Saving Money with Shelter Adoptions

Blog the ChangeToday is Be the Change for Animals Day, a quarterly event to encourage bloggers to write about the always-present need to speak up on behalf of animals. Held the 15th of January, April, July, and October, this event draws writers from across the blogosphere covering all aspects of this topic. (You’ll see a link list below to check out more posts for this special day.)

A while back we put out a challenge to readers to visit your local shelter the next time you need a pet and encourage friends to make a shelter visit. Both our dogs are from shelters and we couldn’t be happier.

But one thing we didn’t talk about in that post is the financial benefit of adopting from a shelter. Aside from the very real benefit of saving a dog or cat’s life, let’s talk dollars and cents.

dog-adoption-signThe most economical place to get a dog is a local shelter where you’ll be saving a life and gaining a new best friend. Although fees and services vary from location to location, for about a $100 donation you can adopt a dog who usually has been spayed or neutered, received a health check, often been microchipped, and received shots appropriate for his age. When you look at everything the shelter donation includes, you’ll see the savings:

Value of shelter services:

    Spay or neuter: $150-$250 (depending on size, sex of dog)
    First year of shots $150
    Microchipping $50
    Deworming $30

Total: $380-$480

This savings doesn’t include other veterinary care the dog may have received, heartworm preventative, flea preventative, etc.

Let’s compare the cost of adoption to the services you’ll receive:

Value of shelter services received: $380-$480
Minus adoption fee: $100 (this varies)

Your savings: $280-$380

Now, compare that to what you’d spend for a dog from a breeder or pet store:

Average cost of purebred dog: $800 (or higher)
Cost of spaying/neutering: $150-$250
Total: $950-$1050 (or higher)

Compared to shelter adoption fee: $100 (this varies)

Amount you save by adopting instead of purchasing from a breeder or pet store: $850-$950 (or higher)

When you do the math, you’ll see that the shelter dog is a bargain!

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About Paris Permenter

Paris Permenter is the founder and co-publisher of LT Media Group LLC. Along with her husband, John Bigley, she edits,, and has authored over 30 books on pets and travel.