Purebred Pricing in the BC SPCA

One thing that has troubled me for some time is the pricing that my local SPCA has for their dogs:

Dogs $225
Dogs – Toy Breeds: $325
Dogs – Purebred (documented by appropriate paperwork): $325

I emailed them and was referred to the BC SPCA, which apparently sets all the prices and got this response:

Thank you for your email, which has been refered to me for reply. After much debate, we did increase prices for purebreds over two years ago. I agree philosophically that purebreds are not “better” dogs, but the economic reality is that the public will readily pay more for such dogs, and as a charity we must maximize our revenues. Yours is the first such comment on this pricing in two years. Thank you for sending us your concern and we will certainly consider all such input.

Best wishes,

Bob Busch

BC SPCA GM Operations

I am perplexed.  The SPCA could maximize their revenues by breeding their dogs to produce puppies that could be sold for more money than older adults, but they don’t.  Why?  They would tell you that it would be contributing to the overpopulation of unwanted dogs and they would be right.  But how is charging more for purebreds working to eliminate overpopulation?  It brings more money, true.  But it also introduces the insidious thought that, “Well, even the SPCA thinks irresponsibly produced purebreds and toys are more valuable than regular ol’ Lab mixes!  Papers must mean something!” which, if you think about it, is pretty much the opposite message that the SPCA wants to get across to people.

Here’s what I sent back to Mr. Busch:

Hi, Bob,

If I have sent you the first comment on the pricing in two years, it may mean that most of the people seeing the pricing are thinking that it’s natural for purebreds to be “worth money” and that “papers” mean that the dog is somehow worth more than other dogs.  I would submit that, contrary to maximizing your revenues, this pricing policy is actually working against them, by perpetuating the myth that these dogs are somehow more valuable than the ordinary dogs that had the misfortune to be born mongrels.  It’s difficult for the SPCA to encourage people not to breed their dogs solely for profit when the SPCA is trading on the image of the purebred dog to make more money.

Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to my email,

Julie MacTire