MARYVILLE (WATE) - If you are an animal lover and have spent a lot of time in the pets section on Craigslist, you may have come across a term called a rehoming fee.
The term rehoming fee originated with pet rescue groups, but along the way has been adopted by the other pet groups to mean the amount of money paid to adopt a cat or pet.
Most people are used to paying fees at shelters, but when you are adopting through an individual, it is wise to find out what the rehoming fee covers.
Pet adoption kennels are usually full. At the Young Williams Animal Center in Knoxville, on any given month there could be as many as 150 cats and dogs of all ages available for adoption.
Like most shelters, they're not free for a reason.
"Adoption fees for kittens and puppies are $150 dollars. Adult cats and dogs are $75 and seniors are $50. Those costs help us with the medical expenses we have put into those animals," said Amy Johnston of Young Williams.
Johnston said the animals up for adoption leave Young Williams spayed and neutered. They're all vaccinated and completely vetted with a medical evaluation.
In Maryville, Brandon Widner called 6 On Your Side to ask about rehoming fees.
While looking for new dog on Craigslist, various ads were filled these fees ranging $50 to $250.
As Widner checked Craigslist for young dogs, we explained that from what we learned there is nothing wrong with rehoming fees.
But Karen Marguand with the Small Breed Animal Rescue of East Tennessee said sometimes it is "buyer beware" when using Craigslist.
"It's definitely only policed by the consumers, so the seller has to be very wary and the purchaser has to be wary. Because there are no checks and balances on it, you have to look out for yourself," she said.
At shelters where documentation of animals up for adoption are part of the process. That's not always the case when you're looking online for a pet.
"If you want to purchase a dog that way, find out has this dog been spayed or neutered, been vaccinated? Am I bringing a risk into my family? Can you show proof of any veterinary care?" Marguand said.
Widner found one ad where the seller wanted him to pay nearly $300 to fly the puppy to McGhee Tyson Airport and have him to wire money to Africa. Widner didn't fall for it.
"Any time you are dealing with someone online, you need to be extremely careful," Johnston said. "You can get an animal that is very sick, it can cost you a lot more money than you anticipated. Then you are stuck not knowing what to do."
Widner did successfully buy a dog from Craigslist. At 18 months old, Zala came with all of her records from a good home locally in Rutledge.
Some think shelter or rescue rehoming fees are high, but for everything they do for the animal, you save a lot of money.
Getting an animal fixed, vaccinated, or rehabilitated could cost $200 or more.
Don Dare's 6 On Your Side reports can be seen every Monday, Wednesday and Friday on 6 News at 6:00.
If you have a consumer issue, call the 6 On Your Side Hotline at 865-633-5974 or email email@example.com.
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