Jump to content
RuralPug

Adoption fee "too expensive"

89 posts in this topic

In response to the OP...something I do as a breeder is evaluate the types of emails I’m receiving and then adjust my website info accordingly. Because often it suggests that my website is not worded correctly or I’m not supplying enough information in the right place. For instance, since I included a sentence about “please feel free to enquire about price but please don’t attempt to negotiate” and then listed all the expenses I encounter, I have never had someone try to negotiate on price. Same with timing of litters, time expected for an email reply (eg we work so we can afford to breed and compete). Just a thought :)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

$350 for a dog with all vet work is a very good price, I used to charge a similar amount when I was doing private rescue and I rarely zero’d my vet account.

 

The last dog I rescued ( a few years ago now)took me almost 12 months to get rehomable, he needed a special diet, had monthly vet visits,  had multiple visits to the skin specialist, had major dental work, ear infections, eye infections, most of his body was covered in yeast and he arrived crawling in fleas, on top of needing castrating, he cost me around $3000 and he was just one of many.

 

I do think the rescues charging $600+ for xbreeds is a bit much, also the one rescue group that charges $500 but you have to purchase another $250 of products before you can adopt, it’s nothing but upselling.

 

We were going to adopt a kitten through this particular group (animals are in pet shops and vet clinics) the kitten was $200 but we could only adopt if we spent another $250 on products and they were not flexible on those products, even after I told them I had three other cats and all the necessary stuff at home.

 

Ended up going to a much better local rescue group payed $120 for our girl and that included the next flea treatment, worm tablet and a weeks worth of food.

 

 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Maddy   
On 03/05/2018 at 8:12 AM, KobiD said:

It's a tough on to answer isn't it. I don't feel that a rescue should be making profit persay, but then you shouldn't really expect everyone who puts in the hard work running the show to do it at their own expense (of time and effort) either. Then you get into the old not for profit organisation business model where some people rake it in, while the business itself makes not money. It really comes down to the individual/businesses intent and ethics more than the dollars involved.

 

People will pay as little as they can, or as much as they can justify. That's just how people work. Once you realise what you get for your $350 it's not so bad. For our rescue that included initial worming, vaccinations, and spaying. It basically means free dog.. and if the owner can't afford that off the bat you really have to ask if they can afford to own an animal. I'd like to think I'm tight as a fishes in general, and really don't splurge on expensive doggy gifts.. but she still costs a significant amount to own and maintain.

Why is that? Making a profit on individual dogs means rescues can be less reliant on donations, which is a very good thing, given that donations are not a reliable source of income.

On the couple of occasions I have made a profit on a dog, that profit has been immediately eaten up by the next dog/dogs that come along. You might come out in front by $20 on a dog, only to have the next one be a bilateral cryptorchid (quite common in the breed I rescue) and that dog puts you $200+ in the hole, before you've even had it a week. 

More to the point, why shouldn't rescue be able to at least recover the entire cost of rehoming a dog? Breeders can charge $2000+ for a puppy, with the reasoning being that it covers first vaccs/microchip/health testing of parents, and most people seem happy with this. But when a rescue has to cover desexing, complicated dental work (because you can't rehome a dog with teeth falling out of its head) and other serious health issues to get the dog fit and healthy for rehoming, people whine about the price because A) It's an adult dog, so it should be very cheap, or B) It's a mutt/unwanted dog, so it's somehow worth less. 

The general public has been led to believe that rescue dogs have less value because rescues charge so little. When I first started in rescue, $180 was an expected price for the breed I rescue. $180 for a purebred dog, desexed, chipped vaccinated, parasite treated, extensively assessed and rehomed with the basic necessities for the breed. At a price like that, the general public can only assume we're still making a profit (because that's how any business works, right?) so the dog must be worth absolutely nothing to start with. And if this dog is worth nothing but the group are charging $180, there must be some wiggle room in the price for negotiations. And that's how you get to the situation of people questioning rescues on cost or trying to haggle. We can't expect the general public to just know how much a dog costs to rehome and we can't expect them to attach a monetary value to the animal itself when we won't. 

If you buy a dog from Gumtree or a breeder, you pay for the dog itself (and often not much else). When you buy from rescue, it seems almost verboten to charge money for the actual animal. And I think that's a stigma we put on ourselves. Thou shalt not sell dogs, or make profit from dogs because rescue. And that makes no sense. 

 

Personally, I've been mostly self-funding for the last 10 years or so and I've spent tens of thousands of my own dollars, so that other people can have these lovely dogs as pets, for a price that almost never reflects the true cost. And I don't think that's a noble thing to do, I think it's a financially stupid thing to do, because it's not sustainable and once the well runs dry, it's another rescue closed down. It has gotten to the point that I've given dogs away, because rehoming them sooner ends up losing me less money than caring for them for six months plus. That's the situation- trying to minimise the crippling losses, to keep saving dogs, when there is no reason the situation should be as it is.

  • Like 2
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree @Maddy

 

The same expectation applies to breeders and it's not a reasonable one. I'm not talking LIVING off the proceeds but nothing wrong with a little profit here and there to invest in your future dogs. Honestly the -oodle breeders charging $3K plus must think we are absolute idiots.

Edited by The Spotted Devil
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Maddy   
9 minutes ago, The Spotted Devil said:

I agree @Maddy

 

The same expectation applies to breeders and it's not a reasonable one. I'm not talking LIVING off the proceeds but nothing wrong with a little profit here and there to invest in your future dogs. Honestly the -oodle breeders charging $3K plus must think we are absolute idiots.

Exactly. Even if a rescue makes a substantial profit on an individual animal, it's not as if they'd be spending that money on a down payment for their new yacht. 

For me, it got to the point that I felt guilty spending my own money- to buy myself necessary things- because that was money that could have (literally) gone to the dogs. And honestly, I still do feel guilty buying myself things and then grumbling over the most recent vet bill, as if being a rescuer means you should have to give up everything and live like a pauper. Trouble is, we've all bought into the idea of the stereotypical rescuer, who lives in a disheveled hovel while throwing money at vets and feed stores. It's utter garbage. Yeah, I want to help dogs but why should that mean my house has to look like something out of an episode of Hoarders? 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its a difficult situation, I gave up rescuing after many years because it was no longer mentally or financially sustainable, we could have paid our house off if I had never rescued, instead I let guilt get the better of me.

 

I could have charged more especially since I only took in poodles and the odd little fluffy, I chose not to because every one of those dogs had some sort of vice and I preferred to have as many homes to choose from so they would find the perfect one, if the price had been too high many of them would have unlikely found the homes they did.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KobiD   

I wasn't talking profit on a per animal basis. 

 

My point being that a rescue should be interested in primarily rescuing and re homing animals. Not in lining the pockets of the CEO/owners. That's not saying one should have to live on the edge of poverty or dip into personal funds to do so either. 

 

I'm not sure how I feel about individual pricing on animals based on demand either though. Most people almost always feel like more dollars correlates with better product; ultimately perceiving some dogs as being better simply because they carry a higher price tag. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Maddy   
4 hours ago, KobiD said:

I wasn't talking profit on a per animal basis. 

 

My point being that a rescue should be interested in primarily rescuing and re homing animals. Not in lining the pockets of the CEO/owners. That's not saying one should have to live on the edge of poverty or dip into personal funds to do so either. 

 

I'm not sure how I feel about individual pricing on animals based on demand either though. Most people almost always feel like more dollars correlates with better product; ultimately perceiving some dogs as being better simply because they carry a higher price tag. 

It adds up to the same thing. Of course rescues should be about helping animals but there is no reason rescues can't also have a bank account in the black. If you have an emergency situation pop up and you don't have spare cash in the bank, you have to do a last minute scramble for funds- which may result in prolonged suffering or even death for an animal- and I think most people would agree that it's an irresponsible way to run a rescue. We should have funds to spare if needed. Many don't/can't because regular expenses eat up every cent they get.

I know of incredibly few rescuers who pay themselves anything or "line their pockets", beside groups like the RSPCA and very large rescues. Show me a small rescue that has a paid CEO and I'll show you the chupacabra I found. And then we can both marvel over things that don't exist.

 

Not to be rude bro, but these attitudes are exactly why rescuers are their own worst enemies. If the rescuers who try to improve the financial stability of their group are accused of "lining their pockets" by people who enjoy playing the poverty-stricken martyrs, nothing will ever get better.

 

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off for an early long weekend on the yacht. 

(yacht = my desk, MS Excel, plugging in some numbers to see how far behind the latest rescue dog has got me)

Edited to update: Looks like I'll lose only $434 on this dog, as long as he's rehomed within two weeks. I guess I'll have to defer the payment on my mercedes this month. Oh well.

 

 

Edited by Maddy
  • Like 3
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KobiD   
10 hours ago, Maddy said:

It adds up to the same thing. Of course rescues should be about helping animals but there is no reason rescues can't also have a bank account in the black. If you have an emergency situation pop up and you don't have spare cash in the bank, you have to do a last minute scramble for funds- which may result in prolonged suffering or even death for an animal- and I think most people would agree that it's an irresponsible way to run a rescue. We should have funds to spare if needed. Many don't/can't because regular expenses eat up every cent they get.

I know of incredibly few rescuers who pay themselves anything or "line their pockets", beside groups like the RSPCA and very large rescues. Show me a small rescue that has a paid CEO and I'll show you the chupacabra I found. And then we can both marvel over things that don't exist.

 

Not to be rude bro, but these attitudes are exactly why rescuers are their own worst enemies. If the rescuers who try to improve the financial stability of their group are accused of "lining their pockets" by people who enjoy playing the poverty-stricken martyrs, nothing will ever get better.

 

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off for an early long weekend on the yacht. 

(yacht = my desk, MS Excel, plugging in some numbers to see how far behind the latest rescue dog has got me)

Edited to update: Looks like I'll lose only $434 on this dog, as long as he's rehomed within two weeks. I guess I'll have to defer the payment on my mercedes this month. Oh well.

 

 

It seems you assume that I expect a business to run in the red just because it's a rescue. Not even the case. I 100% that a rescue should be financially stable. How that is achieved is up to that particular group/organisation..

 

My opinions purely revolve around a groups intent. Are they in the business of rehoming dogs responsibly or are they in the business of making a dollar. We all know that the majority of rescues (particularly small ones) tend to put the animals welfare first. In a perfect world you could say both could exist, but I tend to be a bit sceptical of peoples ethics once dollars become the main motivator. That is all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Maddy   
2 hours ago, KobiD said:

It seems you assume that I expect a business to run in the red just because it's a rescue. Not even the case. I 100% that a rescue should be financially stable. How that is achieved is up to that particular group/organisation..

 

My opinions purely revolve around a groups intent. Are they in the business of rehoming dogs responsibly or are they in the business of making a dollar. We all know that the majority of rescues (particularly small ones) tend to put the animals welfare first. In a perfect world you could say both could exist, but I tend to be a bit sceptical of peoples ethics once dollars become the main motivator. That is all.

And who are we to judge the intent of others? Do you know exactly why some other group is charging the prices it charges? Do you know the ins and outs of their financial situation? Do you know enough to be able to say- beyond any doubt- that they rescue only for profit or do you just assume that, because maybe they are actually financially responsible and don't want to run at a loss?

Even if a small rescue group is lucky enough to have the finances to pay their CEO/coordinator/founder, who cares? If someone is doing 8+ hours a day in rescue, why the hell shouldn't they be paid, if the funds are available? Suggesting that rescuers don't deserve pay is again completely devaluing them and the incredibly difficult work they do. 

The people behind many of the smaller rescues are working their fingers to the bone, 24/7, with no weekends, no public holidays, no sick leave, no super, no support. Family, money, home and health are sacrificed for the rescue (which itself is not great for mental health) and yet people balk at the idea of paying them. Because they should ONLY do it for love? Next time our car breaks down, I might ask our mechanic if he'll be doing the work for free. After all, if he loves cars, he should be willing to put his own money and time into fixing ours.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KobiD   
5 hours ago, Maddy said:

And who are we to judge the intent of others? Do you know exactly why some other group is charging the prices it charges? Do you know the ins and outs of their financial situation? Do you know enough to be able to say- beyond any doubt- that they rescue only for profit or do you just assume that, because maybe they are actually financially responsible and don't want to run at a loss?

Even if a small rescue group is lucky enough to have the finances to pay their CEO/coordinator/founder, who cares? If someone is doing 8+ hours a day in rescue, why the hell shouldn't they be paid, if the funds are available? Suggesting that rescuers don't deserve pay is again completely devaluing them and the incredibly difficult work they do. 

The people behind many of the smaller rescues are working their fingers to the bone, 24/7, with no weekends, no public holidays, no sick leave, no super, no support. Family, money, home and health are sacrificed for the rescue (which itself is not great for mental health) and yet people balk at the idea of paying them. Because they should ONLY do it for love? Next time our car breaks down, I might ask our mechanic if he'll be doing the work for free. After all, if he loves cars, he should be willing to put his own money and time into fixing ours.

I'm not pointing the finger at anyone in particular. I haven't specified what is acceptable pricing and what is not.

 

You seem to have singled out what you wanted from my original post and made taken it to heart. Go and read it again and you'll see after the part you decided to quote in bold it continued to say "but then you shouldn't really expect everyone who puts in the hard work running the show to do it at their own expense (of time and effort) either. Then you get into the old not for profit organisation business model where some people rake it in, while the business itself makes not money. It really comes down to the individual/businesses intent and ethics more than the dollars involved."

 

If you want to run a business and make a profit from selling used dogs for a premium price, then go for it. I wish you all the best. That is the beauty of it all. You can do as you please. You can be offended by those who question price or not. You can take others opinions to heart or leave those you disagree with to have their own beliefs. It's a bit rough comparing a living animal to a used car, but ultimately a rescue dog is very similar; you're buying an animal whose origin/history is typically unknown. In my eyes you are 'rescuing/saving' an animal.. distinctly different than shopping or buying a breed of your choice (from responsible breeder or not). In saying that my decision to include a rescue pup as part of our family was based more inline with giving it a chance than weighing up the costs involved.

 

I'm sorry if I've offended you at all.

Edited by KobiD
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Maddy   
4 hours ago, KobiD said:

I'm not pointing the finger at anyone in particular. I haven't specified what is acceptable pricing and what is not.

 

You seem to have singled out what you wanted from my original post and made taken it to heart. Go and read it again and you'll see after the part you decided to quote in bold it continued to say "but then you shouldn't really expect everyone who puts in the hard work running the show to do it at their own expense (of time and effort) either. Then you get into the old not for profit organisation business model where some people rake it in, while the business itself makes not money. It really comes down to the individual/businesses intent and ethics more than the dollars involved."

 

If you want to run a business and make a profit from selling used dogs for a premium price, then go for it. I wish you all the best. That is the beauty of it all. You can do as you please. You can be offended by those who question price or not. You can take others opinions to heart or leave those you disagree with to have their own beliefs. It's a bit rough comparing a living animal to a used car, but ultimately a rescue dog is very similar; you're buying an animal whose origin/history is typically unknown. In my eyes you are 'rescuing/saving' an animal.. distinctly different than shopping or buying a breed of your choice (from responsible breeder or not). In saying that my decision to include a rescue pup as part of our family was based more inline with giving it a chance than weighing up the costs involved.

 

I'm sorry if I've offended you at all.

 

What I've said (several times) was that rescues inadvertently devalue their dogs and their own work by not charging a fee that reflects the true cost of rescue. 

The fact that a dog's history is "unknown" does not make the cost of rehoming it any less. A puppy can have all sorts of faults in temperament or health that may not be apparent until the dog is older, but no one expects puppies from breeders to be cheaper because of that fact.  

As for it being a bit rough to compare a dog to a car.. You talk about rescue dogs as is they were inferior to dogs from breeders and your own generosity of "giving your dog a chance", like it was some (hopefully) reformed criminal who may or not ultimately shank you in your sleep. 

If that's your attitude to rescue dogs, cool, we can agree to disagree. 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KobiD   
13 hours ago, Maddy said:

 

What I've said (several times) was that rescues inadvertently devalue their dogs and their own work by not charging a fee that reflects the true cost of rescue. 

The fact that a dog's history is "unknown" does not make the cost of rehoming it any less. A puppy can have all sorts of faults in temperament or health that may not be apparent until the dog is older, but no one expects puppies from breeders to be cheaper because of that fact.  

As for it being a bit rough to compare a dog to a car.. You talk about rescue dogs as is they were inferior to dogs from breeders and your own generosity of "giving your dog a chance", like it was some (hopefully) reformed criminal who may or not ultimately shank you in your sleep. 

If that's your attitude to rescue dogs, cool, we can agree to disagree. 

 

Any need for the dramatisation?

 

If you're comparing them to breed standards then yes, they are inferior. It doesn't mean they are any less of an animal or less able to love or be loved. It doesn't mean they should be undervalued or under priced for what it costs to adequately rehome them either... and ultimately when you take on a rescue you are giving them a chance at a better life. One where they will be a loved family pet vs shuffled around in fosters or pts. That's before you even begin to touch on the many reasons why an animal ends up in rescue in the first place..

 

And of course any animal has the potential to have faults in training, temperament, or health. Some could say certain purebreds carry higher risks than the typical rescue. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Maddy   
10 hours ago, KobiD said:

Any need for the dramatisation?

 

If you're comparing them to breed standards then yes, they are inferior. It doesn't mean they are any less of an animal or less able to love or be loved. It doesn't mean they should be undervalued or under priced for what it costs to adequately rehome them either... and ultimately when you take on a rescue you are giving them a chance at a better life. One where they will be a loved family pet vs shuffled around in fosters or pts. That's before you even begin to touch on the many reasons why an animal ends up in rescue in the first place..

 

And of course any animal has the potential to have faults in training, temperament, or health. Some could say certain purebreds carry higher risks than the typical rescue. 

Are they? Have you undertaken a study of purebred rescue dogs, comparing each against the breed standard, ideally as a blind study to ensure bias is minimised? Because if not, you're judging dogs based just on the fact that they're rescues. Pedigreed dogs end up in rescue. Nice examples of their breeds end up in rescue. Being a pretty and nicely conformed dog doesn't protect you from an owner's changing circumstances, or being lost and not reclaimed, or any of the other reasons dogs end up in rescue. 

Like I said, if you think rescue dogs are inferior, that's cool. But I disagree, because I'm yet to see any real evidence to suggest that rescued dogs are somehow worse than dogs purchased directly from someone selling them (which, let's not forget, includes backyard breeders). If you have that evidence, front it up. I'd be very interested to see it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KobiD   
10 hours ago, Maddy said:

Are they? Have you undertaken a study of purebred rescue dogs, comparing each against the breed standard, ideally as a blind study to ensure bias is minimised? Because if not, you're judging dogs based just on the fact that they're rescues. Pedigreed dogs end up in rescue. Nice examples of their breeds end up in rescue. Being a pretty and nicely conformed dog doesn't protect you from an owner's changing circumstances, or being lost and not reclaimed, or any of the other reasons dogs end up in rescue. 

Like I said, if you think rescue dogs are inferior, that's cool. But I disagree, because I'm yet to see any real evidence to suggest that rescued dogs are somehow worse than dogs purchased directly from someone selling them (which, let's not forget, includes backyard breeders). If you have that evidence, front it up. I'd be very interested to see it.

As humans we judge all day every day. We do so consciously and subconsciously, yet we are so focussed on equality as a society. I like to call a spade a spade.

 

It doesn't mean they are inferior.. But everything is generally unknown. You can't ask about the parents, the dogs nature, what they like, dislike, etc. Their history is typically only as long as they've been in the shelter, and while you can learn a lot about them in a short time it's well known that many dogs won't show their true colours until months later once settled. Same can be said for all dogs, yes... however you can typically piece a bit more together when meeting owners, seeing how they interact with their animal in its natural environment.. and in the case of pups you can at least get half of the backstory.

 

As I said.. It doesn't make them inferior, however it does place more risk on the buyer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, KobiD said:

As humans we judge all day every day. We do so consciously and subconsciously, yet we are so focussed on equality as a society. I like to call a spade a spade.

 

It doesn't mean they are inferior.. But everything is generally unknown. You can't ask about the parents, the dogs nature, what they like, dislike, etc. Their history is typically only as long as they've been in the shelter, and while you can learn a lot about them in a short time it's well known that many dogs won't show their true colours until months later once settled. Same can be said for all dogs, yes... however you can typically piece a bit more together when meeting owners, seeing how they interact with their animal in its natural environment.. and in the case of pups you can at least get half of the backstory.

 

As I said.. It doesn't make them inferior, however it does place more risk on the buyer.

Can you please clarify that?

I mean exactly what specific risks there are.

Assuming risks are a negative. Because by using the word risk when it comes to rescue dogs you're (hopefully inadvertently?) setting up inferior vs superior. 

Edited by Powerlegs
spelling
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Maddy   

 

1 hour ago, KobiD said:

As humans we judge all day every day. We do so consciously and subconsciously, yet we are so focussed on equality as a society. I like to call a spade a spade.

 

It doesn't mean they are inferior.. But everything is generally unknown. You can't ask about the parents, the dogs nature, what they like, dislike, etc. Their history is typically only as long as they've been in the shelter, and while you can learn a lot about them in a short time it's well known that many dogs won't show their true colours until months later once settled. Same can be said for all dogs, yes... however you can typically piece a bit more together when meeting owners, seeing how they interact with their animal in its natural environment.. and in the case of pups you can at least get half of the backstory.

 

As I said.. It doesn't make them inferior, however it does place more risk on the buyer.

Everything is literally right in front of you. In an adult dog, you can see any health issues, you can see any behavioural issues, you're not guessing based on parentage, YOU'RE LOOKING RIGHT AT IT.

Jesus H. Christ.

You're correct about the judging though. I'm doing some judging right now >.>

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, KobiD said:

As humans we judge all day every day. We do so consciously and subconsciously, yet we are so focussed on equality as a society. I like to call a spade a spade.

 

It doesn't mean they are inferior.. But everything is generally unknown. You can't ask about the parents, the dogs nature, what they like, dislike, etc. Their history is typically only as long as they've been in the shelter, and while you can learn a lot about them in a short time it's well known that many dogs won't show their true colours until months later once settled. Same can be said for all dogs, yes... however you can typically piece a bit more together when meeting owners, seeing how they interact with their animal in its natural environment.. and in the case of pups you can at least get half of the backstory.

 

As I said.. It doesn't make them inferior, however it does place more risk on the buyer.

This sort of attitude makes me so sad.  What about cute little babies who have lovely childhoods and end up being serial killers.  Extreme example, I know, but that’s what your post boils down to.   

 

Most of the dogs in pounds are just your everyday dog who has become lost and because there are far too many pounds, the owners can have great difficulty in finding them. 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tdierikx   

DDD is right... so many of the dogs that end up in pounds/shelters/rescue are perfectly gorgeous canine citizens... as opposed to some of the pampered nippy and yappy types one comes across all to frequently. IMHO, I'd adopt an ex-poundie/surrender that has been thoroughly vetworked and temp tested by an ethical rescue in a heartbeat... and certainly wouldn't be haggling on the "price" involved.

 

The perception that rescue dogs are "broken" or "unknown" is one of those urban myths... as any ethical rescuer will attest to. A good 99% of rescue dogs simply found themselves homeless for other reasons than having "issues"...

 

As far as I'm concerned, any rescue that paints a picture of what a horrible or tumultuous life a dog in care has had prior to ending up with them - especially if said dog does have some issues, and they are excusing same with the sob story... I'd run a mile from.

 

T.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×