To the editor:
I would like to respond to the Jan. 7 letter to the editor from C. DeHart regarding the cost of pet adoptions.
While it is true that pet adoptions these days can be expensive, many people may not be aware of some of the costs involved. In addition to food, shelter, foster care and socializing, rescued animals often need considerable veterinary care.
They may have injuries or serious conditions (such as eye or other infections) that require treatment. They must be neutered or spayed and immunized against disease. Cats must be tested for feline leukemia before they can be put up for adoption.
Shortly after I joined the Friends of Beverly Animals (FOBA), I adopted a 2-year-old cat that had been in foster care for a few months. When I got a copy of his veterinary history, I was very surprised to see how much FOBA had paid for his care, which included exams, shots, neutering, testing and treatment for a parasite. (Just ask any veterinarian what these services cost.)
I wasn't charged as much to adopt him as FOBA had paid for his care (but have since made donations to cover those costs). And, I might add, this spirited, little bundle of orange fur has added so much joy to my life, he was well worth it.
Large shelters have additional operating costs for staff, facilities, utilities, supplies, insurance, etc., in addition to the basic expenses noted above. If you are looking for a cat or dog and cannot afford a shelter's stated adoption price, you might want to ask if a sliding scale or an adjustment is possible. If it is not, check out other adoption sources such as the MSPCA and petfinder.com.
Unfortunately, many people who want pets cannot afford to care for them, especially in these tough economic times. (Again, there may be assistance available; e.g., veterinary discounts for owners who are senior citizens, reduced rates for spaying/neutering through the Animal Rescue League's spay wagon program, etc.)
Some pet owners feel they are unable to keep their animals (or have them fixed so that they don't reproduce, adding to the overpopulation problem). They often have a hard time finding a shelter that will take their animals.
Friends of Beverly Animals does not have a shelter yet, just foster homes. We are always looking for people willing to foster, as well as adopters, for the lost or homeless animals we find on the streets.
Some of these animals are sick and have been abandoned, neglected or abused. As mentioned earlier, besides costs for the animals' basic needs, we pay for a lot of veterinary care, while trying to keep our adoption costs down, and also trying to raise money to establish a shelter in Beverly.
At The Friends of Beverly Animals, we are all volunteers. We do this for no other reason than because we love animals.
We ask our community to please support us in the work we do. For more information on FOBA, fostering or adoption, or to make a donation, please visit our website at friendsofbeverlyanimals.org.