Thursday, April 21, 2011

Why does it cost so much?

We often get asked why it costs so much to adopt a dog from us. Part of it is that we are not a government shelter and our costs are not subsidized by taxpayers. Part of it is that we do a lot for the dogs.  Everyone gets spayed or neutered, microchipped, has had their distemper/parvo, rabies, and bordetella. They are screened for heartworms, lyme, ehrlychia, and other tickborne diseases.  If there are any other health needs, such as hernia, skin condition, or anything else, we do whatever the dog needs before it leaves us. It's just expensive.

Below you will see a layout of what we did for a fairly healthy adult dog, that only had an extra hernia repair.  This is the most reasonable vet in Douglas County, and even gives us a rescue discount on vaccinations and spay/neuter. When you adopt a dog, it really pays to think about how much it costs to maintain a dog. 

Kai's vet bills:

Kai came into rescue and was taken to the vet at their first available opening.
As we do with all adult dogs we bring into rescue this is the protocol:

Rabies                                     $10  (Vaccinations have a rescue discount.)
Bordetella                                $10
DHPPCV/L4                            $10
Heartworm/Tick disease test  $35  (Negative, thank goodness!)
                                    TOTAL: $65

Since we found her NOT to be pregnant, but had a horrible hernia, we scheduled her spay and hernia repair for the next week.

Spay surgery                 $60 (BIG rescue discount - THANK YOU to Eudora!!)
Hernia repair                  $50
Rimadyl Inj (pain meds)  $21
Ampicillin (antibiotics)     $18
Rimadyl tablets (pain meds) $12
Amoxicillin caps             $18.20
                             TOTAL $179.20

Because she was not adopted quickly, we did her booster shots a month later:
Bordetella                         $10
DHPPCV/L4                    $10
                                 TOTAL: $20

Adoption fee: $150.00
Loss on vet costs: $94.20

We also make sure she received Heartworm prevention every month ($7.35/month) and K9 Advantix ($13.83/month), so $21.18 per month.

Then, of course, we feed her. She is a 56 lb. dog eating Iams. On occasion there are donations from No More Homeless Pets KC that we can use to feed our puppies, but for the most part, we pay for all food.  At times we can go through a $35 (40 lbs. of Iams) bag of dog food in 3 days. Yes, that is over $300/month, even for a small rescue.

Total Loss on one dog: ~$94 (vet)+$42(heartguard/flea meds)+$60 (food)

This is why we are an all VOLUNTEER not-for-profit (pending non-profit 501c3) rescue that depends greatly on donations. 

Dogs are a bad investment if you are planning to retire rich. They are expensive to appropriately care for.  Late in life they will likely need expensive care, and there is a reason people use the phrase 'eating me out of house and home'. It's kind of like kids - no one ever considered kids a money making venture. If you are considering adopting from any rescue, they should at a minimum be sending you a fully vaccinated dog that is spayed or neutered (or have a deposit that it is required by a certain date). Anything else and they are pretty much selling a dog, which is not what rescue is about.

On a brighter note, you are reading a blog from Crossroads Dog Rescue. We are a foster based rescue run by stay-at-home moms that are passionate about the health and well-being of dogs.  This is not just their physical health, but their mental and emotional health too.  We bring these dogs into our homes with our families. We get to know them, show them love, fun and socialization with other dogs and children.  Can you really put a price on that?

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