The Real Cost of Adopting an Animal

By on June 26, 2016

Upon entering the Nebraska Humane Society, or any large-ish, popular shelter, take a seat. It won’t be long until you’ll hear something to this effect:


“They’re a non-profit, right? So why do they charge $200 for a dog? It’s a dog!”

OR you’ll hear someone say…

“Well, I’ve only got $100, so I guess this is the dog I can afford.”


For those of us who “get it,” these statements are just plain dumb. And while we’re all here, this is why: A shelter like the NHS, has a huge building, and over 100 staff members, and lights to keep on, and animal control vehicles driving all over town, and care to give animals, AND AND AND. That’s why the animals have a cost fixed to them. In fact, the care your adopted animal receives is probably not paid for by the adoption fee you paid.


As for the “I’ve got $100” adopter, we’ve created a little infographic that will help you determine whether your $100 will cover the cost of owning the animal you adopt. Before you look, however, just know the answer is “no.”

Vet care, food, toys, time spent enriching your pet, supplies, medication, etc. These are all yearly costs that you can expect. And, darn your luck, dogs and cats get sick or injured. It’s inevitable. There are costs associated with those times.


So. If you’ve got $100, that’s a good start. Now save a bit, make sure you’ll have what it takes every time your animal needs something. That’s what it means to be a responsible pet owner. If you don’t have what it takes, your animal will likely be unhappy, unhealthy, will end up back at the shelter — or worse. Here’s what you can expect to pay (typically) for a dog or a cat. Please adopt, don’t buy. Please only do this when you are fully able. Pet ownership is not a right.



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