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Adoption fees

Why we charge an adoption fee

Animal Humane Society is a private, nonprofit organization that relies completely on private donations and its own fundraising abilities to operate. We receive no federal, state or government funding or any funds from any national animal welfare organizations.

The fees collected from the adoption of each animal help to offset some of the costs involved in providing care for the animals and preparing an animal for placement into a new home.

All adoptions are subject to an administrative fee and Minnesota sales tax. The administrative fee –$20 for dogs and cats and $5 for rabbits, birds, and critters – helps cover some of the costs associated with processing adoptions and provides revenue to support the animal adoption program and new initiatives.

What your adoption fee includes

Canine and feline adoption fees include:

  • A general physical examination and behavioral evaluation by our veterinary services staff
  • Canine or feline distemper combination vaccination and bordetella (canines only) Age-appropriate canines and felines also receive a rabies vaccination whenever possible
  • Deworming medication
  • Flea/tick treatment (if needed)
  • Canine heartworm test or feline leukemia test (if age appropriate and meets testing guidelines)
  • Spay/neuter surgery (if needed)
  • Free follow-up examination by a participating veterinarian
  • 30-day return period
  • Free medications for the first 14 days (if needed)
  • A free bag of Purina ONE pet food (while supplies last)
  • Free ID tag

Rabbit, ferret and chinchilla adoption fees include:

  • A general physical examination by our veterinary services staff
  • Spay/neuter surgery (if applicable)
  • Free follow-up examination by a participating veterinarian
  • 30-day trial period

Rodent and bird adoption fees include:

  • A general physical examination by our veterinary services staff
  • Free follow-up examination by a participating veterinarian (where seen)
  • 30-day trial period

How adoption fees are set

At AHS, we use a variable fee schedule to assign adoption fees.  This fee schedule takes into account the animal’s age, breed and size – all discerning factors when adopters consider a pet.

Some types of dogs and cats, for instance, are less common and there is a high demand for them so their fee might be higher.  Other types of dogs and cats are more common, or are older, or have other factors that may make it more difficult to find them a home.  A variable fee allows animals that are adopted quickly to provide a financial legacy to other animals that have special needs and/or remain at the shelter longer.  A small breed 8-week-old puppy, for example, is seen as highly desirable by the public and will adopt quickly.  A 10-year-old black lab mix is less demand and the lower fee encourages people to consider these dogs.

We know that every shelter animal is wonderful, each in its own unique way.  A variable fee structure that assigns higher fees to certain high demand animals ensures we have the funds to provide for other animals that have special needs and/or a more difficult time finding a new home.