1. How do I adopt a Pixel Fund animal?
The first step is to submit an adoption application. There is no application fee or obligation to adopt. It allows us to get to know you, begin processing the application and shows us you are serious about pursuing adoption. We check vet references and reserve the right to visit you in your home. We will contact you to chat by phone to determine what kind of pet will best fit with your home, family and lifestyle. Once your application is pre-approved, we will arrange a “meet and greet” with one or more of our pets for you to get to know them and to help you select the right fit. Our goal is a forever home, so sometimes we will say no, or ask that you consider a dog other than one you have chosen. We know our dogs and their needs. Their needs are the most important thing to us. Once we have all decided on the right animal, a contract is signed, the adoption fee is paid and you may take your animal home. Our support does not end there – you may call us at any time with questions or requests and we will do our best to support you.
2. Is the adoption fee refundable if I change my mind?
No, we do not refund adoption fees. However, depending on the circumstances, we may allow credit towards another pet or some other accommodation. If you are unsure of the fit, we suggest our “foster to adopt” program where you may foster one of our pets for up to 5 days to see if the fit is right. Thereafter, we will finalize the adoption.
3. What are your adoption criteria?
We do not have any other criteria than a safe, loving forever home for each of our animals. There are red flags – if you have surrendered an animal and do not have a reasonable explanation, if you have more animals than you can handle, if you do not have your landlord’s permission, if your family, partner, spouse is not completely on board with the decision, or other factors we deem risky, we will question you further and ask you to help us understand the circumstances so that we can determine that they have been overcome.
4. What guarantees come with the animal?
We are not a pet store. These animals have been pulled from shelters and we usually have no idea as to their history in terms of health, breed, temperament, etc. We have treated issues we become aware of, have vaccinated and have had our animals examined by a veterinarian, but we cannot guarantee ongoing health, behavior or longevity. Such is the nature of rescue. We can guarantee that you have saved a life by adopting.
5. Why are your adoption fees so high?
Our cost to save a pet are typically above and beyond that which we charge for an adoption fee. Here is our "truth in adoption" information.
Pull Fee - $
Sometimes we can pull an animal for free, but often the high kill shelters we rescue our animals from charge a pull fee.
Transport - $$
Each animal must be examined by a vet and issued a health certificate, which range anywhere from $20 to $55 per animal. Commercial transport is $150 per crate, regardless of whether we are transporting a 5 pound Chihuahua or a 125 pound Newfoundland.
Food & Board - $$$
Sometimes we have no fosters and an animal must go into boarding. In November 2013, we had 6 dogs in boarding or other paid situations. The least expensive is $17 a day. Every day. We reimburse fosters for expenses and food if requested.
Rehabilitation - $$$$
When an animal has a behavior issue, we do NOT euthanize, we rehabilitate. Rehab is not cheap. We spend thousands of dollars rehabilitating animals that have been abused or neglected to ensure they can become the loving family members we know are deep inside their protective exterior.
Veterinary Fees - $$
The care for our animals includes vaccinations and the initial vet exam - costs vary depending on what is needed. Even with our veterinary discounts, our expenses include (but are not limited to) the following:
Adult dogs require a mandatory 4DX test which is a minimum of $39.
All dogs require a fecal test ($24 at the vet with our discount) and treatment for any parasites we find.
Spay/Neuter - For a tiny pup under 15 pounds it is a minimum of $40 and it goes up from there by weight. For a healthy animal, we are looking at a MINIMUM of $125 to $175 depending on what is needed.
Heartworm Treatment - Unlike some rescues, we do NOT send our dogs back (to certain death) if they test Heartworm or Ehrlichia positive. We treat it. Heartworm treatment with doxycline is a minimum of $250. Erhlichia requires 30 days of doxycline at about $150. At least 20% of our adults are either HW or Ehrlichia positive.
Miscellaneous Treatment - We get dogs that need varying veterinary care (ex. cherry eye that needs repair - $60 to $300 depending on the severity, flea infestation, treatment for malnourishment or physical injury, treatment for mange, etc.).
If you average it all together, the true cost of a rescue dog that arrives in Maine is somewhere around $600. We make up the shortfall through the generosity of our supporters and through our store. We work to be as self-sustaining as possible so we can do more. So many of the Maine rescues are in the same situation as we are - they are dedicated, compassionate and the task is never-ending, although we all look to that day when we can be out of this "business" altogether. We are always happy to show you the receipts for the actual cost of your adopted Pixel Pup. Sometimes it may be less than the adoption fee, but 9 times out of 10 it is much more. Thank you for listening and understanding.
6. Why do you spend so much money on one dog when the same amount could save ten?
That is an important question. Our personal answer is that there are plenty of rescues out there pulling the easy dogs. We like an easy one from time to time. But we are in it for the voiceless, the ones that have little chance without us. Just look at the blog posts about Marni, Brody, and so many others. Should we have euthanized those and cut our losses, so that we could get the less costly ones? No. That was a conscious decision we made as a group. These dogs are worth it. We do not sit in judgment to say who lives and who dies. We charge the same for each dog regardless of how much we have paid out for that one specifically. In fact, for seniors, we charge significantly less because we care so much about them and want them in homes, even though those are the ones who cost us the most, on average.
7. What is Paw it Forward?
This program is a way for animals to pay it forward to another animal. The Pixel Fund will have a larger adoption fee for any purebred or very desirable breed animals to help offset the costs of other medically needy animals. As you may know, The Pixel Fund is known for taking the injured animals who need us most. With Paw it Forward in place, the larger fee will go towards another animal’s needs. Whether it be orthopedic surgery to repair a broken bone, heartworm treatment, or treating other illnesses or conditions, we believe paying it forward for all creatures is important.