Sunday, August 18, 2013

... it never ends.

So, moving along the ride that I call running a rescue, yesterday (Saturday) we had two dropoffs.  First, my 2 pm, who is known for showing up unannounced, or hours early, or with more pets than agreed upon, shows up BEFORE my 1 pm.  She brings her three rats and says her mom says she can only keep females.  Mind you, if you've read this blog for awhile, you know this girl as the one who's mom says she can keep the rats... can't keep the rats.... keep the rats... can't keep the rats.  So, I ask her which rats she has left.  So she names them.... one which was originally from here... and then she tells me, oh, the other rat (from here) got tumors so we fed her to our snake.  Um.... EXCUSE ME???  you WHAT?!?  I cannot even express the level of pissed off that makes me.

I understand that people feed live to their snakes, but I hardly think of that as humane.  I have a pacman frog that is special needs and literally has to be handfed (open mouth, stick fuzzy in... hope he starts to eat it, if not, pick up fuzzy, open mouth and repeat)... but even if he DID eat like a normal frog, I would buy him frozen and thaw them out.  But to feed a rescue rat, with tumors, to a snake?  I have nothing against snakes, but I tell you, I hope that snake gets infected from whatever that tumor was and dies.  There's this weird thing called humanely putting animals down, and that's what people are supposed to do.  Or bring it to a shelter or here and we can do that.  Not, oh, its sick, lets feed it to the snake.  *pulls hair out*

Anyway, also got in a pair of chins.  Two males (well, I haven't checked, but she said two males), Louie & Mr. Jingles.  Seem like sweet boys, should adopt pretty quick I'd think -- a mosaic and a standard.

So that was Saturday.  Moving along to today.  Got veggies the previous day at the Chesterton European Market, so got to sleep in today (yay!).  Got up just in time to go outside and scrub down lots of stuff.  Had a donated cage that'd been sitting in the garage since.... October?  Sometime when it was cold, and had never brought it in cause this thing was dripping with rust and grime.  Finally took it out today and scrubbed it down.   Looks halfway decent again.  Brought that inside.  Also took out some hidey houses that will likely be for sale (used hidey houses), and scrubbed those down.  And the shelves from that cage.  So, lots of stuff is still sitting outside to dry and be bleached by the sun another day.

Had a flying saucer that was just caked with.... well, I dunno.  Something that no amount of scrubbing would get off, so my guess would just be "grime."  Filled up one of those huuuuuge sterilite containers with water, added the secret ingredient (aka white vinegar).  Scrubbed a few times, let it soak some more, scrubbed some more, let it soak some more.  Over the course of the afternoon it looks worlds better.  Still not perfect, but for my intentions, it's good enough.  Also scrubbed down some toy parts and started going through my pile of "wood things."  Some stuff made its way into a pile of "sand only" (stuff not needing to actually be washed), so that's for another day.

Washed a crapload of other stuff outside, came in, fed, and watered the critters, weighed all the chins and prairie dogs, and took stuff that was upstairs and in my car downstairs.  Put more stuff away.  Decided that my two beige females are spending too much time on their wheel, and swapped them (and Tazzie) into one of the FN's that has no wheel.

Then came upstairs and the fun began.  The other day, I'd sorted all my chin paperwork into piles.  First pile was invoices.  That is, invoices for people who just purchased supplies, not adopted.  So, went through all of those, input the purchases into the spreadsheet, input donations into spreadsheet, input donations into page on website.  Moving on.  Next pile was surrenders.  I have three places surrenders go.  Chins Past & Present, Chins Past & Present Excel, and Chins Past & Present Stories.  I know it's all chins, but in all reality, I will be getting down to mostly chins again at some point.  So, the first Chins Past and Present is a listing of all the critters and what's happened to them.  So let's take Sugar for example.  His says Sugar and then has "adopted by [person] on [date]," but he was returned so then "returned to NWI on [date]."  That's just adoptive info.  Chins Past & Present Excel is more info info on the critters.  We have name, sex, color, disposition (adopted/sold, died, etc), birthdate, date arrived, date adopted, date of death (for those weird instances).  That's like the master doc of my chin rescue.  Then the Chins Past & Present Stories is the page that has info on why they were dropped off.  For example, Louie and Mr. Jingles were dropped off because the lady had 5 kids and a very small house and didn't have room for the chins, nor the time with all the kids.  So, that's down on that page, so when someone asks me 2 years from now, "why were they dropped off?" I have more than just my memory to go on.  So, all the recent surrenders were input to those pages.

Then I started on the adoptions pile.  The adoptions pile has a 9-step checklist.  In no specific order:

  • 7 day letter -- after critter is adopted, adoptive home gets sent an email 7 days out asking how the critter's doing, if they have any questions
  • happy customer page -- adoption is listed on happy customers page
  • happy customers page - picture -- picture is listed along with happy customers listing
  • past & present excel -- animal is marked as adopted with date adopted
  • past & present word -- animal is marked adopted with adopter info and date
  • email previous owner -- previous owner is sent an email with pictures and info that their pet was adopted
  • expenditures/sales -- adoption fee and any supply sales marked down on expenditures spreadsheet
  • wanting chins folder -- any emails from previous owner, as well as emails from potential adopters wanting to know if the adoption fell through, are responded to and moved to respective folders
  • folder close -- each critter has their own adoption folder, with their best pictures and a blurb about them -- these pics and docs are moved to the critter's normal folder.  Once all files have been moved to the normal folder, that folder is moved into the "chins no longer at NWI" folder (so that the main page has only current animals listed on it, but, so I can still access previous animals if returned or for any other reason)
I suppose there's even a step 10 -- pull surrender info from manila folder -- all surrender info (the two pages surrenders fill out) is kept (along with current adoption forms, current vet bills, etc) in a folder upstairs, for ease of access when I am on the computer.  when an animal is adopted, the surrender info for that animal gets pulled from that folder and moved to a binder upstairs.

Typically, those are done in no specific order, just depends on whether I have the pics ready at the beginning, or if I don't have the pics until I'm ready to email the previous home, or what.  Today, I just went through and did the expenditures part.  The rest is for another day.

Ok, so what else did I do today.  Went through most of my emails, responded to the ones that weren't going to take lots of time to mess with.  Emailed someone pictures of all up-and-coming adoptable chins, emailed someone else pics of guinea pig cages.  Emptied out the dehumidifier several times.  Still having issues with humidity (though, granted, not quite as badly as the rest of the house that doesn't have a dehumidifier going).  Washed loads of chin stuff in the kitchen sink (much to the displeasure of everyone else).  Probably more stuff too but that's the main gist.

Still looking for volunteers for this week.  I have someone coming tomorrow for an hour or two, but was hoping to have several people come by this week.  Went on adopt-a-pet and did a volunteer search and sent out an email blast to those asking for anyone who can do this week to email me.  We shall see if that actually generates anything.  Anyone else who wants to help, feel free to contact me.  Can use help cleaning cages (used by pets), sanding toys/houses/etc, cleaning cages (outside, hose & soap) to sell, making toys/houses... believe me I can find something for everyone to do.  Now, just to get the people here... that's the difficult part. 

Oh, and I'm not sure if I posted about this before, but I decided that I am going to go through my waiting list every few months and email everyone, just to check if they're still wanting a chin (or whatever critter), since there's such a poor response rate when I actually do email and say, hey, I have a pet for you.  So, I sent out those emails last night.   Had one person email, who I was pretty sure no longer was getting a chin here (they were purchasing like $100 worth of supplies and food and such... but no chin), they emailed saying they didn't need a chin any longer.  And just now got another email from someone saying they're no longer looking for a chin.  Now, I guess the question would be... how difficult would it have been for these people to have emailed and said, hey, I know I was on your waiting list, but I decided to get a chin elsewhere?  I suppose they could have forgotten, and it's no big deal.  Really, I'm happy these people are emailing me back now, that way, when I do get in a chin, I don't have to go through 5 people when the first 4 have already gotten chins elsewhere.  But this is why I tell people, the waiting list doesn't guarantee you a chin next month.  Especially when it's something like this second person -- a white female chinchilla under 5 years old that gets along with other chins -- it could take awhile for that specific chin to pop up in rescue.  And the people are always like yeah, that's fine... and then often get the pet elsewhere.  That's their choice, no big deal I suppose, but I guess I wish people would take a tad bit longer to think about, "do I want to be on the waiting list, when she says it could be months, likely, at the very minimum, before they get in anything like what I want?"

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