Tracy (tracyluvsya) wrote in bad_service,

Pet Adoption Issues...

To start: For months, I've been searching for the perfect dog, and the other day, I came across Patsy -- a 6 month old Westie/Chihuahua mix. My last dog was a Westie, and she looked like she needed a good home, so I inquired about adopting her, and here's where I think it gets....rough.

I went to the shelter's website from, and looked around to see what it would take to adopt this dog. I fit all the requirements, and the website said dogs are "adopted" for $250-$400. Considering that Patsy is neither purebred nor "cute" (in the social norm sense of the word), I assumed she'd be about $250. This was a bit more than I wanted to pay for a shelter dog; a bit more than I can afford. As I stated, my last dog was a purebred AKC Westie and he only cost $350, so I was unsure why the charge would be that much. I sent in a letter inquiring about the price and procedure, and here's where it got messy.

My e-mail:

I ran across "Patsy" on and am possibly interested in adopting her. I have a few questions, but my main one is about the adoption fee. From reading your website, it appears that the fee to adopt puppies is approximately $250. My last dog was a full-bred AKC Westie, and cost me $350, so I'm wondering why adopting a dog from your shelter is so expensive. I know that my next dog is going to be a shelter dog, but I'm not looking to spend almost as much as I would for a pure bred.

Thanks for your help.

Their response:
We are not in the business of "discount" dogs. The people who adopt from us can afford to buy any dog they want but prefer to help us continue to rescue dogs and they do not wish to patronize puppy millers and pet stores. Patsy's adoption fee would be $400 which I think is a ridiculously small price to pay for 15 years of love. You would first have to fill out a lengthy application which includes 3 personal references as well as a vet reference. This application would have to be approved before we considered adopting a dog to you...if approved, after you came to meet dog and if you wanted to adopt her, we would bring the dog to your house and see that the house was clean and safe for one of our dogs. At that time, if all criteria were met, you might adopt Patsy.

Our dogs are all thoroughly vetted before they are adopted and their adoptors have a lifetime money back guarantee if for any reason they cannot keep our dogs. The "service" we offer is born from love and respect of dogs, not love of earning money, which is the usual motivation of pet stores, most breeders and puppy mills.

Hope this helps.

My response:
Thanks, but I think I'll be adopting my next dog from somewhere whose employees use tact and class when dealing with potential clients. I find it disturbing and sad that your focus is on wealthy people who "can afford to buy any dog they want" as opposed to someone who can provide a dog with a loving and generous household. I also find it incredibly offensive that you would first of all assume that my next step would be to go to a puppy mill, or second of all insinuate that I somehow would be unable to afford, care for, or pass the adoption process. As for your "services" offered, I will be sure to let everyone I know know exactly the type of "shelter" you are, and just how much you care for the dogs' well beings. The only sincere thought I can offer you is that I truly hope Patsy escapes the grasp of your disgusting greed and gets placed with a loving family who "can afford to buy any dog they want but prefer to help" rescued dogs.

Did I overreact? Am I in the wrong here? It just seems to me that if a shelter was truly interested in the health and happiness of it's dogs, it wouldn't be charging $400 in hopes that a person of wealth might purchase said dog.

I don't know if this is *REALLY* bad service, and I don't even know if maybe it was customers_suck, but I figured this was a decent place to get it off my chest. All I want to do is give a dog a loving home and get some companionship. SPCA/Humane Society it is! Lemme know if this post needs to be deleted.
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