I want to adopt a cat from a shelter because it is going to be euthanized soon, but I am willing to take care of it until I can find it a home. Most adoption websites require an adoption fee when someone wants to adopt a cat. Is what I'm doing illegal?
While it is not illegal (not a crime) to give away a cat who a person adopts from a shelter, it may violate a shelter’s adoption agreement. Some of these agreements state that if the adopter no longer wants to keep the adopted animal, the animal must either be returned to the shelter or the adopter must get the shelter’s permission to give the animal away. While shelters are not legally required to charge an adoption fee, they often do so for a variety of reasons, including to cover at least some of their costs (although frequently the fee does not come close to covering the shelter’s cost of caring for the animal). Also, depending on local law, shelters may be required to charge adopters for certain things, such as a dog license and a spay/neuter deposit/fee.
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