Why do we charge so much for sick animals?

Posted in Philosophy, Why We Recommend at 9:46 pm by Jenn

We received an inquiry today that I thought I would share:

Hi I’m curious why so much money for a sick hedgehog?

I would like to get more information on Emma who I found on Petfinder.comhttp://petfinder.com/petdetail/18594889

Sent from my iPod

We often receive emails like this, trying to dicker prices with us, or asking why our prices are “so expensive”.   We responded to her email explaining why we charge what we do:

Hi Tammy, and thanks for your inquiry.  Since you’re surfing from your iPod, you may not be able to correctly read all of Emma’s story.  As noted in the first paragraph in bright red writing:

Note! Emma is currently undergoing medical treatment and won’t be available for adoption until she’s healthy. She is listed only so we can try to find her a forever home to go to when she’s well!

This means that Emma will not be available to go home until she completes her medical care.  (Ie, until she is no longer “sick”.)

On average each animal we rescue costs us approximately $250 in veterinary bills and boarding.  This ranges from the smallest mouse (adopted out at $5), to the most expensive animals like parrots.  We average a loss of $100 per animal for each animal that we rehome.  These animals are abandoned at local shelters and directly with our rescue, typically because negligent owners buy them as pets and are unprepared or unwilling to spend money on them when they become ill.
Our adoptions fees are designed to help defray some of the cost of making sure that these exotic animals receive care and do not suffer horribly and die from neglect.  Because of this, we must spend our own money out of pocket in order to afford this medical care.  Of the approximate $15,000 our organization spent on veterinary care last year, over 50% came directly from our board members.
While it would be nice to offer these homeless animals “cheaply”, in the end it does them a terrible disservice as people looking for “bargains” decide that they can now afford a ‘used’ hedgehog.  These types of homes typically are unaware of the expensive husbandry needs of exotic species, and we feel that it is unfair to take an already neglected and abandoned animal and place them directly back into the situation from which they escaped.
If you wish to support our cause without adoption, please feel free to donate directly to us at allcreaturesrescue.org.
Thank you for your continued support!

ACR&S does make it their policy to seek veterinary care for all animals that they take in, and to be completely up front and honest about any issues an animal may have.  We realize that in the case of animals with chronic behavioral or health issues that this may mean they’re with us for a long time — even for the rest of their lives.  But we are committed to providing care for those animals that have been failed once already by those unwilling to provide basic husbandry.