Why should I Pay for a Rescue Dog?
Recently I have seen discussions on social media selling sites when dogs have been advertised free to a good home. This will always ignite a barrage of comments, some more politely worded than others. These will usually stem around the “These dogs will be used for bait” “They can be picked up by dealers or people who will sell them on” or “Why should I pay a rescue when I can have one for free”
I will not pass judgement on people who have to rehome dogs, when they believe it is in the dogs best interest. As well as those who have misjudged what they have taken on, there will always be genuine cases such as illness, bereavement etc. Arguably there will also be cases where negligence has played apart or abandonment, these dogs will quite often end up in Rescue.
The True Cost of taking on a Rescue Dog
No Dog is truly free of cost to a responsible person. I am fortunate to know some wonderful people who work in rescue. Locally to us I see adoption fees ranging from £120-£200+ . Some operate a flat fee.Others will differ by breed.
From personal experience I know neutering, without scheme vouchers, can cost £80 upwards. Vaccinations from around £30. So the free dog has already cost you £110.
Responsible rescues will assess dogs for behaviour, perform home checks and carry out the above prior to re-homing. The dog will also have been fed whilst in their care, given clean bedding and sheltered. This requires the maintenance and cleaning of buildings. There may also have been medical conditions that required treatment prior to re-homing.
Meeting The Cost
Small Rescues are often Not for Profit Organisations, if not registered as a charity. Most will rely on volunteers help, and donations from sponsors. They may get discounted vet bills, and occasionally finance from schemes sponsoring vaccination and neutering. I would suggest often the £120 fee may not cover what has been spent on the dog that you are about to re-home.
Why the fees and checks?
A rescues main priority is save a dogs life, and to find a safe home. When re-homing a rescue dog, consideration must be given to its requirements. If a rescue dog is placed in a home that is not suitable, it can be returned to the rescue to start the cycle again. This will be detrimental to the dog, as well as increase the financial burden to the rescue.
In carrying out these procedures, home-checkers may raise issues potential adopters had overlooked. This is not being critical, but there may be dog specific issues. We have known small terriers of clearing high fences if not burrowing under.
Rescues will look for humans and homes that will suit specific dogs. Hopefully that will then be their forever home.
Can you afford a dog?
This is not meant to sound condescending. Living with a rescue dog, or any dog is a privlidge not a right. I will not begrudge anyone sharing their life with a dog. Neither would I slate anyone for trying to rescue a dog. Regardless of your social standing dogs require sacrifice. I have seen people with no possessions with well cared for and well loved dogs. I have also seen wealthy people with neglected and underfed dogs. My main concern, is that where possible that rescue dog is the right dog with the right person.
There are organisations that can help with vets fees, such as blue cross and PDSA. There will still be the costs of food, vaccinations,training, bedding etc.
Rescue and Research
This is not designed to dissuade you from having a rescue dog of any kind. The aim is to make people aware of costs. However much research you do, whether generic or breed specific, you will miss something. Living with dogs is rewarding, even more so if you can take the stress out of the relationship. It will be a constant learning journey, with ups and downs on the way.
Before you question the cost, visit your local rescue. They will be happy to help. Ask questions, work with them. They will help you find the right rescue dog for your circumstances..
For further reading supplied by hope rescue: rehome information