Monday, July 22, 2013

Posting websites and... craigslist

So, some people may think our "ads" for our adoptable pets are only on our website.  They're not, we actually use several different places to list the animals.  Some places have limits on the number of ads -- several allow only 5 ads, so on those we only have five ads.  But on others, we can have as many as we want. 

To name some of these places off the top of my head, there is,,,,,, and others. 

I used to use backpage.... until they start throwing a fit.  I had always posted my ads the same way on all of these sites -- the ads are mostly similar (see previous posting from a day or two ago), but the difference is the top of the ad which talks about the specific animal the ad is about.

So, on the instance in question, I had several guinea pig ads up, two chin ads up, and a rat ad up.  And one day I go and log on to backpage, and I see that all the ads have been "community removed."  So, I go to another ad and look.....there is no place that a person can flag an ad, or anything like that.  So I emailed support and said, hey, I'm a rescue, I post these ads, each ad is for a different animal, so on and so forth.  I asked why they were taken down.  I got a response back saying I was overposting the same ad.  I emailed back asking how it was overposting when each ad was for different animals, and I only had like 5 ads or so at the time.  They didn't bother to respond to me. 

I posted again, and they were up for about a week and then "community removed" again.  Fine, I no longer post there.

But then sometimes I get backlash against these ads.  Like today... got an email from someone on craigslist:


Me:  I'm just refreshing the ad when the refresh button pops up.  That's not overposting.  Over posting would be like that one person who had the same chinchilla ad up every day several times a day last week.  I'm just doing what Craigslist allows.

And I should ask, why do you care so much?  If you're not interested, move on to the next ad.

Him:  The reason I care so much is because I see the smae ad all the time.  Nobody wants them, Get over it.

Me:  Someone will eventually come along that wants them.  I've been running a chinchilla rescue for 10 years, eventually someone comes along and sees that ad (or an ad on some other website) and adopts the chinchillas.  Has happened several hundred times, will happen again.  Just a matter of time and a matter of keeping the ads up until the critters find homes.

Him:  You shouldn't keep them if its gonna take that long to find them a home..

Me:  I work at a rescue. Its similar to a humane society.  That's how it works - the animals come in and stay here until they find a home.

If we only took in animals that could find a home really quickly, that'd be like an animal flipper. 

Rescues take in healthy, sick, young, old, whatever needs to come in. Some take longer to adopt than others, as clearly the young and healthy ones usually find homes quicker than the older sickly ones. But they all do eventually.


I haven't heard back.  But the question remains -- what does it matter to him, or to anyone on any of these sites, if they keep seeing the same ad?  Like, so what?  I see ads for the same animals all the time, move along if you're not interested. 

I actually have not had ads on craigslist flagged for a long time.  Which I suppose I should be thankful for. 

But... does this guy have nothing better to do than to email people who have ads up repeatedly and tell them that their pets aren't going to find homes, get over it?  I mean, why such negativity?  I just don't understand. 

But regardless... the other websites I will continue to post on until I have issues with those.  Now, there's one that has given me an extra step in the ads because words are posted too often.  For example, a rat ad contains the word "rat" too often.  I just copied that ad that I pasted into this blog a few posts ago into Word.  There are 428 words in that ad.  22 of those words are "rat" or "rats."  That's roughly 5% of the total words.  Guess what?  That's spamming.  So I have to take extra time to reword the ads on that website.  I end up changing some of the "rats" to "them," but its just an extra step I really don't need.  So, that website may be eliminated as posting potential soon.

In reality, I think the ones that help the most are petfinder and adopt-a-pet anyway.  So, it probably doesn't matter.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Reading the ENTIRE ad and GOOGLING location before contacting

Ok, this has been kind of driving me up the wall lately because it's been happening a lot.  And by a lot, I mean, like lately, 1 in every 2 people who contact me.

So, here's what happens.  I get an email or text from someone saying hey, would like to adopt your ___________, how do I go about that.  And so we talk and I explain and say there's an adoption form and all that, and they say send it to them.  So I do, and somewhere in there, I get an email that goes something like this....

"I noticed you're in Munster, IN.... that might be too far"

And then there's talk about borrowing cars and all that, and in the end, they end up saying, it's too far for them to go, and so they can't adopt.

The "too far" part I completely understand.  Today I got texts/email from someone in Maryland.  I agree, too far.  Now, if someone wanted to drive here from Maryland, I'm not going to stop them.  But I would say the average person isn't driving that far for a pet.

Now, the one today didn't waste a ton of time because there wasn't a ton of talking, and we'd only gotten as far as me sending the form before they realized we were too far.  But in some instances, I've written books in emails to answer their questions, explain care, go over every possible thing they need (which is fine, I would prefer to educate people so they know what they're getting into)... only to find out they're states away.  Which really, especially now considering how little time I have between work and just cleaning cages and running the rescue, I try to minimize the time that gets wasted doing pointless thing. 

I wouldn't get aggravated about this is if I didn't have location or anything like that.  But the website has our location in Indiana on the contact page, and for the people who see an ad for one of our adoptable animals outside of the website... well, let me give you an example.  Here is an example of an ad we currently have up.  It's a rat ad, but the chin ad is similar, just substituting the word "chinchilla" for "rat".  Ad is in italics:

We have several rats that are looking for their forever homes.  We currently have 2 males that were born on 1/15/2013 and are 5-6 months old.  All of these rats are black hooded.  All of these rats have normal ears.

We also have a black hooded male rat that does not like other rats and needs to be caged by himself.  He is very sweet and will come up to the front of the cage for treats and pets.  He is the most social of the males, he simply does not get along with other rats.  He is about 5-6 months old as well.  He can be adopted by himself

All of these rats are still young.  They are very sweet and playful.  They are a bit shy, but once you have them out of their cage, they do well with being handled and petted.  They have been handled often since birth.  They do not bite.  They all get along well with other rats (except for the one male rat caged separately).

As with all our rescues, these rats will come with some food to start you out (our mixed soy-free diet), some chews/treats, and a printed out version of our rat care packet. We also have additional supplies for sale -- many of the things we sell for chinchillas work great with rats as well (they like the hidey houses, the hammocks, and so on), and we also sell lab blocks at $1.25/pound.

Regardless of past rat experience, all potential homes will be asked to read our rat care packet and fill out our adoption application/rat questionnaire. If you are unwilling to do this, please do not waste our time or yours. No rat will go to a new home without an adoption application being filled out - no exceptions.

These rats are located in Munster, Indiana (zip code 46321).

We only adopt our rats in pairs or groups, unless you are looking for a cagemate for a rat you currently own. 
The adoption fees is as follows: 
--one rat: $10
--pair of males: $15

For more info and pictures, visit our website -

If you are interested in these rats, would like to see additional pictures, or have any questions, please let us know. We also do have other rescue critters up for adoption as well. You can email us at or text/call 219-789-0026 for more information or if you have any questions. If you call and there is no answer, please leave a message and we will get back to you.

See all the red?  That's all boilerplate -- things that do not change or get reworded from ad to ad.  Literally, when I write a new ad, I open a current one, change the info in black, and the rest never changes.  Point being, every ad lists that the animals are located in Munster, IN.  With our zip code even, so people don't even have to spell the name, just type the zip code into mapquest.

I do understand that if you search for "chinchillas for sale, Indiana," you do not always get Indiana chinchilla ads.  I've come up with Florida ads, and so on and so forth.  It happens, because many sites, if there are no Indiana ads, will give you other chinchilla ads from other states.  So, no Indiana ads?  Then you get Michigan and Florida and so on.  But... I feel like, first off,the (219) area code should be a clue.  I'm familiar with the local area codes, besides 219, 708, 312, 317, and a few others that I probably could remember if I tried harder.... if it's not one of those...   you're probably too far away.  So, say I'm looking at an ad for a cage for sale and I see an 798 area code, I'd be like hmmm maybe this isn't local? 

But people just see like "chinchilla" and call the number.  It's so frustrating for me because I feel like, how hard is it to read an ad????   And to google the location. 

I will purchase cages and other stuff off craigslist and like say I don't recognize the location.  Like for example, I once went to Red Key, Indiana.  Never heard of it, right?  Neither had I.  It's around Anderson if I recall.  One of those one-stoplight towns.  Anyway, point being, I didn't know where it was, so I googled the town and then mapquested how long it would take me to get from here to there.  It was apparently reasonable so I went.  And that took me all of....5 minutes.  That's all I ask -- read the ad, google the town. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Windy City Pet Expo and more

So, last few days have been busy busy.  Had people stopping by to pick up supplies and a baby chin, and then had the expo.  So, I took the day off from work on Friday, because, for some reason, set-up for these expos is always like 12 noon - 5 pm.  In other words, completely not-do-able if you have a normal job.  So, I took the day off so we could have more time to pack and get ready and we left around mid-day. 

We always go straight to the expo center, partially because we usually can't check into the hotel that early, but also because, as noted, there isn't forever and a day to set up.  So, we have a few problems with the GPS but manage to get there fine.  Get checked in, but they can't find our waiver for bringing the animals in.  I told them, I didn't bring it, because I'd already emailed it to someone and had them tell me I was approved to bring the animals.  In hindsight... it would have made sense for me to bring a copy anyway... but I did not.  To save me and my mom having to stand there and wait while this staff member filed through a gazillion emails, they said go set up and they'd come find us if they could not find our waiver.  I guess they found it, because I never heard about the waiver again.

So we go to set up, and let me tell you, it was HOT.  It was 95 out that day, but this is an expo hall, so I was expecting nice refreshing air conditioning.  My mother and I were in the middle of discussing whether I'd thought to ask if there would be air conditioning (which of course I didn't), when someone told us, the air was on, but since all the doors were open (for easy vendor loading and unloading), it didn't feel cool.  Uh... yeah.  I usually don't come on here to whine and complain, but I mean, when I say it was hot, like, I was wearing a tank top and it was soaking wet in minutes and my mom had to sit down.  It was hot enough that I didn't even feel good.

Now, normally at these expos, we ask for permission to leave the animals overnight (because normally, the expo hall isn't hotter than the ambient temperature in the sun outside.  So, these critters were coming back to the hotel with us.  They did come in the expo center for a bit while we set up, because even a stuffy expo center is better than a black suv parked in direct sunlight.  

So, we got ourselves set up and left.  Looked on yelp for a local restaurant.  Ended up going to a place called Montecasino Cafe Grill.  My mother would later call this place everything from a dump to a dive, but it was actually pretty nice.  No ripped seats or torn up anything like you'd see at either.  It just wasn't an Olive Garden, so = dump.  Anyway, no, but it was really good.  My mom had "The Beast" which was this huge double patty hamburger and I had chicken enchiladas verdes.  Huuuge plates of food, we both took part of our dinners back to the hotel.  Excellent food, excellent service.  Doesn't look like much from the outside, it's in a little strip mall, but the inside is cozy.  My mom was sitting in a spot where the sun was on her face and the owner went and stuck a piece of paper in the window where the sun was coming through to block the sun.  Very nice.  And despite it being a family-owned restaurant, it actually has all good reviews (mostly 5's, a 4 or two) on yelp, which helped us pick it.  Definitely some place I would recommend to visit if you're in the Villa Park, IL area. 

So, we go back to the hotel, which should have been a 15-20 minute drive... however... our GPS kept disconnecting from the cord and turning off.  Despite the fact that it should have battery charge.  So it would turn off, I'd miss the exit, then have to turn around... finally, we figured that we could hold the GPS with a vice-like grip in our hands and it would stay plugged in.  So, 10 miles took about 50 minutes to go, once the whole GPS issue was fixed.  Well, not fixed, because at some point I pulled out my phone and we got back to the hotel using the GPS on that.

So, when we did get back, it was still light enough outside that we could swim if we wanted.... but the pool is closed for maintenance.  Naturally.  But really, that's ok, because I had realized, at that point, that I was supposed to have some sort of handout in case people wanted for when I present at the expo.  And what do I have?  No handout.  So, I spend a portion of the night taking our 6 page chinchilla care packet and condensing it down to the bare bones on one page.  So now it's like chinchillas at a glance.  The very basics that people need to know about them before considering adopting.  This was all after I'd called the front desk to ensure that there actually was a computer/printer somewhere in the hotel that I could use to print out copies of this.  Which there was.

So, I get that done, and it's starting to storm outside, and so I take my hard drive and go out to the computer and print some copies.  Come back to the room, and my mom says I should have printed more.  So I figure I'll go back in a few minutes... and the power goes out.  And we're having one of those really?!??! moments, after having the GPS issues and all.  It came back on in a few minutes, so no big deal, but that was kind of the sign it was time for bed.  Watched some Friends on tv (which neither me or my mom is crazy about, but it's always on tv when we're in hotels) and went to bed.

Oh but before that.  Found this vending machine...

Notice anything unusual?

That glowing blue area is a place for a credit/debit card to be swiped.  Maybe this is common in cities, I don't know, but here in Munster and on all the rest stops we've ever been to, the vending machines do not take credit cards.  Just thought that was neat.  Anyway.

Got up, drove to the expo with a vice-like grip on the GPS, and the expo went alright.  Got $8 in donations (yay!), and sold a few things.  Maybe tops $20-25 in sales, but that's about what we
typically have.  The expos aren't moneymakers for us, they are useful in terms of getting exposure, which is what we need.  So, our agreement with this expo was that I had to present on chinchillas and we would get our booth comp'd.  So, I went up on stage and talked about chinchillas.  Had a few people listening and had some come over to talk afterwards.  I think it went well.  Later we actually did have someone tell us that "everyone was talking about the booth with the prairie dog and chinchillas" -- so I guess somehow word got around.

Now, we had the Chicago House Rabbit Society on our one side, and The Mighty Pits Rescue on our other side.  There was a point in time when one of the two people at the pit rescue left, my mom was walking around, and so there was just me in my booth and one person in the pit booth.  I noticed the lady at the pit rescue petting a dog that had crawled under the curtain from the next booth over.  She was playing with the dog, I was watching her -- and in those few seconds that neither of us were focused on our booths, someone came up to their booth and stole their donation jar.  Now, come on people, that's just ridiculous, stealing money from a rescue.  At a pet expo of all places.  And it happened in such a split second.  I really hope people like that "get theirs." 

I'm really big on helping people out where I can, and I feel like a lot of rescues and pet businesses are that way.  The community's not so much competitive as it is friendly (which unfortunately I can't say about the chinchilla community all the time, but I digress).  Like the one year at the Lake County Pet Expo it was horribly hot and we had people bringing over their ice packs for the chins.  Today, there was a lady who's whole cart had dumped going over a bump (to take it out to the car) who I helped pick the stuff up.  And people are helpful to tell you where you can find supplies cheaper or whatever.  Got to talking to one of the dog treat vendors who had unique dog treats (perogi, cannoli, etc), told her that we're at a lot of these pet expos and don't often see something different (cause, you gotta admit, after awhile, most dog treats look alike).  And she asked why we went to some many and I told her, I have this rescue... and she threw in an extra treat because we help out animals.  Like, it's a happy helpful community of people.  And most people coming to pet expos are the same way -- very nice people, good intentions... I mean, except for this instance, I have NEVER heard of anyone (vendor, rescue, or person) getting anything stolen at one of the expo's we've been at.  And typically, there is ample opportunity.  When the booth is getting set up and tore down, there's no one by it for periods of time.  Many times, the last things to go in the vehicle (i.e. purses, cameras), stay at the booth until the very end of packaging up.  And nothing has ever gone missing (and believe me, everyone would know about it if it did).  So this was just horrible for that rescue and shocking that someone with that kind of mindset would even come into an expo like this.  Just horrible.

On a happier note....I do think we have two potential adoptive homes -- had one girl that my mom talked to that seemed interested and had a lengthy conversation with another lady who seemed very interested, and very knowledgeable about the animals she had.  One of those people who does a lot of research before getting an animal, so she would be a very good home.

So here was our booth ....

 So, we got ourselves packed up and drove home.  Was ready to vice-grip the GPS for the entire ride home.... after not having found anyone to bum a rubberband off of during the expo.....when it occurred to me that my NWI Chinchillas silicone bracelet might be juuuuust big enough to hold the GPS and connector together.  Which it was.  So, we got home without more GPS hassles.  

So, got everything in the house and started sorting.  As I was sorting, was taking stuff downstairs where it should be.  There is still a pile on the desk and a small pile in the foyer, but that's for another day.

And for those who think the expos are all fun and games, they are fun, but just cause I'm at an expo all day doesn't mean the work ends.  Once the majority of the stuff had been moved so you could walk through the foyer, I was downstairs realizing, hey, I really need to clean the runs, guinea pig cages, and a few of the chin cages.  So, I donned my fancy respirator (all of $5 at a garage sale -- thoroughly cleaned/disinfected) and went to work on the runs.  I tell you, that helped SO MUCH better than the dust masks, not even funny.  So all the run pans were pulled out, dumped, scraped, filled, and put back in.  For three runs and two holding cages.  That takes just under 1 bag of the paper shreddings that we have.  So, it's not bad, the bags go pretty far.

Moved onto the FNs -- vacuumed the poos out of all of them.  A few could still use being switched back to fleece, but that's for another day.  Also gave everyone food and water, vaccuumed out the big guinea pig cage, and gave everyone their supplements.  Then vacuumed up the mess I'd made cleaning out all those runs.  Which brings us to around 11:30 at night.

Not too bad, but even I have to admit, it'd be nice to come home and just rest sometimes.  But, there's always something that needs to be done.  Tomorrow, I have a dropoff (chin -- from Zionsville -- quite the drive!), need to take the remaining pet items downstairs, and need to clean off the desk so it is useable again.  And find time to go to Menards so I can use the 15% off bag they have and stuff it with things I don't need now, but are never on sale so could use the 15% off.

One more thing before I go.  Evil (also known as Gypsy) had a baby the other day.  He weighs 66 grams!  Quite the chunker.  Here he is (excuse the mess, the cage is now fresh & clean):

Who wants to tell me what color he is?  If you guessed standard, you are incorrect.  Guess again.  He is actually a mosaic.  See the white on his tail?  Some white at the end of the feathering (I don't know what it would be called in chins, in dogs its feathering) would be normal but a tail that's got a complete white section.... definitely a mosaic.  Can't wait to see how he changes colors. 

Anyway, now it really is time for me to get some rest, so I'm getting off here.  Will maybe get a chance to get around and post tomorrow about what's going on.

Thursday, July 11, 2013


So, perfect example of people being asses and delaying.  Ok, so number one, I hate when I have to deal with the kids, because it's kids parroting what the parents say, and it's never 15 year olds, it's like here, deal with the 10 year old, who doesn't understand half of what I say.

But regardless. 

This one person emailed mid June asking about adopting guinea pigs.  It was on the 23rd that I sent them the adoption form and care packet.  They had a problem with it, couldn't open it, couldn't send it, just problems one on top of another, so they just sent the answers in an email.  But forgot to answer a few questions.  And now I see why some rescues specify that if the application is not complete, they won't even look at it, because I spend more time asking people to fill in the blanks they've left than anything.

So, then they tell me, they have the cage and everything, but they need a month to get a table to put the cage on.  To me, that sounds like an excuse, but ok.  So I tell em the policy, I can't hold the pigs for more than 2 weeks without a deposit.  So at the time they say ok, well they'll try to make it there in two weeks.  They don't, of course, and keep pushing it back.  So finally the kid says, ok my dad wants to send the check can you explain it to him.

So I email him the info about how the deposit works and where to send it and all.  On the 4th, I get an email from the father saying that he sent the check.

So I'm waiting and waiting and waiting, and when I'm waiting for a deposit, I watch the mail cause I can sometimes pile up the paperwork, so I'm watching for it and watching for it and I'm not getting it.  Til today, I get this email:

The my dad can not send the check.dose next Saturday work to come and adopt them if so where should we go sorry I nay no longer text.if they get adopted before then just please let me know before hand.

...which, to the best of my comprehension, says the dad can't send the check and wants to know bout Saturday.  I emailed back asking if she meant Saturday like 2 days from now or Saturday the 20th.  Cause the 13th I'll be around, the 20th I won't be (cause we'll be at the expo).  I told her, since it's already been at least 14 days (since the 23rd -- and I was talking with her before that, that's just the date the forms got emailed out), I can't hold them any longer.  Cause people are taking advantage.  I say, hey, the 30 day hold (with deposit) doesn't go into effect until I get the check.... so what do they do?  Not send it, which, in my mind, is to delay the 30 days from starting.  But, no deposit, and it's just 14 days, which has already passed.  So, the hold's done.  They don't like it?  Tough shit.  The humane societies don't hold animals for anyone, many rescues and breeders won't hold animals at all without a deposit, but I feel like I should be the one who's more different and trusting.  And what happens?  Shit like this, where the people drag it out and drag it out and more than half the time, do not end up getting the animal.  I told someone, that rat person a bit ago, if the people don't show up within 2 weeks of emailing about the animal, it's unlikely they ever will.  That is TRUE.  I didn't make that up, but it is the truth.  The people who really want to adopt find the time to make it here and adopt, they don't tell me, oh, it'll be 4 weeks for us to get a table for the pigs. 

I did say, nicely, in the email, something to the effect of, your dad said he sent the check, but since he didn't really, that is why they're no longer on hold, because your hold ran out without the deposit.  I mean, let the kid know, if her dad can't manage to send the check, that's why someone else may adopt the guinea pigs.  Not my fault.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Decent amount of stuff going on

So, lots going on lately.  Was out at Amber's over the weekend, brought home some piggies.  One of the piggies was TJ, Bashful's brother (or so we believe).  So, when I brought him back, I contacted Bashful's new home (they were wanting to adopt a second pig) and told them I had TJ, and they were here Tuesday to adopt.  Yay. 

There are three other pigs, chances are, two of them will stay here.  One's a self cream, another is a lilac & white, and the last is a lilac, orange, and white. 

Moving on, we will be at the Windy City Pet Expo on the 20th.  The website is - it is free to attend, in Villa Park, hope to see you there.  We have a booth and I will be giving a presentation on chinchillas.  Should be fun.

But... apparently Tuesday at work, all day, I was looking at the wrong day in my planner.  So, not only did I tell someone that they couldn't come the 27th because of the expo, I also told someone I would be at the expo on the 27th and could meet them outside for a surrender, and scheduled the hotel wrong.  Ok, so first the person who wanted to come the 27th -- I had actually specified, we'd be at the Windy City Pet Expo, and they looked it up and asked me if I was sure about the date being the 27th, since they saw it was the 20th.  Oh.  Glad they pointed that out.  So, that prompted me to email the other person and be like hey, had the week wrong on my planner, we will be around.... 

And for the hotel.  Ah hell.  So, I had just gotten in the mail my 13,000ish point statement from La Quinta and I was looking up a local hotel to use for the expo.  No one -- myself, family, friends, anyone who might be helping out -- is ever a morning person, so we always head out the night before so we only have a 10-20 minute drive to actually get there that day.  So anyway, I just intended to check the rates.... and somehow managed to reserve myself a room for one adult, and for the night of the 11th.  Uh, no.  So, I was able to figure out how to cancel the reservation.... but the reservation had already sucked 8,000 points out of my account, so then I had the joy of spending 45 minutes on the phone with customer service explaining what had happened and asking them to please just recredit my points so I could re-book my room.  So they did and now I have it right.

So about this Windy City Pet Expo -- not quite the best organized thing ever.  Maybe I'm spoiled because the other expos are so helpful, but this one..... they have continually told me, hey, you will be emailed about a month prior to the event with info.  Ok, fine, I could wait.  So, nothing by the end of June, I emailed, and they said, usually 3 weeks out they send out emails.  Ok, I can wait.  Well, then it becomes like the 7th and I'm like sweating here because I have no set-up times, no rules/regulations/do's/do-not's lists, and I don't know what to bring or when to arrive.  Luckily, the arrangement we have with this expo is that I present on chinchillas and that waives out booth fee.  Yay.  Due to that, I was emailed asking for the name of who would be presenting.  That would be me.  So, I emailed that person back saying hey, I still haven't heard information, I need to know this stuff to get off work early to setup, can you help.  So, she tells me some info about setup times.  And says that this other lady will call me.  So, the lady doesn't call that day, and it occurs to me I don't know if I need to bring tables and chairs or not.  Some expos provide them, others you have to rent them (which is prohibitively expensive -- you could purchase your own at a store for less) or bring your own.  So I emailed this lady again and she said they provide with one table and two chairs, so we will still have to bring more than that, but not as many as if they provided nothing.  Still no call from the lady.  So today (Wednesday) she finally calls..... while I'm at work.  Little later in the day, I get an email from her saying, hey, we tried to reach you, were unable to.  I don't know if it's just me.... but does no one else in the rescue business have a full-time job?  I mean, surely these other rescues are not making enough money to allow these people to sit home and do nothing but rescue.... unless they're independently wealthy, that is.  I fought back the urge to email her crabbily and be like, well, some of us have to work during the day, so I can't pick up my ringing cell phone while I'm supposed to be doing my work.... but I fought off that urge.  Still need to email her though, as she DID send me the info I was looking for and needs me to call her regarding picking a booth space.  Really, they can just give one to me, but if I can pick one, great.

So, today.  The person who had originally started the whole borrowing program for cages and stuff was set to bring their cage back today.  So, they were already here when I got home, got that cage, and headed out to get some work clothes.  But in the meantime...

I wanted to share how miscommunication happens.  Read this paragraph below and think about what it says:

As with all of our chinchillas/rescues, Scooby will come with 2 pounds of food to start you out (Mazuri pellets), a baggy of chews/treats, and a printed out version of our care packet. He will also come with a lifetime of help and support, should you ever need it. If more supplies are needed, we also sell our popular Starter Package ($25) which includes 5 pounds of food, 2 pounds of dust, 24 oz of hay, a baggie of chews/treats, and a hanging toy. We also offer a variety of other supplies for sale, including cages (new and used), chew toys, and hidey houses.

Now, what does it say?  I'll help.  It says that he comes with some food, chews, and a care packet.  If people need more supplies, they have the option to buy them, and one option is a starter package which includes a variety of things they might need.  Also, we offer cages and other supplies for sale.  Simple enough, right?  Right??

Apparently not.  Let me share a conversation from earlier

Her:  Hello do u still have scooby doo

Me:  Sure do

Her:  Awe :)  ok yes I really like him he's adorable so how much is he

Me:  He's 75

Her:  And that comes with chew toys and food and all that but not a cage but a cage is only $25 more that's not bad

Me:  He comes with 2 pounds of food and some treats.  Everything else is extra.  The cheapest cage we have is $100, you'd never be able to find a $25 cage that would work for a chinchilla, they need a decent amount of room.

Her: yea ok thank you

Me:  No problem


Now... while I can't say this for sure, I think this is the same person from a week or so ago that wanted the guinea pig and then decided they wanted a chin and went from not being able to afford $35 for a guinea pig to being able to afford $75 for a chin *snaps fingers* like that.  Uh, no.  But... really?  I mean, it takes a lot to twist a paragraph that says we have a starter packet for $25 and also sell other supplies and cages to say that he comes with everything but a cage and the cage would only be $25.  Nice try, but no. 

One more example of someone who isn't listening or isn't reading.  Now, please don't take this as I'm making fun of people, I'm simply pointing out, I have a lot of conversations with people who could answer their own questions if they'd just read what's written or listen to what's being said.  In this next example, I have a repeat customer wanting to come over to purchase hammocks.   These were emails, so I won't include everything said, cause they get long, but here's the gist:

Him:  I need some more hammocks for my kids.  I could use approx. 6 more. 

Me:  So when did you want to come by and look at hammocks?  I actually managed to get a day-job so on weekdays I'm not around until 6:15ish or later, but weekends are more flexible.  Whatever works for you. 

Him:  Can I stop by today?

Me:   Sure, you can stop by today if you'd like.  I won't be home until after 6:30 pm or so, and I have someone coming at 8:15, but you can stop in somewhere in there if you'd like.  If sometime in there works for you, let me know when so I can expect you. 

---never did hear from him that day, next day, receive an email---

Him:   How about tomorrow around 1PM?


Me:  I am not around on weekdays until 6:15 or later, as I have a full time day job.  I will be at work tomorrow at 1 pm, and actually, tomorrow will not work at all, as I will not be home at night either.   Do you have another day in mind?

Him:  The only other time would be around 10AM tomorrow. I can try this weekend.

*double facepalm*

MeWill also be at work then.  I work 8:30 - 5, so I'm typically out of the house from 7:30 - 6:15.  This weekend I should be home more, maybe we'll find a time then.


Now, I do realize, after all is said and done, that by my saying "I will be at work tomorrow at 1 pm" -- that could be vague, I did not specify if I was going in at 1, would already be there at 1, or what... though I did say, first email, that due to my job I'm not around until 6:15 or later on weekdays -- making 1 pm and 10 am both out of bounds.  And he would have known that... had he read.

Other than that... hmmm.... I had someone who adopted a rabbit back in March who, if I recall their adoption form correctly, was not planning on moving where they could not bring animals, but now they are renting a house and can't bring her with.  Things change though, you can't always plan for everything, and I don't know their situation, so I do my best not to judge.  But point is, the rabbit will be coming back here.  I suppose I should be thrilled I had not already cleaned out the rabbit cage that I was going to be getting ready to sell (as our current rabbit cage has a rabbit in it at the moment).

Have had several people email about wanting to be put on the waiting list for various chins lately.  The ones that have wanted a baby I have specified, hey, just so you know, this isn't a I-call-you-next-week thing.  If the chins breed and have babies and I happen to decide to sell one, as a baby, and you're at the top of the list, then you get a call.  Not oh, the chin popped out 2 babies, immediately selling both, let me call people.  Some are held back to show.  And usually that decision isn't made until they're at least 2 months old, if not older.  So, I told these people, depending on if I currently have babies at the time they're wanting one, or if I don't, it could be weeks, it could be 6 months, I just don't know.  And I can't promise anything, especially if they're wanting a certain color, cause God knows, if I have a waiting list for people wanting all standards, I will have every color but standard born here.  And that's fine, but then people tend to go elsewhere.  Which is also fine.  But the point is, now I'm trying to make people aware that the turnaround on babies is not like a week or two.  We only have like 16 breeding chins, not all of which are even proven yet, so there's not 27 babies born every day of the year, like there are at some of the ranches.  That would be neat in a sense, but I prefer only a few here and there.  Not that many all at a time.

I think that might be it.  Have a decent number of orders to work on at the moment, will need to get cracking on those.  Not tonight, as it's already late, and not tomorrow night, as I won't be getting home from a bank-function-dinner until probably 8ish as well, and may have the rabbit drop-off after that, but I guess Friday night's gonna be busy!!  Lol.

Will post more when I'm operating on a few more hours of sleep..... but this is the grand majority of what's been going on lately....

Friday, July 5, 2013

Update on previous post.

This is the email I got back:

I am not associating with anyone that speaks to Amber {removed}. Please do not contact me further. 

What does that have to do with me? I emailed back:

I'm sorry you are not getting along with her but I'm not sure how that affects me. I'm asking about animals you adopted with me, that has nothing to do with her. 

And you still didnt answer how the animals are doing. Do you even have them?  I haven't seen you post pics of them in forever, the way you used to when you first got them, and that worries me cause you were posting so many pics for awhile and then just stopped. 

I'm not trying to be an ass, but apparently now I'm the devil cause she doesn't like my friend, Amber, the one who runs the guinea pig rescue.  And all Amber did was say something along the lines of, how could you take all these animals and then not take care of them?  She said, when the first few died, wouldn't that have been the time to get vet care?  And asked, was she going to take in the rest?  She even offered to take in the remaining ones and get them vet care but Stephanie refused to give them to her.  I imagine, now they're all dead.  

Rescue Open/Closed Panic and Emails

First, let's talk about yesterday.  Had a panic moment in the morning when my parents decided to say that I needed to be out of the house with my "zoo" before they showed the house, asap.  Um, crud.  So, if you were one of the people online when this happened, rescue closed signs were up on facebook and on the rescue page of the website, all the animals were discounted 50%, it was a mess.  Cause really, if I had to up and move within a month, a few less animals to deal with would be a blessing.

But later, they came to their senses and we made a deal that I will be out by spring 2014, and in the meantime, they will stop threatening the rescue and being such asses bout it.  Not sure the ass part will stop, but, that's why I need to get out anyway, besides all of this.

So, bout emails.  I'm not one of those pesty people who want to know how my animals are doing 24/7.  I do email people ~7 days after adoption to ask if everything's going well, if people have any questions.  Most people don't email back, and that's fine, there's no requirement that people keep in contact.

But here's the thing -- if you adopt an animal, or several, and I email you like years after adoption.... chances are, I'm not emailing you out of the blue.  As in, I probably have a strong inkling you did something or mistreated the pets or something, for me to dig out your email and bother you.  So, ignoring my messages on facebook, kicking me out of your facebook group, and not responding to my emails?  All of those only confirm you did something, at least in my mind.

Sent an email this morning, went something like this:

I messaged you on facebook, never got a response.  Asked for pictures in your group, now I see that I'm not only not in your group, you're no longer a facebook friend.  I don't know what's going on, but I think this is really a messed up situation.  I don't know if I said or did something, but I don't think it's offensive to ask how the animals are, when you've adopted several from me.  All you had to do was say, oh they're fine, or I even get some people who tell me, oh the one has a uri, but we're treating and hoping for the best.  Just people being honest telling me how the animals are doing.  But nothing from you, which makes me wonder if you even still have the animals?  Ignoring me just isn't making me think the best of you.  I just care about the animals and hope they're in the best of care, but with the way you're acting, it makes me think that maybe I misjudged you as an adoptive home.  

..... I have no doubt I will not receive a response.  And I admit, that's not the friendliest email, but, let me tell you what I know about this.

This person is the same one who I posted back awhile about who had 17 guinea pigs and most of them died one after the other and then she only had three left.  So she was moved to the do not adopt list, because she refused to get vet care for any of the animals.  Uh... wrong.  The adoption form states you have money and will get vet care.  But then, she goes and buys a $400 parrot.  And finds a hurt cat on the road, takes it into the vet.  But the shithead won't spend money on the animals she has.  From what I've learned since then, she sounds like a hoarder -- take in more and more and more and then gets tired of them and doesn't care for them.  With the bird, she was posting the first few days, how neat it was to have a bird.  But let's not forget, the big birds are demanding, which anyone who keeps birds knows.  Now (well, before she kicked me off as a friend), she was bitching bout how she couldn't leave the room because the bird would scream at the top of it's lungs and just whine and moan about the bird.  And lets' be honest. A big bird diet can be super expensive.  She can't care for a few guinea pigs, the cost of bird care is way out of her price range.

Anyway, the reason for the email:  I learned, through a friend of a friend, this:

Well I was told that she lost all her pigs due to sheer negligence and foolishness. Her husband complained about the smell of the cages so she moved them to the 'attic' which was described more like an unfinished upstairs, and they got too hot. She didn't realize that it would get hot and they couldn't survive heat. I guess she's on a lot of meds and they make her pretty stoned. She also recently 'rescued' a cat, she claims she found it, it was pretty sick, paralyzed in the hind end, probably should have been put down, but she was taking up collections for its care, and allegedly not really providing all the care the cat was supposed to get, because the collections weren't enough to pay for it and she's stopped posting about the cat now.

.... fucked up, ain't it?  I mean, she didn't realize that it would get hot?!?  And no doubt, the chins were moved up there as well and if the pigs died of heat, the chins went long before the pigs did.

So, I know shit went down, I would just like her to tell me on her own.  She won't, of course, but I mean, you're stupid enough to kill the pets, you should at least own up to it.  But, no doubt, this is not her fault, it's cause her husband didn't like the smell.  Well, what do you think with 17 guinea pigs, 2 chins, umpteen everything else.  Cause she also has all sorts of varieties of snakes, tarantulas, lizards, few chamelions (I think those all might have died -- wonder from lack of proper care??), and so on and so forth.  It's usually not smell-less, and ESPECIALLY not if you don't clean the cages.  Which, knowing what I know now, I bet she wasn't exactly being meticulous about keeping them clean.

So, again, I will say, do not adopt or sell your animal to anyone in the Kokomo/Russiaville area, with the first name of Stephanie.  I have several last names for her which I can tell you (privately) if you want to know (each email/facebook account/etc has a different last name) but stay away from a Stephanie with black hair and piercings in that area.  I just wouldn't be too careful cause I imagine she's still "taking in animals" even though she can't care for them.  And this is just sick.

This is why, among other reasons, we have the thing in our adoption contract that says if you can no longer care for them, bring them back.  Because that's typically the better solution than shoving them in the attic.  Not to mention, I have no doubt that she did not put "attic" as the answer to the question, where was she going to keep the pets, on her adoption forms.

People like this make me sick.  I don't have too many of these (obviously, cause if I did, I'd be posting about it), but this is someone gone off the deep end.  If they're still all up in the attic, I actually hope anything remaining does die, because no doubt she would let it suffer rather than pay the vet bill to have it put down.

I believe one of my friends is going to report her to Kokomo animal control, but I don't know how much good it will do.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Cage Building & Prices

I've had some comments lately about the prices on items being "too high" as someone told me, "I can get an entire 6' board of wood for $7, why is your 24" shelf $8??"  Because that's the price I set.  And because the cost of a shelf includes all the hardware to attach the shelf to the cage, which isn't free.  Not to mention, I have to cut the shelves, sand the shelves, put in the hardware (which all is special ordered, so that it is cheaper for the customer because I'm buying in larger quantities).  Don't like the price?  You're free to make your own shelves.

Anyway, just wanted to do a case in point about yesterday.  One of my current adoptive homes got their chin and original cage from here.  They were here the other day saying maybe they wanted to get a bigger cage.  So I showed them what I had, and they picked out this one roughly FN-sized cage, and I said, ok, I'd build them shelves and it would be roughly $175 for the cage with shelves.  In talking, we got into a discussion about how shelving a cage by myself can take some time, because really, it helps if someone is holding the shelf while someone else is tightening it onto the cage.  So, they offered to come over and help build the cage.

We set that for Monday (yesterday), and the two people were over at 6:15 pm.  Started out with figuring where some shelves would go, then cutting and sanding the shelves, cutting out circular holes in the shelves, and so on and so forth.  At maybe 7:30 the one person had to leave, so we continued after that with just the two of us.  Got all the shelves put in, did two little bridges, and made poo-guards (which I will never have up on the website due to the hassle... but on special request I can make them).  We were done with everything... at 10:30 pm.

The total for the cage and shelves and everything wooden came to $212.50.  I suppose that's not too bad, and some are like "that's not bad for 4 hours of work" -- but here's the thing -- that was with 2-3 people working on it (so if it had just been me, it could have been 6+ hours), that's not factoring in the cost I paid for the cage, what the wood cost, what the bolts cost, and so on and so forth.  Not to mention, again, the time.  This is one order, and it took four+ hours.  This person will be coming back over to load this cage in my suv and we will be taking it over to their place and getting it set up.  So they don't have to take it all apart.

I have no problem doing this stuff for people... but I think people don't realize the time it takes.  It's not 5 minutes to cut shelves and put a cage together.  So when people email and want me to get them a quote for shelving and want me to mock up and design a cage for them... it's not a 10 minute thing.  And it does get aggravating when I get to it, a few days later, and then come to find out, oh, they got shelves elsewhere cause they thought that by 4 days after their email was sent, they would already have the shelves.  Mind you, not that I would have mailed the already, but they would have already had them.  Uh, no.

A change not everyone may know about is that 5 weeks ago, I started a full-time job.  This job is a 42.5 hour/week job, plus most weeks, requires me to go to one or two events after work that last another 2-4 hours.  Because of this, I have even less time to work on orders and on custom stuff.  I still plan to do it, but people need to be a little less uptight (not saying that's anyone here, just saying) about how quickly this stuff gets done.  If all I did was sit home and work on this stuff, by all means, I should be emailing people back with quotes the same day or the next day.  But on days like yesterday, where I start work at 8:30, get home at 5:30, get 45 minute break to eat dinner/respond to emails, have someone come at 6:15, them here til 10:30, watch one hour of tv (we gotta watch Under the Dome, we're hooked), and then go to bed.  No time to deal with any other pending orders.  Today I should have more time, but who knows who may end up calling or emailing in the meantime.

As for people whining about price changes.  The price changes are going to be on the hidey houses.  They are all going up $5.  The smallest one takes an hour to make (the larger ones even longer).  Once the cost of wood, glue, and such is factored in, I'm not even making minimum wage for my time.  Which, to some, probably seems whiny, because I am making something.  But now that I have less hours to do this, I need to be getting more out of each hour.  And since the money isn't going to me (I don't get paid, this is all volunteer based, including me), if I have less time to do it, I need to generate more money for the less hours that I have.  So a $5 increase per hidey house is warranted.  They're still going to be cheaper than the average hidey house you find out there on a chin site, and are still going to be a considerably better value than the pet store ones that are made out of like 3-5mm wood (ours is 1" wood).  I can't say when the price change is going into effect, it will go in when I have time to change all those prices.  Which is going to be soon, so everyone doesn't scramble to buy houses now that I've said this and avoid the $5 increase.

Well, I think that's it for now.  I didn't get a chance to take a pic of the cage yet, but will post it later so you can all see what took so long.