on hand, you can just about bank for people to run your doors down, with cash in hand.

    on the other hand, the other dog would not require as many resources.
    Yes that's true. But a reputable rescue of any kind, be it dog, horse or cat, isn't fundraising based solely on poster child cases. They have a planned campaign and the resources to handle needy rescues. They're not screaming...will die tomorrow, kill truck is coming, etc.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant



  5. #25
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    Feb. 14, 2012
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    Fern Creek, KY
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    We paid $195 for Dixie last year, and she was spayed, UTD, heartworm free, etc. We also gave a small monetary donation to the rescue as well, so we paid about $250 total to bring her home. To me, that was more than reasonable. She had been brought up from down south, so that's a lot of time and coordination.

    We paid $150 for Jaxson, who is not neutered, sorta maybe UTD (when we got him) on stuff. To me, that was a little steep, but I get that they have to make money. We didn't give them a donation.

    There is a local Golden rescue around here whose prices are well into the $500+ range, and I don't get it either. They have good dogs, and really take the time to place them, but I can't really stomach spending that much on a rescue.

    What REALLY burns my biscuits is when they have an extremely strict potential owner screening process that asks some absurd questions. I had a good friend who recently fell in love with a pup on petfinder. She filled out the (I sh*t you not, 5 page question booklet-asking questions like the type of SOIL in her yard-) form and was 'loosely' approved. When she and her husband went to do a meet and greet at the 'rescue' the place was a total dump. 50+ animals, filthy, the woman chain smoked and dragged the dogs around. Yet, my friend wasn't approved because she hadn't fenced in ALL of their 20 acres. What the fruitbat?!
    Quote Originally Posted by MistyBlue View Post
    I prefer them outside playing as opposed to standing in the barn aisle playing "I can crap more than you"
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  6. #26
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    Superminion, that rescue sounds like a hoarder. I don't know what it is about rescue that seems to attract the crazy, but it does.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant



  7. #27
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    Feb. 14, 2012
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    I totally agree, Laura. It's too bad, because the dog was a real cutie. Why would they list dogs on petfinder, only to deny people for stupid reasons? It makes me want to beat my head on a wall. Our dude came from a hoarding situation and while he's sweet, he has so many issues (as you all know).

    I'll stop now, before I really get rolling and hijack.
    Quote Originally Posted by MistyBlue View Post
    I prefer them outside playing as opposed to standing in the barn aisle playing "I can crap more than you"
    New Year, New Blog... follow Willow and I here.



  8. #28
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    Oct. 12, 2001
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    Most rescues who keep their dogs in foster homes are currently asking for around $300, on average, as a "Donation". Often this amount is far less than the rescue spent on pulling the dog from a shelter, vetting the dog, possibly neutering the dog and treating health problems and vaccinating it, keeping the dog at the foster home for weeks to months, and possibly funds spent on remedial training of the dog to make it more adoptable.
    If you go get a "free" dog off craigslist you'll probably end up spending about the same amount of money ($300) doing the same vet services, without the benefit of the work the foster family put into improving the dog's behavior and matching the dog to your home.
    If you get a dog from a cheap shelter, they often charge less than $100, but again, you'll probably end up paying out considerable funds for "start up" work on your new dog's health and behavior.

    if you buy a quality puppy from a reputable breeder the current market price is at least $1,000, often significantly higher; any breeder asking for only $500 should raise big question marks in your head about the quality of their product. Not that price necessarily reflects quality, because often the puppy mills ask for ridiculous sums for low-quality dogs. But breeders who are asking for only $300 to $600 for their pups are quite often rather ignorant back-yard types who really shouldn't be breeding. In either case, after you pay the purchase price you'll still have to pay for vaccinations and neutering, if you neuter, plus training costs.

    $300 donation to a rescue for a neutered, vaccinated, trained dog is often a very good deal.


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  9. #29
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    May. 10, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrenchFrytheEqHorse View Post
    Sure, but that's not the point of a well-run rescue. A well-run rescue is not a shelter. It's a last resort for dogs that aren't going to make it in the shelter system (dogs that are going to be euth'd for whatever reason in a shelter setting- extremely emaciated, underweight, abused/injured/etc). My (extremely well funded 501c3) city shelter posts a list of dogs as "Needs Rescue or Foster ASAP" every other day on their Facebook page. A lot of them end up in rescue or foster, but many of them end up getting euth'd because the shelter is a place for dogs that are adoptable, not dogs that need rehab.

    If rescues just picked up healthy, adoptable dogs and posted them on their websites for "adoption fees", they'd be shelters or foster networks, not rescues. Of course there are pseudo-rescues that do this, and they charge ridiculous fees for the amount and type of work they do. But the true rescue organizations that pour time, and money into rehabbing dogs from situations they wouldn't have made it out of do have justifiably more overhead than your typical 5-20 day city dog shelter.
    I disagree with this. ANY dog in a kill shelter is in danger. Hundreds of healthy and adoptable dogs are euthanized every day in shelters. When rescues spend so much time and resources on saving one dog that needs medical or behavioral rehab that they could have saved multiple others, that's not the best use of that money or those resources.

    We see the same thing with horse rescues...some choose to take on one horse that, even with extensive measures, will never be more than pasture sound, and has little chance of being adopted, meaning it will sap foster resources for a long time, perhaps years. If they had chosen instead to give that one horse a day of pampering and a dignified end, they could have taken on several more with he time, money, and space they would have saved.

    IMO, responsible rescues know that you can't save every animal, and so take on the ones that have the best chance of a long healthy life. Putting one animal over many just to say they "saved" it isn't really the best use of a rescue's limited resources.


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  10. #30
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    Nov. 2, 2006
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    Maine
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    I can tell you that $500 is highly unlikely to buy you a quality purebred from a reputable breeder who has done all the appropriate testing.

    So many rescues are transporting dogs which ups the costs. Groups in my area charge around 450 for a puppy. 150 of that is transport fee and 75 is for the local quarantine. And the 75 for quarantine and health certificate and fecal is barely covering our costs . The ER where I work is a qurantine location and we are dealing with puppies who lack an iota of crate training so laundry and keeping them clean never ends.


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  11. #31
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    Dec. 29, 1999
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    Quote Originally Posted by Superminion View Post
    She had been brought up from down south, so that's a lot of time and coordination.
    That's another thing, isn't it? All the crying about pets in need and yet many areas of the country are actually shipping in dogs because people can't find any to adopt, either because there actually is no unwanted pet problem in their area, or fees are too ridiculously high, or the "rescues" go completely overboard with the kind of demands & questions Superminion relates.



  12. #32
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    Mar. 4, 2010
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    Both the rescue that placed the ad for the dog dumped on me, and the rescue I've done transport for (a Setter rescue) place a lot of dogs from the South up North. I did a leg on a setter transport that went from Florida to Las Vegas. There is no reimbursement on these trips - I donate my time and gas.

    Personally, either I end up with dumped dogs or I go to the pound. I don't like the hoops rescues make you jump through.

    StG


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  13. #33
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    Oct. 15, 2011
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    Running a rescue is NOT a cheap endeavor. I worked for a medium-sized no-kill and the expenses were staggering. We only ran on donations and constantly had to network and fundraise to stay afloat.

    The start up costs of a brand new animal could run you a few hundred dollars anyway. If I really wanted a particular animal, and I liked the work the rescue was doing, I'd be happy to pay $500. Call it an adoption with a donation if it makes you feel better. If you don't want to pay it check on Craigslist, your newspaper, or even a lot of small municipal shelters are much cheaper.

    But be forewarned you are going to pay a comparable price in start up costs in the long run -- in some cases you even have to sterilize the animal yourself. Good animal care isn't cheap and you can either pay it now, or pay it later.
    *Wendy* 4.17.73 - 12.20.05



  14. #34
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    The breed rescue I got my last rescue dog from didn't have a set price on their adult dogs, only on their young ones (<2 years old). They asked for a 'donation' when you took the dog. We gave them $300 for a dog that was UTD on shots, and had been neutered. He was healthy so nothing else was needed.

    This same rescue will do mini-fundraisers for dogs in their foster program (all the rescue dogs are in foster care). So if one needs a dental or other possibly expensive procedure, they'll wait until they get enough donations to have the procedure done. I've made small donations from time to time when I can. But they don't up the price on the individual dog when it comes to adoption time.

    They also do picnics and other fundraising type events throughout the year. I know I enjoy meeting with the other breed lovers out there who have dogs from the rescue. :-)

    I'd def adopt another from this rescue. They don't have a lot of dogs available (less than 12 usually) because a lot of them don't stay in foster care for long before they are adopted.



  15. #35
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    Mar. 25, 2011
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    Back in the day when I thought I wanted a bulldog (before I was corrected by my first ridgeback) the English Bulldog rescue I contacted wanted $450. This was about 1998ish.

    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).



  16. #36
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    Feb. 9, 2005
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    $500 is steep.

    My most recent dog acquisition (several years ago now) was from a breed rescue. He was $250 and needed dental care as soon as I got him. He was neutered. I didn't care for the experience with the volunteers, although I love the dog. The dog was in foster care and had been evaluated by the rescue, but the story I got from the rescue and the foster caregivers wasn't what I found in reality. Example, "he's good in the dog park"--um no, he's not. Which is fine, because I hate the dog park anyway, but it would be nice to know that your new dog is not particularly dog friendly, much less "good" with other dogs.

    Second example, I was told that he was surrendered for snapping at a child, but was given a back-story about how it was the kid's fault for jumping on him when he was sleeping, the original owners were horrible people, yada yada, well I'm not going to comment on my experiences online about this, but suffice to say I think things may have been glossed over a wee bit! I think some rescues love to make a sob story about the horrible people who surrendered the dog, but perhaps look at these animals with rose-colored glasses. It isn't fair to the dog or the new owners to not disclose the reality of the severity of behavioral issues.

    I would still get a dog from a rescue or humane society again. Don't get me wrong. Just would be a little more skeptical.

    YMMV
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  17. #37
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    I've always been bothered by the high prices rescues charge but some of y'alls replies make a lot of sense. That being said...A lot of the training/food/sometimes even vet bills are done on a volunteer basis. And then they want to charge $400 on top of that?
    I do get that they sometimes pay for expensive medical treatments/spay/neuter/etc but dang! One of the rescues I fostered for got much of their medical procedures donated by different vets. I got my last foster super well trained, paid for his food/medical but couldn't afford the $400 they were asking for a *mixed breed* dog. I don't think the rescue spent anything on him...he was picked up off the street, already neutered and heart worm -. To clarify, I have no problem with all the money I spent on his food and training, I volunteered to do that and I'm happy that it made him attractive to adopters. He found a wonderful home which is all that really matters in the end. It was just kind of frustrating that his price was SO high to adopt him even after I was the one that spent all of the money on him.


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  18. #38
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    Jun. 1, 2002
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    I think it's kind of like adding in all the grain, hay, and labor spent mucking stalls when you sell a horse. It would be nice if you could but it doesn't work that way for horses and it doesn't work that way for dogs.

    I see a lot of rescues that have dogs for months or even YEARS with high adoption fees.

    I can get a dog speutered AND get shots for under $100 at a local spay/neuter clinic.


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  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by enjoytheride View Post
    I think it's kind of like adding in all the grain, hay, and labor spent mucking stalls when you sell a horse. It would be nice if you could but it doesn't work that way for horses and it doesn't work that way for dogs.

    I see a lot of rescues that have dogs for months or even YEARS with high adoption fees.

    I can get a dog speutered AND get shots for under $100 at a local spay/neuter clinic.
    Selling a personal animal is a bit different from a rescue. I believe in investigating any rescue to make sure that it isn't a hoarder and that funds are being used in a way that you, as a donor or adopter, can live with. There is one local group that I wouldn't donate to because I think the director's salary is out of line for a non-profit.
    I am assuming that the local clinic you are going to is subsidized by donations. Animal sterilizations are real surgeries requiring expensive equipment and care. Most vet clinics charge far in excess of 100, even if the rate is discounted. I do some volunteer work for a s/n clinic and the surgeries are cheaper because they are subsidized- volunteer vets, receptionists, supplies, etc. Nothing wrong with finding an animal and going to one. Truthfully, investigate rescues as you would a charity or breeder. I just haven't seen many rescues making a profit, especially if they are doing things right. There is nothing wrong with adopting a dog from somewhere with a lower fee, but there is value in many organizations that charge more as well. There is nothing wrong with a rescue taking on an animal that needs more care as long as quality of life will be there after everything is done.



  20. #40
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    Jun. 16, 2011
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    I do not mind paying for that type of work but it is not nearly that expensive in my area. A spay is about $100 and a nueter is less.

    We are looking at the pounds mostly, have an application in on one but there are three others in front of us. We will know Friday if we get him or not.



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