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We do exist to help animals in need, but there are limitations to what we can and cannot do.


Please read below to understand more about this:

–We cannot take in stray animals.

There are a few reasons:

  • The first is that we are foster based: have nowhere to house them without notice. Perhaps you can imagine the numbers of animals that could be brought to us in a day. We don’t have a shelter facility (just a dog daycare where dogs cannot stay overnight)- so there are no empty kennels just waiting to be filled.  We get at least 5-10 surrender requests a week, if people were allowed to simply stop in and bring pets, we’d be inundated immediately.

  • The second is that being an open admission shelter, or “animal control” would involve working with the local city and state government, who would permit and regulate our work. We’d need contracts set up with the authorities in order to take in stray and homeless pets off the streets. We do not have the opportunity to be available for these pets for the reason above, and therefore we are not interested in seeking a contract to be authorized for that.

  • We can only take in the number of animals we have open, qualified foster homes for- and depending on people’s schedules, the holiday seasons and more, this can greatly vary our numbers of available homes.

–We cannot take in or assist wildlife.
  • Working with wildlife does require special licenses and permits as well. Although we are called Motley “Zoo”, it does not include animals you might find in your yard like raccoons, squirrels, opossums, birds and more. Our work specifically revolves around domesticated pets- primarily dogs and cats- and occasionally small furry ones. As the name “Zoo” implies, someday we may perhaps be open and available for the intakes of other types of pets, or even livestock and equines- however as we’re foster based, we’re limited currently by what fosters can take into their homes. Currently, we only work with fosters ready and willing to help cats and dogs. We typically refer surrenders of unusual or exotic species to specialty rescues, set up specifically for those types of animals.

Here are some locations that do rehabilitate wildlife:

–We are not a vet assistance program.

We work hard for pets that have no one available to help them any longer. Sometimes this means a pet left at the vet with serious injuries or when folks have died; people who have lost their homes…as hard as times are for everyone, we unfortunately cannot assist families with their pets if they are not surrendering them.

Since we cannot offer assistance financially, we do work hard to offer resources, advice and suggestions or other education, which can in the end, help people keep their pets (especially if the reason for surrender is a behavioral one). Sometimes our encouragement and assistance alone is enough to help - and sometimes it is not…sometimes the pets need significant financial help that is a challenge even for us.

Here is a comprehensive list of National and State programs available for Vet Assistance, as compiled by the Humane Society of the United States.

There are options available for this type of help- but as you can imagine there are many demands placed on these organizations as well. It is not a for sure thing, and it will take time. The important part is that like us, dedication and persistence pays off, so keep trying.

–We cannot give away pets or negotiate  adoption donations.

This is because just like any other business, we are still a business with a bottom line. Non-profit simply means we are a business that consistently operates at a loss, and fundraising is how we make ends meet. It however does not mean that we don’t have needs, standards and expenses- even as a volunteer run group.

We of course want our pets to have great homes- but giving them away would not necessarily help make that happen. It is NOT about finances to us at all when choosing adopters, but we do have to take into account the fact that having pets is an expensive endeavor. It can quickly become about finances during serious situations and dire circumstances. We simply want to find families that would consider giving their pets up last- or best, not at all- even despite their troubles.

Our goal is to do our best to make sure pets never again find themselves without a family, no matter what this means in regards to your bank account. We do provide average pet guardianship costs in our application to show our applicants what may be involved before they commit to adoption. Only you can decide if that may work for you or not- and we have found many times it is simply about what people’s priorities are, not necessarily finances after all.

Our donations are considered non- negotiable, because we first off, price them as fairly as we can based on our own expenses- all funds coming in go directly to help the animals. Our team is ALL volunteer, and we do this out of our love of the pets. Secondly, if we took any less, it would only ensure we would not be there for the next pet in line- we would simply be unable to continue our work. That would leave more pets in jeopardy, and we cannot let this happen.

In general younger, healthier (therefore more adoptable and desirable) pets’ donations are at the higher end of the spectrum, than older, less healthy pets, for the obvious reasons! In general however, most pets cost us far more than we ever recoup in donations, either way. In 2010 our average pet cost was approximately $350, which has jumped to over $425 (nearly $450) in 2011, because of some of the expensive cases we have taken on.


Sure, it may not be your specific concern that we took in expensive pets, but we hope you can understand and share the compassion that we have, in believing all pets are equal and worthwhile- and therefore it is not about cost (but IS about realistic outcomes) when we take on a pet. Besides that, as many cases as we strategically calculate, many times they quickly become complex with a health condition discovered that went undetected (or was intentionally hidden from us). We cannot abandon a pet because their case suddenly becomes more complex and more expensive. the costs all become averaged in no matter what we spend on your exact pet- and it is for the betterment of All pets - which is hopefully one of the reasons you are considering adoption anyway!

When we then adopt out a young and healthy pet for $350, we are still left with bills needing to be paid- which involves great effort in our fundraising. Yes, fundraising is what we knew we’d need to do when we set out on this adventure, but when we spend (unpaid) 10 hours a day in the car, another 6-8 on emails at night, many days and nights adopting out pets besides, there simply isn’t enough time left to fund-raise. As hard as it is for every person out there for you to come by your hard earned finds, it is exponentially more difficult for us to come by those same funds- because we have to rely on generous people to willingly GIVE us these funds (without adopting), or by paying the requested adoption donations for their pets.


We greatly rely on each person in this cycle to do their part- vets help with some discounts, we take in and treat the pets so adopters don’t have to, but then adopters absolutely must recognize the benefit they received directly in the joys of their new adopted pets, and that this comes at a small cost, for the joy received. You also receive a tax deduction for this- which cannot be said for treating a pet on your own at the vet, or from buying a pet from a store or breeder.

 –We can only help when we have enough help!

We always want to do our best to help, but as we’re a volunteer run organization, please keep in mind we can only do so much. If we fail to do something well, it is likely because there is no one available to do “that” thing. We can always use more help- which really, means that our capacity is based on YOU and what you are willing to do to help.

This means that sometimes we can not take in owner surrender pets. It also means that sometimes applications can take a while to process so patience is appreciated. If you haven’t gotten a reply regarding either in a weeks time, please try contacting us again.

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