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  • Savanah Stuart

The true costs of "bailing" a mini

We get a lot of questions about where our minis come from and how much it costs if someone wanted to take on the process by themselves. To always keep things transparent, we wanted to show a breakdown of what a "typical" mini costs the rescue.


To demonstrate, we wanted to show the actual costs we incurred for Pancakes (Pictured below when we got her from auction)



1. Auction Price: Pancakes actually was on the cheaper side of the auction minis. There was no one bidding on her so we simply paid the "PO" price. This is the lowest price the seller is willing to take. In this case, Pancakes cost $250.00

2. Pick-Up: Our quarantine facility charges $300.00 to pick-up from the Elkhart auction. We usually fill the trailer with as many minis as possible to help bring down the cost per mini. In this case, we had only gotten Pancakes from the auction. We were able to split the ride with another client (but they had to bring bigger trailer) so it ended up costing us $200.00 to have Pancakes picked up from the auction house and taken to quarantine.

3. Quarantine: Pancakes quarantine got prolonged due to COVID-19 restrictions. She was at the facility for about 22 days. At $10/day, our total bill from quarantine was $220.00

4. Transport: We have been lucky to form some great relationships with two haulers who get our minis here quickly and still at a great price. To bring Pancakes and the two mules from TX to CA, we spent about $265.00 per mini.

5. Vet Bills: As you can see in the image above, Pancakes desperately needed a vet/farrier team to correct her feet. Many of the minis we bring in have been neglected and need medical attention. The vet bill for Pancakes' first trim and exam cost $335.00. Additionally, we cover vaccinations for majority of the minis which can cost between $50-70.00.

TOTAL: $1,280.00


Our standard adoption fee for the minis is $750.00. As you can see, we lose money on almost every mini and this is one of the reasons we rely heavily on donations. Many people reach out asking us to help them bail a mini from the kill pen or auction. While we love to help, we also want people to understand the costs that can be associated with this. Our adoption fees may seem high at first to an individual, but they only cover a portion of the true costs. As a nonprofit, we try to keep fair adoption fees while also providing resources to continue our rescue work and bail more minis.


At the end of the day, you get to see a mini like Pancakes transform from the image above, to a beautiful and loved pony below. We think she is worth every single penny.



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A 501(c)(3) Nonprofit   |   858-774-2668   |   littlehooves.ca@gmail.com   |   San Diego, CA

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