July 12, 2011

Let's Talk Adoption Fees

Over the past year, Angels of Assisi has offered various Adoption Specials. These have included reduced fees on pit bulls, large adult dogs, cats and kittens.

Sometimes we do a two for one adoption fee, sometimes it is a "name your price" adoption fee. Around the holidays, it is a regular fee with a complimentary pet delivery to your house from Santa Claus.

For the most part, the adoption specials have been well received. However, we have had several anonymous letters and nasty voice mails, with the jist being that reduced adoption fees lower the value of the animal.

Here is what it is:

When we run an adoption special, the fees may change, but the adoption process is the same.

We still check references. We still check with the applicant's Vet and landlord. We still talk to the person wanting to adopt and try to make the best match possible. In short, Santa does not randomly drop off cats to boys and girls, naughty or nice. They have to apply for a pet, get approved, and then Santa will be happy to load up his sleigh box truck, and deliver the pet to their new family.

The reduced fees give us a chance, a reason, to put the need for adoptions out to the public. The press gives people an ongoing reminder that adoption is a viable option. It brings them to the adoption center, and the animals do the rest by making a connection with their future families.

Here is another perspective:

I was adopted. (No, I have not been in rescue so long that I have blurred the lines between people and dogs and cats. I know that I am human, have opposable thumbs, and am on the higher end of the intellectual food chain, so to speak.)

I was born on September 6th, and went home on October 31st.

I do not know about the fees involved with my adoption. My understanding is that adoption fees vary considerably, depending on what part of the globe a baby is born in. 

I do know that my parents had to complete and pass the adoption process- extensive interviews, tests, home checks, and psychological evaluations- to be considered a good match for me.

Regardless of what monetary transactions transpired, I went from an orphan to a cherished daughter. They wanted me, picked me, and loved me. I don't know if they paid a million dollars for me or got me for free, but I absolutely do know that I was valued.  (Except perhaps for a few moments during those darn teenage rebellious years.) Nothing can change that.

The adoption process deemed that my parents were responsible and capable of caring for me. A family was made, and my life was changed forever and for the better. 

And here is the bottom line: 

We have to charge adoption fees to cover the cost of running an adoption center.

We also have to be creative and get people into the adoption center, and give our orphaned pets a chance.

When a match is made and a family is completed, the monetary transaction is insignificant as long as we are paying our food and light bills. The important thing is being careful and responsible in screening the applicant, and ensuring the safety of the animal.

Heaven knows my parents spent a lot of money on me throughout the years, and a pet parent will also have many expenses in caring for a dog or cat member of the family. Meeting them half way on the initial adoption fee seems like a win win situation.

The fees may change, but the process is the same. Our job is to make sure the adoptive pet parents are responsible and capable of caring for their new pets. When it is, more lives are changed forever and for the better. Even if they don't have opposable thumbs.



  1. Gina SimpsonJuly 13, 2011

    I was also adopted. Born December 14 and I went from the foster home to my adoptive home three weeks later. This post touched me, as I often make the same comparison. I had two families who loved me enough to make the right decision, no matter how hard. Money should never be a reason ( pro or con ) to adopt; maybe an incentive to look into it. But once you find that perfect pet ( or daughter ) money is not an issue. The animals at Angels are lucky enough to have tons of love from the staff and volunteers. Now we just need to make sure they complete the circle and end up in an adoptive home with nothing but endless unconditional love.

  2. AnonymousMay 29, 2014

    We adopted the most wonderful dog in the world from Angels of Assisi. His name was Ringo, although we changed it to Walker. We gave Angels $100. Walker has given us three years of daily happiness so far. We were the winners by far.