Originally Published: October 25, 2016 1:58 a.m.
I am frequently asked why United Animal Friends (UAF) charges an adoption fee of $100-plus for dogs and $50-plus for cats, when we usually take in these dogs and cats at no charge from private parties and shelters.
Aside from the obvious spay/neuter and vaccine costs, we often face other medical expenses, known or unknown, that come with these companion animals.
Driving down Prescott Lakes Parkway by Yavapai Humane Society (YHS), I watched a beautiful tri-colored pitbull mix re-learning to gingerly walk with a fresh scar from his back leg amputation. I wondered what unfortunate fate caused that trauma but I also whispered “Thank You” to YHS for taking him from homeless to a fresh pain-free future. This is the challenge that every rescue group continually faces.
UAF just rescued a nice Australian cattle dog, Pebbles, who came with a non-weight bearing back leg due to a tibia broken in two places. Her repair surgery will happen this week.
UAF took in another cattle dog mix, Rose, with a gunshot wound to her back leg that we knew would need medical intervention. Now Rose too is healing beautifully and regaining her confidence on three legs.
We have a charming beagle, Lucy, who came to us with uncontrolled seizures. It has taken months to develop a treatment plan to help her, but now she is ready for a loving home.
Nearly every older cat we take in from this area has dental disease causing constant pain. Often, our first order of business is to spend $500 per cat to resolve the infection and provide the quality of life they deserve.
I could share story after story but I think you get the point.
This adoption fee is not only much needed, it often does not begin to cover the true costs to help a dog or cat regain their health. Not everyone has the stamina for rescue work but everyone can lend a hand.
And here is a great opportunity for doing just that: UAF is having its biggest and best annual rummage sale from Nov. 11 to the 15th this year. Thanks to the generosity of Bob Fortner Jr. and his niece, Crystal, the sale will be held in the back of the former Fortner Aerospace building, 428 N. Mt. Vernon (at the north dead end of the street). Please take this opportunity to clean out your homes and donate new and gently used items - large and small.
A UAF volunteer, Janet, 608-445-6536, is coordinating UAF’s extravaganza this year and our volunteers stand ready to accept your tax deductible drop-offs (Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.). Our website - www.unitedanimalfriends.org - and Facebook page give all the information as well. Then don’t forget the big sale dates, Nov. 11-15, scheduled right before the holidays for some great gift opportunities.
And next time you see a rescue pup with a healing injury scar or a purring rescue cat with pearly whites, you can smile along with them, knowing you had a hand in providing their needed medical services.
Toby Frost has been involved in horse/dog/cat rescue since the mid-1990s, she is one of a dedicated group of volunteers who helped start United Animal Friends in 2002 and has served as President of UAF since 2010.