Wednesday, August 26, 2015

People amaze me...

So, I suppose people never cease to amaze me, but there's occasionally ones that stand out from the rest as even MORE *shaking my head* than usual.  Was sitting here, got a message on facebook that popped up in the corner of the screen (for the rescue page) that said basically, looking for a white female, 2 years of age or older.  As that little window only shows a little portion of the message, I clicked on it.  Thinking, ooh, we have Salt.  Yeah, well, this person isn't adopting.  Here's their short (but very problematic) message:

Looking for a white female 2yrs plus in age... Where are you located? I have a grey and a cage to trade...

I told the guy, we don't trade, this is a rescue not a swap meet.  But there are so many problems with this!  First, this just SCREAMS that this guy thinks animals are disposable and don't have feelings / emotions / however you want to put it.  Oh, tired of the color you have?  Swap out for another!  It's the same thing, right?  Cause you know, you're not happy with the black fridge, take it and trade for the silver one, right?  Not for live animals, you don't.  

Second... this is a rescue.  I've seen all sorts of trade posts on reptile sites between private owners and such (and really, even that I think is kinda odd), but for a rescue?  Try walking into a humane society and bringing your mutt in and saying, hey can I trade for that nice purebred doberman?  See how well that works out, and watch the looks they give you.  They won't adopt to you either.

And thirdly... people, READ.  It says RIGHT on the About Us page (on facebook... and if you go to the website, in multiple places) where we're located.  And when I just had the chins on the website and a few other classified sites, people complained they weren't listed on facebook.  So I created a facebook album for the available critters and now I keep that updated as well.  And people STILL "oh do you have this?" -- how about, could you make the slightest bit of effort and then get back to me?

Had another person like that the other day.  Wanted to do a trial run, but one of the chins they were interested in was already on hold.  I told them I would snap them some pics of the other chins we had here when I got home (the next day).  She asked where I was located, I told her, and then she asked if we did delivery.  Mind you, this person wanted to do a trial run -- where you put down a $50 deposit and get to try out a chin with all supplies for a week -- and wanted me to deliver all this stuff and two chins to her -- FOUR hours away.  Might I mention, the rescue doesn't make a CENT from trial runs, because assuming you bring back the chins and cages and all, you get your deposit back!  But no, I should spend 8 hours round trip of my time (and GAS) to deliver chins to her to figure out if she likes them or not.  And what do you bet, if she did, she would have wanted me to drive to her to pick the cage back up.  And of course... is the vet gonna deliver services?  I told her we don't deliver and said I would get her pics.  And I did, and of course, never heard back.  Guess they were really counting on me spending a day of my time, and all that gas, potentially for nothing (if they didn't end up adopting).

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Labeling Colors

Wanted to touch on something real quick.  This is come up (in my mind) because we've had so many white / mosaic chinchillas come in lately, that we've had to get more descriptive when listing them. 

I remember when there was another breeder in Indiana who used to list a lot of their chinchillas as "panda mosaics" -- for them, this was a selling term, and a reason to "up" the prices on those chinchillas.  A regular mosaic may have been $175, a panda mosaic was $200.  In the chinchilla world... that's more or less unethical.  A mosaic is a mosaic.  Don't get me wrong, some people may be willing to pay more for a chinchilla that is all white.  Or one that has radical markings.  But in general, both genetically and otherwise... it's still a mosaic, and there's no real difference between an all white chin, one with spots, a silver mosaic, and so on.  All mosaics.

So the reason I bring this up is because I was listing chinchillas today, and noticed that I listed one as a predominantly white mosaic, another as having a saddle stripe, and another as having a silvery face.  None of these chins are listed this way to suggest that one is more valuable than any other, they are simply descriptive terms.  You may notice, the prices of all these chins are the same. 

The thing is, we need descriptive terms when we don't have names.  Most owner surrenders come in with names, which is why most of our older chins can easily be differentiated.  But we still run into people, occasionally, who call us up and say they want the adult male standard grey chin.  Ok, which one?  Often we have multiple.  Same for the mosaics.  Someone says they want the mosaic female, we have two.  Mosaic male?  We have four.  If people can call up and say, oh the one with the spot... that helps.  We know which one to put on hold and have here for them when they come to adopt.  But that's all it is.

Just in case anyone was wondering.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Adoption Fees

So, I post our available animals up on craigslist, all the time.  Lately have not been having problems with flaggers, but we go through spurts.   May start having issues again, wanted to share an email I got today:

Your fees are much higher than Animal Welfare League.  I will flag all "selling"
And my response:

Animal welfare league is a government funded shelter. We don't have that luxury, nor do we have vets on staff to lower the cost of vet care for all the animals in our care.  Keep in mind, they're also a kill shelter, we're not.  It costs way less to care for an animal for a week or two and then put it down when it's not adopted than it does when animals are in the rescue for months on end...  Really, comparing US to them is comparing apples to oranges. Animal specific shelters, or breed-specific shelters for dogs, for example if you go to a Great Dane rescue, they're going to have higher adoption fees than if you find a Great Dane at any local Humane Society. That's just how it is, because they specialize in the breed and can tell you a lot more than the average shelter can about if that pet is right for you.  A lot of the chinchillas that come in this rescue come in because someone got them off craigslist because they were (for example) $20, and the people can finally afford it. They couldn't afford the vet care for it, or the correct cage, or any of that, and so we end up with the sick chins. Or we end up with 20 chins at once when someone thought it'd be a good idea to have brother and sister together and now there's quite a few more than those two... Point is, there's more than just one reason why our adoption fees aren't super low, but all of it is for the good of the animals.  The people who really want a rescue chinchilla, and want to know that it's coming from a good place, aren't quibbling over a few bucks. And frankly, if there's someone who thinks our adoption fee should be, say, $30, instead of $75 for a gray adult, and that's going to make the difference in adopting, I would hate to see what happens if the animal needs to go to the vet. We probably don't want that person adopting anyway. 

Personally... they're gonna flag me.  What are they all high and mighty?  Ooooh I'm afraid.  Most adoptions we get are through the WEBSITE, so even if craigslist goes down for a bit... so what?

Let me expand on a few things.  Humane societies, especially ones like AWL that have vets on staff, are naturally going to be able to charge lower fees.  Not just for small animals, but for dogs, and every other animal that comes in the door.  Now, this person clearly has no idea, but I have horror stories I could tell you all about AWL, that would make no one ever adopt from them.  EVER.  Just cause they have cheap adoption fees doesn't mean a place is ethical, is out for the good of the animals, anything like that.  Cheap adoptions fees are just that, cheap.  Should I mention how most of the critters that this rescue has ever gotten from AWL -- AWL has been WRONG on sex of.  Has said -- two males.  Nope!!  Male and female.  Can't even tell them when they're DIFFERENT.  That's just the tip of the iceberg, and I won't even get into the rest.  Cheap, yes.  Sick animals, DING DING DING DING DING, tell em what they've won!! 

Any time you go to an animal specific shelter, it's always going to be more.  Someone told me, way back when, Hobart Humane Society adopts out guinea pigs for $5 each.  And asked, could I lower my adoption fee (for one specific guinea pig) to that.  Uh... no.  You want one for $5, go to HHS.  Oh, they don't have the one you want?  Guess you gotta pay our adoption fee if you want the one we have.  This is not Walmart, we do not pricematch.  Sorry.  I personally think it's funny... they like the adoption fees of other places better... but want our animals.  Hmmmm.  But back to the animal specific.  You go to the local humane society, often you could adopt any animal in there without much scrutiny, go home, and decide to return it the next day.  And guess what -- happens all the time.  I used to volunteer at one of the local humane societies and their returns were insane!  Versus us, we get back MAYBE a handful of chins every year.  You know why?  Because just like any breed-specific rescue, we know what questions to ask, we know what's important in a good home, and check that out before the animal goes home.  I guarantee you, you go to adopt an animal from AWL, say a hamster, and you pay the $10 (or whatever) and take it home.  Do they know what type of cage you have?  Probably not.  What type of food you plan to feed?  Eh.  Have they asked if the hamster is for you or a gift for someone else?  Doubtful.  We would.  And that's why we have some percentage of people who would adopt, decide to not adopt, because they realize, you know what, not the pet for me.  And that's fine, I'd rather people realize it ahead of time.  But the thing is, we know our animals.  You go to a sheltie rescue, they're not gonna adopt out a sheltie to someone who can't stand barking.  Cause they bark.  Just like we wouldn't adopt out a chinchilla to someone who wanted it to play with their 1 year old unsupervised and let their 2 year old carry it around the house 24/7.  But because breed-specific rescues specialize... and only deal with one general breed... it tends to be more expensive to adopt from them.

And believe me... I cringe when I hear, oh this place adopts out chins for $25.  I know someone told me there is a place in Indiana like that.  I cringe and wonder if we're getting in their chins and not knowing it... because unfortunately, it is the truth.  The people who can't afford a $75 chin, but can afford a $30 one, and think it's a good idea to get one at $30  (but think it's totally unaffordable at $75)... probably should not have the pet.  And I know I've said this over and over, it's not that I have anything against poor people, because I, too, am no stranger to charging vet bills, if needed, but I do believe that if the difference of $45 is going to break the bank, that person should really think about adopting the animal.  We have sales now and then, because the appeal of "getting a deal" usually is pretty effective at finding some good homes.  Not that $65 is much cheaper than $75, but people see it as something they should jump on.  We have given discounts before (ya gotta ask for them... we don't just offer), because a good home is worth more than $20 more in the rescue's pocket.  But that all said... if $20 is the difference between affording the pet and not... probably should wait.  I know for me, when I got Taffy (younger sheltie), she was $600, and I would rather have spent that amount and then spent a few hundred on toys, crate, shots, etc etc, than spent $2000 on her and not had money left over for the other stuff.  So I can totally understand saving some money on the animal itself and using it to put towards the animal.  Sometimes when I have sales, some people seem to purchase more supplies (as compared to animals not on sale), which may be because they're saving some on the critter.  But what I want to avoid is adopting out animals too cheaply, and then having the people not be able to afford proper vet care.  You may remember when Chong (renamed Cheerio by her new home) went home, and came to find out that they couldn't even afford the gas to get to the vet, and I had to call up the vet and put my card on file so she could be treated.  Yes, she was still under the health guarantee, but if it was a week later, she wouldn't have, and those people would not have had the gas to get her to the vet, much less any money to treat her, or even to put her down.  We want to avoid that.  I get a lot of emails from people who have a sick chin and can't afford medical care.  Sometimes it's something we can legitimately help with.  Sometimes not -- I've gotten calls about chins needing various surgeries over $1000 each... we don't have that kind of spare cash to spend on a single animal at one vet visit.  Now, if an animal repeatedly gets sick and needs vet care and visits, it could add up to that, but not at all once.  But the thing is, sometimes it's a relatively cheap vet visit... but people still can't afford it, and I don't want any of these chins going to homes like that.

Anyway, kind of interesting turn of events... I got an email back:

thanks so much for taking the time to clear that up.  So kind of you to explain.
Thing is... I will defend my position, but I'm not a mean person.  I'm sure sometimes I may come out that way, on here, because I feel like I can say more of what I think on this blog (to an extent, of course)... but there really is a reason why things are the way they are.  It's just taking the time to understand it...

Monday, August 17, 2015

People being late.

Ok, so I officially think I'm going to add something in the email about being late.

Get an email back from the people who I waited for over a half hour yesterday...

From my understanding it was anytime after five. After our hour drive was extended due to traffic we arrived around 5:45. I did not have your phone number to contact you and tell you we where running late, however you had mine and could have contacted me. I was really set on adopting a chinchilla from a rescue but after this falling through I'm not so sure. Please understand that your house was not a drive down the road, it is over an hour for me.  Not quite.  True, I had told her, I would be home anytime 5 or later.  But let's compare -- call up a doctor's office and they'll tell you they have morning appointments available.  Does that mean you can come anytime in the morning?  No, you set an appointment.

My response:

When we talked about setting an appointment, I had said that I would be home 5 or later.  You replied with, "that time would work tomorrow."  I took "that time" to mean, literally, the only specific time that I had mentioned, which was 5 pm.  I actually had sent you an email as well, which had said that I had marked you down for 5.  I understand now what you meant, but its too bad that you had not replied saying that you meant 5 or later... because I would have emailed you back saying we needed to pick a more specific time.  Appointments are just that -- time slots.  When I said I would be home all night, I meant that in the sense that we could pick a time and I would make sure I would be home for when you got here....which would allow me, for the time before and after that appointment, to not be here, if necessary. 

I apologize for the misunderstanding.  However, I did not know where you were coming from, and without any contact saying you were running late or were still coming, I needed to get other things done.    
So.. if she wants to be snarky and say, ok, now they're not going to adopt -- fine.  Won't break my heart.  You can't pull this shit anywhere else, where you think you can show up any time you damn well please.  It says on the website, and I know I say in my emails to people, that we need to set an appointment.  An appointment is not "anytime 5 or later," no, an appointment is 2 pm, or 3 pm, or whatever.  The most I'll ever do is when someone's coming from far away and says they'll be here between 10 and 11.  Ok, so I won't schedule anyone else until 12, just in case they come at 11.  But I will never leave the entire night open for someone.  Sorry, just won't do it.

And I'm sure she doesn't like me very much right now, but I don't feel like I'm being difficult.  Because in all reality, I feel like my time is just as valuable as theirs... but they have no problem wasting my time.  Well, no more.

So... moving along.  Had someone I've been talking to about coming to adopt a chin, and they have all their paperwork and everything in, just needed to set an appointment.  Well, they wanted to come Monday (today) [email was from a few days ago], and I had emailed back saying that was ok, and asking what time.  So, didn't hear back from them until 2:30 today, saying they thought they would be here by 6-7.  Nevermind, you know, the fact it'd been several days, and I could have scheduled several appointments in the meantime... but anyway, I didn't have much going on tonight, so I emailed back saying that'd be fine and would see them later.  Well, 7:45 comes around and they finally arrive.  Said something about getting lost, but no sorry or anything.  No email or text or anything saying they would be late.  Just frustrating. 

Lots of adoptions, some frustrations... the usual

With the sale going on, been having lots of adoptions.  Been working on orders, way more caught up than usual. 

Even with paperwork -- we are actually UP TO DATE on paperwork.  Who-hoo!!  Now just to keep it that way.

But... been having a lot of flakey people lately.

Had a person who wanted a bridge and a tunnel made for them, few months ago.  I got it done, emailed them early / middle of July (no longer have that email).  Got an email back from them July 12th that they need more time to pay because of some assistance not picking up some of their gas bill, and they only get paid once a month.  So, they said August 1st, I'd have payment.  And here it is, August 16th, no payment.  So I emailed a few days ago asking if they still want the stuff, and if so, when they're going to pay.  Cause it's sat here, packaged up already, in a LARGE box that is, perhaps unsurprisingly, in my way -- because I have nowhere to store things like orders once they're made and packaged up.  Got an email that says "I'll let you know September 1st."  *head explodes*  Really?  Apparently couldn't be bothered to send an email saying, hey, you know, can't pay this month either... maybe next... and I can almost guarantee you, September 1st will come and go, and I'll email again.  People.  Don't order unless you plan to pay within a reasonable amount of time.  This person wanted to know cost with shipping... of items I don't normally make... which means, only way to figure that out, is to literally make the items, package them up, and so on.  So I got her the cost and now I wait....  ugh.

Moving along... had someone call me from Michigan, was going to pass through this area this weekend, and wanted to stop by and look at some chins.  So I told em about the care packet and adoption form and proof of cage and all that, and emailed all of that to them, and they said they would bring it all with.  Supposed to come at 7 pm yesterday.  Called around 4, asked if they could come earlier, and I said sure.  So they were maybe an hour away at that point, so just before 5 (right around the time they'd be stopping by), I get a call that something came up and they can't made it.  Now, in all fairness, I appreciate them at least calling to let me know, rather than just not showing up, but still, frustrating.

Moving along to today.  Had someone contact me yesterday, thinking they wanted to adopt, but before they did that, they wanted to come by, see the facilities and all that.  Fine, so we set up an appt for 5 pm.  5 pm comes and goes, 5:15 pm comes and goes, 5:30 pm comes and goes... and they're not here.  I had somewhere I needed to go, and I'd already waited a half hour... so I wrote a note for them, taped it to the door, and left.  Note basically said, I waited a half hour for you, had you been here at 5, I would have stayed as long as needed, but since you're not here and I've already waited this long, I need to leave,  email to reschedule.  Now, they didn't say where they were coming from, they just sent an email saying they wanted to come see the place.  So in all fairness to them, I don't know if they might have been coming from somewhere in a different time zone (because when I got home, the note was gone)... but I feel like, especially when I don't know where you're coming from, it's not my responsibility to know if you're coming into my time zone.  I feel like, if you were to make a doctor's appointment in the next state over, and weren't sure, you'd sure ask them, are you on Central Time?  Eastern Time?  Because if you were wrong, and showed up an hour late... good luck seeing the doctor that day!  Well anyway, the note was gone when I got home, hours later, but I have no phone call, no email, no communication at all from them.  And I did say (in the note) that I apologize for any inconvenience, but the truth is, I just can't wait around forever.  If I was to assume they'd be an hour late, I could wait an hour... and then when they show up, say they stay an hour... now I've sat around for 2 hours, for a one hour appointment.  And here's the thing... say I sit around assuming they're coming in an hour, and it turned out, they weren't coming at all... I could be sitting around all night.  Not practical.  I don't know if maybe there was a time zone thing... but even if that was the case, I feel like they could have emailed back and said, you know, they got the time wrong.  But so far, nothing.  And it's been hours, so I imagine, if I haven't gotten anything yet... I likely won't be hearing from them.  Which is fine.

But brings me to my next point, which I know I've gone over and over a million times -- people view appointments here (and at other rescues) as considerably different than at, say, a doctor's office.  Yes, I get, they are different.  Sure, they are.  However, at the same time... it's still an appointment.  If you tell your friend, you're gonna have lunch with her at 1... surely you show up around 1.  Maybe not on the dot, cause maybe it's informal, but you sure show up around 1.  Or if not, you call, or text, or whatever, to let the friend know you're gonna be late.  Not here!  If I posted every time I make an appointment and someone doesn't show up.  Or shows up an hour late.  Or two hours late, with no apology, no explanation (suppose it wouldn't make any difference, but I feel like then they might actually care that they wasted my time), no nothing.  It's insane how much that happens, and I bet you, it doesn't happen nearly as much for things like doctors appointments.  And I'm going to change how people do this, cause it's frankly getting old.

I think what I'm going to do, and this has been suggested by a number of other rescues as well, is add into the last email (the one that talks about, when you come, here's the address, bring a carrier, bring cash / credit, and so on) a short paragraph about being on time.  Something to the effect of, if you are going to be late, we will wait 15 minutes on you.  If you haven't contacted us via email / text / phone call within that 15 minutes to let us know you're going to be late, be aware that we may leave, or may move on to the appointment after yours (if there is one).  If you show up late and we are here, but with another appointment, we will finish up with that appointment before we will take care of you.  If we leave due to having other things to do, you may reschedule the appointment one time.  Please be aware that our time is valuable, just as yours is, and while you are an important customer / adoptive home, so are our others, and we cannot neglect them, nor other things we need to do, while waiting too long on anyone.  Also, please be aware that we are on Central Standard Time, in case that impacts you getting here on time, please check what time zone you are in, and plan out your trip accordingly.

Enough of that...

But... good news has been happening as well.  That critter nation that sat here for ages and ages, because that one girl never paid and I kept saying ok well, pay a little, and she didn't... it's now gone.  Remember those people who didn't want to come to Hammond because they said they'd get shot driving down the street?  Yeah, they were here a few days ago, adopted a chin and bought the cage.  Yay!  One less big thing.  I have another cage (not quite as large... but still good sized) that I moved over to the other side of the basement, where I'd had the CN, and that one needs to be worked on next.  It badly needs to be painted, so I will have to take all the shelves out of it, take it upstairs and outside and paint it, bring it back in, and reassemble with shelves and all sorts of fun stuff... and get it a new pan, since the current one has two holes in it (and people wonder why some of these used cages cost a bit).  But anyway, selling the CN allowed me to move that other cage over to that side, so the actual rescue area is looking a smidge less crowded.  Yay.  Baby steps.

Hammocks are on their way to being ready... as in, more than the two options that are currently available.  I have about half the pile (so... at least 16 prints x 4 hammocks each = 64... so 32ish) sewn... need to be flipped, sewn shut, grommeted, etc etc.  One thing at a time though, I am getting them all slowly sewn and ready.  Yay for that.

Hmmm what else... lots of chins to list.  Pitronila delivered a stillborn baby the other day.  Which is, of course, sad.  But also, in a way, a positive, because now we know that, after this, she is not pregnant, so a few more days of checking her weight and assuming she does well and maintains, she will be able to leave.  Otherwise, she would have been here until the middle / end of November to complete her pregnancy watch.  Lil Chin, on the other hand, not so easy to tell.  She's gained some weight while she's been here, but that said... Pitronila gained all of 20 grams (which really is nothing to write home about), so I would not have guessed that she was pregnant (or at least, not far along)... until she delivered.  So unless Lil Chin delivers, she's got until the end-ish of September to hang around on pregnancy watch.  So, we shall see.

Art should be ready to go in a few days as well, he dropped a little weight here, but then, he and Pitronila were both being fed an oddball brand of guinea pig food (that the prairie dogs love!), so a small weight loss doesn't really surprise me.  He should be ready to go, but I want to weigh him a few more times just to be sure he's doing well, and then will get him listed.  Along with Chinchy, Lee, and whoever else I'm forgetting to list...

Ok, enough for tonight...going to bed.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Today... and a bit from the other day.

Forgot to put this in from a few days ago..... I called someone back, who called maybe an hour or two ago and I missed the call.  Oh, they no longer need the chin, they got a puppy like an hour ago.  Um... ok.  So clearly, not all that set on that chin then, eh?  And actually, I hear this quite a bit, I wish people would think a bit more about what they want to get, BEFORE calling.  Won't happen, but just would be nice.

Today was busy, but got a lot done.  Had a 11 am adopter who left with our brown velvet female, and our 12 noon adopters left with two chins -- a mosaic and a beige, and a whole ton of supplies.  Literally, like they got 25 pounds worth of food, 20 pounds of dust, 10 pounds of hay... the works.  Which is always good.

Moving along, I got a phone call from a previous adopter asking if we had any cages for sale, so I told em we still have all of the new cages, plus I texted him a pic of the used cage that I told him, I could fix up if he wanted.  Was a black cage on a stand.  He liked the cage, so he said he wanted it, and I went to work on fixing it up.  And then he came by, bought the cage, got toys, some supplies, and so on and so forth.

Which brings me to the price of the used cages.  I've had, over the years, quite a few people ask why they're "so high."  Now, to me, I don't think they're high, but then, I see all the work that goes into them.  So, let me explain.  Let's start with the cage itself.  It's beyond rare for anyone to donate, or bring with their chins, a clean cage.  Usually they have quite a bit of grime built up, need to be scrubbed, soaked, what have you.  This on in particular, had gunk on a lot of the bars.  So, I had to scrub down the cage, and after that, went over the entire cage and stand with alcohol wipes to sanitize.  The shelves inside this cage were metal mesh (not good), so those had to go (but more on that later).  The cage itself isn't a bad cage, but is supposed to hook together and only does so... so well.  So I got out the o-rings and ring pliers and went around the cage ringing away at the joints, to make it more sturdy (after asking the people, of course, would the cage fit as one piece in their car... and yes it would [and did]).  The cage also had quite a few small doors, like how birdcages do, where they lift up.  So those got ringed closed, so chins can't escape.  And then, even the big doors just lift up, so I got two spring latches and attached those, so no escapees that way either.  Then moving onto the shelves.  Since the old ones were not chin-safe, those all had to be replaced.  This person said they were ok with some used shelves, so I put in mostly used shelves, some new.  Even for used shelves, they have to be sanded and prepped, so there's still work involved.  And lastly, we come to the pan.  This pan was a black pan but had a lot of white on it, which is from deposits in the urine.  I washed the pan, poured in some vinegar and let it soak.  Scrubbed after maybe 30 minutes, and a good majority did come off.  Dried off the pan, and then had to deal with the crack.  There was a crack on one of the corners of the pan that went through the upturned corner down and maybe 2 inches into the pan.  Got out the JBweld, mixed that up, and applied.  Set the pan where it could dry and not touch anything.  Cable tied the cage to the stand, and done. The cage ended up being $115ish with all of that -- cage was 30 x 18 x 36, stood maybe 5' tall on the stand.  Does that seem a lot?  I don't really think so, considering it had a ton of shelves in it and was nice and sturdy and like new after the clamps and JBweld and all that.  But some people think it should be, like, a $40 cage.  I wouldn't sell the cage, uncleaned, unfinished, unshelved, for $40.... so I don't think $40 done will be happening anytime soon... but everyone's got their opinion.  But anyway, the guy was happy with the cage and the price and that's what matters.

In case you'd like to see:


After (no pan in the pic, JBweld drying still)

Moving along, I wrote up the listings for Bigfoot, Jordan, and the black velvet male, and got those put up.  Got started on Lee's listing -- as far as figuring out what the cage itself would add to the cost if the potential adopters get the cage.  The cage will be cheaper if it goes with him, versus if it goes separately.  But it was getting late and I didn't want to be down there forever, as I have paperwork up here to do still, but at least I have the cage part figured out.

Moving along, that same person who couldn't come to Hammond because they said they were gonna get shot... is coming next weekend.  Lookie dat.  Anyway, the chin they originally wanted got injured by another chin, so they decided on a different chin, and decided they want a spare CN that I have sitting around, but wasn't sure how they wanted to go on shelves, so I told her I would put in shelves and take pics and get it back to her with a price, so she could see what she thought.  So I worked on that today.  The pans are kinda dusty as is, since that's the same cage that sat and sat and sat while that one girl made excuses about not paying me for it for months on end, and they look bad in the pic, so I told the girl if she ends up with the cage, I'll clean the pans, and if I have better ones, I will swap them out for the better ones (I know I have another set tucked away somewhere because someone had their bass pans on top of the regular cage pans... and those survived much damage).

Just in case you wanted to see:

Top CN
Bottom CN

Didn't have enough room to get a straight-on pic, but I think it looks pretty decent with the shelving. 

In case you missed it from the other day, we now have a new toy -- the ring of pumice.  It's a 7-8" diameter circle (14" stretched out) of anything-goes-pine and pumice stones.  $8 each.  May do a colored one at some point (with the wood colored), but one thing at a time. 

Wrote up the ad for Paco, just need to get it posted everywhere.  Then I think the only other currently-available chin that I need to work on will be Lee.

There are some chins I check everyday, it's on my to-do list as "check for adoptability" -- some need to gain weight, some should be ready, but dropped a lot of weight and need to regain it, etc etc.  So every day or every other day (depending on how they're doing), they get checked until they're ready.

I think that's about it for tonight... I'm going to work on editing Paco's photos and finishing her write-up and getting that all posted, and then maybe doing some paperwork, and then going to bed.  Til next time.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

What's Been Going On

So... lots of new stuff going on lately.

Had someone calling today wanting to know what the adoption fee was for a dog. Told them, we don't have dogs.  Oh, ok.

Got a decent amount of chins on hold right now.  Need to work on getting more listed, gotta weigh and check more of them.

The three babies that Sally had, the three ebonies that were posted on the picture on facebook... all died.  They looked smushed and Jim (the guy I work for) always puts a tube in the cage when the run is still open to the male.  So the last time I was there, he gave me some spare pvc so I can put that in for the three days the run is still open after babies are born.

The day I was leaving, Hetty had babies!  I will have to count back to check who the dad is, but I believe it's Ace.  Two standards, I think a male and a female.

As far as rescue chins go, Chewy got adopted a little bit ago.  Lee and Carter were here as a pair, and Carter passed unexpectedly.  Lee's still here, still doing well, and raring to go.  I have someone wanting a pair of chins, so I might try to pair up Lee with another of our rescue males and see how that goes.

Been cleaning  both sides of the basement.  Even though only the one side has the animals... the other side typically turns into overflow, so needs to be dealt with every so often.  And if I kept up with it, it wouldn't be so bad, but at the moment... it needs work.  So been cleaning that, and been washing more stuff, so at some point I'll have to list all the random little items I have for sale, and see what I can sell.

Been trying to churn out toys for this one order that literally has like 50 toys in it.  Had the guy email me a day or two after the order was sent in, and I told him, it'd take some time, because I'm out of town 3 days a week, I run the rescue myself, yadda yadda.  Well, he emailed me again and said it's been 35 days.  Not trying to make excuses, but I told him.. some of these toys, from start to finish, take 30 minutes to make.  Even if I could just sit down and make 50 toys, that would take 25 hours.  And amid making those toys, I also have to keep cages clean, handle adoptions, do paperwork, and so on and so forth.  I'm working on the toys, but jeez.  Patience.  One person can't do everything and churn out a million toys everyday.  Though... they now are all done, I just need to package them up and send them out, and have that person be happy when they receive all their toys.

Been putting up the Awesome August sale --- $10 off $75 chins, $25 off chins $100-175, $50 off chins $200+.  Well... now everyone's coming out of the woodwork.  Have two people wanting a few chins... told both of em... during the sale, because of how many adoption forms I send out, versus how many I actually get back... I don't hold anything until I have everything (adoption form and proof of cage) in hand, and appointment set.  Simple as that.  Rush and see who gets it.  Cause let's be honest, I probably send out 100 adoption forms and get 5 back.  So, if I held chins for every one I send out (like I used to), every chin would be on hold, 24/7, and yet none would get adopted.  So... this is how it is, now...

So then, dealing with lots of fun fun people.  Had someone who was interested in a chin, and initially said they'd have to wait until they were back from a trip they were going on, so I told them, when you come back, first check if the chin is available (because of the sale... you never know).  So, next message says, oh maybe they can come tomorrow (which would be today).  So I told em, care packet, adoption form, proof of cage.  They said they were looking into getting a ferret nation, and I told em, I have a used critter nation if they're interested in a used one.  So they said they'd likely want shelves for it, and I asked, either how much they want to spend, or what the layout they want is... they dunno.  So then they ask, can they come tomorrow (today) and pick up the chin and cage, and leave a copy of their driver's license, and then send a check when they have the rest of the money.  Um... no?  This isn't layaway at Walmart.  I nicely explained, they can put down a deposit if they want, but nothing leaves here until it's fully paid for.  So I get an email saying, maybe she can pull money from her savings and pay for the whole thing so she can take the chin tomorrow.  That's fine.  She said she'll wait on the cage, but probably get it in a few weeks when she has the money.  Also fine.  Won't have time to actually list it in the meantime, with the sale going, so no big deal.  Then she asks if I can groom her other chin, if she brings it.  Sure can.  So I get the grooming combs out, dig the FN out (so she can see it, like she asked)... and 3 pm rolls around.  Waiting, waiting... finally get an email...and this is so priceless, I have to quote:

I'm very sorry but my mom decided last minute that she wasn't going unless my dad would go and he won't go. They think that Hammond is a horrible city and we're going to get shot driving down the street. So I guess I will not be coming tonight and I am sorry that you got all of your stuff out. raise your hands if you've been to my house in Hammond and NOT died.  Look at that!  Amazing.  There's LIVING people who have been here, note, who are still alive AFTER having been here.  And, let's not forget, I take the trash out, usually after 10 pm, every week (well, twice every other week, because recycling has to go out as well), and I have never gotten shot.  Oh wait, maybe I'm dead and just don't know it, yet.  Hmmm....   Anyway, I emailed back because I feel like that email is a tad vague.  They're not coming tonight.  Is the keyword "tonight"?  Are they going to come a different time?  Dad won't go.  Ok...just not today?  Or ever?  I'm betting "ever" based on that description they gave of Hammond, but I figure, I should ask, so if she was thinking of somehow doing this a different day, it's left open.  But I almost guarantee you that I will not hear back.  And as of the next morning, have not heard back.

Going back to the putting down a deposit and taking the chins and paying the rest later -- unless you're like my best friend from back in the day -- this will just not happen.  I've even tried to do payments before.  You may remember the person who had the ferret nation on hold awhile back, and I posted about that maybe a month or so ago.  Good example.  Another example, someone wanted four chins, to split a ferret nation in half and have two in each half.  Well, they put down $50 and said, in a few weeks, they'd put down more.  Well, never heard from them, had to chase them down.  They'd set an appointment to come by, cancel it at the last moment, then set another... same thing.  It just doesn't work.  And the reason I typically don't bother anymore (the cage was for a friend of a friend) is because... there's such a thing as a credit card.  You want to make payments?  Fine, you don't have to make them to me, you can make them to the credit card company.  Then I don't have to chase you down if you never pay the bill.

I do 30 day holds with deposit.  Which can actually turn into 37 day holds, because I will hold for 7 days while you work on getting your deposit in.  And the deposit holds for 30 days from receipt, so once I get that deposit, you have 30 days to come pick up your critter.  You don't have the cash or can't charge it in 30 days, we keep the deposit.  Not to be mean, but because we've, in effect, prevented that animal from being adopted for all that time, and if you don't end up adopting it, we may have passed up some great homes that popped up during that time because the animal was on hold.  If someone can't afford the remainder of the adoption fee within 30 days... then now's not the time to be putting down the deposit.  Simple as that.

The reason people can't take chins and pay later... this is the same reason we don't take checks for adoptions.  Someone could easily write out a $500 check, get several chins, great cage, all sorts of supplies... and bounce the check.  Same thing with paying some and sending money later.  The girl from the other day said she would give me a copy of her driver's license.  For all I know, it could be a fake license, but with her real picture on it.  A lot of good that would do if she took off with the chin and cage and I never saw the rest of the money.  Even if it was a valid driver's license, to go after the rest of the money would require taking this person to court.  Which I've done before, but it is a hassle.  The filing fee alone was (I think) $90, and let's be honest... the courts aren't so wonderful.  Even if the court finds in your favor and says, ok, this person has to pay you back $500.  Think about how well they're enforcing child support payments.  How many people do you know that say they can't get the other person to pay.  Oh yeah.  Good luck ever getting the money out of these people.  The court may say they have to pay, but good luck actually getting the payment.  And then, they disappear, have all the chin / cage / supplies, and you never see it again.  And don't get me wrong, not all of the stuff at the rescue we pay for, like out of pocket.  Occasionally, we do get a donated cage, or some supplies donated, or whatever... but most stuff we buy.  So bouncing a check and not paying it back on a cage, or supplies, or whatever, do cost us... even if they don't cost you.

Let's see, what else...I finally put shelves in the one ferret nation we had sitting around, because someone wanted to buy it, so that was paid for and left.  Yay.  Tad bit more room.

Also cleaned all the smaller cages today, so now all those critters have clean bedding.  Everyone got lots of hay today as well.  All the water bottles got cleaned over the last several days, so everyone has sparkling (literally, with dust) clean water bottles.  That clean look lasted all of like, a day.

So I had people coming today at 6 pm, for food and a water bottle. At 6:20, still were not here, and I had to go cut the grass before it got dark, so I went outside and started cutting.  At 7 pm, they showed up.  Knocking at the side door, I wouldn't have even heard them (had headphones on), but was going to the front of the house to dump the grass into the lawn bag.  So I told her, I started cutting the grass when they didn't show up at their time, cause it was gonna get dark and I couldn't wait, and we went and got their stuff and they paid and left.  No "sorry we're late," no explanation, no nothing.  I checked my phone even, to see if maybe they had emailed, texted, called, and I'd missed it because I was listening to music.  Nope.  To me, it's just common courtesy.  Half the times if I'm going to be late, I don't even have a good excuse.  I'm going to be late because of who I am as a person.  I try to get too much done, squeeze in too much before I have to go somewhere, and it takes me longer than I thought.  Not a good excuse, I should know by now, but I will at least have the decency to email someone and say, you know what, I'm going to be late.  But nothing, zip, nada.  I've talked to plenty of people who say (and I agree) that people treat coming by the rescue as if it's "less" than another appointment.  You would never be an hour late for a doctor's appointment and not call, not somehow try to let them know... but people think nothing of doing that here.  And I find it frustrating as shit.

Think that's about it for now....