Cost of a Rescue Doxie

Why does it cost so much for a rescue dachshund?

Anyone who has done breed rescue work has been asked this question many times over. “If you’re really interested in helping, you should do it for free”, we are told. To which we will usually respond, “What have you ever received for free that was truly valuable, or really free?”

Florida Dachshund Rescue strongly encourages anyone who is trying to re-home their beloved pet to ask for and actually collect an adoption fee. We suggest that you ask for a fee so that you don’t get people looking for free dogs for bad purposes. Whether they donate that to their church, another rescue, our rescue, or stick it in their pocket, is not important to us. What is important is that the fee be requested.

Rescue Costs
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.
$10-$25 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 forever 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 (including nail clipping & anal gland expression)
$25 average monthly heartworm & flea/tick

So, even if a healthy dog or puppy gets adopted within 4 weeks, we’re still looking at a cost of at least $80 in our case above. If the dog or puppy is otherwise healthy but a dog that requires grooming, that adds at least $30 to our bottom line, which takes us to $110 for a healthy dog or puppy who stays with our rescue group only one month.

The balance of an adoption fee would be applied to another dog’s expenses. Perhaps one of our seniors, for whom the adoption fee is only $25-$150, or one of the middle aged dogs, for whom the fee is $175.

Additional Rescue Costs
There are some rather routine things that need done to various dogs or puppies we take into Florida Dachshund 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

Extraordinary Interventions
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+ back surgery
$500 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.

Take the list of services above to your veterinarian and ask them what they would charge you to complete everything that rescue provides for you. I think you’ll agree that $150 -$350 for a fully vetted animal (with records) is a bargain. Those of us who do rescue truly do it for our love of the animals. It’s obvious there’s no money to be made in rescue work.