Yes, we DO ask for an adoption fee of $400. People frequently express surprise that a Rescue dog isn’t free, reasoning that if we really wanted to find the dog a home, we’d give it away. Then they state they want a small, young, healthy, well-trained, housebroken female dog to adopt! The reality of Rescue is that the majority of dogs we take in simply do not fit that profile. They often have been neglected and require a considerable amount of medical treatment and rehabilitative care. This is expensive, and adoption fees do not even begin to cover the total costs.
We do what some other Rescue groups do to manage their rehab & rehoming costs–cost averaging. Our mission is to help all Yorkshire Terriers and Yorkie mixes find great homes, which can take a lot of money to accomplish. Therefore, our adoption fee isn’t specifically for the dog someone adopts; it helps cover costs for all the dogs we find homes for. By averaging the cost of vet care over all our dogs, both the ones that require very little expense and those that require a great deal of care, the potential adopter never pays the actual cost for any dog.
Another reason we charge adoption fees is to help ensure that the dog will be well taken care of. If an adopter can’t afford an adoption fee, perhaps they cannot afford to keep the dog well-fed, healthy, happy, and groomed. If they view the adoption fee as an investment in keeping their new dog healthy and happy, we feel they will be responsible pet owners. We sometimes can subsidize a portion of ongoing costs for animals adopted to shut-in seniors or the disabled–who need a loving companion animal more than the average person.
Our adoption fee covers the following services, which if a new owner did for a ‘free’ dog, would most definitely exceed the adoption fee:
Health check & Identification of any medical issues; spay/neuter; grooming; age and locality-appropriate vaccines; microchipping and registering the ‘chip with a national database; other treatments was needed, such as teeth cleaning, treatment of ear infections, removal of foxtails, tumors and other surgeries.