Adoption Fees


All TLC dogs are up to date on all age-appropriate vaccinations and have been microchipped with lifetime registration prior to being adopted.

The non-refundable adoption fee includes: a wellness exam; heartworm testing, if age appropriate and treatment where necessary; deworming; spaying/neutering (unless a dog is too small/young to safely perform the surgery prior to adoption);  and the full support of our staff, as well as free phone/email support from our trainers. Our trainers also offer discounts on obedience training classes with them.

to meet increasing veterinary costs, effective May 1 our adoption fee will increase to $425 for puppies under 6 months old, and $395 for dogs 6 months of age & older

  • Please note: there is a refundable spay/neuter deposit of $225 for puppies that are intact at the time of adoption
    • All intact puppies adopted from TLC are expected to be spayed/neutered as soon as the vet determines it is safe to perform the procedure
    • The deposit will be refunded to you when we receive a copy of the spay/neuter certificate provided by your vet after the procedure is performed
    • This deposit is not part of the adoption fee
    • If you are approved to adopt puppy that is not yet spayed/neutered, your adoption coordinator will speak to you about the options and timing for spay/neuter surgery

Why is there an adoption fee? Adoption fees help cover the costs of care (veterinary, food, transportation, etc.) of our dogs while they are waiting to find their furever families. Many veterinary clinics provide care to rescues at a discounted rate which is why the adoption fees we charge are significantly less than you would pay if you bought a dog and then had to make arrangements to pay for the basic vetting we provide prior to adoption. Additionally, adoption fees also help pay for extra care some of our may dogs need, as well as help support TLC pay for the basic costs of “doing business.”  

Dogs you get for free, from a breeder or pet store usually aren’t spayed or neutered, and may not have a full set of vaccinations or other testing, adding to the expense.

Breakdown of the average cost you would have to pay for the basic vet care for a new dog not adopted through rescue:

  • Wellness Exam $50
  • Spay/Neuter $200 – $400
  • Vaccinations (Rabies, DHPP, Bordetella) $100
    • Puppies receive a series of 3 DHPP boosters between 8 – 16 weeks of age and rabies vaccination between 12-16 weeks; puppies are vaccinated up to date based on their age
  • Deworming $50
  • Flea/Tick preventative $15/month
  • Heartworm Testing $40
    • Heartworm preventative $8/month
    • Puppies are not tested for Heartworm until they are at least 6 months of age
    • Puppies under 6 months old are given Heartworm preventatives prior to testing; dogs 6 months or older are tested, and treated where necessary, prior to starting Heartworm preventatives
  • Microchipping & registration $45 + registration fees


Please note that adoption fees, even when paid to a 501(c)(3) non-profit rescue/shelter, are not tax-deductible under current law.

Should you choose to make a donation above the cost of adopting from us, that portion of the payment in excess of the adoption fee would be considered a donation eligible for tax deduction.

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