Critter Talk

Fairly often, someone tells the staff at the Corinne T. Smith Animal Center (CTSAC) that they will never “buy” a dog from the shelter because we charge too much. They can buy from a breeder for what we charge. That’s what I want to talk about today.

CTSAC takes care of our dogs and cats as best we can, with the resources we have. Every dog and cat that we take in gets vaccinated immediately. Kittens and puppies are revaccinated regularly though out their stay with us. Adult dogs are also heartworm tested. Vaccines, syringes, needles, and heartworm tests are far from free. We care for over 3,500 animals each year, and that costs money. Many shelters don’t do these things, so they can adopt their animals out cheaper.

Every dog and cat adopted from CTSAC is spayed or neutered before it is released to its new home. There are shelters that tell people that they must do it, but it’s up to the adopter to actually get it done and pay for it. More often than not, people fail to follow through, and those dogs and cats are left out there to breed. To ensure that doesn’t happen with our pets, we get them fixed, and it doesn’t cost the adopter anything beyond the adoption fee. We get huge bills each month from our local veterinarians, and the adoption fees don’t even come close to paying them.

The rabies vaccination is also included in the adoption fee, and each dog and cat is microchipped. The microchip is very important, because if your lost pet ever again becomes part of our 3,500 per year, the chip will probably save his life. It will make it very easy for us to find you. People call us every day and say things like, “I lost my dog. He’s a mutt. He’s kind of tan and black with white and maybe some red. His hair isn’t short or long, it’s kind of medium length. He’s wearing a collar, but I don’t know what color it is. No, he isn’t wearing tags, and doesn’t have a microchip.” None of this is helpful information. Microchips make it easy for us to match your lost pet up to you.

We are sorry our adoption fees seem high to some people. We wish we could just give them all away, along with a lifetime supply of dog food, but we can’t. The fact is that we lose money on 85 percent of our pet adoptions. This is not a money making operation. We are not being greedy, we are just trying to pay the bills.

The Corinne T. Smith Animal Center is open for adoptions and lost pet searches from 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, and open for animal intake from 1 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call us at 325-646-0617.