Friday, August 16, 2013

Lots happening lately

So, lots been going on lately.

Closed the store (temporarily), took down the ad saying we take in animals .... and I have NEVER received so many emails about adoptions, dropoffs, and all that.  Amazing, the rescue isn't nearly that popular when the store's open and the ad's up saying we take in animals.  I dunno how that works.

So, Monday.  On Monday we had three people coming over.  First was some people who had come by previously to see some of the chins we had, and wanted to learn about chins.  They came back to adopt Isis & Eowyn.  Next was another family, who already adopted some rats and chins from us, coming by to bring a guinea pig into the family.  They adopted David, one of the guinea pigs from Amber's rescue (who I'd brought here on Sunday).  Finally, we had another adoptive home come by, one that already has a chin and a rabbit from us, come by to adopt Leo, one of Amber's rabbits.

That was just Monday.  Tuesday was another busy day.  First had someone come to pick up a hidey house.  They'd wanted a custom house, as well as food and other items... but that was back when I had way too many orders, so they'd asked if they could pick up the supplies early and come back for the house when it was ready.  So I finally had their house ready and they came over and got it.  After them, I had a dropoff of two chins.  Bongo and Baja.  Bongo is potentially a malo chin who has already been filed a few times.  Hasn't needed filing since April so we're going to hang onto him and see what ends up happening with him.  At the moment, he seems to be doing fine, so for him and his cagemate, largely a waiting game.  I explained (before they came) to the people dropping off the chins how we deal with malo chins, so that they wouldn't be shocked if it turns out the malo chin has to be put down.  They said that was fine, they would rather someone more experienced make that decision if it comes to it.  So they brought them over.  They both currently look fine -- they said that  in the previous home there were no chew toys or anything, so that potentially the teeth overgrew because of that, but that x-rays had revealed root elongation.  So... time will tell.

Also had another chin brought over.  Had been emailed saying hey, I have allergies, need to bring the chin over.  Like I usually do, my response had consisted of, sorry to hear that, when did you want to bring him by?  The response said she got all upset and teary eyed and asked if there was something she could do regarding allergies.  Oh boy.  So, maybe not everyone here knows this, but I am like horribly allergic to everything.  The running joke is that I'm allergic to air, because I can sneeze year round, allergens or not.  But... I have worked with my allergies.  I'm allergic to pine... so the only time people see pine bedding at the rescue is when either someone donates it, or for some reason I am unable to get the shredded paper.  I'm allergic to the dust, so I don't dust the chins as often as I probably should, and I have air purifiers running at the rescue.  And I'm allergic to all sorts of dander, so I am on a nasal spray and allergy pill year round.  I had an allergy test once.... there was ONE tree that I wasn't allergic to, everything else came up positive (allergic).  But... with the pills, nasal spray, no pine bedding, less dusting, and air purifiers... I can manage to stay down at the rescue for several hours at a crack, versus my previous 20 minutes and done.  It took time to find the right meds -- one nasal spray I tried would have me sneezing for 20 minutes flat -- but once we found what worked, it's do-able.  So, I emailed all of this to the person, along with some tips on other things she could use as dust, things to try, avoid this, try maybe different type of shavings -- basically I wrote her a single spaced 2 page email with tips and tricks.  I get an email back that basically said, oh my allergies flared up, when can I bring the chin?  As Amber put it, "she probably wanted you to just say, 'oh allergies?  nope, nothing you can do, bring in the chin.'"  And in all reality, it does kind of aggravate me that I took the time to write all that and try to help someone, because in reality, allergies can be managed, and then I get an "ah forget it" response.  So anyway, she asks if she should bring the cage and all, and I tell her, whatever she wants to donate is fine, but she doesn't have to bring anything and so she says she will bring the cage, food, and so on and so forth.  Naturally, she shows up with just the chinchilla, no food, no anything else.  She forgot it all.  Ok.  Decent looking chin, could be a show chin (she got it from a pet store).   

So then Wednesday we went to pick up two chins up north Chicagoland.  Thursday I had an afterhours at work and went pretty much straight to sleep when I got home, and today is Friday.  Busy busy busy week.

So as for what's been going on in other news (aka emails) during the week, that's been busy too.  Have received emails about Lambchop (one of Amber's pigs, now here at the rescue), and now he's on hold.  Received a call from someone who got my name from T (with Peeps & Squeaks) and got in two rats (I hate saying no when several other rescues have already said no).  Had someone email about Isis & Eowyn when they were on hold, so now they want pics of the current chins that we have.  Need to get those pics for her.  Have another chin dropoff set for this Saturday.  Had someone else call with three chins to dropoff.  Turns out, they thought they would breed the chins, and no one wanted to pay what they were asking.  So, they have a mom, dad, and baby (born in April).  They asked if the baby was still nursing (not likely), and it sounds like they have all the three together.  And... they have no idea of the sex of the baby.  Which, no doubt, makes it harder to rehome an animal, because anyone looking for a companion to their current critter wants to know what they are getting.  So, those are coming by the following weekend.  And mom may be pregnant again.  Then I got an email from someone who put in a guinea pig app way back when and has been lurking on the site waiting for something they like.  They want to come by and see Desi, so we're working on scheduling that.  Then someone else emailed about wanting to surrender some chins.  Says they currently have them on their local craigslist, but are worried about the responses they are getting, said lots of people who do not seem prepared to own chins, so they think they're going to end up bringing them here.  Now... this sounds like a lot of chins coming in.  But in reality, for every 10 calls/emails I get about dropoffs, I get maybe 2 people that actually show up.  So... likely most of these I will never see.

Oh and best one, I got an email from someone with three black male chins and two standard females, saying they're having a hard time rehoming them, they want $400 for them, am I interested?  So many things wrong with that.  #1 - the only chins I breed are pedigreed chins that have done well at show.  The average person's chins?  Not pedigreed, never shown.  Not saying that would automatically be hers, but likely.... not something I would want to add to the herd.  #2 - she's having a hard time rehoming them because for $400, I would assume you end up with 5 chins.  Most people want to get one.  Pairs are hard to rehome.  Much less 5.  #3 - $400.  Even for 5 chins, most people see that amount in an ad and their eyes bug out.  That's a lot of money.  I would assume the chins probably come with some stuff, but there's still no denying that people on craigslist (or wherever she's listing the chins), see that as a LOT of money.  #4 - even if she wanted the rescue to rehome them, the rescue does not pay for chins.  #5 - going back to the $400 -- for 5 chins, that's $80 each.  Not a horrible price, but if I was to rehome them, I could ask $100 each for the black (assuming they're not light/med ebony) and $75 each for the standards.  Which would be a total of $450 for the five chins.  The point is, that's the amount the rescue could get for the chins -- and the rescue can typically get a lot more than the average individual rehoming chins, simply because people would rather pay a little bit higher of an adoption fee from a rescue, knowing there's a health guarantee and such, rather than pay that much from a private seller.  I emailed back and simply told her, not looking for more breeding chins, and the rescue doesn't pay for chins.  Told her good luck with adopting them out.  Sometimes, private sellers can find people to pay lots of money for their chins, especially people who just want to churn out babies and sell them as young as possible to make $$$.  And, it would depend what they're coming with.  Cages, food, wheels, toys, etc could add some extra value to the 5 chins.  But it's definitely wouldn't make any sense for the rescue to pay that much for the chins.  Not when I have people wanting to drop off chins left and right with no money leaving the rescue for those chins to come in (see previous paragraphs). 

Unrelated, but I got an email that said:  I'm probaly gonna get Eeyore in a month!  Uh-huh.  To me, that kind of email is frustrating, because I don't know if it's a kid emailing that, or an adult emailing that, or what.  I tend to email back letting them know about the care packet and adoption form, asked if they wanted me to email it to them.  No response.  And likely will not receive a response.

Had an email early in the week asking about the rat we have for adoption, asking for an adoption form.  Sent that and the care packet, but never heard back, so I sent another email today asking if he was still interested in adopting the rat.  Would be nice if I'd hear back.  I get a LOT of people who email asking how the adoption process works or asking about adopting a certain animal and then either I never hear back, or I hear back that they got a chin at the pet store (cause it was easier than reading a care packet and filling out an adoption form?  make an effort, people) or somewhere else.  Or I never hear from them in general.

Speaking of never hearing from anyone... that's a big problem I have with the waiting list.  By the time I email the people having what they are looking for, they typically either do not email me back or already got an animal elsewhere.  So, I think what I'm going to aim to do this weekend is go through my entire list and email everyone and say, hey, I have you down for this, let me know if you're still wanting this, if I don't hear from you within x days, you will be removed from the waiting list.  And I aim to do this every few months, so that I don't end up with a 2 page waiting list and no one on it emails me back when I actually have what they're looking for, causing me to waste a lot of time in terms of actually adopting out the critter.

What has brought this thought (of going through the list every so often) is that I emailed someone about two female guinea pigs that I had.  They wanted to be on the list, so when I got in what they were looking for, I sent an email saying hey, I have this and this, let me know if you are interested in adopting, if not, please let me know as well, so I can move on.  And I always include in there something to the effect of, if I don't hear from you in x days, you will be removed from the waiting list.  And... surprise... I did not hear from him.  Which is fine, but just yet again proves how many people are on the waiting list who cannot apparently be bothered to email back.  Granted, this is the same person who told me they wanted a young female guinea pig (to go with their young females), yet when I asked, twice, how young was young, they didn't respond to either email.  And to me, that's important to know, because I may consider a 2 year old guinea pig as "young," yet they may think of young as 8 weeks old.  And I'd rather not unnecessarily bother people... like if I didn't know how young they want, I could bug em all the time with 2 year old guinea pigs, and they'd say, no, no, no... but if I knew they wanted 8 weeks old, then I'd know not to contact em until I had that.

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