Monday, February 4, 2013

Yesterday & Yappin bout Donations

So, today, I've been upping shipping on all 150ish items in the webstore.

Also added a pic of Meredith with her new chin Star on the happy customers page.  Organized my chin folder and printed out adoption forms that I was missing.

Resized the picture of Mara's donation and linked it to her donation description on the donations page.  Look at all the great stuff she sent!:

Got an order for two hidey houses, a chinny mobile, a chinny motorhome, two circular shelves and a food bowl.  Going to California.  That's going to be a BIG box.  Can't wait to see what shipping is on that.

Ok, so, as for other things I did today. My dad was going to Meijer, so I asked him to pick me up some carrots for the pigs and rabbits and Shiloh. So he did, so I chopped up some carrots for the critters. Ran out of my diced apples in the basement, so I dug out the last two apples from the other fridge and diced those up for the critters. Went downstairs and everyone got their nightly greens, with some carrots, and apples and mustard greens. The rabbits definitely devour the carrots.

So I did that. Cleaned up the basement a bit, got a lot of people coming tomorrow and didn’t particularly want to have to start cleaning at 8 am, so I cleaned. Good that I did too, cause I had one of my glass lixit bottles on Rochelle’s cage. Little turd somehow knocked it off, and the floor is cement, so you guessed it – glass shards everywhere. So I like double and triple vacuumed everything. Not like I’m ever down there without shoes, but I find myself kneeling down reasonably often and I’d rather not have a piece of glass wedge itself into any part of me. Little turd. Hung a glass superpet bottle on her cage. Hoping this one holds up better.

Watered and fed all the pets, vacuumed the FNs for poos. Seems like Jessie is catching on with potty training, so I put fresh litter in her pan.

For that order with the two hidey houses, motorhome, and all that, I cut all of those out of wood and cut the holes in the wood. So I just need to sand everything and then glue everything. And drill the holes for the hardware where needed.

Also cut the wood for the bus. Just kind of mocked it up, a few different times.

First time, with headlights.
Second time, different headlight look.  Looks like it has a pig snout here.

Third time, with hollowed out wheels.
 Not feeling the pig snout type headlights, but I don't know about the wheels....

So, I said on my facebook page I’d talk about donations. So, the picture of the stuff that Mara donated (thanks Mara!) is up above. A bit before that, she mailed the rescue a package of guinea pig treats (awesome as well).

Most people donate money. And don’t get me wrong, money’s great. I’m not going to turn down money – it can go towards, food, current medical bills, etc. Whatever is needed. And we’ve had people donate large amounts before – one person donated $100 after they dropped off their Martin’s cage and asked if I could assemble it and put shelves in it, another donated $250 when she came to drop off her two chinchillas at the rescue.  More recently, people donated a combined $300ish? for Rochelle’s treatment, and even more recently, someone just donated $75 to the rescue. We’ve definitely had our share of cash donations and they are very much appreciated.

But let me tell you what’s kinda fun – getting in an actual “item” donation. I don’t mean to discount cash one bit – if I need something for the rescues, I can use the cash to go purchase it. But when someone donates an actual item, it’s kinda fun. It’s like Christmas opening up the box and getting to see what all was sent for the critters. In this most recent Mara donation, I just put the blue XL pigloo in with some of our piggies today. One of em ran right into the pigloo. I haven’t done much with the other things donated yet (it’s been a bit busy with orders right now), but in the past, we’ve gotten some interesting donations.

We recently had someone come with their kid to volunteer and they brought over some hidey houses made out of shoe boxes (for the rats) and a maze of tunnels made out of toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls. The rats were highly amused. There’s not much left of the maze anymore, but our one rat is still enjoying his shoe box hidey house.

We had someone donate little goodie bags, they made one for each of the rescues.Those bags went with the chins to their new homes (who thought they were adorable). We had one person who’s kid pulled down our name signs and drew on them. Many of those animals have since left the rescues, but Shiloh’s is still up there. And there’s a little prairie dog drawn on his name sign. I have no idea who’s child did this, but if you’re reading this and that was your child, our name signs are looking a little bare. Can you come draw some more?

Then we had one person make up nice colored name signs for our personal chins.Which are up at the rescue on the cages :)

We’ve had cages donated, toys, supplements, Lifeline once, Critical Care – if you have critical care that is expired, don’t pitch it! We will gladly take it from you. Every time we go to get a bale of hay, our hay person donates a bale.

I had someone once ask something like how do they know what’s safe? Like they weren’t sure what to buy to donate, because they didn’t know if we could actually use what they bought. In terms of treats – there probably is some animal out there that can eat everything found in the pet store. Not in large quantities of course, but when people drop off rescue chins, often times treats come with, and often, those treats are like peanut butter and seed balls or something like that – the chins can’t have them… but the rats can. The one advantage and one thing that I definitely do like about having expanded to be a more small animal rescue (versus purely chinchillas) is that with the variety of animals we typically have (we usually have rats and guinea pigs, if not also rabbits and other critters), something we have can eat whatever it is that we get. It’s nice, because the rats are happy when chin people drop off bad treats. Same with the guinea pigs. They can have some treats that would be considerably too high in sugars for the chins.Not all the time, and not often, but now and then. I think about how many of those snack shacks and snack logs I threw away when this was purely a chinchilla rescue – the rats and guinea pigs can have those on occasion.Now, there’s use for them. Very little goes to waste here, unless it’s expired or crawling with bugs.

Even donations we can’t use end up benefitting the rescue – we have a section on our webstore that features gently used items.If I saved every water bottle we ever got in, I could swim in a pool of water bottles. I keep the less-appealing looking ones for use here, and we do keep extras of the plastic ones, for when they get chewed or when we go to expos and don’t want to take (and break) our glass ones, but at the end of the day, I still have gobs of plastic water bottles. So, they’re offered for sale. Same with food dishes.Every once in awhile I’ll get in one that I like, but for the most part, every one of our cages has a food bowl (sometimes even a color-coordinated food bowl) and so we don’t need the other ones. So, I can put them up on the gently used section for $1, and someone adopting a chin can get a practically new food bowl for cheap. Same goes for everything, really. If I don’t need a cage, it’ll get cleaned and put up for sale. And whatever money is made from the sale of the items goes into the rescue account, so it all benefits the rescues.

Chew toys we hang onto. I currently have two boxes of chew toys that are not in cages, partially because I cleared out PSP’s clearance section awhile back, but any chew toys we get either go into a cage or go into the box for future use. I typically tend to refill the toys that we have already in the cages, which I’m sure the chins find appealing in itself, but I swear, I hang a new chew toy (whether donated or purchased or whatever) and it’s like Christmas. I swear, it could have the EXACT same things on the chew toy as what I’d refilled their original chew toy with, but since it’s “new,” I guess it’s more fun.

Going back to donations, I once had someone (a friend, not some random stranger) who wanted to donate $25 to the rescue but wanted it to be in chew toys or something actual product. So we went to the store and together picked out some good stuff for the critters, up to $25, and she paid for it. That was kinda fun too.

Really though, if I had to pick the best donation, I’d have to say, if you can donate your TIME, that’s what’s best. It’s hard for me to get ahead and keep items like the hidey houses and toys in stock, at the same time as the cages need cleaned and pets need fed and so on. So, for anyone that wants to help, I really do appreciate when you help us by spending your time here. I can get houses built twice as fast, cages cleaned a lot quicker…. A lot gets done when there’s more than one person doing it. We have a crapload of goodie bags, thanks to the girl scouts!

I appreciate any donation, whether it’s money, items, time, whatever. It’s all going towards the health and welfare of the animals. 

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