In the last 12 years our family has adopted 3 dogs from local city or county run animal shelters. All of the dogs were under 2 years old and 2 of them were pups. Why did I choose to go to a government run shelter rather than a private rescue? Here are my reasons.
I found that the government animal shelters were run very efficiently by caring individuals that had the best interests of the animals that were in their care. I also found out that their adoption fees were much more reasonable than the private rescues. Take for example our last adoption, a husky mix pup from the Albany City Animal Shelter in Oregon, her adoption fee was only $65 and that included a vet check at our local vet, a low cost spay voucher and her license fee. The spay voucher ended up covering her entire spay fee and after care medications. After our out of pocket expenses for her spay, shots and license, her total cost to us was $20. What I had to do to get a refund on the original $65 adoption fee was to show the shelter proof of her spay. They gave me a refund less the cost of the license and paperwork fee.
The shelter in Oregon was not the only place to have low fees. My little Min Pin was adopted from a shelter in Manteca, California in 2004. He was just under 2 years old and had already been neutered. There was a waiting list for him and I was about 5th on the list. The rules for adoption was first come first served on the first day of the availability, unless there was a list. I decided to show up at the shelter at exact time that the Min Pin became available. The officer in charge said I would have to wait to see if any of the others on the list before me showed up. After 30 minutes, he started to call all of the others on the list before me. All he got were answering machines or no answers. After about an hour he said that it looks like I have the dog. He liked the fact that I committed to arriving and staying for the hour for that little dog. The cost of my little guy was $15 and that included a microchip.
I have visited private dog rescues and breed club rescues in the past. I was turned off of them because of their very high adoption fees. They tend to want a minimum of $200 for a dog. That cost does not include spaying, neutering or vaccines. They do give out a cute little “puppy pack” that includes a few days of food, a bowl and a few other cheap items that they get from pet food companies in the form of samples. They give all kinds of excuses for the adoption fee, but to me it is just like buying a dog and if I was going to do that I would pay an extra $100 for a registered puppy.
For helping a dog in need just steer me to the nearest government run shelter any day of the week.