learn what other users had to say about

the Cost of Pet Adoption Fees for Dogs

Submitted by  
$ 125
Mar 2007
Green Valley, AZ
New dog from private animal shelter  more... close row

Description of service

After we lost our beloved Rottweilers, my mother and I decided to adopt a smaller dog from a shelter (all of our previous dogs had been purebred - however all were spayed/nuetered). I looked at several local animal shelter websites and a national petfinding service. We looked at several photos and made a list of the dogs that we wanted to meet along with the costs associated with adopting them. We also attended a couple of animal adoption fairs in town.

In the end, we fell in love with a photo of one dog who was located in Green Valley (about 45 minutes from our house). It cost $125.00 to adopt him from a private shelter. This included all most shots (I had to have a bordatella - kennel cough - shot given on my own), microchipping, and a heartworm test. He was already neutered. Some of the shelters that we considered cost between $75 and $130. Normally adoption fees include spay/neuter, shots, and microchipping. Some of the other agencies also include a free trial of animal insurance, a bag of food, a collar, and sometimes toys.

I was also given his veterinary records which indicated the dates of his shots and the heartworm test, a small bag of food, and a collar.

Review of Service

Working with the shelter that we chose was much easier than I anticipated. I was able to email the shelter owner and she was available for calls as well. The first step was filling out an application (most shelters/agencies require these). The application included referrences, vet information, type of animal we wanted, the amount of time we could spend with an animal, and the size of our house/yard.

After my application was reviewed, I was called to schedule an appointment. The shelter owner was very accomodating of my schedule. We met the dog, and it was love at first site. We were able to visit with him for about an hour. The next day, she drove to our house with him for a "site visit". We were able to keep him that day, which was earlier than we had anticipated. My mother was scheduled to leave town the next day and unfortunately, he had to be left alone.

While I generally the experience positive (and well worth the price, he's one of the best dogs that I've ever owned), there were a few issues. The first issues was the fact that he was not crate trained and has severe separation anxiety. He destroyed a wall and two crates and dug under the dog run causing me to have to put him in a day kennel. The second issue was his age. We were told that he was two, but his records showed that he was closer to 14 months.

After the first incident with the crate and wall, I called the shelter owner. She was very understanding and contacted the vet that she uses to obtain a medication for separatio anxiety (it's working wonderfully) and paid for the first month's supply. The age issue did not really matter until I had to re-register him and was told he needed a rabies shot that he didn't. And, becuase he is younger than we thought, he was still growing. He's still smaller than my other dogs, but is still pretty large (110 pounds).


Always do your research on the shelter that you are considering adopting from. Ask around and your friends, coworkers, or neighbors might have suggestions. Try to visit the shelter ahead of time to see how the animals are kept. Make sure you are comfortable with the shelter staff. Ask questions about the animal that you are considering. If you are adopting from an animal fair, check the animals carefully (one that we considered was actually covered in ticks). Many shelters have websites with pictures of the animals.

Make a list of the characteristics of the animal you want. Do you want a large or small breed? Are color and breed important? What age do you want? Do you have children that the animal will be around? Do you have enough room and time for the animal? Can you afford the food and vet bills?

Be prepared to answer a lot of personal questions. Have references and veterinary information with you when you fill out adoption applications. If the shelter claims that the animal is good with children, try to take one with you when meet the animal. Consider adopting older animals. Most of them are already housebroken.

After choosing your pet, make sure you read the fine print of the application. Some shelters specify that they will make periodic visits to check on the welfare of the animal.

Finally, if you have chosen to adopt a dog, sign the two of you up for an obedience class. This is a great way to bond with your pet.

$ 85
Nov 2007
Columbus, OH
Adoption fee from shelter, and short term health insurance  more... close row
$ 150
Apr 2008
Lancaster, Pa
mixed breed dog
Shelter charges recoup costs of care  more... close row
$ 150
May 2006
Brunswick, ME
Very complete services from shelter  more... close row
$ 100
Apr 2008
Mount Pleasant, MI
Son fell in love with beagle mix and adopted him  more... close row
$ 105
Dec 2007
Hickory, NC
Dog adoptions at a local store  more... close row
$ 52
May 2007
Onalaska, WI
German Shepard
Older dog finds good home  more... close row
$ 50
Apr 2008
Dearborn MI
Animals at shelters need loving homes  more... close row
$ 65
Mar 2009
Columbus, Ohio
Adopting from a Dalmatian rescue was rewarding  more... close row
$ 45
Mar 2008
Sparta, NC
mixed breed
Adoption fee plust shots and flea medicine  more... close row
$ 50
Mar 2008
Ashland, KY
Rude employees but cute puppy at animal shelter  more... close row