So, I've had a lot of people ask over the years if our chins come with cages. The answer is almost always no. But did you ever wonder why?
First... many people don't bring a cage or any supplies with their chinchillas. When we are really full, and start telling people that the only way they can bring their chin into the rescue, is if they bring a cage... then some people start showing up with cages... but often, other than that, people show up with the chin... and that's it.
Which is fine, don't get me wrong. I always scratch my head as far as wondering... what do they do with the leftover chin food? Leftover hay? Cause many of these people have no other pets... but I digress.
The thought here is... if they don't bring a cage with the chin... what cage should I be giving out? Since we're talking about rescues, which are adults and go for $75-100, or $65-75 on sale... I'd love to know what appropriate chin cages are out there that fit into that price range, and still allow for the rescue to have some money coming in from adoptions, to keep the rescue going. Surely, we can't afford to buy new cages to send home with every chin... but if they're not brought in with a cage... unless one appears out of thin air, I don't have one to give.
Second... many people already have a cage when they contact us. The few times when I've had someone bring in a chin where they specifically say that they want the cage to go home with the chin.... have you ever noticed, it's a gigantic cage, and the chin sits around waiting to get adopted? Now, it's not because I price the chin and cage at a zillion dollars, in fact, I'll price it normally and then cut off like $50-75 versus if the people were getting it separately. Now... IF the person was looking for a chin and a cage like the one with the chin... GREAT! They look at this and think, what a deal! Problem is... this never happens with little cages, only double ferret / critter nations and similarly gigantic sized cages, which not everyone can fit into their home. So, we've been told that people would adopt these chins... except for that pesky, must-go-home-with-cage thing. Same goes for having their own cage. If they already spent money on a cage and decked it out, that may be the perfect chin for them, but drat, it comes with a cage and they don't need it.
So then I've had people ask, ok, well then send home the chins that were brought in with a cage, send those home with their cage, and the ones that didn't come with a cage, they just don't come with a cage. So..
Chin comes with cage = goes home with cage
Chin doesn't come with cage = doesn't go home with cage
So the conversation usually continues, well, I would need to add on an additional cost for the cage, if some are going to come with the cage. Some people disagree, but here's the thing... and this is where fairness comes in. Say I have two chins at $75. One comes with cage, the other doesn't. First... most people are going to gravitate towards the one with the cage, and that one will likely be snatched up (because it's a good deal!)... but the other's going to sit here. You know why? Because people will look at the two chins, and say, "well, why should I pay $75 for this chin when it doesn't come with a cage, when those two over there do come with a cage for $75 each?" I get it. Which is why, for the few chins here and there that do come with a cage, there's an additional fee tacked on to that.
I've had rare exceptions to the not-coming-with-a-cage thing, mainly for special needs chins. I had a blind chin a while back that I sent home with a specially decked out (small-ish) cage. Yes, her fee was higher because of that, but her new family did not have to figure out how to best cage her with her special needs. But... that's typically the exception to the rule.
One more quick thing before I get to work -- when people ask me if the chin comes with a cage, my mind goes to the regular humane society. When you adopt a dog -- does it come with a crate, dog bowls, a bed, potty pads, a collar, and leash? Maybe if they've got some special going, but when I use to volunteer at the humane society -- you adopted the dog, and you had to have your own way (collar / leash, etc.) to walk the dog out of the humane society. I suppose people may think differently because these are small pets, but in reality, they're not all that much different -- they're all animals that need a home. Most humane societies and such don't send home the animals with any food, treats, anything. I try to be different than that and more helpful, of course, and send home food, munchies / treats / chews, and care packets. Not saying that's huge, but every little thing adds up, and unfortunately, adding a cage onto that is something that would add up to more than we can spend.