The process of adopting a life-long companion from us is very simple. Once you see an animal you are interested in, please fill out an adoption application available at firstname.lastname@example.org. Someone will get back to you in 24-48 hours. You can call us to make an appointment to see an animal. Not all of our dogs will be at our central location as some will be in foster homes, so please email or call to make sure the dog you are interested in is there before coming.
OUR ADOPTION FEES
Normally our fees for dogs are:
** $250 for puppies under 12 months and small breed dogs of all ages
** $200 for large breed puppies 12 months-3 years
** $150 for large breed adults over 3
** $100 for the Featured Pet of the month
** Occasionally seniors or special needs are FREE to qualified homes.
**An important note about adoption fees**
Rescue is never ending, back breaking, heartwrenching and sleepless work. Typically our central holds 15-25 dogs, 10-15 birds, 5-10 ferrets, and a number of other smaller animals. There are two full time volunteers who care for the animals 24/7. These two volunteers also have full time jobs and families. Daily duties include walking, playing with animals, cleaning, doing laundry, giving medications and baths, running animals to the vet, doing paperwork, buying food/toys/medication, etc. Usually, this is a 2-3 hour process that occurs 3-4 times a day, with the help of other volunteers. We go through 100-150 LBS of dog food a week, 20 LBS of bird food, rat, ferret, cat and other such food. Pounds of towels, newspapers, paper towels, cleaners, mops, brooms, trashbags, toys, water and food bowls. Every month we administer Heartguard plus and frontline plus to *every* animal in the shelter, including animals as small as rats and ferrets, as well as deworm all dogs and cats. We are constantly scouring classifieds adds for inexpensive caging and supplies.
Every animal that we take from animal control is ill in one way or another. I have never, in 10 years, taken a healthy animal from AC. If we are lucky, it is kennel cough and worms, relatively easy to treat. Unlucky, and its heartworms, parvo, distemper, camphy, giardia, coccidia, mange, or any combination of the above. On several occasion.. we've gotten a dog with every one of those. The cheapest- kennel cough and worms, tends to run about $55 in medications. The most expensive, Heartworms and Parvo, tend to be about $500 each. On multiple occasions, we have taken on special needs dogs that have required many surgeries or on going therapy, resulting in thousands of dollars spent. Dogs that have been shot, have broken bones, seriously injured and ill dogs.
For every dog and puppy that goes up for adoption, please understand that there are some that did not make it, that we were unable to save, but still spent precious resources on. Please understand the thousands we spend on animals every month, that we will never be able to recover. Our adoption fees do not go over $200 for dogs- but we have been known to spend $4500 on a single animal.
I can not tell you how many emails I get from people who say things like "I want to adopt a dog, but I cant afford your adoption fees, why cant you just give the animal away?" or "I can offer you half of your asking fee". We get emails asking why rescue groups charge $200 or so for their animals, while animal controls charge as low as $50. First, If you can not afford a $200 adoption fee, you can not afford a dog. What happens if your dog eats a toy and gets blocked and requires emergancy surgery to the tune of $2000? Second, please, please do not insult us by saying our fees are too high. To someone who spends every minute of every day doing nothing but working with these animals, staying up nights trying to nurse dying animals along, disregarding vacations and any personal needs, there can be nothing more insulting then to challange motives. Yes, there have been individuals posing as rescue groups who have done all rescuers a disservice by selling animals they recieved for free, and doing no vet work. However, all responsible rescue groups have all vet paperwork and can provide proof and records to verify these claims.
As for the difference between animal control and animal rescue groups, please, please by all means, adopt from animal control. It saves us the trouble of spending gutwrenching hours trying to find the resources and foster homes available to get them out of their cell before they are shoved into a gas chamber. But just remember... the only difference between the dogs WE get, and the dogs YOU get, is we dont pay the $50 adoption fee. Thats right- the dogs we get that have giardia, coccida, parvo, worms, heartworms, kennel cough, mange... etc etc.. the dogs we spend up to $5000 on? Those are the same dogs. For $150 more, you are getting an animal that has had EVERYTHING done, and all of those illnesses treated.
Adoption fees include the following:
All age appropriate vaccines
Heartworm preventative and flea control every month
Treatment for various illnesses associated with intake, such as kennel cough, distemper, parvo, heartworms, mange and any other problems presented.
50% off a 6 week puppy kindergarten training course
Rabies, Distemper vaccines
HW and Flea prevention
Complete blood work including psiticossis and PBFD test and DNA sexing
There is no such thing as a free animal. If you were to answer a "Free to good home" add and recieve a free puppy, naturally your next step would be the vets. Your first vet visit would include vaccines, a fecal, deworming, examination, HW/Flea control and lets say, microchipping. It would also include any medication needed for possible illnesses. Lets say the puppy is perfectly healthy and only requires basic medications. That vet visit would still cost you between $100-$200. That does not include neutering/spaying. Lets say the puppy was discovered with parvo. Congratulations, you just spent anywhere from $400-$1000.
I hope this has opened some eyes regarding adoption fees from reputable rescues, and allow you to understand what we really go through. If you still think that animal rescue groups should not charge adoption fees, or should charge very low fees, please, volunteer with a group for just 2 weeks. I guarantee you will change your mind.
I.C.A.R.E is a rescue group dedicated to the placement of unique animals in desperate need of homes. We specialize in death row dogs, dogs that otherwise would not have a chance, and pregnant dogs. We try to pull 2-3 a week from high kill shelters in the charlotte/gastonia area. We do not normally deal in cats. We do accept owner surrendered ferrets, exotics, birds and reptiles. We are licensed for large animal exotics, but do not always have the room.
. Some of our dogs are in foster homes throughout charlotte and NC. We do adopt out of state.