Fee-based cat adoptions verses free adoptions

by Sharon Kutsop


The concept of free adoptions for cats verses implementing an adoption fee has long been a hot topic amongst professionals in the animal welfare community. Some animal welfare professionals believe that placing a monetary value on a cat will increase the perceived value of said pet and offering adoptions at no cost may in fact devalue the cat in the eyes of potential adopters. Others say that it’s better to place a spayed or neutered cat with a family who is looking for a free cat than allowing them to get one who isn’t altered for free from a neighbor or friend. The latter will often also argue that with the high euthanasia rate our nation faces in regard to cats, making sterilized cats accessible to a larger population of people may impact those troubling statistics.

Sparkles is available from the Wisconsin Humane Society

Free adoptions for adult cats such as Sparkles can be a hot topic amongst adoption organizations.

I’ve read additional arguments that free adoptions attract a lower income class of people and then the assumption that medical needs won’t be covered is perceived. Certainly in some cases this is a concern. There is also no promise that they wealthy will choose to spend their money on medical bills, so this is where the animal wefare professional’s discretion come into play. On the other hand, the only opportunity many small organizations have to recover a portion of their costs is through the adoption fee and free is not feasible if they want to continue saving lives.

There are many sides to this issue. If you’re interested in reading more on this topic, Maddies Fund has an article you can read here.

Each organization has their own guidelines and procedures, and at Petfinder we respect that about our members. Organizations are free to identify what works best for them and implement those beliefs. The no cost adoptions concept may work for some organizations, but not all. No matter where you stand on the issues, have a great adoption week and keep up the great work!