What Is The Difference Between Rescue and Adoption?

This blog post will answer the question, “difference between rescue and adoption?” and covers topics such as basic difference between adoption and rescue, the difference in adoption from shelter versus rescue, pros and cons of both, and end with answering popular questions such as why the cost of adoption is so high.  

Difference Between Rescue and Adoption

To begin with, we recognize that different people may have different ideas about what animal shelters and rescues are. An animal refuge may be the same institution as your local pound or it may be something entirely different, depending on where you live.

In certain locations, an animal rescue also serves as an animal shelter, so what’s the difference between the two and where would it be better to start?


As explained previously, animal shelters can be run by local foundations or by the government, although not all shelters are sponsored by taxpayers. Animal shelters are often locations where animals are donated or adopted when their previous owners are unable to care for them or when they are found on the street.

Shelters are nearly always full and accommodate all types of animals (as well as pets according to municipal regulations). Many animal shelters accommodate all sorts of animals, which requires the shelter to euthanize the animals rather than leave them to their destiny. 

Of course, those who operate or work in shelters do not want this to happen, and some even have no-murder laws, but euthanizing animals is sometimes the greatest option for both the animals and the community. As a result, Shelter Animal Days are commonly referred to as a number. Because this may be true in many circumstances.

Shelter Pros 

  • Animals are kept in shelters so that adoptable animals can be seen.
  • Adoption processing processes are often quicker and less demanding than adoptions from animal shelters (this is a general statement, though not all animal shelters; check with the specific shelter or call for information).
  • It’s simpler to interact with potential pets because some shelters include gathering areas or playrooms where you can get to know your preferred animals.
  • The majority of shelters provide care for dogs with mild diseases…
  • Deworming, neutering, and neutering animals before they are ready to take them are also common practices. This translates to huge cost reductions in the veterinary field.


  • Some animal shelters will try to get the animals to you as soon as possible. Depending on your demands and personality, as well as the animal’s, this might have undesirable consequences. 
  • Remember that shelters have a certain amount of room and will constantly require additional space to accommodate new animals.
  • Some of the animals in the shelter have no previous records.
  • Another concern is that, because most shelters have short turnaround periods for animals, employees and volunteers may not know enough about the animal to determine whether it is a good match. Whether you like it or not.
  • Before you may adopt or bring a pet home, private shelters may have a range of criteria and costs.
  • A little charge might be inconvenient for some individuals, even if it is much less expensive than taking an intact pet to the veterinarian for treatment.
  • Because shelters may be daunting places for animals that aren’t used to being in a tight space with other animals, animals in shelters frequently don’t have the best behavior (this applies even in the best shelters). 
  • As a result, you may lose out on a wonderful pet just because it is afraid when you first meet it.


Animal shelters can be operated by government staff or privately owned by a group of volunteers. Because of the nature of the shelter (some do not reject donated animals), it may be highly congested, both with animals and with employees and volunteers. 

As a result, even the greatest shelters may not always provide the ideal environment for future dogs to meet them. That’s why it’s critical to spend time alone with your pet before adopting. 

Some shelters feature family meeting rooms where you, your family, and current pets may visit with potential pet prospects, but not all do, or have the capacity or time to do so.


An animal rescue is either a private company or a non-profit organization that takes in certain animals (mostly puppies or companion animals) from abusive homes or destitute circumstances. 

An animal rescue provides a temporary residence for the animal via a network of animal foster parents who continue to house the animal until it’s adopted.

This might be at any moment during rehabilitation if the animal has fitness or behavior issues, or it could be at any point during treatment if the animal is sick or in need of veterinary assistance.

Animal rescue might sometimes be limited to one or two species. Some of these differ by breed and age, which is positive since it implies that folks who care for animals are enthusiastic about the breed or age of the animal being saved.

Animal rescue is often funded solely via contributions and the goodwill of animal lovers. Animal rescues seldom receive government assistance or financing.

Animal Rescue Pros 

  • Animals frequently stay at home, which allows them to preserve social skills and become used to humans.
  • Because animals in rescue spend so much more time with their adopted parents, there is a lot more information on animals that could be of interest to you. It also means you’ll be able to see and hear what you’ll get if you accept Animal Rescue’s offer.
  • Adopting from an orphanage is typically a considerably more complicated procedure than adopting from a foster home. Approval might take many weeks and may need numerous visits. This is a benefit for individuals who are serious about taking home the proper pet or pets. Animals in the Park
  • Shelter cats are frequently in good health, having been neutered, sterilized, and vaccinated throughout the whole cycle.
  • If you don’t, you usually have a detailed record of what has to be done, so there’s minimal room for error. Before taking the animal home, you will have multiple opportunities to engage with the pet prospect. This implies a more gradual adjustment, which is less traumatic for both you and the animal.

Animal rescue cons:

  • It might take weeks to ensure that you and your pet get along, and some individuals just don’t have that time.
  • When compared to adopting from a shelter, the paperwork and upkeep expenditures might be significantly greater.
  • As soon as you demonstrate an interest in your pet or companion animal, you may be compelled to pay veterinarian costs. Keep in mind that animal rescue organizations are privately funded and run on a donation basis, so you shouldn’t expect to be charged nothing. The good news is that, despite the price, animal rescue can send your information on to a doctor who can offer you a lower pricing, so it’s not exactly a jerk. 
  • Because the pet stays with a volunteer foster, meeting the future pet and organizing visits might be difficult. This implies that the foster parent cannot just abandon his or her job to accommodate your desire to meet the animal.
  • Some rescue organizations may need home visits even months after the adoption has been completed to confirm that the pet is settling in properly. It’s reasonable that some people may object to this.


Volunteers are typically the ones that carry out animal rescues. Because shelters frequently have temporary foster homes for the animals they adopt, if they have a facility, it is generally considerably smaller than a shelter. 

In certain circumstances, the adoptive family or person adopts an animal because it is unavoidable to form a deep bond with an animal that has lived with you for weeks or even months.

Because they are familiar with the animal’s habits, requirements, goals, and yes, personality, rescuers may be more stringent when matching an animal with an intended parent. 

They are very serious about ensuring that whoever is allowed to adopt will be the child’s parent for the rest of his or her life.

This isn’t to say that all rescues are the same; as a spokesperson from HomeFurEver put it, “every rescue is distinct.” Our operating systems, application procedures, and needs are all distinct. 

If you are authorized for one rescue, it does not mean you will be approved for another. 

Every dog is unique in its own way. What we need for one dog could not be the same as what we need for another. fenced yard, additional dogs in the house, family members’ ages, and so on.


Humans frequently choose an animal rescue or an animal refuge because they really prefer one over the other or because one’s approach is simpler. 

What puppy parents should understand is that while it’s essential to conduct some background research on the animal refuge or animal rescue they’ve in mind, it’s even more crucial to learn about the adoption method that each facility or business uses.

There is no definitive answer as to what is the best method to use. It all relies on who runs the shelter or rescue organization and how well they look after the animals.

Some animal shelters collaborate with local rescue groups to guarantee that animals that are no longer able to live in shelters or who require special care are able to be adopted.

Why Do Pet Adoption Fees Cost So Much?

When people go to adopt an animal from a shelter or rescue group, they are sometimes surprised by the adoption costs, which may range from $50 to $300 depending on the organization. Shouldn’t you be able to adopt a homeless animal for free?

Even if you have to spend a few large charges to get your new pet home, you will most likely save money. The first veterinarian bills, which can be costly for animals in poor condition, are frequently covered by shelters and rescue organizations.

They also cover the costs of animal feed, transportation, and other other fees.

These adoption charges are often included, as shown below, however the cost and services vary per shelter and rescue organisation.

  1. Veterinary Examination:

 Going to the doctor is expensive, as any pet owner knows, but when you adopt a cat, dog, or other animal from a rescue group, your creature has already been examined by a veterinarian.

  1. Vaccinations:

Vaccinations against rabies, distemper, parvovirus, and kennel cough are given to dogs on a regular basis, while rabies and feline leukemia are given to cats. If your cat had spent several months in a shelter, it would have gotten booster shots to keep it healthy.

  1. Preventative and therapeutic measures:

Your new pet will very certainly have been treated for fleas, ticks, ear mites, and even heartworm when you adopt from a shelter. The cost of treating heartworm is high. Fleas, ticks, and heartworms are all treated on a regular basis to keep the animals healthy.

  1. Neutering: 

A new pet’s first visit to the veterinarian might be costly, but virtually all shelters and rescue organizations cover this expense in their adoption fees. Animals are given pain medications and are examined to ensure that they are recuperating adequately in addition to neutering or neutering.

  1. Microchips: 

While not everyone uses microchips to save pets, it’s becoming increasingly widespread as a convenient way to reunite lost pets with their owners.Microchip information and proof that the animal has been vaccinated against rabies are commonly included on identification tags.

  1. Food:

Feeding Your pet while in the shelter may be covered in part by adoption costs, which may include special meals for animals with food allergies or digestive problems. Food bags may be provided by certain rescue organizations to assist your dog acclimatize to a new diet gradually.

Expenses Not Included 

Expenses left out while formulating the Budget The cost of adoption may involve a variety of expenses, depending on the rescue organization and the pet:

  1. Antibiotics, x-rays, and other therapies are among the medical services available.
  2. If dogs are relocated from another shelter or location, transportation expenses will be incurred.
  3. Bedding, toys, treats, and other items that help animals in shelters have a better life.

Furthermore, while a recently acquired pet may have a clean medical certificate, the shelter must cover the costs of more costly instances, such as seriously damaged or heartworm-infected animals.

Above all, the adoption costs you give will help to keep the orphanage open. Many animal rescue groups are not-for-profit organizations that rely on contributions and adoption fees rather than state or government assistance.

By providing a permanent home for your pet, you may help another homeless cat or dog by creating place for them and paying for their adoption.


1. https://www.homeoanimal.com/blogs/blog-pet-health/81114180-animal-rescue-and-animal-shelter-what-is-the-difference#:~:text=The%20adoption%20process%20from%20a,right%20pet%20or%20animal%20companion.

2. https://outtathecage.org/blog/adoption-vs-rescue-whats-the-difference 

3. https://www.petsplusus.com/pet-information/lifestyle/whats-difference-between-animal-shelter-and-animal-rescue