To start with, I find the "kill, kill, kill" statement absolutely inappropriate, offensive, and childish. "No Kill" (or more accurately: "Limited Admission") shelters are limited in their scope and often try to send the misguided message that they are somehow morally superior to the "Kill" (more accurately: "Open Admission") shelters. The Limited Admission shelters absolutely are less expensive to operate. They have the luxury of only accepting adoptable animals, and not accepting strays or injured animals (unless they are high profile and can be used for fund raising.) Even the flagship of the "No Kill" movement, the SPCA shelter in San Francisco, presents very misleading information about their programs and what they accomplish. This would get into an entirely different so I'll stop with that.
As a former board member of both the local county shelter and Siberian Husky Rescue I am all to familiar with the whole budgeting process and the method of establishing adoption fees. To start with, $250 for a breed rescue group is a pretty standard fee. I've have friends who run, or at least have had multiple contacts with the people who operate rescues for Beagles, Pomeranians, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, German Shepards, Rottweilers, St. Bernards, and others (including a Persian cat rescue group.) Breed rescues tend to take animals in "at all costs" and put considerable effort into injured and sick individuals. I know we (Siberian Husky Rescue) put thousands into several individuals. The $250 adoption fee does not cover the cost of rescuing all these animals and many of us have put substantial amounts of our own money into the program and specific animals. Whenever you go to a breed rescue always expect a fee in this range.
As for shelter fees, we received $450,000 from the county ever year. This just barely paid the salaries of the caretaker and administrative staff. The county also provided the building and utilities. We still had to provide funds for adoption counselors, food, vet care, full time vet techs, medications, etc. We have a full time person for fund raising and another one for coordinating volunteers (and we have many thousands of volunteer hours.) We also raised over $80,000 in cash and well over $100,000 in donated materials, equipment, and services to set up our in house surgical clinic to spay and neuter animals before they left. We pay for a vet and support staff plus supplies for this clinic and the last numbers I saw indicated it cost us roughly $45 per animal of each spay/neuter procedure.
The shelter also has to take in all animals presented. That includes every stray, every animal control seizure, every owner turn in, every injured animal, etc. We pay a Vet Tech to be on call for emergencies every night and on weekends. We hold animals for animal cruelty cases, some for as long as two years. And yes we do euthanize animals. I can tell you from personal experience that I don't know which is more difficult, walking through the shelter with the paperwork and deciding which animals will be euthanized, or actually euthanizing the animals. If I have room for 200 dogs, and 4 get adopted, but I need room for the expected 20 tomorrow I have to make room some other way. I certainly wish there was a better solution, but at this point I don't have one.
In the end, we charge $100 for dogs and $75 for cats, and even with our other funding sources that just barely covers expenses.
As for why there are so many animals, claiming that lack of spay/neuter is the only cause is extraordinarily naive. While there are regional differences, in most shelters anywhere from 50% to 70% of the dogs are adult animals. Cat populations vary with the season, but there are generally plenty of adult cats in the shelter too. If over breeding were the only problem the population would be entirely puppies/kittens. Spay/neuter programs are certainly important and I fully support programs in our community (including helping with donations and personally overseeing management of the web site for the largest local program.) What's also important is educational programs to reduce (if not eliminate) the huge number of adult animals surrendered and abandoned.