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?