Friday, November 8, 2013

Few things

So, it's been busy lately.

For all who didn't catch on, the house fell through.  The bills were 3x higher than what I'd budgeted for, and unless my boss gives me a pay raise, which isn't likely, I couldn't afford to live there.  So, the house hunt starts again.

... some people caught on due to the fact that, on the website, the "moving sale" changed to simply a "sale."

I can't say I'm happy about that, but it is what it is.  Unless, of course, someone wants to donate a few thousand to the rescue and then I can move in... haha.

Moving along... I get emails and calls daily about chins.  If I put a chin on hold for every call/email I received, they'd all be on hold and 90% would never go home.  And here's why -- out of every 10 people who contact me, I return their phone call/email, and hear back from maybe 2.  So, I don't put an animal on hold until either I receive a completed adoption form or unless we have a date and time set for someone to come over.

This can create problems.  For example, Person 1 calls Monday about Animal X and I call them back and leave a message, and they don't call back, and 3 days pass.  Do they want the animal?  I don't know.  So, Person 2 emails, with an adoption form attached to the email, says they want Animal X.  I email them back, they respond quickly, and Animal X goes on hold for Person 2.  Then, Person 1 calls and is upset that Animal X is not on hold for them.  Now, let's note, I've never actually talked to Person 1, I do not have an adoption form from Person 1, and so on.

Now, I used to do it where for every person who emailed/called, the animal would go on hold for them for 7 days, and they'd have that long to get back to me.  But not anymore, because, as noted, only 20% of people get back to me, so 80% of those animals would be on hold needlessly.  I still do this 7 day hold for someone who I've been in contact with several times, who then vanishes, but if I've never talked to you or never received something from you, then it doesn't apply.

...and by the way, offering more money for chins that are on hold for someone else doesn't work.  You know why?  Because it's not all about the money.  Even if the rescue was broke, it'd be more important to find a good home than to find the home that can pay more for the chins.  If the good home came along already, well, people can wait around for the next chin that's available that meets their criteria.

Moving along again.... I hate emails that say things like (and I quote) "willing to buy them if u provide the cage & bedding."  Um, no.  This is a rescue.  We provide what we provide, which is the following:

--single chin -- baggie (roughly 2 pounds) food, goodie bag, care packet
--pair chins -- 4 pounds food, 2 goodie bags, care packet
--trio chins -- 6 pounds food, 3 goodie bags, care packet
--baby chin -- baggie (roughly 2 pounds) food, kit goodie bag, hanging chew toy, care packet
--rabbit -- 4 pounds food, 2 cardboard bagels, care packet
--guinea pig -- 2 pounds food, 2 cardboard bagels, care packet
--rat -- bag of lab blocks (roughly 1 pound), bag of dry cereal mix, care packet

....and that's it.  If the animal came in with something that the other said they wanted to go with the animal, then they may come with something else.  I've had chins dropped off with their cages, and the other said, send the cage with them.  Or send the wheel with them.  Or whatever the case may be -- then those animals come with "their stuff."  But, that's not most animals.  Most animals just come with what's listed above.  In case anyone wonders why those particular amounts?  The average chin eats 2 pounds per month.  The average large rabbit can eat 4 pounds a month.  A rat could probably go a month on a pound or two of lab blocks.  So, the idea to give those amounts is so people have a month to go get more, assuming they are not purchasing more from the rescue (some people do, some do not).

But when people say that they'll buy them if I provide this and that... to me, that's like saying, "how bad do you want them gone?  If you want them gone badly enough, throw in this and that and I'll take them."  Um, no.  Let's note that people like that almost never end up adopting.  Because they want to buy everything packaged up in a neat little bow for $50.  And that's fine -- they just need to look on craigslist for the people who are selling chin, with cage, with everything, and call up that person.  Sure, those chins often look like they've never had a dust bath, and often the cages are caked with built up feces, but come on, that's why it's $50 for everything!  There's a reason the chins here are more money and the cages are more money.  The chins stay here for a month to be sure they're doing well, healthy, eating, all that.  If they're not, they stay here until they get better, they don't get adopted out ill, unless it's something that cannot be fixed but is not life threatening (like, for example, a rat we recently adopted out with teeth issues [need clipped every few weeks - under $15 at a vet, could be done at home] and weakness in her legs -- not specifically unhealthy, just older and needing a more special adoptive home.  So, after having kept a chin here for 30+ days, fed it, dusted it, cared for it that time, it's going to cost more than $20.  Same with the cages.  I wish you all could see the cages I get in with animals.  Usually the whole base is caked in either feces or just unrecognizable grime.  I end up taking a metal putty knife, scraping up what I can, and pouring in vinegar and letting it sit.  And after it's sat for awhile, I scrub it.  Then pour in more, let it sit for awhile, scrub it.  And rinse and repeat over and over until the grime comes off.  Some of these cages take days to clean.  I have one cage right now, where I have had the base on the floor for the past week, letting it soak, scrubbing it, letting it soak more, scrubbing it more, and so on and so forth.  It can take forever to get everything off.  And that's just the base, the top part (wire) has to be scrubbed and washed, as well as any plastic shelves (if it's a non-chin cage), and any wooden parts need to be scrubbed, sanitized, and sanded down.  So, the cages aren't $10, because many have hours worth of my time put into them.  Hence, I can't throw in a cage that I'd otherwise ask $150 for, with two chins.

I get people wanting everything at once, one nice little package.  And I can do that, you tell me you want chins, cage, water bottle, food bowl, toys, I will come up with a nice package for you.... but not for the price of the chins themselves, will I throw in all this other stuff.  Sorry, just not how it works.

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