On Saturday morning, the boy and I hopped into my little car to go across the border and pick up our rescue dog.
We were very excited; adding another family member is always exciting, and we were anticipating this weekend for a few weeks.
We’d always wanted to adopt another dog. Our current dog has never really been without other dogs until we got her, and she loves to hang out with and play with other small dogs when she seems them.
Of course, being a money conscious woman, the cost of rescuing F was on my mind. I personally don’t put a price on animals; if the dog is right, she’s right. We’re willing to spend money on the perfect pooch for our family, because it’s really a one-time investment, and it’s worth it. But it’s always a good thing to consider.
So here’s what we came up with for the cost of rescuing F. Please keep in mind that I am not discussing the costs of getting a puppy; I think that there are too many animals out there that need homes, and I would personally not get a puppy:
Our dog cost $95 to adopt, but most shelters or rescue agencies cost a lot more. Typically, the larger the dog, the less the adoption/rehoming fee. The same goes for the age; the older the dog, the lower the fee.
F is a senior, (she’s 8-9), so she was a bit cheaper. In reality, we just wanted to get a dog that would match the energy level of our 7 year old Boston Terrier, T.
Total = $95
We were pretty specific about what type of dog we wanted; breed didn’t matter to us, but we wanted a dog that would match our lifestyle well. F is perfect, and we were willing to travel for the perfect dog (it’s a one-time thing). So, we had to go across the border to pick her up. It was about a 2 hour drive each way, because of the border lineups. It cost about half a tank of gas.
Total = $30
Depending on the situation, you may need to pick up some supplies for your new rescue. Supplies can include toys, a collar (or harness) and lead, poop bags, dishes, a bed, shampoo, etc.
We already had T, so we didn’t need lots of these things, and F came with a collar. We had a spare lead or two. However, we did buy a coupler (you can walk two dogs at one time with this), and a bed for F. We were llucky, because the bed that we wanted for her was on sale ($18) and we got the coupler on ebay for $3. We also had to buy food because we were all out, so that was another $40.
Total = $62
F had a pretty hard go of it for the last few years of her life; she was severely neglected and had infections pretty much all over her body (eyes, nose, ears, teeth, bladder). She also had a severe case of fleas, an ailment for which her previous owner did nothing. This left her with major hair loss, to the point of almost mange.
She was treated by the rescue society (her vet bills must have cost them a fortune), and all of her various infections and conditions have been treated and cleared up. However, we will be taking her to get a last checkup at the vet, and we expect that to be $150 if nothing is wrong with her (and she’s had checkups recently where there is nothing wrong).
You may want to take your new rescue to the vet before introducing them to the home just in case, even if they didn’t have as hard of a time as F. It’s a good idea to just make sure everything is ok.
Total = $150
We don’t have this problem with F, but lots of rescues will have some “baggage”, and you may need to take them to training. This may be basic obedience training or a more thorough behavioural correction, but training sessions do cost money.
Total for F: $337
Even with all of these costs, rescuing an in-need friend is less expensive than buying a puppy, and much more rewarding. But it’s good to know what you are in for when adopting a pet, because the hope is that you are giving the pet a forever home. If you can’t afford the adoption costs, you may not be able to afford to give that pet a home.