Cost comparison: “free” pets vs rescue pets


It’s a common misconception that free puppies and kittens on Kijiji are cheaper than their rescue counterparts. Of course, we’ll always recommend rescue for that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you save a life, but adopting makes better cold, hard financial sense too. Sound crazy? We’ll walk you through it.

babyhannahs2Let’s say you go on Kijiji and find yourself a free puppy. You take her to the vet to get an exam ($80), microchip ($60), vaccinations ($45), and spay ($240). That’ll be $425.*

If you adopt from Zoe’s, a puppy will cost you $350. We cover all of the procedures mentioned above, plus we take care of any additional medical issues. Remember, most free puppies have not been vetted, so they could have any number of expensive ailments.

So you save a minimum of $75, which I think we can all agree would be better spent on spoiling your new family member.

And what about kittens? Surely they cost less. With an exam ($80), microchip ($60), vaccinations ($45), and spay ($280**), you’ve shelled out $465. A Zoe’s kitten is $150; a savings of $315. And here’s some real value: the adoption fee for a second kitten is only $50. We like our kittens to have playmates!

So if you’re in the market for a new furry family member, don’t be fooled by Kijiji’s siren song of free kittens and puppies. If you can’t afford a rescue animal, you certainly can’t afford a free one. It’s also important to remember that we haven’t even touched on the costs of food and other supplies that you’ll need. If you’re trying to assess the costs of those items, start with our supply checklists for dogs and cats.

To find out more about how adoptions with Zoe’s work, check out our adoption fees and our adoption process.

*The medical costs quoted above are estimates, based on quotes from local vets. For dogs, the cost of a spay ranges according to the size of the dog ($240-$380), and neuters are typically cheaper than spays (~$260).

**As with dogs, spays are more costly. A cat neuter is ~$120.