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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > RESCUE EFFORTS FOR SHELTERS > Morgan - Rabbit at the Ashland Co HS (Ohio) - Adoption fee?
Last Post by RabbitPam at 3/13/2012 12:34 PM (21 Replies)
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User is Offline Morgan Bun
52 posts Send Private Message
2/22/2012 1:20 PM

I read the rescue section rules, and I believe this fits within the guidelines..... if not, please let me know and I'll delete it.

I'm fostering Morgan, a neutered adult male bun, for the humane society in Ashland County Ohio. We've had a considerable amount of interest in him, but none have followed through, and I believe the "interest" tends to wane after they find out the adoption fee. This makes me a little sad, cuz a few of the interested parties sounded like FANTASTIC homes.

Morgan's adoption fee (set by the HS, not me) is $50. This is due to the cost of neuter. No supplies or cage are included with the adoption, though I do tend to include some things of my own for my fosters when they're adopted (bag of food, treats, toys, something).

Fellow rabbit rescues, do you mind me asking what your adoption fees are for altered rabbits? I'm wondering if this is too high.....

 


User is Online Monkeybun
Hillsboro, Oregon
10463 posts Send Private Message
2/22/2012 1:43 PM
Rabbit Advocates and the Oregon Humane Society both have single altered buns for $35, and thats the low end of the scale. Often I see ads for around $75-100 in other areas, so $50 is reasonable. If someone isn't willing to spend $50 on a pet, then they aren't the right people to adopt anyway

User is Offline peppypoo
Texas
Forum Leader
1953 posts Send Private Message
2/22/2012 2:50 PM

The adoption fee for a single rabbit here is $125 (which is the highest I've heard) and $185 for a pair. However, the rescue in the city where my parents live charge $85/$110 for single/pair. Every time this topic comes up, it seems like the rescues in my area charge a lot more than those in other places, I wonder why.

If a potential adopter is put off by the charge, have you explained how it's a lot cheaper already than purchasing a baby rabbit and paying for a neuter yourself? Also, agreed with Monkeybun - if a one-time $50 sounds like a lot to them, you might want to go over the regular costs of owning a rabbit and emphasize that while not exorbitantly expensive, rabbits aren't the cheapest of pets to keep either.

Tammo (RIP), Milo (RIP), Peppy, Remi

User is Offline emkvet
373 posts Send Private Message
2/22/2012 4:19 PM
I agree with Peppy and Monkeybun...if someone thinks $50 is a lot to pay for an already-altered rabbit, they should perhaps rethink them as pets. Veterinary bills can get quite high, even with just yearly exams, not to mention any emergencies or illnesses. I think $50 is actually a cheap price, since altering can be quite expensive anyway. Besides, Morgan is totally worth it...he's a gorgeous bun! I would snatch him up in a minute if I could.

I'm sure he'll find his special people someday, but I'd stay strong on the price to make sure he's going to a good home where they understand that rabbits need special care and can be somewhat costly to keep.

Good luck!

User is Offline Morgan Bun
52 posts Send Private Message
2/23/2012 1:45 AM
Thanks everyone for the input. I called around years ago to get pricing for a rabbit alter and there was only one vet in town that would even consider it, and the cost was well over $400. I was shocked. (fortunately, we now have a mobile unit that comes to Ashland once a month and does rabbits for $50) So I agree, the $50 for an altered rabbit is definitely reasonable. My concern was that maybe the HS fee was more than what other rescues were charging for rabbit fees. And so I looked at Petfinder for other rabbit rescues to get a feel for local fees, and none of the rabbit rescues had theirs listed. So I had nothing to really compare to. :-) We've adopted rabbits out before for the $50 but they were younger, we knew more about them, they were "desirable breeds" (one was a lionhead).

Morgan is totally worth it. He's a good bun. I want to see him get a good home.

User is Online Sarita
(Dallas)
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2/23/2012 3:06 AM
Maybe the Humane Society can let potential adopters know what the adoption fee covers and the cost for a spay/neuter in the area for a rabbit. Sometimes it's about marketing.

But $50 heck, that's a good deal :~) By and far most adoption fee's do not even begin to take care of the cost of caring for an animal. Most people need to see the big picture of the costs that non-profits incur...it's not just the cost of the alteration but the cost to house, feed, care, etc...of each and every animal.

User is Offline bunnyfriend
Wisconsin
2343 posts Send Private Message
2/23/2012 3:11 PM

At the humane society near me it costs $30 for a single bunny and $45 for a bonded pair.

But I agree with everyone, $50 is a good price and if someone is going to adopt a rabbit they should be prepared to spend way more than that on actual care, supplies, vet bills, ect. And the humane society needs the money from those adoption fees.

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User is Offline Morgan Bun
52 posts Send Private Message
2/25/2012 11:03 AM
Sarita.... unfortunately our hs is lacking in many ways.... marketing is one. I held the marketing chair when I was on the board, and I spent a lot of time creating brochures, flyers, website, facebook, business cards, event flyers, quarterly newsletters....but since I resigned, that has all stopped. :-(

When I email interested people I do explain that the adoption fee covers a portion of the cost of care for the rabbit. I guess some people can't get past the "We can get a rabbit for $25 at a pet store" mind set..... and they don't see what they're really getting for that $50 from the HS.

On a good note, I do have someone that wants to come meet Morgan tomorrow!

They already have one (spayed) female rabbit, and they want to get a second, to eventually bond with their girl. Seeing Morgan with the kitties, I really think he would like a friend of his own kind.... Fingers crossed that they absolutely love him. :-)


User is Online Sarita
(Dallas)
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2/25/2012 11:11 AM
I hope that works out - he's such a doll.

User is Offline bunnyfriend
Wisconsin
2343 posts Send Private Message
2/25/2012 1:19 PM
I wish those people could understand that the hs is saving them lots of money on a spay/neuter!

Good luck tomorrow!!! I'm sure they love him
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User is Offline Morgan Bun
52 posts Send Private Message
2/26/2012 7:42 AM
:-(

They didn't come.

She called me an hour before they were to be here, clearly upset, because her husband told her as they were on their way out the door that he didn't feel it was a good idea to get another rabbit right now. She apologized like crazy, and even confided in me how upset and mad at him she was for all of this. She wished for Morgan to find a good home, and cried as we said goodbye.

I don't know what to think. It's obvious she was more interested than I had originally thought, and he dashed that plan at literally the last minute. I'm so torn....I'm awfully disappointed that Morgan didn't get what sounded like a terrific home, and I'm also glad that he expressed his opinion BEFORE adopting him and not waiting til they got him home and resenting it. But I feel really bad for her. And Morgan.

*sigh*

User is Offline Quantum
Olympia, WA USA
286 posts Send Private Message
2/26/2012 12:06 PM
Both the Humane Society and Rabbit Haven (a rabbit rescue organization) charge the same fee here--$65 for a single, $120 for a pair. In comparison, a standard dog adoption is $120 or $170 to adopt a puppy (that's at the Humane Society)! Here, the cost pays for spaying/neutering, socialization (all of the buns spend time in foster homes), a free vet check-up (if done within 5 days and at a particular clinic)--seems like a pretty good deal to me at $65, so $50 is more than reasonable.

Give poor Morgan a snuggle from me. He's obviously a bun with a lot to give the right person or family and I'll hope that they find each other soon.

User is Offline Rabbitologist Anne
102 posts Send Private Message
3/02/2012 2:52 PM

I'm in the SF Bay Area - At Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary, our adoption fee is $50, as is Bananas for Bunnies rescue, and Hayward Animal Shelter.  The Oakland Animal Shelter's rabbit adoption fee is $35.  At both the Hayward Animal Shelter & the Oakland Animal Shelter, these adoption fees are subsidized by the "Friends Of" non-profits for each of the shelters, as the spay/neuter surgery costs $60-100 (neuter vs. spay vs. complications).

About a year ago, we updated our PetFinder listings for each rabbit to include the following text, and it has eliminated people emailing us to ask "how much," and those who inquire are not put off by a $50 adoption fee:

"The adoption fee for a rabbit from Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary is $50, and includes spay/neuter and a coupon for 20% off at Pet Food Express."

Hope that helps!

-Anne


User is Offline Eepster
710 posts Send Private Message
3/03/2012 7:43 AM
Porky's adoption fee was $30. It included the small cage he was abandoned in and a certificate for a free neuter (he was too underweight when he was abandoned to be neutered right away.) I actually never considered taking him for the free neuter, we consulted our own exotics vet about that (and decided to not do it for various reasons.)

I think mind set has a lot to do with this. It isn't necessarily a question of whether or not $50 is too much money as how people view the $50. If people are looking at the $50 as the price of a bunny, it high. Especially when people are viewing adopting vs. going to a breeder as an altruistic gesture in the first place.

For just slightly more money, I could have gone to a breeder. I could have gotten an english angora and had fluff to spin (I spin yarn.) I would have had a bunny that I knew how old it was, and had a well known medical history. Instead we adopted a bunny, not to save money, but for the sake of the bunny.

Frankly from a monetary point of view, an unaltered well bred bunny is a better value than a fixed mutt even if the mutt is free. If we had a well bred angora boy, he could go visit the lady bunnies and we could collect a stud fee. I could certainly sell the yarn. As much as we love Porky, he cost us plenty each month and he brings in no income at all.

Choosing to adopt Porky instead of buying a fancy bunny was an act of generosity. When being generous, it kind of bugs one to have to pay for it. I think how the adoption fee was asked for in Porky's case made a huge difference. It wasn't called a fee, they said "we ask for a $30 donation when we adopt out our bunny's." I think calling it a donation instead of a fee is really key here. We actually gave the rescue Porky came from a larger donation ($100) than they asked for, since they asked for a donation instead of over charging us for a very low value used bunny.

User is Offline Morgan Bun
52 posts Send Private Message
3/10/2012 1:51 AM
Morgan was adopted last night. He now belongs to a little girl who he took to right away, which is great, because he has always been hesitant with new people/places/things. Of course Mom will be his caretaker, but he is the girl's rabbit. I really liked this family, and Morgan seemed very comfortable with them. They have another bun that they hope to bond him with.

I like the idea of calling it a donation instead of a fee, and may use that myself, even though the HS probably won't. But I don't like the mindset that shelter/rescue rabbits are "very low value used bunny". I understand the mindset from a breeder standpoint, but I think when someone is wanting to adopt and "Save a life" the street value (for lack of a better term) is unimportant.... I have a house full of low value used animals. I think purebreds are great, but the mutts in my house were all taken from bad situations, their lives improved, saved. Can't put a street value on that.

User is Online Sarita
(Dallas)
Forum Leader
17939 posts Send Private Message
3/10/2012 3:12 AM
That's wonderful :~)

I agree with you as well about shelter rabbits....donation/fee though, makes no difference, it's not a purchase, the fee/donation is going towards keeping the shelter/rescue going, not to make money and people don't see the whole picture anyway...it's not just about this one particular rabbit, it's about the whole organization...let's face it, once one rabbit is adopted out, another is coming in and they need vet care, food, housing, etc...there is a cost to that.

User is Offline Morgan Bun
52 posts Send Private Message
3/11/2012 7:56 AM
Exactly, Sarita.... Without adoption fees, shelters and rescues would never survive. That's much more spend-worthy than buying a breeder's offspring, and no pedigree is worth as much as saving a life. But that's my soapbox, and I could go on..... ;-)

I miss the hell out of Morgan. :-( I'm not new to fostering, but some stick harder than others.... Morgan was a keeper. He just didn't fit in here. Much as I loved that bun, we weren't a good permanent solution for him, and that makes me sad. I'm so happy for him, but I'm pretty bummed for myself. Its been coming and going all weekend.... :-(

User is Offline RabbitPam
South Florida
Forum Leader
10587 posts Send Private Message
3/12/2012 6:25 AM
Morgan Bun, it's been a bit of an emotional roller coaster for you this weekend, with the woman/husband conflict (wasn't a happy home for him after all, and possibly not for her either ) and then a good adoption and his absence. I just want to say "Congratulations - foster job well done!" It's why many of us don't have the mettle to foster. We'd just keep them all.

Eepster, I'd like to address a few points you made. First, "donation" is a good way to explain, although I think it's necessary to keep using the word "fee" because it's not optional. But immediately explaining that it's a donation to the shelter's operating costs/bunny care is very helpful. The problem with a low fee (and $50 is fine for the reasons others have stated already) is that snake owners are on the lookout for free or low cost bunnies for food. It's a terrible problem on Craigslist, so between screening and fees at shelters, you're really saving a bunny's life in several ways. And explaining the long term cost expectations of a bunny for the next decade is also wise.

As for neutering, it is great to have a neutered bunny from the rescue, due to the cost. Females must be done due to cancer risks, and with males, the effect on hormones (calmer, no spraying) plus the risk of future pregnancy in any other bunny they come into contact with makes it an important step.

Eepster, you wrote "If we had a well bred angora boy, he could go visit the lady bunnies and we could collect a stud fee." I just want to remind you that Intentional Breeding is against the BinkyBunny forum rules here, and that would constitute it. I realize that your point is that you did not opt for that, and instead, rescued a bunny which was kind, but if you ever decide to stud a bunny, it's out of our realm of what's acceptable for membership here. Thought I'd let you know in case you weren't aware. That said, I want to see those angora sweaters you make!

Morgan Bun, congrats again. If you can, please keep the same name, since it's hard to know members when their names change. It's a reminder of Morgan, but in a nice way.

 photo CarrotCrop100x500BBSiggy_zps0f2147e4.jpg Have your people call my people. We'll do carrots.

User is Offline Eepster
710 posts Send Private Message
3/12/2012 10:38 PM
I was aware we aren't supposed to discuss breeding, but I thought that was specifically that we aren't supposed to give or solicit advice on how to, not that we never mentioned it at all. I can see though that getting into the reasons we choose not to breed could lead to contentious debate with people coming from other forums.

I was never under the impression that Porky's adoption fee/donation was optional, just b/c of the way it was worded. Of course there are many reasons it needs to be required. Beyond the ones already mentioned, I think a big part of it is simply to show that the adoptive family is totally invested in the bunny. The adoption fee/donation is of course just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the costs of bunny ownership. My willingness to give the donation for Porky even though the shelter he came from got Porky for free after all does say that I value Porky, even if he has a really low street value. (I must say referring to it as street value keeps making me laugh.)

I really do think that the donation should be thought of as a donation though, even if it is a required one. For starters, I've seen people advertise "adoption fees" when they are independent people not linked to a shelter and it makes me wonder if the are really just selling bunnies. I actually googled to make sure Porky's foster mom was linked to a legit shelter (yes I'm getting cynical in my old age.) Donation are often not optional for some things. An obvious example is when you have to make a specific donation to an organization to receive it's news letter. If you don't give a donation of $X.XX to offset the cost of sending you the news letter, the organization won't send you the news letter.

User is Offline RabbitPam
South Florida
Forum Leader
10587 posts Send Private Message
3/13/2012 3:39 AM
Eepster, your point about donations not being optional is understandable, especially in the circumstances you describe, but I am coming from previous work in non-profit organizations, and I have seen many people interpret "donation" (and perhaps rightly so) as optional. Often if the visitor is cash poor, they are not required to donate to visit the facility. So using fee eliminates wiggle room and debate.

Thanks for understanding about breeding. It's just better not to bring up because experience has taught that it leads to heated discussions of pros and cons, which BB in her wisdom has asked to be a non-topic. There are many sites that advocate breeding and give good information on the subject, so our members can seek out and learn from those as well.
And btw, being cynical about checking on the background of a foster's affiliation is not cynical at all. It's using sensible caution to prevent risk to yourself and others, and I advocate that anyone do what you did, which is confirm legitimacy of any person or advertisement that requires communication with strangers. With all the spam and scary events in the news, it's easier than ever to lure nice people into harm's way. It never hurts to take a minute and call back an organization to confirm before proceeding.

A savvy bunny has good street cred.
 photo CarrotCrop100x500BBSiggy_zps0f2147e4.jpg Have your people call my people. We'll do carrots.
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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > RESCUE EFFORTS FOR SHELTERS > Morgan - Rabbit at the Ashland Co HS (Ohio) - Adoption fee?

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