Sunday, October 22, 2006
Is $225 too much for a dog?Sometimes people complain to me about how $225 is too much for a dog. There even was a woman the other day who complained we "priced her out" by taking a dog from a nearby shelter, and taking him into our program. At the county shelter, their basic adoption fee is cheaper, but then you need to factor in the costs of spaying or neutering, which is, of course, mandatory before leaving a California shelter, current shots, and any other health care costs. Our adoption fee also includes an obedience training class, so the real end price ends up being a bargain.
Here's what any adoption of ours includes, at the least:
- Animals are spayed and neutered before being put up for adoption
- Animals are up to their current shots before being put up for adoption
- A temprament assessment of dogs to ensure they are safe family pets
- Cats are tested for Feline Leukemia and FIV; Kittens tested for Feline Leukemia
- All animals are microchipped
- A 20% off coupon for Pet Food Express, a pet store, to help get started on supplies
- A "New Pet Health Check" that gets you a free visit to the vet at several participating vet offices
- Obedience training class for dogs
- Free one month supply of flea treatment
- Lifetime advice on your new family member
I think $225 (or $100 for cats) is quite a bargain. Besides that, do people realize the costs of owning an animal? You are bringing in a new, living thing to the family, which costs money.
The example I like to use is -- hey -- I spent $300 on a nice vacuum cleaner after I adopted my dog to get all that hair off the couch! That was more than the adoption fee. Going to the vet can cost quite a bit of money, too. If you can't afford the $225, how can you cover vet costs? A lot of times people can get lucky and not have to go so often, but can you really count on that?
Of course, I try to explain this to people, what is included in the adoption price, and what care might be required in taking care of an animal, but still some think it's too high. Am I being too judgemental here?
Remember, though, that on the flip side, there are many people and our many great adopters who understand this and know what costs may be when taking care of an animal. Being human, though, the people who complain stay in my mind.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments!