In the early days of CTTR, we hadn’t done any fundraising yet but were faced with a sick tortoise. Luckily, we had a few donations, but we quickly spent all of them on vet care for the sick animal. And then we spent several hundred dollars of our own money on his care. Finally, we decided that our family couldn’t support his care any longer, and made the very hard choice to have him euthanized. Right then and there, we decided that money should never be the reason we lose an animal.
We performed mathematical exercise to figure out what our most basic minimum annual operating expenses are over the course of a year (vet bills, food, required maintenance) and divided that by the number of animals we can generally expect to rescue in a year. Keeping in mind that some animals will cost us 0 to maintain, some will cost thousands (sick tortoises are very, very expensive), our adoption fees cover the average cost it costs us to care for each animal. We don’t make money doing this, and we can’t cover any extra expenses with adoption fees (obviously we simply donate all of the electricity, water, time and labor, but it does cost money to build new enclosures and repair things), we rely on donations over and above adoption fees for that, but the adoption fees do allow us to keep our doors open and continue helping animals.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, I hope that it answered your questions!