SHERIDAN — Sheridan’s Dog and Cat Shelter is raising dog adoption fees. This is the first time the rates have been raised in nine years, and the shelter’s charges are still well below state and national averages.
Dogs older than f4 months and 20 pounds will now be $75, and puppies under 4 months will be $90. Adult dogs weighing under 20 pounds will be $115, and senior dogs — those older than 7 years — are half price. These rates represent a $15 increase in each category for dog. Cat adoption fees will remain the same at $65 for young kittens and $50 for all other cats.
Shelter Director Cel Hope said the price hike is necessary to keep the shelter functioning, but indicated she is aware of what it means to possible pet adopters.
“We didn’t want the costs to become so great that it would prevent people from adopting the animals,” she said. “For the quality of animal they’re getting, it’s still a good deal.”
Hope said each dog and cat that is adopted out from the shelter has had a health check, is spayed or neutered, up-to-date on vaccinations and microchipped.
“The cost of everything keeps going up,” Hope said. “We’re constantly working to get money to keep the shelter in ordinary operations.
That’s one thing (the shelter’s board of trustees) targeted because we’re adopting out good animals that are in good shape, and it was time to raise fees a little to reflect the fact we’re trying to adopt out real quality animals.
In addition to making the pets street legal, Hope said shelter workers and volunteers work with the animals when possible to establish baseline training. She said these efforts are a local attempt to push back at the nationwide problem of pet overpopulation.
“The problem is in this country, there are more pets than there are homes,” Hope said, adding that approximately one quarter of the dogs who pass through the shelter are purebred. “We hope people would consider adopting a pet from us instead of encouraging someone to breed.”
“If someone is looking for a particular breed, chances are good we may be able to match them up with what they’re looking for,” she added, indicating the shelter also helps potential adopters determine which pet is best suited to their lifestyle.
According to information presented to the shelter’s board, nearby shelters that offer pets for adoption with similar “value-added” services charge between $135 and $250 for puppies.
Hope said Sheridan’s Dog and Cat Shelter adopts out approximately 200 dogs per year.
Adoption fees paid to the shelter go toward general operations of the facility.
Editor’s Note: Christina Schmidt, a Sheridan Press Staff member, serves on the board for the Sheridan Dog and Cat Shelter.