I’ve seen a few debates rage lately about just what, exactly, is a ‘reasonable’ adoption fee.
Some people believe that there’s no justification in asking more than a few hundred dollars for a healthy rescue dog. They say that anything excess is just gouging by rescue groups.
In some cases, such the new influx of ‘fake’ rescues that are little more than fronts for puppy mill clear out merchadise, this is probably true. Those ‘rescues’ (which are really just companies that re sell older puppy mill breeding stock and unhealthier puppies that the large brokers either won’t touch, or have returned), this is true, and their high adoption fees are how they turn a profit.
For the majority of rescues, however (legitimate groups like French Bulldog Village, Chicago French Bulldog Rescue, and FBRN), adoption fees on healthy dogs work more like insurance policies. The fees which adopters give for the healthy dogs help to offset the thousands (and sometimes tens of thousands) of dollars which rescues must put towards the care of the older, the unhealthy and the special needs dogs which make up the bulk of rescues.
Take Hope, for example. Hope is the very definition of a ‘special needs’ rescue. A former puppy mill dog, Hope came to Chicago French Bulldog Rescue lame, emaciated and close to death. After months of physical therapy, water therapy and tender loving care, Hope is on the mend.
Donations to rescue, and the adoptions fees of younger, healthier, in demand dogs help to pay for Hope’s care. It’s the very essence of what makes an empathetic society – the more fortunate carry the burden of the less.
And after all, you’ve gotta have Hope, right?
If nothing else, just watching her swim will give you a moment of pure zen.