Lady London

Hate Mail and Adoption Fees

#806, now Charlie

Did you know that Gisele gets nasty e-mails on a regular basis from people about her adoption fees? She used to reply to them but doesn’t even bother any more. 

This one arrived today and in a weak moment, she forwarded to me: Your prices are ridiculously HIGH. Please do not call this an “adoption”, it is a sale! – Melvin

I have a reply for Melvin from Gisele. I’m sure he’ll never read it, but I just feel better for having written it. So, this is for Melvin and all his like-minded e-mail buddies:

Dear Melvin,

Thank you for your input. After a long day of working with the dogs, I can’t begin to tell you how uplifting I found it. I’m sure with your vast experience in rescue, you can relate to this.

Perhaps you can help me more. What is the “right” adoption fee for a dog?

Before you answer, perhaps you should do a little experiment. How about YOU start your own rescue like I did just over a year ago.

Make sure that at least 85% of the dogs you rescue are on death row. And out of state (remember to plan on the
transportation and boarding costs). Since these shelters don’t do heartworm tests, plan on at least 10% being heartworm positive (you’ll have to pay for the treatment, plus they’ll be with you longer because they are harder to place).
Kennel cough ~ you’re going to end up with at least one new dog with it, he’ll pass it to the others, and they’ll all have to be treated. And plan on one developing canine influenza from it and dying in your arms after you’ve spent thousands of dollars trying to save its life. And you may as well plan on at least a couple of others dying in your arms as well ~ parvo, malnutrition, heartworms ~ the percentages just play out.

Goldie Hawn

Of course, you need to feed them, whether they get adopted or not. Shots, heartworm preventive, flea preventive, spay and neuter them all. I’m sorry, the vets are maxed out and cannot cut you a break in the bill. Well, there is one vet who is a little less expensive, but it’s a 40 mile round trip, and they’ll fit you in when they can, they want you to pick up the dog just before closing when fixed, so that’s 80 miles, and pretty much your whole day.

Oh, and don’t count on any donations. The economy is tight, other rescues are established, and you’re just not going to get them.

 

Dee's Fuffy Puppies

 

And sleep? Well, you’re not going to get a lot, After all, you want your dogs to have the best chance of success in their new homes, so if they wake up at night and have to potty, you’ll get up and let them out because you don’t want them pooping in their crate. And, of course, once one wakes up, they all wake up, so this will probably take at least an hour. It will happen at least once during the night. But you’ll get a lot done during the day because they wake up at 5am to help you get an early start.

And you’ll have lots of time because you can’t take any time off ~ the dogs have to be taken care of every day and there is no one who will volunteer to stay in your home and take care of that many dogs.

But don’t worry, when you’ve had a tough day, you can count on getting an uplifting e-mail from someone who wants to compare your efforts to those of a government-subsidized shelter, where the dogs often have to poop in their crates, get minimum human interaction and, after a short period of time, are euthanized. Or maybe to an established rescue that has a large volunteer and donation base.

Chipley

After all, their criticism is just meant to help you. With no regard to the 200+ dogs that you rescued and placed in loving homes in your first year, 200 dogs that would probably be dead if it were not for you.

So, Melvin, give it a shot. Rescue 200+ dogs over the next 365 days. Keep track of your expenses, and then let me know what my adoption fees should be. I look forward to hearing from you this time next year. ~Holly

 

Click here for more Facebook Comments

Jackson Browne

Holly, thanks for taking the time for writing this, I’m sure that no one remembers, every time I get a donation, I lower the price of all of the dogs across the board. I know you’ll remember that Holly, because you’re the one that executes my requests on PetFinder. Thanks for all you do for me, for us, and for the dogs Holly. You’re the best.

What’s not mentioned is my 17 hours a day/7 days a week work schedule, the 300+ emails a day, non-stop phone calls, blogging, facebook, photography, and youtube work and that’s just to facilitate adoptions. When it comes time to do a shelter pull and work with transport coordinators, everything stops until the coordinating is complete and I’m faced with catching up. I wonder if Melvin has got what it takes to do a blog like this one, AND keep it up.

Stella

Our adoption fees tend to be around $350 for adult dogs, $450 for puppies. Regardless, the adoption fee covers the expenses of that one dog, and what’s left over (if anything) is used to rescue/save the next dog. Each dog that’s adopted from us ensures that it’s predecessor is covered, regardless of their medical condition. ~Gisele

If you are interested in meeting one of our dogs, please read our Adoption Process page.

09/28/11 Update:  Well, it’s been over a year since we published this post, and yes, I do still get hate mail! Our situation has not changed, our prices have not changed, and yet for every one dog I rescue, I know there’s a thousand dogs that I didn’t or couldn’t.

Dudley, came to us emaciated, coughing, and to be honest… half-dead. We didn’t know that when the vet at the pound neutered him, his medical condition was so fragile, it could’ve killed him. So, we gave him a chest x-ray because of the coughing, and found a bullet. Gee, how nice.

How many deaf/blind dogs have we rescued? I have lost count.

How many injured legs have we repaired? I’ve lost count of that too.

How many heartworm positive dogs have I rescued since last year? Dozens, I’m sure! Just this week I vetted two heartworm positive dogs, Lady Victoria and Lady Melbourne. While we spayed Lady Victoria, we took that nasty looking tumor off her belly. So next time someone wants to give her a belly rub it won’t gross them out! Did I have to have it removed? The vet said no. I said yuck, take it off!

When rescuing the Breeder dogs, we had eight dogs. Six were heartworm positive. Four had such nasty teeth, they were cleaned. Two had tooth extractions. Thank goodness for Lynne Deal’s donation on that day!

And the puppies. Do you really think we get healthy puppies from the pound? Rarely. Holly’s up all night, cleaning vomit, giving fluids, now she’s making home made chicken stew just to put meat on the little things.

Mom always said, if you’re going to do something, do it right.

No, not much has changed in a year.





Email us for more information: TheDogLiberator@gmail.com







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13 Comments

  1. lisagroeninger

    07.06.2010

    Reply

    grrr….these emails just get me…so while I could get on my own soap box, I will just say, "ditto what Holly said" so eloquently…and thank you Giselle and Holly for all that you do for rescue…

  2. Gisele

    07.06.2010

    Reply

    Holly,

    I just read the blog website about Melvin and his nasty e-mail. I don't have an account so I couldn't reply to the blog on the website, but I do want you to know how much you and Gisele are appreciated:

    I just adopted Lexie a week ago and am so amazed at her! She is 10 weeks old and is crate trained and potty trained. Why? Because she had constant interaction with humans and other animals. Someone was always there teaching and training her. She is very loving and doesn't have a bad trait in her! I paid a higher adoption fee for her than I would have paid at my local humane society, but I can tell you I don't regret it and know I got my money's worth! So thank you Gisele and Holly for all that you do! One puppy is hard enough work and I couldn't imagine anymore at one time! You are truly amazing people and don't let people like Melvin make you think otherwise!
    Joanna

    Joanna,

    Thank you! I can't tell you how much your words mean to me. It really is hard when we get the nasty criticisms. Everyone judges. When I was with Pet Rescue By Judy, we got critized for our fees too, even though they were usually just $150. Such people have no appreciation for the time, money and LOVE that we put into these pets.

    I just sent you an invitation to post comments on our blog. I hope that you will accept it and paste your e-mail into it. If you'd rather not, may I do so?

    Thank you for adopting Lexie. I can't believe how close you came to not getting her. It is just another testimoney to how, when we're patient, the right dog ends up with the right person. And you, my dear, are the right person! When you have a chance,would you send me a new photo of you two together and a testimoney to post on our "Praise" page? We can tell people how great we are all day, but it carries more weight if comes from an adopter!

    I expect to post Maggie's puppies available for deposits this week. If you have anyone who is into little dogs, let them know. They are four weeks old today and already paper trained. Am I good or what? Or maybe it's the poodle in them….

    Thank you again for your kind words. They have made my day!

    Holly

  3. Gisele

    07.06.2010

    Reply

    Posted on Facebook:
    Willie Morelli: Yes, well written! I do apreciate the ignorance of the Melvins out there because it just makes it that much easier to flag the least desirable applicants for adoption. However, most of the dogs on death row are a product of that ignorance.

  4. Cyndy

    07.06.2010

    Reply

    Dear Gisele,
    As part of my son's school projects, he is required to do volunteer community service. One of the many things I love about his school! He had no problem selecting what he would like to do. Matthew's intense love of animals set him to doing much research in selecting and working with a dog rescue group. After looking at many sites he came upon The Dog Liberator several times. When I asked him why he had chose this particular group he sat me down to show me hundreds of videos pictures and comments. He said, "mom, can't you just see how much they care about these dogs. They don't just put in homes, they love on them and make them better and send them to people who will make sure and love them too!" Oh out of the mouth of a babe! He begged me for 2 weeks to call. Doing as commanded, we set a day to meet. It was love at first sight! On the way up to visit, Matthew was talking to me about Gracie. He asked if there was anything we could do to help. Melvin….my 13 year old son paid $125 from his savings account to pay for Gracie's heartworm treatment. A dog he had never even seen! I can tell you that savings was for some new and great videos game I am sure he wanted, but even at 13 he knew to give back! So Mr. Melvin instead of asking" what can they do for me, ask what you can do for them!: Maybe even you can lean for a child! Also, I would be particularly interested to see your point of view, once you take your head out of you a@#!
    Cyndy

  5. Meh

    01.19.2011

    Reply

    Um, I get the frustration. You're doing a great thing by organizing adoptions and the health of these animals.

    But this post is completely unhelpful. Responsible, potential dog owners need to know how much the cost is going to be, that's a legitimate concern. So when I click here looking for that information and read a big long response to some random email (instead of, you know, actual information about adoption costs and what it covers) makes me wonder that maybe you ARE charging too much. Especially if you're going to waste time and space on the blog defending it.

    The internet is a big place with lots of mean people on it. Can we, ya know, move on and just stick to the topic? Consider just stating the fees on this page entitled "Adoption Fees".

  6. Gisele Veilleux

    01.21.2011

    Reply

    Meh, the date of post is July 5, 2010. I think we have all moved on. All of our adoption fees are located on the very first line of our dogs' descriptions on PetFinder and other Pet Adoption sites.

    • maggie minetti

      08.10.2011

      Reply

      being the owner of 9 dogs and knowing how expensive it is to just have them in my home i personally think your adoption fees are 110% accurate. we had our border collie (agility dog) break his leg by clipping the fence post at full border collie speed, that was othapedic surgery, and over 3000.00. the joy of seeing him run again was worth it. so i understand what you go thru trying to save as many as possible, and dont let the idiots get to you, you are in my book, what i esteem to be, a saint.thank u for all your good work

  7. Gisele

    09.28.2011

    Reply

    It’s been over a year since we published this. I thought it was time for an update. Things just don’t change!

  8. Marjie

    10.11.2011

    Reply

    About your unbelievable high fees… I was in the mall today and over heard the price of a couple of designer mutts for sale at the puppy store. (UGH!) The one was labeled as a Yorkie mix. Mixed with what they did not say. The other was labeled a Puggle. The store had several other mixed breed mutts. I recall one that was labeled as a pure breed. Anyway, the Yorkie mix and the Puggle were priced at over $1000 each. This did not include any vetting other than whatever shots the dogs have at the time of sale. Seems TDL rescue donations are more reasonable… and often for Pure breed dogs too! Only my opinion tho. ;o) I think I will start caring TDL cards to give PPL who think they want a puppy mill baby so they can save $$ AND still get a dog who is better than most!

  9. Susan

    11.17.2011

    Reply

    Our response to the adoption fee was that we gave more than was requested for Adopting Flynn…(aka Sundance) These wonderful people need all the support they can get. Thank you TDL xoxo Susan, Pete & Flynn

  10. pollyb

    01.02.2012

    Reply

    Please helping is not asking for people for a sale of a dog’ we need to step up and pay to help ‘please be kind ‘just help &think of the dogs not the cost of the adoption’ sheesh ‘ its a living thing what needs help’ i rescued my golden and paid dearly for her to be healthy’ i never looked back” hope they all get homes you do a grand Job. Pollyb & her golden Reese

  11. Sherry Kaschak

    02.12.2012

    Reply

    Clearly Melvin is a moron, and probably shouldn’t have a pet. Your adoption fee is more than reasonable, and i will add you to my short list of charity donations. it’s obvious you all do this from the heart, as there is no way anyone can be making money given all that is involved. i’m sure you are familiar with the famous Ghandi quote “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”. Well as a society we have a long way to go, but TDL can take pride in being on the forefront in showing kindness and compassion to animals who cannot stand up for themselves.

  12. Pam Kauranen-DiRocco

    09.08.2013

    Reply

    Hi Giselle,
    You don’t need to justify your prices…what you do is so much more valuable than what you’re asking for in donation/adoption fees. In reality, if these folks don’t find value in you, your services & these dogs….what kind of home are these rescued dogs getting into? Probably not another healthy environment…
    Pets aren’t cheap! A vet bill for our rescue is $300 an average visit. I don’t squabble the price because my little KT is worth so much more. So if these people say they can’t “afford your adoption fee” say “thank you” ! My dogs can’t afford to be in your custody;)

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