Following my most recent social media post, it definitely has raised a lot of eyebrows and questions as to how Paws of the North will pay for expenses without asking for adoption fees. For many rescues, adoption fees do play a major part in running the day to day financials, and I have been a part of rescues that do accept these fees.
Due to the nature of Paws of the North’s mission, in assisting the northern communities, it is something we have decided to forego. For this, I am breaking down roughly how much money is needed to be able to run our rescue. First and foremost, we are solely volunteer run. I’m personally not against Directors receiving a salary for their not for profit, but depends how that money is being allocated (but this is a different topic altogether).
1.) Veterinary Care
For every rescue, this is where the majority of the money is spent. Our dogs require all the routine care upon arrival: vaccinations, external and internal parasite treatments, spay/neuter and any other potential illness/injury they might present. A spay surgery alone for an adult dog averages around $600. We are offered some discounts from our amazing veterinary team, but you always have to budget for the unexpected. So we budget that each dog could potentially cost $400-$700 depending on age & health, and of course having enough money readily available for emergencies.
As our dogs come from isolated, northern Ontario communities – travel is a large part of our overall budget. There is limited road access, so flying by commercial airline is the main use of transportation. We are lucky to work with an awesome airline that charges per dog, not by weight, of roughly $150. Next is all the car travel, from Timmins/Thunder Bay airport pick ups, travelling south to home base, adoption meetings, vet visits etc. These costs are dependent on how many dogs we receive in a month, but gas costs average about $250 per dog.
3.) Supplies & Administration
We are very lucky to receive many supply donations such as food, towels, cleaning supplies, toys etc. from members of the community. We still average about $100 a month for items we potentially didn’t receive by donation or are difficult to be donated.
We wish we didn’t have them, but there are administrative/marketing costs involved as well, from website, printing, fundraising costs etc. We try to keep these costs to a minimum, but a rescue is still considered a business and these costs are essential. Our average budget is $150 a month to upkeep the administrative side of the rescue.
At this time, we take in an average of 5 dogs (not including puppies) a month. This making our monthly expense budget roughly $3,750 a month plus admin fees. This is a lot of money to come up with when you don’t have adoption fees. We want to stick true to our commitment to these communities, and for this we need the help of our supporters.
We also have our initiatives outside of the dog care, and that is to put together spay/neuter/wellness programs within these remote communities. A one time, a clinic can cost upwards of $8,000 after flights, equipment, medication/supplies, accommodation, food etc.
Having said all this, I believe in the supporters we have and will gain, that will assist us with our goals and help us make a difference for these communities and the dogs that come into our care.
Every little bit helps, so if you can donate, we appreciate anything you are able to spare.