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East Bay SPCA Home
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Welcome to Shelter Life at the East Bay Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

We began as the Oakland SPCA in 1874. Today, the East Bay SPCA includes two animal shelters and three clinics in our community.

This is our day.

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!

The price you charge for an adoption is not out of line AT ALL! If a person was to price out all those services separately, the total price would be much higher than what your shelter is charging. Believe me, I know. I work at a Veterinary Hospital as a Veterinary Technician.


Of course $225 isn't to much! If someone does think it's to much then how will they have enough money to care for the dog. And even if you get a free dog from a friend, you still have to pay for vet bills, food, etc. And besides you get a great friend in the end...so why complain?


This was well written and sounded like it came from the heart. I agree that many people don't have any idea of the total cost of the spay/neuter, vaccinations, puppy classes and dog training, etc. I think a big problem is that many people don't plan on doing those things for their animals, hence the reason for animal control departments and overcrowded shelters.


I actually had one woman comment that our adoption fee of $100 was probably the reason that there were so many cats out there!

I can't tell you how frustrating that is for us to be working towards a solution and being blamed for the problem~


$225 - is inexpensive compared to taking your chances on a puppy from a puppy mill, or out of the newspaper. Some of those ads feature dogs at $500 or more, and you have no idea what you are getting. While I am at it, how about adopting an older dog or cat, you know what you are getting, and chances are they have outgrown that chewing, digging, giddy teenage stage.



Remember, people willing to pay this minimal cost for a pet are the people more likely to be RESPONSIBLE pet owners - the only ones we really want adopting pets!


I once worked at an animal clinic, and saw many, many people who had gotten a "free" puppy or kitten, only to realize that there is no such things -- vaccines, spaying & neutering, and then it gets worse if the animal gets parvo or panleukopenia. And often people can't afford it, so the animal suffers. If someone isn't willing to pay $225 for an adoption fee that includes everything you listed, they certainly won't be willing to pay for proper vet care, so they shouldn't have a pet.


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