Cat with green eyes

Looking for a way to increase lifesaving and reduce costs? You may want to consider permanently lowering adoption fees.

That’s exactly what Maria M. Benham, the then-President and CEO of Dubuque Regional Humane Society in Iowa did. As you’ll learn in their Maddie Talk Reducing Cat Adoption Fees Can Save Lives AND Expenses, the results were tremendous.

Of course, it wasn’t as simple as just slashing adoption fees. She presented the board of directors with the data: $75,000 in euthanasia costs, $321,000 in cat care costs and $58,000 in adoption income. She told them that no possible adoption fee would actually cover the cost of housing a cat.

With the board’s blessing, adoption fees were reduced, and the positive effects were felt throughout the entire shelter. Not only did cat adoptions increase by 20 percent, but staff morale improved and turnover decreased.

Despite the worries some had that low-cost adoptions would increase returns or lead unsavory people to adopt, Benham said you “have to trust that people are good and will make the right choice.” Potential adopters still went through the same adoption process as before.

In the end, DRHS adoption income decreased to $32,000, but the savings in euthanasia costs will astound you.

Watch the 7 minute Maddie Talk to learn about how Dubuque Regional Humane Society increased lifesaving by decreasing adoption fees.