I work with a pet rescue. We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit. We are all volunteers and foster the dogs and cats in our homes.

We charge an adoption fee, which varies depending on the age and breed of dogs, among other variables.

After a weekend of being insulted and called “stupid” among other things, I would like to explain why we charge adoption fees. A dog or cat coming into our rescue gets completely vetted. The vet costs for each pet are pretty substantial and include spay/neuter, shots including rabies, a heartworm test, teeth cleaning and a microchip.

A dog with cherry eye, ear infections, skin issues or two broken legs will require additional vet services, surgeries and blood work. In some cases dogs have required visits to an eye specialist or several surgeries. In these cases vet bills can run into the thousands.

Basically, it costs about $350 to get a fairly healthy dog ready for adoption.

Additionally, since the dogs live in a home, we house train them and know if they are good with other dogs, cats and kids. The only income the rescue has comes from adoption fees, donations and fund raisers. Without adoption fees the rescue could not continue to save dogs and cats, especially seniors and those with physical problems. The volunteers pay for food and for gas used to take pets for vet visits and adopt-a-thons.

In the 15 years I have been associated with the rescue, we have placed thousands of pets in loving homes. These are, for the most part, cats and dogs that would have been euthanized in a shelter.

When you attend one of our adoption events, please understand the happy, healthy dogs and cats you see didn’t look like that when they came to us. It took a lot of money and a lot of TLC by dedicated volunteers to bring these pets back to health and vigor.

The volunteers would appreciate your understanding. We would appreciate donations of dog and cat food too!

Happy “Howladays” to all.

Jo Anne Montroy

Carn Street

Walterboro