Getting Another Dog & Rehoming Fees for Pets

July 16, 2012 Permalink

If any of you follow me on Twitter or Instgram, you’ve probably seen pictures of my adorable puppy.

We got her when she was three. At three, she’d been bred twice and had a litter of 8, then of 3. If you don’t know much about dogs, an 8 puppy litter for a 18 lb dog is a huge and damaging litter.

After the big litter, she had a smaller litter, and a puppy got stuck. She was too young to breed and panicked, so the “breeder” (puppy mill owner?) spayed her and rehomed her to us.

We love that little mutt. J has particularly bonded with her over the years, which was a surprising twist. He was indifferent to having a dog, and I was insistent (what’s a life without a dog?). He has thousands of nicknames for her and makes sure to walk her every day. He’s a fabulous pet parent.

Every time we go visit my mom, who has two Yorkshire Terriers, our dog loves to play with all of the dogs, loves to walk with them, and I’ve even caught her cuddling with one of them once. She doesn’t like to admit it though.

So you can imagine that we’ve felt a little guilty for making her an only-dog for so long. We’re constantly trying to battle our urge to get her a friend and to add to our family with another little dog, because really, if you already have one what’s one more? But we’ve been trying to remind ourselves that, despite our wanting to get another dog, we don’t own our apartment (thank god) and we won’t be buying until 2013.

After weeks (months) of consideration, we’ve decided to take the plunge. We will be staying here for fear of moving (and it’s a great fear) until we buy a house. The place that we are in allows pets and has parks and fields nearby.

And T is bored out of her brain when we are gone during the day. It’s only fair to her.

One thing that we’ve noticed in our search for an additional family member is some controversy around rehoming fees.

Let’s take a look at that.

Why Rehoming Fees are Necessary

I’m always surprised and a little disappointed when I see an adult dog looking for a new home without a rehoming fee. And not just because I can’t fathom how people can just go and get rid of their pets and family members (horrid), but because rehoming fees should be charged for each and every pet. I’m also a little annoyed when I hear people complain about how “expensive” SPCA or rescue dogs have become.

First of all, if you are the one abandoning your responsibility, whoever is adopting your pet should be able to take care of him or her, financially and physically. If something happens to the pet, they should be able to take the pet to the vet and foot the bill. That’s part of pet ownership.

If you can’t afford a rehoming fee, you can’t afford a pet. If you don’t want to pay a rehoming fee because it’s too expensive, what will happen when your pet needs tooth extractions or a cleaning or simply some stitches after a run-in with another animal? What if those bills are too expensive?

If you are rescuing a pet from a rescue society, rehoming fees are necessary for a few reasons.

First of all, pet rescues usually have pets checked by a vet prior to adopting them out, which is a very important step. It’s also not free to run a rescue society and most are not-for-profit organizations. They have to pay for your rescue’s food, medical costs, transportation, and any other necessities required for that pet. Rehoming fees help pay for the operations of that rescue, which are a great cause.

Finally, rehoming fees are a one time cost. A price shouldn’t be put on a family member. We “rescued” our Boston terrier with a rehoming fee of $400. I’d pay $400 every year of her life if I had to, because you can’t put a price on a family member and a life.

So while I may not be able to put extra cash on my car loan one month when we get our new family member, it won’t bug me, because it’s more than worth it to me.

How do you feel about rehoming or adoption fees?

 

 

38 Comments
  • mycanuckbuck
    July 16, 2012

    I’m okay with them – after all, the adoption or rescue society needs to keep afloat! I had a friend who ran a wiener dog rescue – she put so much time and money of her own into it! We paid a very reasonable adoption fee for Kelsey the Cat and she’s worth every penny!

  • Tara
    July 16, 2012

    I’m perfectly fine with them! I completely cringe when I see people giving away dogs for free (especially on Craigslist) you never know what kind of person is going to end up with them. We have three dogs, our first two dogs we adopted from a rescue and paid approximately $250 for each, they are completely worth every penny. Our third dog we found as a stray someone dumped so there was no fee for her (I would have happily paid one though – she’s amazing).

    People need to realize when they get a dog from a rescue chances are that dog has already been spayed/neutered, had their shots, been microchipped and sometimes even had some basic command training. Even without all of that though the companionship and love you get from a rescue is worth the price.

    Don’t Shop – Adopt!!!

  • Michelle
    July 16, 2012

    Rehoming and adoption fees are needed. It weeds out the people who are just looking for a free pet and will possibly discard them as soon as they are not a puppy. I believe this is the main reason why most places have these fees and why puppies at adoption centers usually have higher rehoming fees.

  • L Bee and the Money Tree
    July 16, 2012

    GREAT article. I couldn’t agree with you more. Good luck with finding a second pet. I’d love to get Murray a brother or sister, but my boyfriend puts his foot down.

  • Bridget
    July 16, 2012

    I don’t have any pets but I agree that rehoming & adoption fees are a GOOD thing. I hate when people complain about them. If you don’t want to pay, how much do you really want the pet?

  • Jennifer Lynn @ Broke-Ass Mommy
    July 16, 2012

    Yes, fees are needed. This is a sensitive topic for me as well.

    In fact I acquired my two cats during a volunteer foster-parenting stint at the local A.S.P.C.A.

    I was saddened by the mentality I encountered at the animal shelter daily — people who just discard animals like they’re rusty, worn-out toys.

    A pet is sooo sensitive to stress. And an animal should be a life-time investment. Every pet deserves to be adopted into a loving home by a family that financially can afford to meet their specific needs.

  • Mackenzie
    July 16, 2012

    I hate when people don’t want to pay fees and the like for their pets. That is so irksome. Why do you want/have a pet then?

    Pets are family. Period.

  • Jason
    July 16, 2012

    I’m fine with the fees. Obviously those shelters need some sort of financial compensation for the service they provide. And frankly, if you can’t afford the fee then you probably can’t afford to have a dog! They’re way more expensive then people think.

  • JW @ AllThingsFinance
    July 16, 2012

    I just adopted a rescue dog a few months ago and couldn’t be happier. I had no problem paying the adoption fee and would do so again in a heart beat. The person I adopted him from generraly keeps about 30 rescues at a time and the money is needed for him to continue saving animals.

  • Jordann @ My Alternate Life
    July 16, 2012

    I agree with you, re homing fees are a necessary deterrent to keep the less than desirables from adopting pets in the first place. Personally, I think that, given what most pets come with at the SPCA (spayed, needled, de wormed etc) re homing fees are a great value that I’m more than happy to pay. Make sure to post lots about the new pup!

  • Modest Money
    July 16, 2012

    I didn’t realize that dog adoption fees were so high. For my cats I paid a little over $100 for each of them. It does make complete sense that those fees need to be there though. If not, there would be far too many people owning pets when they can’t really afford to properly take care of them.

    By the way, great decision to get a 2nd dog to give your first dog some company. I think my first cat is pretty happy about having a friend to play with while I’m busy or out for the day.

  • My Money Design
    July 16, 2012

    Your dog is really cute! On re-homing fees, another thing to think about is the fact that it can help screen out people who are simply just trying to “adopt” free dogs with the ill-intentions of bad breeding, fighting, laboratory experiments, etc. If they have to pay a $100 fee, then they will likely pass up your dog.

  • Sean @ One Smart Dollar
    July 16, 2012

    I’m perfectly fine paying those fees but that is a little high. We paid $100 for our dog.

  • Jacob @ iheartbudgets
    July 16, 2012

    I can’t let my wife see this post, because she’s wanted a second dog for a while! :grin:

    I agree, if you can’t afford rehoming fees, you can’t afford the dog. Period. Our pup was a rescue (you can see a pic on my lastet post), and worth every penny for rehoming. And the fee was tied to her shots and care up until that point.

    Dangit…..now I want another pup! No $$ in the budget, and we just had a kid, so probably won’t happen. Maybe that’s why we’re always dog-sitting…hmmm….?

  • Michelle
    July 16, 2012

    I think they’re a good thing, because they ensure the person taking on the new pet will be able to afford to care for him/her. It also makes people stop and think. Sometimes, money is good for that. :)

    I SO WANT A DOG. I still keep telling Jeff this over and over, but he doesn’t think we’re ready. He’s probably right. I might cry if I don’t close this post now. Sigh..

  • Lance@MoneyLife&More
    July 16, 2012

    I would be OK with it if it was going to a shelter to help pay for operations of the shelter but if it is an individual basically selling their pet and calling it a rehoming fee that bothers me. It isn’t the money but where the money ends up to me.

  • Mo' Money Mo' Houses
    July 16, 2012

    I totally agree, if you can’t afford those fees you can’t afford a pet. Pets are expensive and it always makes me sad when people have them but are always broke. Pets are so innocent, they need to be looked after properly.

  • Kathleen @ Frugal Portland
    July 16, 2012

    I really want a dog! My sister accidentally left behind dog food, so of course I went to the humane society’s web site. Of course.

  • DebtsnTaxes
    July 16, 2012

    I don’t mind the fees. Although I don’t think they stop people that can’t afford them from getting pets. We live about a half mile from a rescue shelter and we see animals being returned all the time. It’s sad. Every pet the wife and I have came from a shelter and I can’t be happier. I even drove 3 hours in a snowstorm (about 1 1/2 feet worth) that ended with me driving home with my pup and it was totally worth it.

  • femmefrugality
    July 16, 2012

    I’ve never heard of a rehoming fee. But I agree that it sounds like a good idea. It’s not quite as expensive, but the humane society charges people to get their pets. They get all the shots and spayed or neutered or whatever else they need. I’m a huge fan. The best dogs I know have come from them. (Granted I’m not a dog owner.)

    I’d love it if my downstairs neighbor got another dog. That thing barks all freaking day because it is so lonely….

  • Meredith
    July 16, 2012

    Anything to give a sweet little pup in need a home! You will be such a blessing to the next little guy or gal you bring home :)

  • bogofdebt
    July 16, 2012

    I don’t have a dog yet but I want one. And I agree with the adoption fee. Mostly because, as you said, if you “can’t” pay the fee, what business do you have with a dog or any animal? They are going to cost random money eventually (taking this as if food, regular checkups , etc are budgeted for) and this is a good a time as any to figure out if you should have one. The adoption fee aournd me is only $50 but I’ve already thought that when I evenutally get my dog, I’m going to up that fee with a nice little donation. Right now I don’t have the money but I try to donate something everytime I go to the vet’s with my cat. I won’t get a dog right now (I could) because my living situation is up in the air (kind of) right now among other things.

  • Newlyweds on a Budget
    July 16, 2012

    wow, $400 is a lot of money! I didn’t know dogs cost so much money just to get. We were lucky that a long time family friend couldn’t keep their dog anymore, and gifted him to us with all of his supplies as well. However, we DID offer to pay for the dog.
    I guess I have just never been exposed to the whole “bad” side of dog breeding so didn’t understand the fees. We have paid several hundred on our dog over the years, and always want the absolutely best care for him. Still, I think I would not be okay with paying several hundred for a dog that I didn’t know if they had certain issues or not. I know Budgeting in the Fun Stuff recently had an issue with a rescue. And not that that would discourage me from rescuing a pound, but I would be pretty furious if I paid several hundred and then had everything destroyed. I agree with some of the other comments though that $100 or $150 would be a suitable enough re-homing fee. (and again it depends, I know some shelters need more money and such for rescues)

  • B. (Below Her Means)
    July 16, 2012

    T. is so precious, I want to put her in my pocket. I’m with you on the fees – dogs are family. I WANT ONE. :(

  • nicoleandmaggie
    July 17, 2012

    Worth every penny!

    We also donate to the no-kill shelter we got our kitties at because the rehoming fees don’t pay for everything.

  • Joe @ Retire By 40
    July 17, 2012

    I think the fee is perfectly valid. I also think it’s better to get a grown pet. That way, you know their personality and hopefully they are well trained.

  • From Shopping to Saving
    July 17, 2012

    I have no concerns or problems with a rehoming fee. I am glad they exist. Dogs should be adopted more often when other owners can’t take care of them. I have a 6-year-old peke-a-poo that I bought from the pet store when I was 18. I had no idea what I was getting myself into but my next dog will definitely be adopted. I love my dog so much, and I totally get where you’re coming from with the whole dog guilt of leaving them at home alone. I know my dog would love a friend! If only we were neighbors =)

  • Nurse Frugal
    July 17, 2012

    I agree with most of the above comments. It’s very different when you have to pay for something. It means you were thoughtful and worked hard for something you desired. I believe this means you will take care of something better if you were deliberate in working, saving and paying for something. I think those fees are necessary!
    -Nurse Frugal

  • Edward Antrobus
    July 17, 2012

    I don’t have a problem paying a fee to a shelter; they need to pay for all that feed! But in general, I’m against rehoming fees. I will (have) pay one at the local humane society shelter, but I would never to a random person. I see it as just trying to make some money in places where it’s illegal to sell animals.

    In my life I’ve had 2 dogs and 4 cats. Only one did we have to pay for. The rest were strays or pets that a friend couldn’t care for anymore (my sister got Knuckles after the family down the street discovered that their 6yo was allergic to dog hair).

    After my in-law’s siberian husky died at the age of 19, they wanted to get another. The first orginization they reached out to wanted to do an in-home inspection then charge a $1000 rehoming fee, then do another inspection!

  • Brian
    July 17, 2012

    I guess I’m in the minority here. I can be swayed by your argument about shelters needing the fees, but charging a re-homing fee to another individual is unnecessary. There are circumstances where finding a new home for your pet is necessary (moving to a building that doesn’t take pets, for example). The ability to pay or provide a re-homing fee has no bearing on your ability to provide or care for the pet. It’s important to interview and screen potential adoptees, and to ensure that you can afford a pet before you commit to caring for one.

    In private adoptions, I really don’t see the need for re-homing fees.

    • Alex
      October 10, 2012

      I was just looking over the pros and cons of “rehoming fee to ensure (often misspelled insure) a good home” and came across what you wrote. Hat’s off to you for not caring if you are outnumbered by the opposite opinion. I’m with you. There is absolutely no substitute for the time and effort put into finding a good home where it seems that neglect, abuse or craziness wouldn’t be a problem. I’ll go a step further: “$40 to ensure a good home” is just as risky as “free” because it implies that the first person with $40 will walk away with the dog. Having $40 is no proof of good character, and that tiny amount of money is no proof that the person has the funds for food, vet care, etc. for a dog.

  • Julie @ Freedom 48
    July 17, 2012

    I totally agree. It always makes me sad when I see people giving animals away for free. I can’t help but worry that the person who picks up that “free” pet either can’t afford to maintain a pet.. or they (God forbid) have evil intentions… like dog fighting or food for their pet snake.

  • CF
    July 17, 2012

    I’m a terrible person – I’ve always given and gotten animals for free :)

    Both cats I’ve had were both free from Craigslist. My current cat was bound for an animal shelter in only a few more weeks and he’s not a cute and cuddly kitten, that’s for sure! I don’t think that a regular person should demand a fee if the alternative is leaving the animal at a shelter. Adult cats are hard enough to find homes for… I would not want a small amount of money to be a deterrent to anyone who could give them a home.

  • Caitlin
    July 18, 2012

    Awww. I have a Boston Terrier too that I actually adopted from a family that had a boy Boston and a girl Boston from the same litter, both unfixed, and they were convinced a ghost was getting their girl Boston pregnant (yes, he is an inbred). Luckily our adoption fee helped the mommy Boston finally get fixed (she had had 3 litters).

    I agree about the rehoming fee — I am always horrified when I hear stories about how people would put their dog down because of something that is easily curable (like a broken leg) because they can’t afford it, then go out and replace that dog with another. Pets become family members so how can you put them down because of the vet bills?

  • minneapolis apartments uptown
    July 19, 2012

    I agree that it is the pet owner’s responsibility to care for his/her pet adopted or not. So, he/she shouldn’t complain about fees when getting a dog/cat or whatever pet for their apartment. If you want to be a pet owner then accept the responsibility that goes along with having a pet.

  • Kris @ BalancingMoneyand Life
    July 20, 2012

    Rehoming fees, adoption fees, whatever you want to call them, I think are just part of the process, at least where I live. I have no issue with them,they cover vet costs, food, lodging, care, and often spay/neuter fees too.

    I’ve adopted 1 dog and 4 cats from shelters, and never worried about the cost – they were all worth it.

  • Joy Host
    July 24, 2012

    I agree that rehoming fees are necessary.

    I had a friend in financial need who has repeatedly offered to keep my dog when I go out of town. I try to take him when I can, but came across a time when I was going to counsel at a youth camp and pets were not allowed. I agreed easily, and she and her retired mom adored him.

    While he had a lot of love and attention, he had gained a pound when I returned five days later. Both she and her mother have a myriad of financial and physical difficulties due to poor health which comes from their weight. I LOVE this woman, but realized that if she ever somehow came to own my dog (as I am considering the Peace Corps, etc. due to a recent divorce and life change), she would not be able to afford the vet fees, and might not realize the damage a lot of extra weight could do. In addition, though they have a nice yard, she would not be able to take him on walks due to her physical difficulties.

    In other words, it hit me that even “good” people are not necessarily the best fit. Don’t worry, though–if I do something wherein I cannot take my pup, I have two sisters who are dog-lovers, healthy, and in stable homes who could take him for a little while!!

  • Allison @ Insomniac Lab Rat
    July 28, 2012

    I was pleasantly surprised at how low the adoption fee was at the greyhound adoption group. They spend so much to feed and care for the dogs, I was happy to contribute a little bit! The adoption process was so long and detailed, that I can’t imagine this particular group needs an adoption fee to deter people with only a casual interest in having a dog, but in other situations I’m sure that helps.

    I was glad that the fee was relatively low, though, when we had to spend quite a bit at the vet right away. We’d gladly spend more, but it was nice to spend less than we expected on the adoption fee.

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