The Dog Adoption Process

Adoption Fees

Adoption fees are donations to Rawhide Rescue. Rawhide Rescue is not a shelter and we are not subsidized. Most shelters receive municipal funding, while Rawhide Rescue operates on adoption fees and donations. All of our members are volunteers, and none of us receives a salary or payment of any kind. Our funds go 100% toward the care of our dogs, primarily for veterinary expenses and occasional boarding fees. Volunteers usually pay the costs for transport, fostering, phone calls, and adoption screening out of their own pockets.

The adoption fees typically range from $200to $400 for dogs, $600 for puppies and purebreds, and $150 for seniors. Below is a list of some of the tangible and intangible cost factors that go with each animal we rescue:

  • $250 to $500 for spay/neuter
  • $20 for rabies vaccination
  • $25 for distemper shots
  • $70+ for vet office visit fee
  • $160 for transport if required
  • $10 for health certificates
  • Additional vetting can cost an extra $100 to thousands of dollars

Other cost considerations include:

  • food (some dogs will require special foods which we will supply)
  • collars
  • leashes
  • bedding
  • cleaning materials

Plus, no price can be put on the following:

  • Assessment/Evaluation
  • Socialization
  • Training
  • Love
  • Endless hours of personal time put in by loving foster families

What to expect when adopting a dog

A guide to pet-adoption procedures at Rawhide Rescue (and many shelters)

The decision has been made — you’ve decided to adopt a dog or a puppy to add to your family. You’ve done the research and have decided to do the intelligent and humane thing by adopting from a rescue group or a shelter instead of a pet store. Once you’ve located the “perfect” pet for your family, you may be unfamiliar with the next steps in the adoption process. The following are some procedures you can expect:

1. Expect to fill out an adoption application. Complete the application honestly and completely. Shelters and rescues are not trying to keep you from getting the dog you want, just trying to find a good “match” for your family AND for the dog. It is traumatic for both the dog and the family to return a dog to the shelter or foster home because it “didn’t fit in.”Rescues and shelters put serious effort into matching the home with the pet, rather than “selling” to anyone who pays the price.

2. Expect to have references checked. Most rescue groups and shelters will contact your veterinarian, groomer, dog sitter and neighbors. This is not done to invade your privacy or for intrusive purposes, it is simply a means by which we can verify the statements in your adoption application. Most of us involved in rescue have seen pets that have endured horrible abuse or been abandoned by uncaring owners, and we work diligently to make sure we don’t place dogs in a situation where they will not be loved and cared for properly.

3. Expect a rescue volunteer to visit your home. Again, this is not done for judgmental or intrusive purposes. By bringing the pet to your house for a “visit,” we can see how he/she interacts with all members of your family in a relaxed environment, and determine if your other pets will get along with your new addition. We’re also better equipped to help you with specific questions that you may have after the pet is in your home.

4. Expect to pay an adoption fee. Most rescues and shelters, Rawhide Rescue included, are nonprofit, self-funded and work with an all-volunteer network of foster homes.

Our adoption fees help us pay for the care and feeding of our animals. Donations are tax-deductible within the extent of the law. Last year, Rawhide’s veterinary bills were in excess of $70,000. We take in all types of dogs, young and old, sick and well. We don’t give up on a dog that requires special surgery. We also use donations to help the community by providing people with low-cost spaying and neutering options, microchip clinics and other resources. We make sure that all of our animals have been completely inoculated, de-wormed and altered prior to adoption.