Portrait of miniature schnauzer in winter jacket on snow

What’s The Skinny On Adoption Fees?

Sometimes, particularly in today’s economy, we get comments about adoption fees and how they are set relative to shelters or breeders. The questions are understandable and are worthy of an informative response. With all our rescue experience, we’d like to outline a few comments and observations on this topic.

As background, Schnauzer Rescue of Texas (SRT) is a non-profit, all-volunteer rescue organization. Every member of SRT, including our Directors, is a volunteer and we work extremely hard to accomplish our vision: “A Schnauzer. In A Home. Knowing Love.” SRT does not operate a shelter or a kennel. Most dogs in our care are placed in a loving foster home until they are adopted. Sometimes, with a shortage of foster homes, we have to board a dog temporarily – and we have a wonderful facility that supports SRT in this effort.

It’s important to remember that our adoption fee includes spay/neuter, all shots, a microchip and, sometimes, a dental cleaning. In other words, our fee can’t be compared directly to that of a breeder or puppy store or maybe even to other rescue organizations. In addition, since our dogs reside in a loving foster home, as a general rule, our dogs come to the adopter well-socialized, partially or fully house trained and may also be crate trained, doggy door trained and/or leash trained. The foster families know each dog’s temperament and personality and they help the Directors do a great job of matching our dogs into the best possible forever home. When you buy a puppy from a breeder, there’s a lot of expense in those first few years and you usually know nothing of the dog’s temperament or personality. When an appropriate comparison is made, our fees will seem like a bargain!

However, the money we raise via our adoption fees does not come close to covering our actual bills (veterinary bills, some boarding costs, heartworm preventatives, grooming, food, toys, etc). Many rescue organizations take in only a limited number of dogs – and only healthy ones at that. In other words, they may take only the ‘easy’ ones that require no special care and are readily adoptable. Shelters most certainly do this. If the dogs are sick or injured, they’ll be rejected and, if a rescue doesn’t step up to take the animal, they are likely to be put down. At SRT, we think these dogs deserve a second chance at a loving home too! To that end, we rely heavily on fundraisers as well as donations from SRT volunteers, friends, businesses and past adopters to bridge the gap.

Yes, it’s true that you might be able to adopt a healthy dog from a shelter at a lower price than adopting through SRT. There are two reasons for this: 1) they haven’t spent a significant amount on the healthy animal and 2) shelters are subsidized by your tax dollars. But the potentially lower fee at a shelter masks the number of dogs that have been put down because they were sick or injured and simply needed a little money and time. And that’s where SRT comes in. We’ll rescue healthy dogs and sick dogs alike….they all deserve another chance! We are saving an animal’s life with each rescue we perform and our adopters can feel proud that they’re doing their part to address a pet population problem by adopting a rescued dog!

We hope you’ll learn more about SRT by browsing our website to view dogs and get insights about our organization. Better yet, come to one of our Meet & Greet events and mingle with our dogs and volunteers. And still better yet, come join the family as an adopter, a volunteer, a financial supporter or by simply keeping us in your positive thoughts and prayers as we work to do the best job we can for these Schnauzers. As our rescued Schnauzers would say: “It’s All About Me”!!