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#126413 - 02/06/04 01:07 AM Appropriate amount for adoption  
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liviray Offline
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I'm wondering about your views on the appropriate amount for adopting a parrot from a rescue. I understand that there are many different varibles that might determine the "fee" and I do feel that there should be one...but how do you come to a dollar amount?

#126414 - 02/06/04 04:19 AM Re: Appropriate amount for adoption  
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This is a hard topic for a lot of reasons but what I believe is that you have to make the adoption fee an amount that is not making you money but is helping with costs. The costs I am talking about is food, Vet, cages if needed, I don't believe rescues should include rent,lights, heat,or Phone. Unless you have a separate building just for the birds with separate heat,lights,and rent. I do charge an adoption fee but not as much as others because I require people to volunteer here before adoption or at a rescue close to them for so many hours to show there commitment to the birds. Hope this helps. smile ok I was not going to post my adoption fee but as I see the responce I will I charge $125.00 for large parrots and $75.00 for med. Parrots and 50 for small parrots and no adoption fee for tiels and keets or love birds. I do believe in volunteering because it shows a real interest in bird care and what it takes to be a parrot Guardian.

Sterdon

#126415 - 02/06/04 05:22 AM Re: Appropriate amount for adoption  
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Adoption fees were the hardest to decide on. Sterdon is correct in the statement that the adoption fee should help out, but should not bring in profit. One bird may require vet costs alone of over $500.00, while another may only be $200.00, but it would be crazy to try and charge a $200.00 fee for a cockatiel who incurred high vet costs. The fee has to be an average of the costs. One bird may not have incurred the full amount of the adoption fee himself, but there has to be an offset of some sort for the bird who incurred way higher costs than the fee. Then the other costs need to be considered also, such as food, endless toys, DNA's, cages etc. I decided on a straight $400.00 fee for all parrots, CAGS to Macaws, and smaller fees for birds like Conures, Lovebirds etc. But these fees will never offset all the costs of the shleter, even if every bird was adopted out today. Then there are the deformed/mutilated birds that will remain in the care of the shelter forever, no portion of the costs will ever be brought back in by them. Something that also needs to be considered is that many shelters have a clause in the contract thats requires the bird to be returned to the shelter if things go wrong. Those birds have to start all over again, quarantine, vet visit and tests etc. There are many costs that will never be covered by fees. An extreme amount of time is required to keep these birds happy, clean, fed, and watered, not to mention the many many many hours spent giving them the individual attention that they require. There is no compensation for the time spent. This is where true rescues are seperated from brokers/breeder. We donate all this time because we choose to, we do mandatory vet vistits and tests on every bird to ensure not only the health of that bird, but the health and safety of all the birds residing here, because we care about the birds, not the money. There will always be those people who think that the fees are nothing more than 'selling' of birds, but those people have no idea how much time and money is invested in a rescue, or how little of that money is ever recouped with the adoption fee. I openly admit that I have to charge adoption fees in order to stay open, but I also work full time at another job, just to support my shelter. I certainly don't freeze my a$$ off outside eight hours a night because I enjoy frostbite wink . So, I hope this has helped explain why adoption fees are necessary. I would like to add one thing here though, I have seen some 'rescues' charging fees of over $800.00. I personally would not even think of charging that amount here, but then I have no idea how many permanent residents they are supporting, or what their costs are, therefore I cannot accurately say whether they are making a profit or taking a loss. That is why it is difficult to say what the fees "should" be. Every rescue is different. What is reasonable for one, may not be for another. $800.00 at my shelter would be unreasonable, based on the above mentioned factors, but $400.00 at another place may not be enough help to keep the shelter open. And things can change. If a shelter expands, takes in alot of unadoptable permanent residents etc, etc, etc, the adoption fee may need to be reevaluated based on the new circumstances. The best thing I can suggest is to research any rescue first. If the birds are $800.00 and have never seen the inside of a vets office.....then you are probably dealing with a broker, not a shelter.

#126416 - 02/06/04 05:35 PM Re: Appropriate amount for adoption  
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I think there is a difference between rescues and sanctuaries too....If someone is taking on birds that can never be adopted out, I can see them charging an $800 adoption fee for rehoming an adoptable bird. I think that an adoption fee and all vet costs incurred is not unreasonable, but then you'd be looking at a much smaller adoption fee.

I think it's important that people understand how much it costs to take birds to the vet...and that you need to have pretty much unlimited resources if you want to own a parrot...it's so much more than just then initial cost of buying a bird! wink

#126417 - 02/06/04 06:37 PM Re: Appropriate amount for adoption  
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An $800 adoption fee is outrageous and completely works against trying to place a bird. Most birds in rescues are older and w/ age comes age related illnesses. A lot of birds have problem behaviors. $800 adoption fees will do no more than push a person who was on the fence between adopting/buying to the buying side. There are not a lot of people who will pay full price (or close too) for a bird that has problems of any kind over a young bird w/ no issues yet and they have the opportunity to do it right. If a rescue chooses to bring in birds that they KNOW are not adoptable that rescue should be willing to absorb the costs of THAT BIRD or find another way to support that bird and not make other birds suffer by putting a higher price on their heads to the point that people choose to buy instead of adopt and than the adoptable bird sits in the rescue w/o ever finding a home.

#126418 - 02/06/04 06:50 PM Re: Appropriate amount for adoption  
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m2mom,
Thank you! That's exactly what I was thinking.

#126419 - 02/06/04 07:06 PM Re: Appropriate amount for adoption  

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I agree with M2mom as well here. I have adopted out birds that have been rescued/fostered by me. If I have accrued vet fees than that is all I would charge as a fee. However, I have eaten all of the costs for a couple macaws I've had here just so that they could go to a great home. It does depend on the situation. I have seen shelters (dog, cat) charge over $1000 for the adoption of a bird and it's just plain wrong. I'm sorry, when they are charging $25-$50 for dog/cat adoptions, and then they charge $1000 for an M2, how is that any different than what the pet stores or breeders do?

#126420 - 02/06/04 07:29 PM Re: Appropriate amount for adoption  
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This is what I've been thinking, more views anyone?

#126421 - 02/06/04 07:38 PM Re: Appropriate amount for adoption  
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Gee for once it wasn't ME saying what I was thinking...out loud..LOL
M2mom and everyone else, I agree with you 100% but not being a rescue myself, I didn't want to speak out of turn if 800 was not unreasonable to other rescue organizations, but if a rescue were to try to charge me 800 dollars for a bird, I would walk ..no RUN ...out of the door. No one is going to pay that much money for a rehab or rescue bird for the reasons you stated above.
THIS is what worries me and prompted me to start the previous thread about "What is a rescue"??
Anyone who would charge 800 bucks for a bird and call themselves a non profit rescue is lying to someone, either themselves or the public.

#126422 - 02/06/04 07:43 PM Re: Appropriate amount for adoption  
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I strongly disagree with high adoption fees!

I adopted two birds through M2mom and the MyToos board. As I've posted before, I didn't pay an adoption fee, nor did I have to volunteer at someone's rescue.

Why would I pay $800 for a bird from a rescue, when I can hang around the want ads and get one for less than that? How is the rescue that charges that much be any different from a pet store??????

Another thing to consider, by adopting from a rescue you have MORE of a chance of adopting a sick bird. because of exposure to so many other birds. A private owner's birds are seldom exposed to that many other birds. And how do we know that this rescue did, in fact, have vet visits?

I adopted two birds with medical expenses. Would a rescue be willing to pay me to adopt those birds? After all, they no longer have those vet bills to worry about.

I know birds are expensive. Even before adopting Faith and Echo, I had laid out easily $1000 in cages, an assortment of toys, special foods (my birds required a special diet because of PDD). Then I drove from Florida to South Caroline, not once, but TWICE to visit and make sure the adoption was in the interest of both parties. Each visit required motels, meals, etc. AND on top of that, I had some major vet bills coming up because of Faith's diagnosis. I agreed to do all this for Faith and Echo. This is my meaning of rescue. I did it without any thought of reimbursement, other than the opportunity to love two of God's creatures and make a better life for them.

You need to look at each and every adoption. But please, think about this. The object (I would hope) of adopting is to find a new and loving home for these misplaced and often times mistreated birds. It's easier to walk into a pet store or flea market and buy a bird. The people who are looking on adopting are trying to do the right thing by these birds. Why are you penalizing them?

I also think that if you are concerned about money and being reimbursed for every expense, you're not doing the birds any good. If you are truly a non profit organization and in it for the birds, may I suggest you hire somebody and pay their salary out of the donations and grants that person is able to bring in.

Just my two cents worth!!!

#126423 - 02/06/04 09:48 PM Re: Appropriate amount for adoption  
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Just because someone can pay $800 or more for a bird does not mean they can provide a good home. If a rescue really wanted to find a good home for a certain bird it seems like they would have to work with the situation. Requiring potential adoptees to volunteer is a really good thing. Seems like that could help offset some of the cost. I am not rich, I could not pay that kind of money to adopt but my birds have a great home and I love and provide for them like they are my children. They have big cages and space and toys and food and if a large vet bill were required I would find a way to provide if I had to hock everything I own.

#126424 - 02/07/04 02:38 AM Re: Appropriate amount for adoption  
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good point everyone...I guess I was just thinking that the rescue that I volunteer for (which does not charge $800 *L*) was well worth the money for the good work that they do....I guess I wasn't thinking about it from the point of view of someone from the outside thinking about buying a bird.

#126425 - 02/07/04 02:34 PM Re: Appropriate amount for adoption  
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Wow, when I posted that I saw other rescues charging $800.00 for an adoption fee, I didn't expect that figure to become the focus of the thread. Its obvious that many feel as I do about such a high fee, but I am still curious as to what people think is a fair adoption fee after taking all the costs and work involved into consideration. As I said in my post, I would never even consider charging that much for a fee here, but there are alot of rescues and alot of different fees being charged and I would still like to hear what people think is fair and how you arrived at that figure.

#126426 - 02/07/04 03:04 PM Re: Appropriate amount for adoption  
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hello everyone,

this is a great topic if i may add my 2 cents

first to maria .. i can understand where you come from but alison said it perfectly.. the GREAT people out there doing rescue and adoption have to charge something in order to keep going ??? they are entitled to recoup some costs .. for believe me when done the right way they are barely recouping anything at all??

for me personnally i have found through the years that unfortunately people seem to flock to a "free" bird pardon the pun shocked ) i for example have at this time a 9 yr old f lessor and wind must of got out that i have her. man did i get this nimrod calling me evertday ..

he was gonna come and get her .... even after telling him she was not free i never met him ? he wqas so pushy he had never even seen her or asked anything about her i was immediately put off and slapped him with $$$ actually he still wanted her so i lied and told him she was spoken for

also i have been known to put i high price on a rescue ... to turn people away .. i do not want to get " attacked " but sometimes you know when it is just not the kind of person you want the bird to be with ..

AND OF COURSE I DO NOT ENCOURAGE A BABY EITHER

and 50 % of the time if the right loving person pops up .. for a rescue/unwanted i have given the bird to them .....

maybe other places also put th ehigh $ up to weed out the " looking for a cheap bird )type.

just a thought peace

lisa

#126427 - 02/07/04 05:45 PM Re: Appropriate amount for adoption  
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Thanks for the imput everyone....I feel as I should explain why I asked this question. My husband and I were discussing the possibility of getting a larger bird in the future. I was trying to explain to him the reason why It was better to rescue a bird rather than buying a baby. Being a very $$$ and cents kinda person he could not understand why I would consider paying more for a rescue than going down to the local pet shop and buying a baby...this is how I figure:

Rescue from my area:
800. 00 to 1000.00 for bird depending on species
600.00 to 800.00 for cage
200.00 to 300.00 for vet checkup (Im guessing)
Additional fees for any medicine or followup care
250.00 to 300.00 for toys and supplies
50.00 for fresh food and vitimin suppliments
Total for lessor end costs: 1900.00 to start

Buying a baby from my local store:
Bird,(G2) cage, toys and first vet check : 1800.00
This is how they "package" a bird.

So...This is how it is here. My husbands case arguement: I should be committed for wanting to pay more for a troubled, plucked bird. What do you all think? My local rescues do charge upwards of $500.00 for a larger bird..and I was just wondering how they arrive at the figure...now Im assuming Vet fee's cost of care and housing...but I am concerned that for the "uneducated" public this is as M2m put it...Pushing people who are on the fence to buy a baby...

#126428 - 02/07/04 06:06 PM Re: Appropriate amount for adoption  
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Maria Offline
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There is a fine line between selling price and adopting fees. And it does need to depend on the situation, as I've posted. However, I still stand by my "one size fits all" adoption fee. THAT's selling.

In the reality of things, yes, you do have expenses that need to be met in order to help these birds. I would say that one should be entitled to recoup reasonable expenses for a bird. And the key word here is "reasonable." But I still feel as soon as there is ANY profit made, it is then selling a bird.

Another consideration is donations. Donated money from people who are not adopting, and donated items, and the fact that vets give some rescues a break helps offset A LOT of the cost of that bird. So I think these non-adoption donations should be figured in as well.

#126429 - 02/07/04 08:21 PM Re: Appropriate amount for adoption  
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Maybe this will help explain a bit for those who don't know the costs of running a shelter:

Totals for 2002 & 2003 combined.

'Misc' category is bottles, cement perches, replacement perches and dishes, beak conditioners and cuttlebones, DNA's, cleaning supplies, Humidifiers and purifiers, full spectrum lights, dremmel for nails, and anything else that isn't in it's own category. (I do not include any household bills like lighting or heat etc. in any of the aviary costs).

'Sale of cages' are cages that are donated, but are too small for our use, so we sell them and use the money to buy larger cages, and buy food etc.

Money Spent...............Money IN
Food: 1642.41........Adoption fees: 3630.00
Toys: 790.23........Cash Donations: 216.00
Misc: 1545.86..........Sale of Toys: 342.00
Cages: 960.76.........Sale of Cages: 1135.00
Vets: 2640.47

TOTAL: 7579.73.................TOTAL: 5323.00

Total 2 year losses: 2256.73

These are the only two years I can show you because 1995-2001 I didn't keep records because I didn't charge adoption fees, I simply paid for everything out of pocket. I started keeping records when I started the fee. The prior years costs would have been close to these also, and it is based on those figures that I decided on the amount of the fees.

#126430 - 02/07/04 10:33 PM Re: Appropriate amount for adoption  
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How many birds were you caring for? How many did you adopt out?

#126431 - 02/08/04 12:05 AM Re: Appropriate amount for adoption  
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MARIA, I average about 30 birds actually in the shelter at any given time (right now there are only 26). I had 36 until recently. In those two years, I adopted out 9 parrots, 4 for the full adoption fee, 5 for less for various reasons. I also adopted out 58 smaller birds like tiels, lovebirds and parakeets (34 had small adoption fees ($35.00 or less), 24 had no fees at all).
To address your other concern, you asked how you would know if the rescue actually does vet visits, thats easy, ask to see the records.
As you can see by the totals I supplied, I am not seeking reimbursement for all the expenses, or for my time. Remember, I did this for seven years before I started the fee, but you don't see me trying to charge $800.00+ for a fee in an attempt to 'recoup' the seven years of loss. I still put alot of money into this shelter that I do not expect, or try to recoup. Unlike some of the large shelters, I do not receive alot of cash donations ($216.00 in two years) and I don't use shelter money to give myself (or anyone else) a paycheck for the time spent. I also do not make people volunteer here in order to adopt. I don't try and claim electricity, gas for heating, rent, or any other household expences as shelter expenses. Unlike some places, every penny that comes into this shelter IS used for the birds who reside here.
M2MOM: As far as the shelter who chooses to take in birds that we know aren't adoptable and will be here for the rest of their lives...It is my opinion that they are one of the main reasons for the shelter in the first place. After all, a rescue is supposed to be there to help the birds who need us the most. Where else will they go if we refuse them based on thier 'unadoptable' status? They are the reason that many shelters are sort of sanctuaries at the same time.

#126432 - 02/08/04 03:15 AM Re: Appropriate amount for adoption  
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I never said a shelter should turn away un-adoptable birds. I simply said that shelters SHOULD NOT expect an adoptable bird's fee to be so high as to support the un-adoptables. A shelter needs other ways to support the un-adoptables.

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