Why Does it Cost to Adopt a Pet?

Why Does it Cost to Adopt a Pet?

A common question among pet adopters is why are adoption fees so high?  Shouldn’t adopting a pet be free, or at least super cheap?   To these people we say, remember, you get what you pay for.   When you purchase a purebred from a breeder you may be paying anywhere from $500 to over $1000 for your new pet, but often that’s all you’re getting for that cost.  When you adopt a pet, your adoption fees are going to pay towards the cost of care your adopted pet has received while at the shelter.   Here is a breakdown of what a good adoption center has already put into your pet before you even adopt:

  • Spay and Neuter: The average cost for veterinary care varies greatly depending on your location, the size of the pet, as well as their overall picture of health. The average spay or neuter can range from $45-$100 for an animal shelter. However, this doesn’t include the cost of pain relief medication which is another $10-$30 dollars. If you were to get your adopted pet spayed or neutered on your own it could cost you anywhere from $150-$300.

  • Shots: The cost of intake vaccinations for pets to prevent diseases such as Parvo, Distemper, as well as  Rabies can cost approximately $40. If your adopted pet has been in the center for over 3 weeks they’ve  received a booster to keep them safe from shelter related illness.  If you were to pay for these vaccinations yourself you could be paying anywhere from $60-$150 dollars.

  • Parasite Treatments and Preventatives: Monthly flea, tick and ear mite treatments are another cost. De-wormer medications are often given preventatively as opposed  to waiting to see evidence of worms. These treatments can cost approximately $10-$30 assuming that no lab work is needed.  Puppies arriving at the center are put on a preventative cocktail of drugs to give the vaccinations time to take effect while building up their immune systems.  Many of the animals come in with skin issues and other medical problems and these are addressed before the animal is able to be adopted to its forever home.

  • Food, Shelter & Comfort: The cost to feed one pet for a month is around $40-$60. This does not include special diets for pets that need weight gain food or food for specific digestive needs. Then there are toys, treats, bedding, and other necessities that the shelter provides.

  • Extras: Some adoption centers will provide you with a bag of food  to go home with as well as a collar, ID tag, toys, and a leash. Remember most of these non-profit organizations do not receive Federal or State funding. The adoption fees make caring for the animals in the shelter possible. More often than not the regular day-to-day operations and the cost for adoption center staff gets paid for by their ability to fund-raise and acquire donations to keep themselves afloat rather than through adoption fees for animals.

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