I will never pay a “re-homing fee” to an individual giving up his dog.

Of course, I would pay an adoption fee to adopt a dog from a shelter, humane society, pound or rescue group, but I won’t pay an individual.

Since pets are property, everyone seems OK with the idea that dogs and cats should be sold. Apparently even a bad owner deserves $100 for realizing he doesn’t deserve his dog. Just search Craigslist or look in the newspaper classifieds for a few examples. But it’s not the price that shows irresponsibility, it’s how the person goes about selecting the next home for his dog.

My cat Scout came from an “accidental” litter, and I adopted him for free. I did not pay anything for my mutt Ace either, who was also an “accident.” I offered his original family $50, but the response I got was something like, “No, just take him.”

I was doing them a favor and saving them money for every day they did not have him. Since then, I’ve changed my mind about how I will acquire pets.

Ace the black lab mix covered in drool

Irresponsible and responsible are not defined by a price.

An irresponsible person doesn’t care who gets his dog. He might give the dog away for free or he might sell it. It doesn’t matter. Either way, the pet will likely go to another irresponsible person who agreed to take the pet after a fast, thoughtless decision. This only continues the cycle of dogs being recycled from home to home and eventually a pound. That’s why people say not to advertise with words like “Free to good home” or “Free dog.” When things are free, quick decisions are made.

On the other hand, a responsible person is going to take the time to select the best person for his dog. There will be questions, an interview process, maybe even a home visit, a follow-up and plenty of time to think. Whether the next owner pays for the dog or not doesn’t really matter. What matters is the dog will get a good home.

I will never pay someone for a puppy or dog they no longer want.

1. If someone has an adult dog he can’t afford or doesn’t have time for, then he should be paying me to take the dog off his hands.

2. If someone has a litter of mixed-breed or purebred puppies from an “accidental” litter, I’m not going to encourage irresponsibility by paying for one of those pups.

There are too many people out there who refuse to have their pets spayed or neutered. Instead, they profit from “accidental” litters by selling the pups. Most people will pay at least $100 for a puppy, no matter what kind of mutt it is. In a state like North Dakota where dogs run loose in rural areas, “accidental” litters happen all the time.

There will always be exceptions to this. For example, I might pay someone for his dog if I had no other way to get the dog out of an abusive home. Or if for some reason I was dead set on a certain mutt, I would probably pay for him. And I can’t say I will never buy a dog from a breeder either. My boyfriend has his heart set on greater Swiss mountain dogs. With rare breeds, there aren’t many to rescue. Does that mean we shouldn’t buy one?

For more information, see my post on where to get a dog.

Have you paid or charged a re-homing fee for a dog? Why or why not?