Thank you for choosing to visit The Animal League!
Frequently Asked Questions
Are you a for-profit or non-profit organization?
The Animal League was established in 1988 to help the abused, abandoned, and neglected animals of Lake County. We are proud of the way we utilize our limited resources with care. We operate a full scale adoption center and thrift shop and are very conscientious and thrifty about spending. We are a registered 501(c)(3), operating on the generosity of the community. The Animal League does not receive funding from any governmental entity. Our adoption fees are determined based on our operating costs to run the adoption center, the medical costs each new arrival requires, and fair market pricing.
Where do you get your funding?
We do not receive any governmental funding or taxpayer money. All of our funding comes from donations, mainly from our community. We are a 501 (c) (3) registered non-profit charity and The Animal League is a Guidestar Exchange Goldstar Participant committed to transparency. We re-use bags and cut coupons. We do all we can to make sure every penny goes to saving more animals.
From where do you get your adoptable pets?
We take in dogs and cats typically from county kill shelters: we save these sweet pets from being euthanized. They are deserving of love, yet all of these pets have been abandoned or lost and not retrieved. Many are injured or neglected and some have been abused. Sadly, most of these innocent pets come to us depressed, despondent and without hope. In our care, they are rehabilitated.
What do you do with each pet upon arrival?
For every pet, we provide rehabilitation in addition to routine health care such as up-to-date vaccines and preventatives such as heartworm and flea control. We spay/neuter and microchip each pet and test them for leukemia/aids and heartworms.
Every single one of these dogs and cats requires medical treatment ranging from $450-$2,000.00 each. This medical treatment is in addition to housing, transport, feeding, and other costs associated with keeping them safe, healthy, and happy while in our care.
When we post photos of pets for adoption, they are happy, healthy, and eager for their forever home. Those happy faces are the same pets after weeks and sometimes months of rehabilitation and heartache. What the public does not see:
- Our staff and volunteers on a daily basis bathe, hand or syringe feed those too weak to eat on their own, give subcutaneous fluids and medications, clean wounds, take those too weak to be left alone home overnight to ensure they will survive, and cry silent tears when they do not.
- Our staff and volunteers get paid nothing or little for very physically exhausting and very emotionally draining work. We do what we do for the animals.
- 95% of us working on behalf of The Animal League are volunteers. We give our time and resources to help homeless animals and provide them hope and love. Our Board consists entirely of dedicated volunteers. Our Shelter Director of 5 years is a full time volunteer working over 70 hours a week and is always on call: she has never asked for a dime in return.
- Our volunteers provide entirely for free educational programs for thousands of children each year, comfort to the elderly, pet food to those in need, and comfort to children called to testify in court.
Are there age restrictions to adopting a pet from The Animal League?
Yes, you must be 21 years of age to adopt a pet from The Animal League. We also have age guidelines for families who have young children in the household.
I noticed your pricing isn’t the same for each pet. Why are your pet fees so varied, and a few of your pet fees high?
Thank you for asking. The average cost of care for each pet we take in is $467.00 and the average adoption fee is $148.00. We set our prices based on operating costs, pet medical costs, and fair market value. Fair market value means that when we get in a pet breed that is in high demand, we set the pricing accordingly, and these are what we call our fundraiser pets.
Typically, only 10% of our available pets are fundraiser pets and we carefully choose pets that we know will not wait long for good homes regardless of the fee. Fundraiser pets typically have many applications from lovely families. We choose the home that not only best matches that pet’s breed characteristics but also best matches individual personalities. We do this so that both the family and the pet will enjoy a harmonious life. Fundraiser pets do not wait long at all before getting adopted, even with the increased pricing.
However, the majority of our pets are not designated as fundraiser pets. We would be thrilled to find you a best match pet at a regular or reduced fee if adoption costs are a concern. Pets priced well below standard prices are a part of our Forever Hope program. These pets are less likely to find homes quickly so we reduce their fee to help expedite their entry into loving homes. This fee is as low as $20 for a completely lovable and fully vetted fur-kid. The adoption fee for Forever Hope pets is reduced 50% from our standard fee.
If you’re a senior looking to adopt, please check out our Senior-to-Senior Program!
I noticed a pet listing said he is a “Sunshine Fund” recipient. What’s that?
The Sunshine Fund was created to raise money for the medical bills of pets that have come to us in great need. Sunshine Fund recipient pets are pets requiring extensive medical treatment such as pets involved in severe neglect, accidents, and those born with birth defects.
Surgeries and special care for just one of these pets often reaches thousands of dollars. Occasionally, when we are experiencing costly special care cases, we will designate a pet as a “Sunshine Fundraiser Pet,” bringing sunshine to others. The adoption fee will be higher than standard to help cover medical care for special needs pets.
I noticed a pet was listed as a “Have a Heart” pet. What does that mean?
The Have a Heart fund was set up to raise money for treatment of our heartworm positive dogs. We take in a high percentage of heartworm positive dogs. These loving pets are often euthanized in county shelters because of the high cost of treating this deadly disease. We rescue and treat between 150-200 heartworm positive dogs annually. Each pet cost $400-$800 to treat and that is in addition to all of the other costs associated with each animal’s healthcare and well-being. By asking a higher fee ($100 additional) on selected pets, we are able to help more of these dogs who would otherwise be without hope.
What should I do if my vet said my new pet is not well?
We make every effort to provide you with a pet who is healthy and adjusted. They may need you to continue their rehab in smaller ways such as providing them with the structure and training they did not receive in their first home. We ask that you sign a form at adoption time that says you understand that you are now responsible for your pet’s care both emotionally and financially.
If your vet finds a preexisting condition that we missed, during the allocated time period, we offer to take the pet back and refund you your adoption fee in full. Alternatively, if you do not want to return the pet and you choose to instead provide the medical care for that pet, then he continues to be your pet and all expenses are your financial responsibility.
We do our very best to give you a healthy pet and if that pet is not healthy we can and will continue working on making him healthy. We are fully committed to saving those we have taken under our wing and will gladly accept him back.
Will you continue to pay for vet bills once I’ve adopted him/her?
No. We can’t pay for your pet’s health care and let you keep the pet. The pet is your responsibility if you choose not to return him or her within the specified time. By law, we cannot treat the pet if he is under your ownership. If you choose to keep the pet then providing the care to the pet you committed to is the responsible and fair thing to do.
What if I can no longer take care of my pet?
If you adopted your pet from The Animal League, you are obligated by the contract you signed to return him to us if we have the room. However, have you considered all of your options? Generally there is a solution for most concerns you have about keeping your pet. Please review our resources as we want to keep your furry family member with you.