The RSPCA has been slammed by pet owners after charging a 'disgusting' $4,500 fee to adopt French Bulldogs they rescued from a backyard breeder.
The animal welfare agency has denied profiteering from the trendy dog breed saying they were still thousands of dollars out of pocket after spending a fortune on operations for the pups.
French bulldogs are known to be susceptible to a number of conditions - particularly breathing-focused due to their squashed noses - that can be very expensive to treat.
French Bulldogs are a popular breed but they are susceptible to a range of health issues because of their short noses (stock image)
The RSPCA currently has four French Bulldogs listed for adoption in Queensland - Penny, Mia, Lulu and Taco - each with a $4,500 charge.
They rescued 11 dogs and 13 pups from a backyard breeder west of Caboolture after a 2020 raid on the illegal puppy farm.
Some of the animals rescued have already been treated and rehomed.
Usual adoption fees of dogs from the RSPCA are below the $150 range, with enthusiasts of the breed claiming charging thousands is taking advantage of the dog's popularity.
'It's absolutely disgusting. They have advertised eight French Bulldogs for $4500 each which is a total of $36,000. That's a major profit,' one person posted online.
'$4500! I know that RSPCA does amazing work but damn. This just isn't right,' another person said.
One person posting on the Brisbane French Bulldogs group said they were a vet who had treated the seized pups and they had performed airway surgery at a large discount.
'We made no money at all on this. And no our costs were NOT $4500,' he said.
The RSPCA is selling rescued French Bulldogs on their adoption site for $4,500 (stock image)
French Bulldog Club of Queensland secretary Kelly McClelland said they sold healthy rescue pups in the $1,000 to $1,500 price range.
She said their focus was to make sure dogs were cared for and could not speak on whether the RSPCA had spent four times that amount to treat their dogs.
RSPCA spokesperson Michael Beatty said they were not exploiting the popularity of French Bulldogs.
'The dogs in our care have had expensive corrective surgery and can now breathe like normal dogs,' he told Daily Mail Australia.
'The average cost of specialist surgery alone has been $2,500 per dog and that's just scraping the surface of what has been required to help these pets live a normal life before being able to be adopted into loving, new homes.
'The 28 dogs in care have been with us for well over 250 days, they're provided with microchipping, vaccinations and medication to prep them for adoption.'
'To say we are profiteering in any way with the dogs that are available to adopt is false. The real costs associated with helping these dogs far outweigh their adoption fee'.