This was going to be a second post for yesterday, but I never got around to finishing it...
Remember that person that texted at the crack of dawn asking about chins, and I was asleep before they texted me back?
So, let me share:
Them: Hey, you looking for a new home for some chinchillas? Sorry to text you so late.
Me: Yeah, this is a chinchilla rescue, we always have several available for adoption.
Them: Great. My son loves chinchillas.
Me: (in the morning) Hi again, sorry, I went to bed before you responded to the text. Are you wanting to adopt a chinchilla
Them: Perfectly ok. Yes I am.
Me: Alrighty. We have a chin care packet you'll need to look over and an adoption form to fill out. I can email those to you if you'd like?
Them: Alright that will be fine. But I have a couple questions first.
Me: Sure. Ask away.
Them: Alright. Are you hamsters average size or are they fat? Like, I've had fat guinea pigs before. Those effers got stuck in a little tube one time. We tried to cut it out but we cut into it. LOL I'm looking for small ones.
Me: I don't have hamsters. This is a chinchilla rescue.
Them: Oh right. Well about the size...?
Me: For chinchillas? They're average size, none are huge. If the tubes are small enough that you think an animal would get stuck, you shouldn't have it in the cage.
Them: Preferably something small enough to not get stuck in a tube and big enough not to get swallowed by a 3 year old. Don't want that happening again LOL
Them: Well you see, I thought it was a hamster, so I put it in a hamster cage. It was kinda little at that time. I took it out of the cage for only a minute. I turn around and my son is choking! LOL never saw that hamster aain.
Me: This conversation is over.
Them: So you're not going to sell me a hamster?
Now..... this sounded kinda fishy early on, but I've had a gerbil get stuck in a tube, so it's not entirely un-believable that that happens. But this kinda shit is what really pisses me off. I have shit to do, people who ACTUALLY want to adopt to respond to their emails, but no, these dumbasses are the ones who are emailing and contacting me. Really?
Moving along. I had pet coupon booklets that I've listed on several groups on facebook for free. Pickup at the house. It specifically says, on my listing, that I have a small animal rescue and cannot use these booklets, and as they only have like one coupon for small animals, they would be much better for dog people. So what does everyone else? Oh, can you treat my dog for parvo at your rescue? I want to adopt a small older dog, do you have one at your rescue? Ahhhh. And the best one, where can we meet? You can pick it up at my house, that's where we can meet. What part of free, come get it, do people not understand?
Moving along, this one person volunteers at some science center that potentially wanted to adopt some chins. So they said, put the chins on hold (only if it was free, cause you know, don't want to lose out on money) and they'll decide. So I tell her, the hold for 7 days is free, after that, they need a deposit or the chins can go to anyone. And I also mention, in that email, that if the center decides to adopt, that I need the person who will be caring for the chins to read our chin care packet and fill out an adoption form. So I get an email back today, that she wants to adopt, how does she pay? Wait, hold up, back up a sec. Didn't I JUST say about the care packet and the adoption form? Plus, she said she wants to adopt -- so I emailed her asking if it's her, or the center, that wants to adopt, and either way, those forms need to be filled out, and I attached them. I also told her, her hold ends at the end of the day tomorrow, so if they really want the chins, I need that completed adoption form asap so we can set an appointment. And, the chins they are interested in require a wheel, which, just going by how well she read my emails, I'm sure she glossed over. I reminded her of that as well (and it actually says in their adoption ad about this, and about bringing the wheel with them to the rescue to ensure they actually have it).... well... we shall see how this goes. Nothing yet back from these people, and they only have until the end of the day today (25th).
On a positive note, a family that we saw at the Windy City Pet Expo is going to adopt! Yay!! And they're going to purchase one of the large cages, which will give me more space to organize stuff in the basement. I'm not as positive as they are that the cage will fit in their vehicle in one piece, but I sure hope it does, because I do not want to have to get it back downstairs if it doesn't.
Few more things. Maybe this section should be entitled - "what to expect if you want to adopt from a rescue." First and foremost, expect an adoption form. I understand not all rescues have a care packet they want you to read, but come on, caring for a cat or dog is likely more common sense (simply because they're everywhere) than caring for a chinchilla. So we also have a care packet you will be reading. But in addition, we have an adoption form. Why? Not to waste your time (or mine, because I did have to come up with it and update it from time to time), but because I care about where the animals are going. Your address, name, the whole top third of the first page is mainly for my records. I don't really care that you live on Main Street, or in Hammond, unless I know (for example) that you can't own a rabbit in Hammond and you want to adopt a rabbit. Then we may have a chat. But I don't take that information down for the purpose of harassing you down the road. Unless you decide to sell that chinchilla on craigslist, but that is another story. Anyway, the important questions are more, what type of food are you going to feed, what type of cage. Do you know what acceptable chews are? Do you know if they have temperature requirements? This is the important stuff. And you don't know how aggravating it gets when I see, as an answer to the food question, "chinchilla food." No shit, sherlock. I would hope you could at least grasp that a chinchilla could eat chinchilla food, but I want it a step further than that, which is why I'm asking. I don't mind the people who put "want to discuss with you" or "will go with your suggestion" or "what do you recommend" because those people usually want the best and want to talk about it. That's fine. Anyway, point is. There's an adoption form and if you're going to adopt, you're not going to get around it. That's why this is a rescue and not a pet shop -- we don't just sell the critters to the first person who walks in the door.
I had two phone calls today. Both said they were interested in adopting, I told them about the care packet and the adoption form, and they said they wanted to come today, so they'd get the forms back to me right away. Course, neither did. But mind you, both provided their emails, said they would, and so on. Now, granted, they very well may email me tomorrow or the next day. But, if these follow the path that so many others have gone down, they immediately thought "not doing it!" when I mentioned the care packet and adoption form and just deleted the email when they got it. And of course, that's a waste of my time to send it. It's never a long email, typically just, "hey, we just talked on the phone (or whatever), as I mentioned, here is the care packet and adoption form. Please read the care packet and then fill out the adoption form and get it back to me and we can go from there. Talk to you soon." But it takes time to write it out and attach the files and even that few minutes would be a few minutes saved if these people could simply say, you know, they don't want to mess with that, they'll just go to a pet store where they can simply hand over the money and get handed the chinchilla.
My first clue, I suppose, should be that when I'm talking with these people about the chin, and they say, "we'll take it." This is not a used car sale. I hate to keep repeating this, but it's just not that simple. At that point, I have no idea of the type of cage you have, the type of food you want to feed, etc. It may all be fine, but it may all be not. I had one person call today who said they got a chin from somewhere in Valpo and it died 2 months later. Well.... I sure want to know about their cage, the food, the treats, before that person ends up with a chin from me. That's the purpose of the adoption form. "We'll take it," especially in the context of a chin dying and they don't know why, makes me think that another will likely suffer the same fate in the event it is something they are doing. Which it may be, or it may not be, but I don't know without the form.
I had someone call yesterday about coming to look at the chins. I was having a super-productive day yesterday, so I didn't have them come over right then, they said they'd call today. And they actually did, kudos to them. So, they called while I was at Menards picking up my special order. But I called first, because I somehow managed to lose my receipt and special order paperwork between the 13th and now. Oops. After turning the obvious-places-in-the-house upside down and not finding it, I called the store. I did pay for this order (now, they require you pay for it at the time of the order, apparently due to people not picking up their special orders), but I had nothing showing I did, and only an order number (thank God for special order emails referencing the order number). So I called and told the lady my problem and she said as long as I had my name on the order and brought in an ID, I'd be fine. So I did, they printed me out a new special order sheet in the back (cause the front needed to scan it to show I picked it up) and I got my hanger bolts and wingnuts. I still need to order washers, but I was so worried about not getting these (this order took months to finally get) that I didn't want to end up with thousands of washers and no use for them (those I can order shipped directly to the house). So a lot of items on the webstore will pop back up as available soon. Anyway, so those people called right as I was in line and the guy was standing there waiting for me to talk to him about the special order, so I had to tell him to call back. So I got my order, left, I called the people back, and they came over to look at the chins. Very nice people, I think they'd be a good home if they adopted. They were interested in this one cage that I have that this other person has on hold. This other person has gotten me an adoption form and everything for Gilly, but has since fallen off the planet. They have til the end of the day on the 28th to get back to me. And since these other people expressed interest in the cage, I emailed the Gilly person today and let them know, a nice friendly reminder, they have til the 28th to schedule a pickup (soon after) and if they don't, Gilly and cage go back up for adoption / sale. I don't know if maybe something changed with that person -- I added in the email that if they've decided they don't want to adopt, to let me know that as well, but we'll see either way.
Still nothing from the first person on my waiting list to bring in their chins. They only have two more days. If not them, the next person on the list is a very nice guy with two single-living chins that will take up the two available cages that are currently open. Assuming all goes well and Monday, Josephine & Storm are adopted out, another cage will open up and I will be contacting another person on my list who wants to bring in a chin, and they will have their 7 days... and down the line.
We shall see.