Dear Dr Fox: I recently lost my dog. She was 16 years old. He really misses me. I have another dog who is 7 years old and he misses her too. The two are Chihuahua mixes. I looked for a similar dog to adopt, nothing fancy, just a small mixed breed adult.

I’ve searched on Petfinder, and all of the dogs are in “rescue organizations” that seem to keep dogs in foster homes and charge between $ 450 and $ 600 to adopt one. A “choice” dog like a purebred dog or a puppy is sometimes more.

What’s going on? All of my dogs were rescued from Humane Society shelters. The fees were typically $ 50 to $ 150, depending on the age of the dog.

I have no problem paying adoption fees: it’s actually a good deal, since the dog is sterilized, vet checked and has vaccines. But $ 450 to $ 600 seems a little sky-high. Am I correct that these organizations “adopt” highly desirable dogs from shelters and then re-operate them for profit?

In a way, these high fees could prevent dogs from being adopted by anyone. But in another way, they discourage legitimate adopters who cannot afford the fees.

I have also noticed that if I see a dog that interests me in a shelter, they are gone immediately. I think they can be captured by these rescue organizations. Small dogs, especially, because they are very adoptable.


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