Monday, March 20, 2017

Chins that aren't ready yet

So, I wanted to share with you something that I suppose hasn't really come up much before -- chins that aren't ready yet.  As you may have noticed, there's separate sections on the website, sort of like categories.  Chins that are available, other critters that are available, chins / animals that are under evaluation, and animals on hold.  So today, we'll be talking about the animals that are under evaluation.

Critters find themselves in that category for a variety of reasons.  First, every animal that comes in, is "under evaluation" for a period of time.  That period of time may vary -- anything from a few days to 30 days, or even longer, depending on what's going on with the animal.  If we have an animal that's sick, not eating, or not doing well, they may be under evaluation for quite some time. 

One of our chins that is here at the rescue now is battling chronic eye infections.  He's been shown as "under evaluation" for quite some time, and he will be there until we clear up those eye infections and he's set to go home.  We have another chin, a female, who has not been eating well, since she has been here.  She's an older female, been picking at her hay... but not eating much of her pellets, and is slowly dropping weight.  Not much, but as we typically see in the culled breeders, she'd dropping a bit... and she'll take a little while to settle in, level off on her weight, and be ready to go to her new home.  The culled breeders are notorious for taking awhile to settle in -- after all, they've pretty much lived their entire life out in one cage... and then were picked up, transported here, handled and weighed... and they're like, "omg wtf happened?"  Their whole world turned upside down.  Don't get me wrong, 99.999% of them find great pet homes, but they sit here, drop some weight, and eventually realize... hey, this pet life isn't half bad!  They have hay, food, water, occasionally some treats, and once they realize that they're safe and everything's cool... they're ready to go.  But... they need to get to that point first.

Same goes for the younger chins.  Some of the young ones for sale are chins that are bred here that don't turn out to be show quality.  Some are from other breeders, same thing, not show quality.  The ones brought here from elsewhere need to stay for a bit to gain weight, make sure they're eating, and so on.  This doesn't always happen overnight.

Anyway, the point of this post -- because these chins aren't ready *snaps* like that, you see chins that stay in the "under evaluation" section until they are ready, and typically, unless we are having a shortage of chins, you don't see any descriptions or pics or anything, of those chins until they're ready.

So today, I was talking with someone about what chins we had available, and I told them what we had, and I guess none of those looked appealing, because they asked me for pics of several of the chins that are still under evaluation.  So as to not reinvent the wheel, here's what I said:

The chins that aren't ready, typically aren't ready because they aren't eating, due to being stressed from being shuffled around and coming to the rescue. That's why you don't see pictures until the chins are ready to go, because taking them out and taking pictures in a wide open cage with nowhere to hide, only stresses them more... and definitely doesn't help get them to feel comfortable, set in, and eat.  If you want pictures of any of the chins that aren't ready, you'll just need to hang on, until they are ready... cause there's no reason to stress them out more and set them back....

For the good of the chins -- that's the truth.  If they're already not settling in just quite yet, it's not going to help them at all, to put them in a wide open cage, nowhere to hide, under the lights, to snap some cute pics.  It's not that I wouldn't like someone to love them and think, "oooh, I can't wait for that chin to be ready so I can take it home!!", but for the sake of their health, further pestering the chin isn't going to help that chin out.... so no, I won't stress out a chin that isn't ready yet, and get you pics.  Sorry, but not sorry... I feel this shouldn't even need to be said... but if the chin is "under evaluation" -- there must might be a reason for it.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Wrong chin / sex!

We hear all the time about pet stores not being aware of what sex chin they have, or of other rescues even (not chinchilla specific, just like humane society-type) adopting out animals, and guessing at the sex... and saying that it's ok, because since it's a single, it doesn't matter what sex it is.

Which I suppose is true... as long as it stays a single it's entire life. 

When we get chins in, here, it doesn't matter what sex someone tells me it is, I always do a double check.  You tell me it's a standard grey male, ok, *lifts up tail* -- yes, it really is a male... or sometimes, nope, sorry, female.

I wanted to share a little story with you, that's kind of humorous (after the fact, but I would like to kick myself).  In addition to the rescue, I show chins (suppose most of you know that), and if a female is not breeding, or loses weight, or for some other reason gives me reason to not breed her or not continue to breed her... she will not stay in breeding.  So case in point, we have a pure standard run, the male's named Dom and is out of awesome lines, though a tad bit small, and the females are HUGE standards to compensate.  Well, the one female in the run was named Christina, and the one day I opened up her cage door, and she looked awfully small to me.  Jim was even here with me, and he even agreed.  It was literally a, "why am I you breeding that?" type thing.  Not necessarily because she was that tiny, but because Dom isn't overly large, and I remembered Christina as being quite the heifer.  So, I pulled her out, put her in a holding cage, and marked on her card that if she didn't litter by February 28th, that meant she wasn't pregnant and that she could go to a pet home.

So, Feb. 28 came and went, and I noticed that hey, I could free up some room if I listed her and found her a home.  So I wrote up an ad for her the other day, and today, went to go take her pictures.  Well, someone was just telling me about how their chin was mis-sexed, so it was fresh in my mind, so I pulled her out of her holding cage, and thought, I'll check her.  Considering I'm telling you this story, you can probably guess how this went -- nope!  She was a MALE!  Whoops.  So, I went to the run she was in, checked all the females.  Yep, all females.  So... the chin that was IN the run, that had been, for the last FOUR months that I'd had this chin separated for pregnancy watch, had been visiting and cuddling with all the other females... I got that chin out... and the freaking chunker... THAT was Christina, and THAT was the blocky heifer Christina that I remember.  Which means the chin that I separated for four months, that poor thing, was the awesome male, Dom.  Oops. 

So, what must have happened was this -- when I went to look in on "Christina," four months ago, the REAL Christina must have gotten her collar off and been in the run, while Dom must have been in Christina's cage.  The collar must have been laying in the cage, which would have explained why it didn't seem odd that the chin in the cage (Dom) didn't have a collar on.  So, thinking Dom was Christina, and a mighty small chin (considering I remember her plenty blocky and HUGE), I pulled him out and separated him. 

No wonder I haven't had any babies out of that run for the last four months (and won't for another 111 days). 

By the way, I should mention, Christina is probably a 900-1000 gram standard female, whereas Dom is more in the 600-700 range.  Neither are small, but in comparison... if Christina dropped to 600-700, I would think something's wrong, and would pull her from breeding.

Well, at least that's straightened out now!  Dom has his females back, and the real Christina is now chilling in a holding cage (as I'd replaced her with another female, and now need to figure out where to put her).

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Cost of chins

So, I got a text.  Well, I get them all the time, and many just like this one, but I wanted to use this as a good example to explain something.  Several somethings.

The text:  Are you firm on price of your chinchilla's ???  would love to have one for my Granddaughter but your price is to high for me

Now... few things.  First, let's touch on the granddaughter bit.  The adoption form asks, is the chinchilla for you, or someone else.  If someone indicates that the chin is for a grandkid, I will ask, do the parents know (and are they on board) with the kid getting the chin.  Believe it or not... most of the time... the parents have no clue!  Red flag #1.   Chins end up at the rescue, after being perfectly and intentionally wanted, much less when someone buys one for someone else as a gift and the adults in the household are not on board.

Next thing... price.  I actually did message this person back and mentioned that if they're looking for a lesser expensive chin, they might check out the adults and seniors... because I DO understand that not everyone may want to afford a $250 adoption fee for JUST the animal (not including cage, supplies, etc).  Versus... the adults and seniors range from $50-100.  This person never did reply back to me (and I will never understand that, by the way).  But, if $50-100 is too much... then honesty, they shouldn't have a chin.  The cage alone is going to cost more than that, as will vet bills, if needed.  We sell food and bedding and such here inexpensively, and that's why people return time and time again to get supplies... but if you're shopping at the pet store, it can cost a pretty penny when you're getting 3 pounds of food for $20 and 2 pounds of hay for $10 and so on.  That'll add up to $100 within a month or two, when you consider most people also feel the need to buy expensive treats (that are undoubtedly bad for the chin) and carefresh bedding, which of course can also cause impaction if eaten.

Last thing -- cage.   This person never mentioned a cage, but yesterday I had someone contact me who had purchased a chin, but did not have a cage, and the chin was running loose in one of their bedrooms.  I won't even go into how bad that is for a 4 month old chin that should not have playtime, which was also being fed the wrong foods and was drinking out of a bowl.  But so, they asked about cages, and I told her, the only used ones I have right now are used FNs, and new cages.  So I send her a pic of the new cage and the price ($137) and she tells me, she's not looking to break the bank.  Well, honey, chins are not the pet for you then.  Long story short, she decides that a used FN with a few wooden shelves is the way to go, and says she wants to get it, but tells me that I shouldn't worry about hanging onto it for her, because she doesn't know when she can come to get it.  So... apparently the chin's going to run around loose forever.  Wonderful owners.  The point of this is, this person thought that it'd be too much money to spend to get a FN full of wooden shelves, for less than the price of a new one (which would need to be modified and have shelves added in), because she didn't want to spend money on the chin. Well... then WHY BUY THE CHIN IN THE FIRST PLACE??  I will never understand.

The point is... a cage is the most important purchase you will make for your chinchilla.  Some people start out smaller and buy another, larger cage later on, as the chin grows.  Some get a big one to start with.  It really doesn't matter which.  The important thing is, if you get a good, quality cage, that cage can last for the life of your chin, and is where your chin will spend 95% of its life... so that's not the point when you want to cheapen-out, and say, oh well you can only spend $20 on it.     

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

ECBC Nationals and "CB"

So... lots has been going on.  Went to ECBC Nationals over the weekend, the chins got a 2nd and a 3rd -- not bad for the first ECBC show, and Nationals at that!  We took one of our pure x-dark standard females (which is actually to be traded with Jim after MCBA Nationals, for a lighter phase champ standard female) and a pink white male (one of the last babies out of Dillon, our pink white male that took reserve white male at MCBA Nationals a few years back).  Came home, cleaned cages, and went to bed. 

And after being gone 5 days, today the real work starts up again.  So far, I have called up "cage bitch" (as we have taken to calling her, around here).  Cage bitch (CB) is the lady that took off with the cage... but I need to give you some updates!  First, I did finally get an email back from CB, back on the 23rd of February.  She said, oh sorry, she's in the hospital, life has been crazy!  She said she'd mail back the cage that weekend (25th/26th), and she'd give me her credit card number for shipping and use of the cage.  And she asked for my address, and asked if the address on the website is the correct one or not.

Now, I hate to be cynical and disbelieving... but 99% of the reason people cancel appointments is because they're in the hospital (or a relative is, or whatnot), or there's a family emergency.  If I am to believe all of them, I feel there must be a very REAL correlation between scheduling an appointment at NWI and ending up in the hospital / having an emergency come up.  That's how ridiculous that excuse sounds after all these years.  Not to mention... cell phones work in the hospital, and so does email.  So... not an excuse. 

The part about the address -- she CAME to the rescue to adopt.  So... if nothing else, the address should look familiar to her, but why ask for the address or ask if that's the right one?  I think... to delay even further.   Because if she can say that she didn't know where to mail it... well, then she had to wait for me to get back to her before she could mail it, of course! 

So, I emailed her RIGHT BACK and said, yes, address is on the website, but just in case, here it is (and I gave the address) and gave my phone number she could call with the credit card number, and I asked, was she intending for me to mail out her supplies?  Because the way she worded it, she said she'd give me her credit card for shipping and use of the cage.  Shipping of... what?  I would assume supplies, but I wanted to be sure.  And I asked what address she wanted the supplies shipped to (I have an address for her, but that's not always the address people use).

It's now the 7th... 12 days later.  Needless to say, I DO NOT have the cage, I HAVE NOT heard back from CB, I DO NOT have a CC number to ship the supplies... NOTHING.  Which, again, does not surprise me in the slightest.

I called her today (Tuesday).  Cell went straight to voicemail, so I sent her an email as well.  But I told her... I need this cage in another week or two... which again, I thought I would have HAD by now, since she was going to ship it out, almost two weekends ago... and I told her, I need to hear from her, cause I need that cage and need to know what I'm doing about the supplies.  I expect to hear from her... about 10 years after I've died of old age.

BUT... there are good people in the world.  One of our adopters, Dena P., saw our previous blog post and sent us a check for $200 to cover the cost of the new cage and a bit extra so we're able to keep helping out the chins.  Thanks Dena!  (I will still be pestering CB for the original cage back, as we can do double the amount of good with TWO of these cages, and now that she's said she will return it... I fully expect to pester her until she does)

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Trial Runs -- most likely "no more"

So, if you've talked to me at all lately, you know that we've had someone majorly pissing me off, due to borrowing a cage and vanishing.  Let me tell you the story.
So, we had someone who was looking to adopt a chin, and was ordering cages from Quality Cage.  Her cages were going to take 2 more weeks, plus some, to come in, and she asked if she could borrow a cage in the meantime.  I didn't want the chin to be on hold forever, here, and we only hold for 14 days with a deposit, and I want to say, we were already getting close to that.  So, I told her, we'd borrow her a cage and she could bring it back when she got her cage and got it set up.  She said no problem.  

So the day comes for her to adopt, she comes by.  The cage I had ready to go was our Quality Cage Travel Cage, which mind you, is a $100 cage with $30 shipping to our location.  But, I've lent it out a million times before and always gotten it back.  It was almost funny, because this lady was literally purchasing a quality cage townhome and a travel cage, so it was like haha, you're borrowing the same cage that's going to arrive.  Also, needless to say, there's no doubt she remembers she has our cage, as she now has two travel cages (hers and ours).

So, she borrows the cage and she said she would email when she got her cages in and all that, and then would come bring the cage back.  She also had paid for some supplies that we did not have ready for her at that moment, so she said she would pick those up at the same time.  
So, I realized, early February, that I have not heard from her, and send her an email asking how the chin's doing, and asking when we are planning to meet up for us to get the cage back and her to get her supplies.  She replied that the chin was doing great, she'd send me pictures right away.  Never did.  Completely ignored the questions about the cage and supplies.

I re-read my email and it said something to the tune of, "I believe I have all your stuff ready," so I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt, thinking maybe she wasn't sure the stuff was ready to be picked up.  I checked that I really did have all of her stuff ready (which now, is packed up in a sealed bag to keep it clean), and emailed her again, this time, stating that I checked and had all of her items that she had paid for, ready for pickup, and wanted to know when worked for her to do the exchange and get the cage.

That was February 6th.  

Today is February 22nd.  I have not received a return email.  

This past weekend, we had an expo.  I guess the cage went to the back of my mind for a bit, until I started packing for the expo and realized -- I still don't have the cage.  So I went and dug out her paperwork -- which was easy, because she adopted on January 1st, so first paperwork of the year.  I called her up, this was Friday the 17th, and left her a message basically reminding her that she had supplies to pick up and a cage to return.  I told her in the message, if I thought she would have the cage this long, I honestly would have borrowed out another cage, as we use that cage for all sorts of expos, and I told her, now I need to scrunch animals together in a cage or something so I can take one of my other cages to the expo.  I asked that she call me back so we could talk about when we could work it out to get it back.  That was Friday midday-ish.

So, she doesn't call me back all weekend.  So, I wait until Monday, the 20th, and call again.  Again, I'm perfectly nice in the phone call, just reminding that she has our cage and we have her supplies. I even mentioned how we might be in the area in the upcoming weeks (cause she's over in Ohio) and that would save her the effort of driving all the way here to make the exchange.  To me, that's being exceptionally nice, considering she's supposed to have already, weeks ago, delivered the cage back to us.  I also told her, I have people wanting to do trial runs that can't..... because that's the cage we use, and it's not here.  It's now Wednesday and... nothing.  
I even sent her an email yesterday, explaining that I called her twice, left messages.  Asked if maybe she didn't get the phone calls or whatnot, because while I could understand if she can't just drop everything and come here, I feel like she could at least call back.  I also called late Tuesday night as well.  Same thing, no answer, left a message.

Honestly, I can't even fathom why she's not getting back to me.  In one of her emails, she mentioned that she had gotten the order from quality cage, finally (beginning of Feb), so by now, they should no doubt be set up and the chin should be in the big cage.  So I can't imagine why she's not getting back about the cage and supplies.

What I said to her about not being able to do trial runs because that cage isn't here... that's true.  Just about every single cage we have right now is in use.  We have three cages being used by the rabbit foster, and they are using one of their own cages as well.  We have one cage here that's going to another foster home, so we can't lend it out just quite at this moment.  And the other cage that we always should have available, with the exception being around expo time.... is the QC travel cage.  When I lent it to her, I knew we had the expo in February, but I thought, oh she said we'll have it back in a week or two, no way it's going to be around end of February and we won't have it back.  I was sure we'd have it back, so, that wasn't a concern.  You see how that went.

Now, I know in the past, we've sued the one guy who wouldn't return a chin, and I'm sure some of you remember that.  Problem with doing that in this situation is... this lady is in Ohio.  Pretty sure that's outside the jurisdiction of the little small claims court, and it costs $90 just to file in small claims.  It will cost more because it's out of state and "real court" -- the cage with shipping is $130.  Filing may very well cost that much, if not more.  

Plus, because this wasn't a typical trial run or anything like that, I don't have any signed paperwork saying that she actually has the cage.  I do have emails saying, hey thanks for agreeing to borrow me a cage, but it's not quite the same.

So... at the moment, trial runs are not happening.  Even in the future, I'm not sure they are going to continue.  The reason being... even with the trial run contract signed, and stating the value of the items borrowed and such... with anyone out of state, it is impossibly difficult (not to mention expensive) to track down that person and get out stuff back.  I don't know the exact figures, but I do know that we have a LOT of people from out of state.  And even for Indiana residents, we're still looking at $90 plus time and effort to go to court, if this were to happen again, even more if out of state.

This lady has proven that if someone doesn't want me to get in contact with them, they can pretty much ignore me forever, and there's not much I can do....which is why I say this about the trial runs.  

Without any cages to lend out at the moment, I don't really need to worry about the trial run program right now.  But even when / if I have a cage to lend, I am seriously considering ending the trial run program.  The rescue doesn't have the spare funds to be chasing after people for our stuff (nor the time), and to be perfectly honest, she seemed like a very nice, honest person... I would never have guessed for this to happen.  The only way to make it so that, if someone did disappear with our stuff, that we wouldn't have to come chase them down, would be to charge enough for the trial run to cover the cost of the chin, the cage, and everything.... well, at that point, they might as well adopt.  And, even if we said, ok, if it doesn't work out, we'll refund the money for all of that in 7 days... when all those "new" items are returned... no longer new... we can't sell them for nearly the same amounts, so we'd still be losing out.  Most trial runs end up adoptions, but for the few that don't, we'd lose out on a lot of money as far as the new items.  I even considered taking down a credit card number, which we could charge in the instance someone doesn't bring the stuff back -- but they could cancel the card the second they leave the rescue.  I haven't yet come up with a nice middle ground that would actually be feasible.  Most people are reasonable about this sort of thing, but sadly, it only takes one person to ruin it for everyone.

If someone has some miracle idea for how to get this lady to contact me back, or has any ideas for how to do the trial runs and not run the risk of people walking off with all of our stuff and having no good way to get it back, let me know.  Otherwise, the trial runs are on hold for now.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Understanding the Available Chinchillas Page

Worth mentioning, because I had someone today who messaged me and asked if I would have any of a certain chin ready by the time this one show comes up. 

We always have on the website, a list of the available chins.  If you want to get really specific, there's a list of currently available chins, then a list of chins under evaluation (to be available soon), and then a list of critters on hold. 

As is often the case with rescue... there's a lot more animals here than typically get pics and descriptions on the website.  Oh, they may be listed... it may say, "2 month standard grey male," but that chin may find a home without ever having a picture up or description or anything.  Some people don't necessarily look at our exhaustive list of chins available...and why not?  Well, it's only THIS long:

  • Electra (8-10 year old standard grey) & Cinder (1 year old dark ebony) -- female pair of chinchillas
  • ***courtesy listing*** 4 year old ebony male chinchilla -- "Diesel" ***courtesy listing***
  • 3 month old goldbar male chinchilla kit (baby) -- dob approx. 9/14/16
  • Melo -- 6 month old hetero beige female chinchilla -- dob approx. 6/13/16
  • 4 month old pink white male chinchilla kit (baby) -- *special needs* -- dob approx. 8/16/16
  • 2 month old white mosaic male chinchilla kit (baby) -- dob approx. 10/20/16
  • Benny -- 3.5 year old hetero beige male chinchilla -- fur chewer -- dob August 2013
  • Weezy -- 1 year old standard grey male chinchilla -- special needs (seizures -- NO playtime / wheel) -- dob November 2015
  • 7 year old hetero beige female chinchilla -- fur chewer -- culled breeder -- dob 2009
  • 3 year old tan female chinchilla -- culled breeder -- dob Nov. 2013
  • MNWI F74 -- 2 month old goldbar male chinchilla kit (baby) -- dob 10/21/16
  • ---
  • 1.5 year old TOV white male chinchilla -- dob approx. 6/2015 -- retired breeder -- allergies -- (see upcoming chins)
  • Cheerio (previously known as Chincie) -- 8-9 year old hetero beige male chinchilla -- dob June 2008 -- (see upcoming chins)
  • 3.5 month old dark ebony male chinchilla kit (baby) -- dob approx. 9/1/16 -- (see upcoming chins)
  •  3 month old white mosaic male chinchilla kit (baby) #1 -- dob approx. 9/10/16 -- (see upcoming chins)
  • 3.5 month old black velvet male chinchilla kit (baby) -- dob approx. 9/1/16 -- (see upcoming chins)
  • ---
  • 3 month old white mosaic male chinchilla kit (baby) #2 -- dob approx. 9/10/16 -- (info coming soon)

Other Animals:
  • Nio -- Abyssinian male guinea pig -- 11 months old -- dob 1/22/16
  • Ratticate -- black hooded male rat -- 1ish year old -- dob approx. October 2015
  • Chomper -- 6 year old white w/ agouti spots male rabbit -- dob approx. Nov. 2010 -- fostered in Highland, IN
  • Nessie -- American crested female guinea pig -- 11 months old -- dob 1/22/16 -- (info coming soon)
  • Toffee & Fatty -- pair of male guinea pigs -- dob Dec. 2014 (Toffee) & June 2015 (Fatty) -- (info coming soon)

Chinchillas & Critters Being Evaluated (can be put on hold now and taken home soon!):
  • MNWI F70 -- 2.5 month old hetero beige female chinchilla kit (baby) -- dob 10/3/16 -- available soon
  • 2 month old black velvet female chinchilla kit (baby) -- dob approx. 10/21/16 -- available soon
  • 3.5 month old tan white / ebony pink white male chinchilla kit (baby) -- dob approx. 9/1/16 -- available soon
  • 3 month old light tan female chinchilla kit (baby) -- front leg stump -- dob approx. 9/10/16 -- available soon
  • 4 month old standard grey female chinchilla kit (baby) -- dob approx. 8/10/16 -- available soon
  • 3.5 month old standard grey male chinchilla kit (baby) -- dob approx. 9/1/16 -- available soon
  • 3.5 month old hetero beige male chinchilla kit (baby) -- dob approx. 9/1/16 -- available soon
  • 3.5 month old white mosaic male chinchilla kit (baby) -- dob approx. 9/1/16 -- available soon
  • 2.5 month old standard grey male chinchilla kit (baby) -- dob approx. 10/1/16 -- available soon
  • 3 month old tan female chinchilla kit (baby) -- dob approx. 9/10/16 -- available soon
  • 4 month old brown velvet male chinchilla kit (baby) -- dob approx. 8/10/16 -- available soon
  • Thisker -- 4-5 year old standard grey male chinchilla -- dob approx. June 2012 -- available soon
  • Zoey -- 2 year old standard grey female chinchilla -- dob approx. 1/1/15 -- available soon
  • Tikii -- 5.5 year old hetero beige male chinchilla -- dob approx. June 2011 -- available soon
  • Mija -- 2.5 year old standard grey female chinchilla -- dob approx. June 2014 -- available soon

... most people choose to scroll past all of that and look at the pictures of all of the fuzzballs.  Nothing wrong with that, but believe me, if all you look at is the cute pictures, you're missing out. 

Right now, there's pics and descriptions (including "up and coming chins" and "on hold" chins) on the website of a total of 21 critters (chins, rabbit, guinea pig, and rat).  However, look at that list of how many are actually here?  Regardless of them being available or not, there are 37 animals total here that are listed.  That means, 43% of the animals here do not have pictures or any information about them on the website.  

Now, knowledge is power.  See a chin that's not available yet (or at least, not marked as such)?  Ask!  We had someone ask about F70 the other day... they said she's been listed as "under evaluation" for over a month now, and they wanted to know if maybe we'd decided to keep her, or if she was on hold for someone, or what.  When we weaned her from mom, she actually had some fungus on her nose and we were treating it.  Now, most of her fur is growing back in, but before I list her as available, I want to be sure that the fungus is completely gone, so I'll give her probably another week, and then look at her again and re-check fur growth.  If she looks good and the fur's all working on growing back in, then she'll be moved to available.  If not, she'll get another fungus treatment, and we'll go from there.

It's not necessarily that I don't want to list all of the chins.  Rather, there's only so many hours in the day, and in addition to listing chins, there's quite a few more things to accomplish, so if you're wondering about one that doesn't have pics or a description, you don't need to wait for that chin to be listed, feel free to inquire!  

Some of the chins on the evaluation list haven't been here long enough to be available.  Adult rescues are housed for 30 days to ensure they are eating, drinking, pooing, maintaining weight, and generally doing well.  Before that 30 days is up, they can go home if someone really is dying to take them -- but without a health guarantee.  The grand majority of people want that health guarantee, which is completely understandable, so they wait the 30 days for us to list them.  Still within their initial 30 days are Thisker, Zoey, Tikii, and Mija.  Younger chins don't necessarily need to stay as long, provided they're doing well, but going along with not necessarily always having time to list them, occasionally, chins may not have been moved to the "correct" category yet.  For example, I can tell you that right now, several of the chins that are listed in the "under evaluation" category are actually available and ready to go.  Which ones?  Well, I don't know off the top of my head, but I have them marked, and need to move those chins to another category.  Again, what this means for you -- if you're waiting to see a chin be moved to "available" -- feel free to ask if the chin may already be ready, as sometimes, we get behind (I know, you just can't imagine that, right?).

Finally, also worth mentioning... if you are looking for something specific, feel free to ask.  Someone today was asking about curly carrier females.  I don't have any listed, and I don't intend to have any young ones upcoming, but I do have a chin that I took out of breeding, which might be of interest to them.  She's nowhere on the website, which is intentional, as she'll have to clear her pregnancy watch before she would go to a pet home... but this is another breeder asking, so she could go home before that.  Even for chins not-for-breeding-purposes... if someone emailed me asking for a violet wrap, I may not have it... but I can sure try to get it.  Or sometimes people want an older chin that's sweet and calm, and I will admit, if I'm switching up breeders, I may pull some out of breeding and have them chilling in a cage for awhile before I think, I could have had that chin listed this entire time.  Notably males, which can't be pregnant, obviously, but I had a white ebony male that sat around for at least 6 months before he was listed.  If anyone had asked about him, he was available, and he did find a great home, but he wasn't on the website for the longest time.  If someone had asked, hey, did I have an adult male... often I will actually physically go down to the basement to see what I have, and I would have noticed him and told them... 

And I suppose what this all comes down to is, if record keeping was perfect and if I had all the time in the world, I could have the website perfectly up to date, and there would never be discrepancies between which chins are available, or there would never be chins that are available, but not listed, or without pictures, or whatever.  But... let's be real.  This is the real world, where real life keeps us on our toes and typically behind schedule, and we do what we can.  So, that said, if you're looking for something that's not listed, or want to know about something that is, ASK.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Volunteering & Signing Forms

So, this happened a bit ago now, but I wanted to write about it then, and I'm finally getting to it now.  I suppose I likely don't have this posted anywhere, but the way I've always handled signing volunteering forms (for school, clubs, whatever), is that I will sign them or fill them out on the day the volunteering is being performed.  As in, that is the only time I will be signing them. 

I want to say the ONLY time there's been an exception to this, was we had someone doing community service here, and needed a letter for the court from the rescue, stating that they completed the requisite number of hours, what they did, etc.  This was after, mind you, like 25 hours of community service / volunteering.  So, that's a tad bit different... at the end of the 25 hours, I wrote the letter for the court.

However, the average person volunteering comes once or twice, for 2-3 hours at a time, and usually, if they are doing the volunteering for school or whatnot, they bring the form with them.  I will sign it, fill it out, whatever needs to be done -- that day.  The reason for this is because, if 2 months later, someone asks me to sign that they volunteered... sometimes these forms asked what they did.  For volunteers that are here for an hour, maybe they only did one task, but if they were here for multiple hours, you can bet they did multiple things, and you can also bet, 2 months later, that I may not be able to recall what those multiple things were.  Not that there aren't typical things that volunteers tend to do, but I like to have these forms be accurate, and a sure-fire way to do that is to fill them out that day, when I know exactly what the volunteer did.  Plus, I know exactly how many hours they spent there... there's no guessing about this, months later.

This has only been a problem once

I had someone adopt some chins from the rescue, and then later bring them back to the rescue when they couldn't care for them any longer.  This person would occasionally bring their teenage daughter to volunteer, and drop her off for a few hours at a time.  Well, on this one occasion, the mother texted me, saying the daughter wanted to volunteer that upcoming weekend, and informing me that I had a form that I needed to sign.  So I told her, ok, bring the form with when you bring the daughter.  Well, as it turns out, she needed the form ahead of time, that day to be specific.  She needed it that day, because they had waited until the very last day to turn in the form, and so they had to get it signed and turned into the school that day.  The weekend was a few days away, so the daughter wasn't going to volunteer for a few days.  Because she had volunteered in the past, I told the mother, ok, if you know the daughter is going to stay for 3 hours that weekend, I will fill out the form for 3 hours, with the anticipation that the daughter would actually come by and stay three hours volunteering in the following few days.  This wasn't quite what the mother had in mind.  She said, well, the daughter had been volunteering in the past, and I needed to fill it out for x hours, and sign it.  Now we're not talking about that weekend's to-be-volunteered hours, but for previously volunteered hours.  So, I informed the mom, that's not typically how I do things... I fill out the forms when the people volunteer.  HOWEVER, I did tell her, because I did know that the daughter volunteered before, I would sign the form that one time, for the previous volunteering.  I told the mom, that I was letting her know, for the future, that I needed the form on the day of volunteering.  Oh, apparently that was too much to ask. 

First, she went off on, how dare I ask her to have the form the day of volunteering, when I knew the kid volunteered before.  Yes, she did, and that's why I had said I would sign the form, this one time, even though it wasn't what I usually did.  To me, that's being nice.  Then she said, well, did she have to bring the form all the way to Hammond?  Well, yeah, I mean, that's where I was, that's typically how you sign a form, in person... and she says, well, but she's all the way in Crown Point, she'd have to drive to Hammond, then back to Crown Point, then to the school to drop it off.  Note, it wasn't my fault that she waited until the last day to get the form signed... so she proceeded to ask, could she just sign it for me?  I told her no.  I said, then what happens when I sign the next one, and the signatures don't even vaguely look similar?  She didn't care.  She literally wanted to forge my signature.  Since I wasn't willing to either drive to Crown Point to sign the forms for her, or let her forge my signature, she basically let me have it, telling me the rescue is completely for-profit, and how dare I use volunteers to make money, how dare I re-home her chins and make money twice off of them.... and how she would never have her kid volunteer for me again... and so on and so forth. 

I never did see them again.  I thought about calling the Crown Point school system and telling them that if they received a volunteer form with my signature, that it was a forgery, but I'm not quite that mean.  I wouldn't want to punish the kid...  But I did think about it, as I was trying to be nice, agreeing to sign the form, way after the fact, and her blowing up and basically saying I was being unreasonable, and how dare I not bend over backwards for what she wanted.

By the way, I should mention, this happened in Fall of 2016... I looked up when the daughter had last volunteered, after all this went down, just out of curiosity -- it was early Spring of 2015.  So literally, she had volunteered a freaking year and a half prior and wanted to use that as her "current volunteering" that she had to do for some school thing.  Apparently, every 3-4 months, they had to do so many hours of volunteering.  Not many, like 4 hours or something.  And apparently, four hours of volunteering is too much, so she wanted to use volunteering from a year and a half before, to fulfill the requirement.  Personally... that's asking a little much.  And then, further, to want to forge my signature to save some driving time and effort... yeah, no. 

So... if you volunteer and want a form filled out... bring it when you come, because I will not be offering again, to sign a form later.