I don't know why they charge that much. At the shelter where I volunteer, it's $50 for a dog no matter what breed or size. Some of the adoption fees are sponsored if they have been with us for a long time. It includes microchipping, a free 5 lb. bag of food, a collar if you don't have one and a leash, a tag, and we do a pack that is for free anyways that talks about
shelter care - you get 30 days free and it covers a lot of stuff like parvo, distemper, uti, hit by a car, ingesting poison, etc. and it will pay up until $500 which is cool, it talks about microchipping, helping a new dog adjust to your home, some certificates for training, a dvd to help you train your adopted dog, there's a puppy section and a dog section, and some other brochures
and a sticker for your window to let firefighters know that there are pets inside and a magnet for your fridge for the ASPCA poison control center, etc. and of course we fix the pets prior to adoption if they aren't fixed when they come in and most aren't and it's the law in the state of Montana anyways if you adopt a pet from a shelter, rescue, or a pound in Montana the animal must be spayed and neutered.
we don't do spay and neuter contracts because a lot of people don't follow them we have them fixed. If the dog is in heat we wait a couple of weeks to get the dog spayed because it is risky to spay a dog in heat and we won't risk the dog's life for that.
usually the fees help with housing the animals and stuff. our funds go to a fund for unwanted animals and unexpected surgeries and stuff like that.