Why We Do It

We love saving lives, and there is no question that fee-waived adoption events SAVE LIVES. They bring out adopters, cut the length of stay for shelter animals, and create precious space in the shelter for others in need. While stories of abuse and neglect may dominate in media and elicit strong feelings from those who read them, it is important to remember that the vast majority of animals adopted from these events will remain in their homes as loved, valued members of their new families.

Don’t take our word for it.

“When we shut the door on reduced-fee or fee-waived adoptions, we do it based on the notion that people value expensive things more than inexpensive things.” writes Best Friends Animal Society Co-Founder Francis Battista.

“Pets aren’t things. They are friends, family members and loving companions whose value to their person has nothing to do with how much they cost. Low-cost and fee-waived adoption promotions work. They save lives and entail no more risk than events that charge a full fee.”

Myth: Offering fee-waived adoptions means Maui Humane Society doesn’t care who adopts the animals.

Truth: MHS staff cares about ALL our shelter animals, and we work hard to place them in loving homes. Fee-waived adopters go through the exact same adoption process as any other adopter on any other day.

Myth: Waiving the adoption fee gives the impression that the animal isn’t worth anything, and this will have an effect on how the adopter values or cares for the animal.

Truth: You can’t put a price on love! While we normally charge an adoption fee to recoup some of the cost of caring for our shelter animals, the fee itself is not a reflection of their worth. This study by ASPCA concluded that statistically, adopters show the same level of attachment to their animal regardless of the payment or waiver of an adoption fee.

Myth: Most animals who are adopted from fee-waived events end up back in the shelter.

Truth: The vast majority of animals adopted at fee-waived events remain in loving homes. This study conducted by Maddie’s Fund concluded that fee-waived animals are also just as likely to remain in their homes as fee-paid animals.

Myth: People who adopt a pet for free probably can’t afford to take care of that animal.

Truth: Most people value and care for their pets regardless of how much they paid for them. Anyone who has loved and cared for a stray animal knows this is true! In this study by the ASPCA’s Emily Weiss on cat adoptions, it was found that there was no statistical difference in post-adoption veterinary care received by fee-waived and non fee-waived cats. Regardless of fee status, most adopters brought their cats for follow-up veterinary care.