First off, I will not be meeting people for dropoffs. Not just because the humane society will never meet you anywhere, they will ask you to come there, but mainly, because people waste my time. Now, that's not to say that, if you ask nicely, I may ask some people if they'd have any objections about meeting you. But I, myself, will not be meeting you. I can think of several instances, not all in 2014, but some, where I went to the meeting spot.
Any and all of these happened:
- the people showed up on time (very small percentage)
- the people showed up late, never texting to let me know, and never responding to my texts asking if they were still coming
- the people contacted me after I had arrived at the meeting spot, typically quite a drive away, to let me know they'd need to reschedule, OR had rehomed the chin earlier that day, wasting all that time and gas
- the people showed up late, but texted "they'd be there soon," over and over and over, to the point that I waited at the meeting spot for 2 hours before they showed up
- the people never showed up, never responded to any communications, and I never heard from again
Now. For the above, I'm not talking about meeting someone to transfer an animal from another rescue to mine. THOSE meets never have problems. It's the meets with the regular average Joe that wants to drop off their chins that I'm talking about.
Second -- cages. If you all saw how many applications I get in that say their cages have wood shelves, it's a good "grand majority" of applications. Now, I'm not saying these people didn't read the care packet, go "oh I need wood shelves," and build the wood shelves. But if you saw how many orders I get for wood shelves in the webstore... it makes me think, not that many people are all that savvy with building these things. And let's be honest, there's like one company out there, Quality Cage, that sells their cages with wood shelves, standard. And since that company is out in Oregon state, and would require getting a cage shipped here or bought used, I'm starting to find it a tad bit hard to believe that everyone's cage just magically has wood shelves.
Also, I know that, I believe it is, Heartland, requires proof of cage before adopting out their small animals. So, NWI is going to do that too. So, there's options, either the adopter can tell me what type of cage is it, and then bring it with at the time of adoption, or they can take a picture. That picture will need to include a hand-written piece of paper with the current date in it. Thereby preventing people from snatching internet pictures and just saying "this is my cage." Also will prevent people from saying they have wood shelves if they do not, because I will be able to tell, looking at the picture, if those shelves are wood or not. And really, while this is just an extra step and probably will turn into an extra headache for me.... if the person really does have the cage they're claiming to have... how long should this take? Really, it should be super quick.
And another thing. I am no longer going to feel bad when people lose out on an animal. People. If you want to adopt, you can't fall off the face of the earth. You just can't. Few days after Christmas, I talked to someone wanting to adopt a critter. They said, yeah, send the forms, all that good stuff. I told em, the way we work, we only hold em so many days without adoption form. Yeah yeah. Ok, well, never heard back from them, and someone else came and wanted to adopt, and now the critter's gone. Well, today I get an email back from that person. And I need to stop this, but I do feel mildly bad, because they're all like, hope this works out, hope we're approved, yadda yadda. But I know I said, we don't hold em forever, and I know it's been over the holidays, but that doesn't change the fact -- if you want to adopt -- delay is not your friend. You want to adopt, get that form in ASAP. Lock down that animal with a deposit. In fact, I think I talked about deposits with this person. But you can't just not email back, not contact back, not anything, and expect that I'm just sitting here waiting for your application. You know why? Because probably for every 20 applications I send out, I get one back. ONE. Besides the fact that I find that really pathetic, the truth is, with that kind of miserable statistic, I just cannot count on the fact that everyone is going to return their app.
I used to, get this, I used to put animals on hold the second someone would email and say, "I'm interested in this animal." You know what that resulted in? A lot of animals on hold, for extended periods of time, for people who never contacted me back. Especially because, back then, I did holds for 14 days with no deposit. And then, I likely lost out on actual adoptions, because people would see that the animal was on hold, and would move on. I changed this to 7 day holds with no deposit, in 2014. But I need to really stick to that and not feel bad. Because in reality, if you really want that animal, you can either show up in 7 days, or you can put down a deposit. Simple as that.