Ever wonder how much it really costs to rescue a dog or puppy and foster and care for it until it's adopted? You might be very surprised by what you read here!
Regular Rescue Costs
Let's suppose a dog or puppy is extraordinarily healthy and all we need to do is pay the fee to spring them from a shelter.
- $75 cost to pull from a shelter - this includes (at a minimum) spay/neuter, preventive shots, testing for heartworm
If we take in an animal off the streets or one who has not been fully vetted, then we are obligated for its' first comprehensive vet care, which includes (at a minimum):
- $23 heartworm testing
- $16 rabies shot/tag
- $177 shots/deworming/fecal (for puppies)
- $98-$245 spay/neuter - if not already done
Oh, but it still takes a few weeks on average to get them adopted to their furever home. So, we're looking at the costs for things like food, grooming (for some), and preventive medications (heartworm and flea/tick).
- $30 average month food and a fun treat or two
- $30-$100 grooming
- $10 average monthly heartworm & flea/tick
Let's say that the foster of the healthy dog or puppy needs to go out of town. None of their family can care for the dog. All Real Good Dog Rescue foster volunteers are maxed out on their quota of dogs at their homes. So the dog or puppy needs to be boarded.
- $15 daily (let's suppose the foster needs to leave for 4 nights = $60)
So, even if our really healthy dog or puppy gets adopted within 4 weeks, we're still looking at a cost of at least $175 in our case above. If the dog or puppy is otherwise healthy but a breed that requires grooming, that adds at least $30 to our bottom line, which takes us to $205 for a healthy dog or puppy who stays with our rescue group only one month!
Additional Rescue Costs
There are some rather routine things that need done to various dogs or puppies we take into Real Good Dog Rescue. These include:
- $100 dental cleaning - for older dogs or younger dogs with chronic conditions
- $175-$350+ heartworm treatment - dependent on whether it's a lightly or strongly positive case of heartworms
It is the very odd and occasional situation where we get the healthy dog or puppy into our rescue group. Animals found as strays and pulled from local shelters don't come with paperwork about their health history and pre-existing conditions. Even animals that are owner-surrendered may have undisclosed illnesses or problems - the owner may just not know about them at that time.
Once we take an animal into our rescue group we commit to it. This means that we assume not only routine but also extraordinary costs for treatment required by the canine. Here's a brief listing of some of these conditions/costs we've incurred over the last couple of years:
- $2,000 cataract removal - for inherited/juvenile cataracts in young dogs
- $200 cherry eye repair
- $600 hernia repair
- $1,200 pelvic surgery
- $300 heart murmur diagnosis
- $400 infection diagnosis/treatment
We have also incurred huge veterinary bills for conditions such as cancer, distemper, parvo, severe respiratory viral illness, and assorted advanced diagnostic testing.
Average costs for a healthy dog or puppy
- $75 shelter pull fee
- $30 monthly food/treat
- $10 monthly preventives
Assorted extra costs even for a healthy dog or puppy
- $15/day boarding
- $30-$100 grooming
Some rather regular costs for assorted dogs
- Dental cleaning
- Heartworm treatment
Some of the more extraordinary costs
- Cataract removal
- Cherry eye repair
- Hernia repair
- Pelvic surgery
- Treatment for distemper, parvo, assorted infections and allergies
- Diagnostic evaluation for complicated conditions
Other costs for our rescue group
- Website hosting
- Printing flyers for adoption & special events