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So freaking angry right now

This post has nothing to do with design or anything even remotely related but I am so pissed off I had to post about this. A Flickr friend Liz, also from Ottawa, posted a photo of her cute dog Paddington earlier tonight and there was quite a long description with it that I read and got more and more furious as I read it. See, Liz recently got a house and knew she wanted 2 dogs now that she has the space and wanted to get a rescue dog. (YAY Liz!) She found a Shih Tzu on the website of a local shelter and called to find out more information. Turns out the shelter wants a whopping SEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS for the dog because she is a miniature Shih Tzu and this is apparently rare. Liz was pretty angry about this and I TOTALLY agree. That is CRAZY to ask that much for a dog at a shelter. Apparently crazy to most folks because the dog, named Tica, is still not adopted. This shelter is in Gatineau, Quebec, and I have to say that if the Ottawa Humane Society had done that and word got out, the shit would hit the fan. I don't know how they can get away with this. This appears to be the norm there because their website says nothing about adoption prices, unlike at other shelters where the price is regulated. It just broke my heart to hear this, to learn that they are trying to make as much money as they can off this little helpless dog. Then I saw her photo. And I'm fighting back tears, because she would have had a great life with Liz.

Reader Comments (23)

I've never heard of a shelter charging fees based on the breed of the dog, especially since as a shelter they more than likely don't have any papers to prove it being a purebread. Even a private rescue group here in SF doesn't charge that kid of a fee.

I'm sorry for your friend and for the poor puppy who is being denied a good home because of this exhorbitant fee.

30 Jan 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBacchus

That is sad. But shelters are often desperately underfunded and maybe they are just trying to make money where they can by charging what are probably market rates for a cute little puppy like that.

I think that pup will probably sell soon and then the shelter will have $700 to spend on food and care for other dogs who aren't so cute. So I can't be too cross. I don't imagine the staff at the shelter are going to chuck the money away on casinos and hookers or anything.

30 Jan 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

That is so freaking disgusting. That's quebec to you. This province is messed up. You have no idea.

(I should know, I live here)

30 Jan 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSam

If I lived in the country, I might want to cough up the price for such a cute little pup. Alas, I am thousands of miles away (with a cat that would eat this little guy for breakfast).

30 Jan 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBrilliant Asylum

Poor little boo boo. I'm sure all it wants is a cozy home. What we all want. :)

30 Jan 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMargo

I understand the fact that shelters are so underfunded but I don't think it's right to charge $700 just because they can. And that's the unfortuante part, someone will pay it because that pooch is so darn cute (and rare, apparently).

31 Jan 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMe, Myself, & I

Oh my goodness, that is beyond ridiculous. Can they do that? I mean, can a shelter charge according to breed? That is the first time I have ever heard of that being done anywhere. That poor doggy, and I feel so badly for your friend, too.

31 Jan 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

it is disgusting but that seems to be humanity - this happens with the adoption of children too if you think about it - some children and babies are more expensive (i hate even saying that) because they are more cute, I have some horrible accounts of this i could tell you. it makes me sick, but this seems to be a part of humanity. the question stands, what can we do about this? because i do believe we can do something.

31 Jan 2008 | Unregistered Commenterpia

this is ridiculous !
I volunteered at a shelter for a year and there is a fixed price to pay when you get a pet which covers the vaccinations and all the rest, but its a fixed cost so it doesn't matter which breed the dog or cat is, they need a home, so as far as I am concerned that is the most important thing that they have in common !
Who is going to pay that much !
its crazy !

31 Jan 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNathalie

please, please. your blog is wonderful and neutral and about design and architecture, don't mess it up with little abandoned dogs. there's a dog or a cat every week. please...

31 Jan 2008 | Unregistered Commenterfiloderba

That is ridiculous and outrageous.

Yeah, charge an good amount for a dog to make sure the person can take care of it. But to pretty use the dog just to get some extra money and pretty much turn away a good home, that's crazy.

I hope your friend gets a dog that she loves and I hope this dog gets a good home.

31 Jan 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJanelleGrace

I volunteered at a cat shelter for a few years, and it charged a higher adoption fee for purebreds. No offense to you or your friend, but it was always hard to do this heartbreaking, expensive work, and then deal with people who thought that the adoption fees were too high.

The public sees a list of animals for adoption, but behind the scenes are many hours of work, expensive veterinary procedures, and costs like rent, food, bedding, and so on. By charging a higher adoption fee for a purebred animal (still below the market rate, as I think this Shih Tzu is), the shelter is able to give other animals the expensive care that they need and stay afloat to help animals in the future.

There is no profit involved. There is no judgment that one animal is "more valuable" than another as a living creature. It is a financial decision. Adoption fees are donations to the shelter, and the money goes right back into sustaining the shelter.

Rest assured, someone who wants a miniature Shih Tzu will snap up that dog very quickly. I don't think that your friend was looking for a bargain Shih Tzu - she just saw a dog that touched her. This shelter probably has other dogs that need homes, too, at the normal adoption fee, and they'd be wriggling with joy to find a home with your friend.

31 Jan 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

But the shelter IS making a distinction between different dog breeds. You can call it a 'financial decision' and try to downplay the situation and sugarcoat it with words, but the fact remains that this dog should cost no more than any other because of its breed. If the shelter is underfunded, then it should raise the price of ALL dogs by a certain amount, not try to get it all in one place, so that this little pup has to pay the price. 700$? Are you kidding me? I, for one, would like to be able to contact this so-called 'shelter' and give them a piece of my mind. I've owned dogs that I got from shelters in the past, I've never heard of anything like this, I find it despiccable, and to address the comment of a poster above, I applaud you, Kim, for posting about this. Yes, this is a design and architectural blog, but keep in mind that it is the brainchild of two wonderful women who work very hard every day so that we can enjoy it, and as such they have the undeniable right to go off-route, if you will, every once in a while and let us, their loyal readers, know about a particual situation in their life that is bothering them. No one has the right to tell them what they should or should not post about.
Sorry if I'm coming across as defensive, but I feel very strongly about this and just wanted to speak my mind.

31 Jan 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSam

miniature shih tzus don't even really exist! my mother has one (sadly, not rescued, but let's not go there)and when she brought it to the vet for the first time the vet ranted about how dog breeds are used as marketing tools and that "toy" and "miniature" are not even real.

31 Jan 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Thank you all for your touching comments and opinions. I still stand by my point that this situation is ridiculous. The main point is shelters should have standard fees for adoptions, and this one doesn't. And this poor dog could have had a home with Liz but doesn't because they are trying to get as much money off of her as they can. That's the bottom line. And thank you Sam for coming to my defense. This is my blog and Jo's and she and I will post about whatever we like. We are both huge animal lovers and we frequently post photos with animals and will continue to do so. If anyone doesn't like it, too bad. Sorry filoderba if this post offends you. I clearly stated at the beginning of this post that it wasn't design related. You could have left at that point. Now I have to apologize for being defensive but animals have always played a huge part in my life, and I had a REALLY shitty day at work.

31 Jan 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkim.

I don't care how rare the dog is. They did not buy it themselves and they are not the breeder. This is a rescue dog, a dog either found on the streets or dropped off by someone who didn't want it. Therefore, I think it should be worth the same fees as any other rescue dog. I'm sure they've had a few pure bred dogs slip by them before because they didn't recognize the breed.

31 Jan 2008 | Unregistered Commenterlsaspacey

As hard as shelters struggle, it is a chance to make some money to support all the animals.
i don't think it's wrong.
Private orgs are not bound by all of the same regulations as state funded ones, like private schools.
On one hand, adopting her more quickly frees her kennel for another dog, or a litter of puppies, but the money can can go toward paying and retaining quality employees more than minimum wage, medical aid for an injured animal, or just staying afloat.
She's less helpless than all the less little and cute dogs and cats that will be not adopted destroyed due to lack of space and funds.

1 Feb 2008 | Unregistered Commenterorangered

thats so bogus.....shelters are not supposed to charge that much for dogs. The most I've ever paid at a rescue for a dog was $200. I gladly gave it because it was going to help keep the other dogs at the shelter alive and eating etc...
But this is a bit much, poor dog will be sitting at the shelter for awhile because of greed in the end.

1 Feb 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer Ramos

greed, i think not...maybe a poor overestimate of how much one of the people, who come running when small adorable or pedigreed dogs and such go up for adoption, is willing to pay...to aid the shelter, yes!!

1 Feb 2008 | Unregistered Commenterorangered

It seems to me that if this is in fact a legitimate shelter and not a puppy mill disquising itself as a shelter, that they have mixed up their means and ends. They want money, and charging a normal rescue dog fee (I just did this and about $200 seems to be the norm) and vetting the adoptee for their willingness and ability to deal with all the issues rescue dogs have(medical, emotional, special training) is reasonable. Then, separately they should fundraise . I agree that holding the dog in a kennel until a rich person decides to adopt is not fair to the dog, which is the point the "shelter" exists in the first place. I'd look closely at the legal setup governing the shelter. In the US, they have to have a clear mission to maintain tax status. I don't know how it works in Canada, but I suspect there are rules even in Quebec. Nonetheless, if you look around, you will probably find some other equally wonderful and deserving dog with a group you really want to support.

1 Feb 2008 | Unregistered Commenterbalsamfir

I'd just like to add that the dog is still listed on the website. I'm going to out on a limb and say that it's largely due to the PRICE.

1 Feb 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkim.

$700 to adopt a dog (thereby relieving the shelter of its care and responsibility) that would otherwise not receive the love and attention it seeks sounds atrocious.

so what if it's rare? i mean, come ON! to fundraise, charge a flat fee (or slighter higher for realy large dogs who eat more) but really... how much can poor Tica eat!?

i'm sorry to hear that Liz.

dog lover that i am, i'm sickened by this... :/

2 Feb 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdrey

There is no such thing as a "miniature" shih tzu" It is not a recognized breed. If it is miniature that means it is crossed or substandard (runt) and most likely not healthy!

29 Aug 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAli

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