Why do you have an Adoption fee? Why aren't your dogs free?
Just like any responsible pet owner, we must ensure our dogs are healthy, neutered and vaccinated prior to placement. Consider how much you pay just to get your dog's annual exam, shots and heartworm preventative and you can understand our dilemma. Many people do not realize what a 'bargain' a rescue dog is. Where else can you get a Golden Retriever for $350 much less one who is:
- Healthy and current on all shots, had a complete exam and any health issues (worms, ear infections, etc.) treated,
- Heartworm free (treated if necessary) and placed on preventative
- Spayed or neutered,
- Temperament tested,
- Crate Trained,
- Trained in at least basic house manners and, in some cases, quite a bit of obedience
Then consider our dogs also come with:
- Full education process on how to care for him/her
- Lifetime guaranteed home for the dog if you cannot keep him/her
- An organization full of resources on how to care & train for your dog, answer questions and advise on things for the rest of it's life
Don't the vets donate their services so you get free vet work?
No, we do not get free vet work. We do get reduced vet fees. Our veterinarians are very good to us, and we could not do it without them, but they still must make a living and cover their expenses.
What is the average vet cost per dog?
Even with our discounted rates, our average cost per dog varies from $190 to as high as $400 per dog, depending on these factors:
- Time of year (heartworm, flea and allergy season),
Where the dogs come from (stray/shelter dogs need all vet work, owner surrenders may be spayed/neutered and have some of their shots up to date),
- Ages of dogs (puppies and seniors need more care)
What vet care does the dog come with?
All GRR dogs are examined by a vet upon intake and are:
- Brought current on all shots: Rabies, Distemper, Parvo, plus other viruses (DHLPP), and Bordetella (Kennel Cough).
- Given a fecal to check for intestinal parasites (worms) and treated appropriately.
- Spayed/neutered if medically and age (>6 months of age) appropriate.
- Tested for heartworms, treated if necessary, and then placed on preventative.
- Treated for any other identified health issues such as ear infections, skin rashes/parasites, etc.
- Placed on flea and tick preventative to ensure they are parasite free and welcome in their new home!
What do you do when the dog costs more than the adoption fee?
We do not deny care or turn away dogs based on their medical needs. Since our adoption fee generally does not cover the cost of a dog's care, we rely heavily on fundraising and donations to make up the difference. We are a non-profit group and all donations are gratefully accepted and tax deductible.
Other than dog care, where does your money go?
We are staffed completely by volunteers, have no paid employees and no shelter or kennel facility. All dogs are cared for in our volunteer's own homes. GRR does not even pay for dog food -- it is graciously provided by the foster family, unless they are on special vet prescribed diet. We maintain minimal operating expenses for our hotline, website hosting, & postage. We scrimp and save everywhere we can so that all of our monies can go to the dogs care and rehabilitation.
Why don't you raise the fee even higher?
Many rescues have increased their fees to over $350. GRR's adoption fee is $350. It is not our intent to make dogs unaffordable; in fact, our dogs are much less expensive than any other route be it:
The GRR/GRCA recommended quality & reputable breeders (encouraged route) or,
The newspaper, pet store and backyard breeders (discouraged route as many of these dogs are not bred with the best interests of the animal in mind but rather 'for-profit' and without the intent of furthering the breed standard) or,
Shelter adoption- Shelter adoption fees usually run $100. Then you have to take the dog to the vet for a check up (~$40 office visit) plus you have to get the animal spayed/neutered (~$100-$200) and any health issues like heartworms (~$450-$500 depending on size and condition of animal), worms (~$20-30 medicines), ear infections (~$10-20 medicines), etc. treated at your own expense after adoption.
And, with a rescue Golden, you get the chance not only to save a life but also to spend years reaping the rewards and smiles he/she so gratefully gives!