Dachshund Rescue Adoption Fees Explained

Why does it cost so much for a used dachshund?

Anyone who has done breed rescue work has been asked this question many times over. "If you're really interested in helping, you should do it for free." we are told. To which we will usually respond, "What have you ever received for free that was truly valuable? Or really free?"

The Dachshund Rescue Web Page strongly encourages anyone who is taking advantage of our "open website policy" to try to rehome their beloved pet to ask for and actually collect an adoption fee. Whether they donate that to their church, another rescue, our rescue, or stick it in their pocket is not important to us. What is important is that the fee be requested. Please visit this website for an all too graphic explanation of why we suggest this to those who are listing their pets for adoption. (the link will open in a new window)

Allow me to try and explain how the D.R.W.P. adoption fees work:

Jake! For my example, I will use the story of Jake, a 1–2 year old male standard dachshund who recently passed through rescue. Now, before you start thinking that I chose Jake because he was an extreme case, let me assure you that that is not correct. On the contrary, I chose Jake for my example specifically because he was not an "extreme" needs animal. The veterinary expenses involved in making Jake "adoptable" are actually at the very low end of the scale.

Jake originally arrived in rescue from a "backyard breeder" . Surprisingly enough, his physical condition was not poor when he arrived, probably due to his youth. Other animals from the same "backyard breeder" operation were in such poor condition that for some, euthanasia was the only humane decision for them. The rest are still undergoing various treatments to counter the years of neglect, both physical and mental. Their expenses will be much higher than those for Jake.

Forgetting, for the purposes of this example, the expenses in manpower, time and fuel involved in getting Jake the 350 miles from the backyard breeder to rescue, the numbers below all reflect the discounted veterinary prices which we receive from the organizations primary veterinary clinic. All animals passing through the D.R.W.P. rescue program receive equivalent vetting to bring them to "adoptable" status before they are placed into their new homes.

Another thing to remember is that the numbers below are strictly for veterinary procedures. They do not include such things as a collar, food, etc. that every dog needs. The collar is provided by the organization. Food, love and care is provided by the foster homes, the true backbone of any rescue operation.

Jake's adoption fee was $250.00 because of his youth. As an animal becomes older (and by default, less desireable to the majority of homes) the adoption fee requested is adjusted downwards. The expenses remain the same, but the sad reality of rescue is that no one is really clamoring to adopt the older dogs. And in most cases, those are actually the better fit for homes that currently have a pet.

Physical Exam31.65
D.H.P.P. vaccine13.36
Bordatella (kennel cough) vaccine 13.18
Rabies vaccine 9.28
Fecal test 13.02
Heartworm test 25.42
Presurgical blood screening 34.40
Canine neuter 56.00
HomeAgain™ microchip 25.00
Municipal license 16.00
Total 237.51

"But", I hear you saying, "That's not the $250.00 adoption fee you said you asked for Jake. What happened to the other $12.49?"

Well, in Jake's case it was eaten up by a fungal infection that he arrived with that we didn't know about. Once detected, it was treated of course, at another $25.01 in vet bills, for a grand total (in veterinary expenses only) of $262.52. But even if he hadn't had the infection, Jake would never have been a "break even" dog for us anyway. The cost of gas, time and manpower involved in getting him to us, along with getting him to his new home, guaranteed that Jake, like all D.R.W.P. animals, would be a "loser" for us.

But, let's assume for a moment that Jake didn't need to be neutered and that he came fully vetted from a loving owner who also provided records to document that. What then? Well, Jake would have still needed the initial exam and the microchip, at the very minimum. The balance of his adoption fee? It would have been applied to another dogs expenses. Perhaps one of our seniors, for whom the adoption fee is only $100. Or one of the middle aged dogs, for whom the fee is $175.

Take the list of services above to your veterinarian and ask them what they would charge you to complete everything that rescue provides for you. I think you'll agree that $250, $175, or $100 for a fully vetted animal (with records) is a bargain. Those of us who do rescue truly do it for our love of the animals. It's obvious there's no money to be made in rescue work.