There is almost always an adoption fee. The places that house unwanted animals have to make money to feed them, shelter them, give them meds, doc visits, spay/neuter etc… the list goes on. The adoption fee, is to try to get enough money to keep doing these generous deeds. They rely solely upon donations and adoption fees. I’m not sure about a pound dog though. You may check. Of course you can always save a starving one from the streets as I did with my second dog. If money is super tight, you may need to be sure you can afford vet bills, and food, as that is my biggest household expense currently. Hope you find a great one and give it a wonderful home. So many animal badly need good loving homes.