Thursday, May 3, 2018

Shipping Chins

So, since people have been asking about shipping (or moreso, the fact that we haven't been able to ship lately), and my site said we might potentially be able to start shipping again on May 1st (which is today -- the day I'm writing this), I wanted to post a quick update for you all.

In case you were not aware, we had not been able to ship for the past month+.  We used United PetSafe to ship our pets, as it's one of the most reasonable priced pet shipping services, and they handle the most pets per year.  Even with their lower-cost shipping, by the time we factored in the crate, gas to the airport, and so on, we were at $200 for 1-2 chins or $250 for 3-4 chins.  Not horrible, but I acknowledge, still not cheap.  Compare this to Delta, which I've been told does a flat rate for crates up to a certain size, of roughly $200.  That's not including the crate, gas to the airport, and, most importantly.... the health certificate.  Oh yes, the all important health certificate.

See, for cats and dogs, health certificates make sense.  They can get shots, and they are supposed to be up to date on those shots and required vaccinations (read: rabies) in order to fly.  So, the health certificate, besides showing that the animal is in good health, certifies that the animal is up to date on everything that is required.  For small animals...not so much.  Most people are aware that small animals do not get shots, and yearly checkups are not such a necessity for them.  Some people still take them, but we are of the mindset that to take pets in actually can run the risk of them contracting something while there, and stressing them out, so we do not take them.

But the thing is... other companies require health certificates for ALL animals to fly.  I'm not sure if I posted it as a blog post or not, but I had two chinchillas go to a small Wisconsin zoo... I believe it was last year.  They required health certificates / vet exams, which I paid for.  The health certificates for two chins were $130 (together).  The vet visits / exam fee for each chin was $59.  So, $59 x 2 = $118 + $130 health certificates = $248 total vet bills.  Despite the fact the chins didn't sell for pennies, that cost almost took the sale into the negative, but that's beside the point.  The thing is... when people would ask about the cost of shipping, I would tell them $200 for 1-2 chins.  If those chins needed a health certificate / vet exam to fly... you'd need to also figure a cost of $65 (actual health certificate) + $59 vet exam = $124 in addition.  So now, we're up to $324 to ship 1-2 chins.  For those who didn't think $200 was reasonable, $324 is way out of the park, isn't it?

The reason I mention this all... and you may have been able to sort of put this together, by what I was talking about (or something along these lines)... is that PetSafe, with their new updates, is no longer accepting any pets other than cats or dogs, as of June 18th. 

As the last two days here  have been highs of 80F and 87F, respectively (and even hotter in the city)... even if this wasn't going into effect until then... it's too hot... but even if it wasn't too hot, it wouldn't matter, because reservations don't start again until July 16th, for travel beginning July 30th (when it will be obviously too hot). in case you wondered where the "we can ship chinchillas" sections that were on the Home page and Available Chins pages went... they were taken down.  I did leave the Shipping Info page alone (though good luck finding it!), should I need it in the future, it's just not linked anywhere at the moment. 

Yes, I read, just like you did, that it says the policies will be continually updated.  Should this change and they decide to allow pets again, we may be able to ship again.  However, sources have indicated that prices will significantly go up (in general... regardless of small animals being allowed or not), so even if they do decide to allow small animals in the future, it may not be at a reasonable cost any longer.

Also, since the other airlines require health certificates and are more expensive to ship in general, and most people didn't think $200 was a reasonable to ship to start with.... another airline is not going to be an alternative at this point in time.  Sorry for the inconvenience.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Continuing From Yesterday

So, I ignore several phone calls today because I am so behind, and most phone calls... let's be honest... "can you take in my dogs?"

So I answer the one.  Clearly a young kid (and you all know how much I HATE when kids call).  Parents -- DO NOT have your kids call.

"I saw you have a rabbit on craigslist?"

So I acknowledge, yes we do, and of course (because I know you read yesterday's post), their only question is, "how much?"

*bangs head against the wall repeatedly*

So I tell the kid, and he says he wants to get the rabbit for his cousin.  Bad idea, but again, I'm talking to a kid, so this is probably getting nowhere, anyway.

I explain to the kid, we are a rescue, in order to adopt, we'd need THE COUSIN to read the care packet, fill out the adoption form, we'd review it, and we'd go from there.  I explain that I can email the docs if he'd like.

Naturally, the kid tells me he doesn't quite understand, and asks, can I explain it again?


So I explain it again.  He says he'll call back in a few minutes.

Needless to say, I never did get a call back.  Totally not a surprise.

And again... I know I've said this a million times, but it continues to ring true... this entire conversation could have been avoided, had the person calling actually read the ad.  Cause every thing I told them is in the ad.  I'm happy to answer questions... but after 15 years, it does get old repeating stuff that I took time to write out in the first place, that someone couldn't be bothered to read.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Pet Peeve

I know, I know, I'm always complaining.  But one of my biggest pet peeves is this -- people not reading the ads and ignoring everything in the ad, and just rushing to adopt.

Case in point.  We still have a rabbit up for adoption, he's at one of our foster homes.

If you search for a rabbit on petfinder, this is how his listing pops up:

Now, I realize this may be hard for some people, but you know, it never hurts to *click* something, so if you click the "more info" tab there at the bottom, you open up his page.  One of the FIRST things below the title, under the "About" section, is..... *drumroll*  adoption fee.

 Can you read what it says?  $35?  GOOD!  You can read.  Awesome!  That sets you apart from the rest, cause most people can't.

If you scroll down further, you get to read what I wrote about him, which AGAIN lists the adoption fee, in that section.  Like so:

So of course, this the typical email I get:

So, when I pound my head against the wall repeatedly, you all may understand.

Now, don't get me wrong, I nicely respond to this sort of email:

This is Ashley with NWI Chinchilla Rescue, we're the ones with the red rex mix rabbit up for adoption.  I received a petfinder inquiry from you about him, asking about his adoption fee and when you could come adopt him.  His adoption fee is $35.  

In order to adopt, you'd first need to read our rabbit care packet and fill out an adoption form.  Once you'd completed the adoption form and sent it back, it would be reviewed.  Once approved, we'd work to set up a time for you and the foster home (he's at a foster home, not at our rescue) to see him and potentially adopt him, if you're a good match.

I can email you the care packet and adoption form if you'd like?  Talk to you soon! 
... but it irritates me, because the info is there, most people are just too lazy to look beyond the picture.  Which irritates the crap out of me, cause I could say that its an attack rabbit which eats children for dinner, and half these people would be like, so what's the adoption fee??????

Plus... where can they pick him up.  Mind you, that listing is on petfinder, not craigslist.  I understand that most people don't have a clue (and if you read this blog with any regularity, you may be starting to agree), but I mean... it's NOT as simple as just walking into the house and handing me $35 and picking up the rabbit.  There's an adoption form to fill out, a care packet to read.  For animals that are already at a foster home, this all needs to be done ahead of time, as I hope not to waste not only my time, but also the foster's time, with flaky people.

Now, as you saw, I did send an email back.  Maybe one day, I'll get an email back that is like, "ok awesome, send me the forms..." but most of the times, people who can't even be bothered to find the adoption fee on their own never get past the whole "omg there's an adoption form?  I have to put forth *gasp* EFFORT???? the HORROR!!!!"  So, it's even more irritating, because as much as it's typically wasted breath, I still try my best to give people the benefit of the doubt and send them a message back, cause you just never know.  But honestly... if you can't find the adoption fee... you probably aren't going to take the effort to read an 8 page care packet and fill out a 2 page adoption form.  Sad, but it's just reality.

UPDATE! -- I got an email back: "Thank you for the information."  In other words, no thanks. 

Monday, April 30, 2018

Being Considerate... Again

So, it's now been a week since this happened, so I figured I'd post about it.... I am aware that I just posted about being considerate... but it's clear that many people are not considerate... and I wanted to share another instance with you, of someone who took the cake for being inconsiderate.

March 2017 and August 2017, I got an email from someone.  They purchased some chins from a breeder to start breeding, and were up to 28.  They wanted to surrender 15 (March) and then 19 (August) to the rescue as they were overwhelmed.

I told them, I would need to wait until I had cages open for that many, but that I could add them to my waiting list.  I told them, it would likely take some time, as 19 cages (even the small, holding cages), is a LOT to have open at once. 

Fast forward to November.  I run across her on my waiting list, and while I didn't have 19 cages open, I had several half FN's, and I thought, I should ask her about if she can bring any cages, and what the breakdown is between males and females, and that sort of stuff.  So I sent her an email (all I had to contact her was email, no phone number or anything).  Time goes by, I never get a response to that email...

...until January 2018, when I receive an email from her, asking where they are on my waiting list.  I send an email back, actually letting her know that I did email her back in November, and telling her that I still need to find room if she's still wanting to bring them in.  She confirms that she is, so I ask, is she able to bring any cages with them?  Of course, she is not able to, so I tell her, I can't take them at the moment, due to that.  If she was able to bring even a few cages, I might have been able to scrounge up a few more and whatnot, but I can't come up with almost 20 cages on a drop of a hat.  She then says, they want to wait until Spring to bring them, when the weather clears up.  I ask what month she's thinking of, and she says April would be good.

Fast forward to April.  I just moved out about 20ish breeders, so I have a whole set of breeding runs open now.  I figured, good time to contact her, as all these cages would be baby-safe for the possibly-pregnant-females.  I reach out to her, and we set a date... last Saturday... from 4:30-5 pm. 

So, in preparation of this.  I clean out all 20 cages.  Scrub down the pans, scrub the cages.  Fill the pans with shavings, add toys to the cages.  Close off all the runs (sounds like no big deal, but when you're breeding, each cage has a hole that needs to be closed off (if you don't want them to breed), and I did NOT have that many close-offs, so I had to make them from scratch).  Washed feeders & water bottles, placed those on the cages. 

I suppose you can guess where this is going.... she never showed up.  I sent her an email, later that evening...


Didn’t see you today, are you wanting to reschedule to bring the chins by?  I need to know, so that I can still make sure I have cage space available when you’re wanting to bring them.  The cages being held open for you are most of my available cages, and I’ve had to add other people to my waiting list, so if you’re no longer wanting to bring them, let me know and I can move to the next people on the list.  

I should mention, I also currently have three double FN's open, as well as two other large cages, because I figured, if she brought a lot of males, or some youngsters, I could immediately put those into those cages, and just put the females (which would be on pregnancy watch) into the baby-safe breeding cages.  No response.  I give it a few days, email again:


Just checking in... I had you marked down for bringing the chins here on Saturday the 21st around 4:30-5, but never did end up seeing you.  Sent you an email that day as well, didn't hear back.  I hope everything's alright with you all!  

If you want to reschedule to bring the chins by, I need to know relatively soon.  The room I have open for them is actually space I cleared out in a section of cages that I am planning on removing.  If you're wanting to bring them by, I'll hold off on that, but if I don't hear from you, I hope to have those cages gone at some point, and then it would be really difficult (with those gone) to ever have that much available space again.  I don't want to remove the cages and then not be able to take your chins in, so I would appreciate to hear from you as soon as possible.  Thanks!

Trying to give her the benefit of the doubt... waiting for her to reach back out to me.  I sent that email above on the 23rd, today is the 30th.  Still no response... so I have called the next several people on the waiting list.

Here's the thing.  That is the honest to God truth that I am intending to get rid of those cages.  I would NOT have scrubbed them all down, filled the pans with shavings, added toys, added run close-offs, cleaned / added feeders / water bottles... if I didn't think she was coming.  Cause now, that's all for nothing.  I have since taken the bottles off and emptied the feeders.  I still need to get the shavings out of the pans (I will re-use for other pans, when I clean), and remove the toys, and so on.  But the thing is... that was all absolutely needless work.  I have people constantly asking me where their orders are, and so on and so forth... which I completely understand... it's things like this... time needlessly spent... that sets that all back.  And now, it's actually taking more work and more time to un-do the work I did, cause now, they can't be transported out, as they currently are, with shavings and toys and whatnot.

Would it really kill someone to respond to an email and say, hey, we found someone else to take them, or another breeder bought them all, or whatever?  Heck, I wouldn't even care if the email just said, "Hey, we had an appointment.  Not coming.  Don't need to bring them."  Notice, there's no "sorry" in there, no explanation, no nothing.  And honestly, that would be FINE, because then I would at least know.  Versus now, where I've spent over a week sitting on my ass, waiting to hear from her... I could have already HAD more rescues brought in to fill the empty FNs.  But apparently, she was not raised to be considerate and have the common courtesy to let me know that she wasn't coming.  I find this whole thing incredibly rude.  I don't need an explanation.  Just tell me if you're not coming, so I don't waste time prepping for nothing.  There's only me here, for the most part... I need to use time wisely.  THAT IS ALL.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Pictures & Listing Chins

So, if you've ever talked to me about wanting to see pics of a chin, you may know that I'm not always able to drop everything and get pics for you.  Sure, I try not to delay too long, but I wanted to make a quick post about pictures, so you can all get a glimpse into my life.  Little bit here about listing the chins as well, since they sort of go hand in hand.

Prior to writing this, I took pics of 10 chinchillas.  Took about 2-3 hours to get enough pics (assuming some of the pics taken were what I was looking for).  In total, I took 179 pics.  Of those 179, 19 were pics of cage cards and other identifying info.  Cause you know, if I take pics of just chins, I eventually will need to know which chin those pics are of, so I can list them.  So before I take pics of a chin, I first take a pic of their cage card, and any other info I may need to go along with the chin.

So, 160 pics of actual chins.  Here's what a lot of the pictures look like:

The pics don't look like this cause I suck at taking pics.  No, the thing that's useful to remember is, these are animals.  They move around, they play.  The bounce off the cage walls.  As a result, when you click the button to take a pic, and they move... pics are blurry, or slightly out of focus, or just a tail, or waaaaay too close, or whatever...

Same animal, the pics that were chosen for the website (and cropped, and such):

When people ask for pics, I usually tell people, depending on what else is going on here, I can usually get pics in a day or two.  Sometimes that's too long for people, and by the time I've gotten pics a day later, they've found a chin elsewhere... I don't know if maybe some other breeders / rescues drop everything to get pics, but it takes time.

Some breeders post one pic of each animal.  I assume this must work for them, because they do sell plenty of chins as well, but my customers will see the 7-8 pics on the website, and ask for more!  If I ever have only a pic or two of an animal, you can bet it was being difficult while I was taking pics, haha, but that's actually why I try to take numerous pics, so I ideally don't have to take more later (unless the chin is here awhile, and then I may take updated pics).

Of the 160 pics, would you like to know how many pics made the cut, and will actually appear on the website, after being cropped and such?  77 pictures.  That's actually not that bad, almost half.  Works out to about 7-8 pics per chin.

Now, so the 77 pics are saved to my phone.  I need to then transfer them all to my computer.  I've tried different apps to use to transfer pics, and haven't had much luck, so I email them, five by five, to myself.  Then I get on the computer, open those emails, download the pics.  Each chin gets it's own folder, which has it's pics, along with its ad (once written), and any other pertinent info for that chin.  The pics are moved to that folder.  To do this for 10 chins is about 20-30 minutes, not too bad. 

Where the time comes in, is listing the chinchilla.  Between writing the ad for each individual chin, and posting the listings for each chinchilla (on my website, facebook, and the various other sites that I use), it takes approx. 30-45 minutes per chinchilla.  That doesn't seem bad, until you get someone who's like, "oh I saw all the new ones you added to the website (in the list at the top of the page), I can't wait for you to list them, can you get them all posted today?"  It's kind of funny, actually.  Either there's people who want pics of one chin, or pics of alllll the chins. 

Now, for today's example, I took pics of 10 chins.  But... I have three more babies downstairs that need pics, plus some adults.  Plus I have a few more recently weaned kits, those need pics as well.  So, this whole process repeats itself, relatively often actually.  But going back to the time thing.... for 10 chins, at 30-45 minutes each, that is 5 - 7.5 hours of time needed, just to get those 10 chins up on the website / facebook / other places.

I'm not complaining about that, don't get me wrong.  I'm just explaining.  It all takes time.  The average person asking for pics of 10 chins... they're not going to get all 10.  (Psst!  Honestly, between you and me, the people who typically ask for pics of that many chins don't usually adopt any.)  So, if I'm going to take the time to take pics...  I will spend the time to get decent pics, ones that I can use, when listing the chins on the website.  That way, whichever chins the person is not interested in, I can use those pics without having to take more.

Just a glimpse into today.  That is all. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Spending Less on the Pet, More on Supplies

So, I know we talked about this in one of the previous blog posts, about how some people would rather spend less on the pet, with the thought that they would rather spend the money on things for the pet, rather than on the pet itself.

I totally have no problem with this, in that pets, whether we're talking about a dog, cat, chinchilla, rabbit, whatever... these animals all need "stuff."  They all need food bowls / water bottles, food, treats, cage / crate, toys, you get the idea.  Nothing wrong with wanting to spend more money on their stuff than on them.

The only thing about this that can be irritating at times (and other rescues I've talked to have echo'd this) is that often people want the animal with the highest adoption fee... and want it lowered, because they say they are going to spoil it.  Personally, I hope everyone who adopts, spoils their new pet.  I'm sure they are all cared for.  To what extent they have every toy under the sun, I'm sure that varies.

But there's nothing inherent in saying that you're going to spoil the pet, which will reduce the adoption fee.  For dog rescues, it seems people often ask this about puppies.  But the people are going to spoil them!  So they should be able to adopt for a $50 fee (like for seniors), instead of the $150 fee for puppies.  I've even heard from some rescuers that they've suggested to some people, if they'd like to stick to a $50 fee, they're welcome to adopt a senior.  Oh, no, they want a puppy... but for the $50 fee, cause they're going to spoil it.

Of course, I acknowledge, there's different reasons for different fees.  We also have different fees for the babies vs. adults vs. seniors vs. special needs.  Nothing wrong with that.  But I guess what I find weird about this... are people wanting to adopt an animal... and ignore it?  When these people say, oh they're going to spoil it, and would rather spend money on things for the pet, rather than the pet.. the other side of this would have to be... that other homes are adopting and not spoiling them.  I mean, right?  Is the assumption that other people are spending their last dime to pay the $250 adoption fee, and now don't have money for any supplies?  Gosh, I hope not!

I personally hope (and I imagine this goes for all rescues) that the people wanting to adopt pets have money... not only for the pet, but also for appropriate supplies for the pet, and also a way to pay for veterinary care, if / when needed.  Care for most animals doesn't have to be extravagant.  If you can afford specialized treatment for your pets if they have some illness that can be cured by throwing a lot of money at it, great.  But really... providing for the pet's needs is really all we (rescues) ask.  Spoil them if you want, but just care for them, so we don't have to.  That is all.

Monday, April 23, 2018

April 23, 2018 -- Kailey

We take a moment to step away from our normal chinchilla / small animal / rescue related blog posts, and today, we will have a chat about Kailey, the oldest of my shelties.

This is Kailey:

Kailey was born April 23, 2008.  I bought her from an Uncle Bills Pet Store on 38th Street in Indianapolis, when I was living there, attending law school.  I had just recently moved there and didn't know anyone, so I bought a dog.  Kailey was on sale, as she was "getting too old and too big."  She was 12 weeks old.

Kailey had pneumonia when I got her, and had to undergo months of treatment, including a 3-day stay at the emergency vet, to get through this.  As a puppy, she fell down a flight of stairs, which caused her to limp periodically through bad weather.  Since I got her, she has been my constant companion.  Kailey was with me when I moved back to Munster, after not finding a law-related job, and moving back in with my parents.  She was with me when I bought a house in Hammond, and moved in.

When she was 6 years old, she started to show signs of slowing down, and it was suggested that she might stay more active if she had another dog to play with.  This before all of the recent push for dogs to be on all sorts of joint supplements... not nearly as commonly done 10 years ago!  We welcomed Taffy to our household.  Unfortunately, Taffy was only with us for a year and a half before she tragically passed, and Misty came along. 

Kailey & Misty

Misty sure kept Kailey on her toes... a little too much at times!  You may have heard me refer to Misty as the problem-child, and I do say that she's a fruit loop in a world of cheerios... but she's a good dog, overall, and she does help Kailey stay active.  Kailey LOVES to throw Misty to the ground and wrestle with her, and we all still joke that Kailey's faking her pain... because she doesn't show it, when she's playing.  Kailey also was around when Sky fell into my lap, this past August.  She's been a trooper through it all.  She was even around and a good sport when Sky had her puppies!

During all of this, I spent hours upon hours training Kailey.  She knows a whole bunch of tricks, and has her AKC Trick Dog Titles -- Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, and Performer.  There's supposed to be a new title coming out this summer called AKC Performer Elite... I will have to see what the requirements are, to see if she can do this or not.  She also has the Do More With Your Dog Trick Titles as well, Novice, Intermediate, and Advanced.  Maybe in the summer we will work on expert...she's only a few tricks away from that title!  She's won a variety of local trick competitions, though her health no longer allows her to participate the way she used to.

Aside from the tricks, she is an awesome, well-behaved dog.  I used to walk her, off-lead, all the time.  Nowadays, that's probably not a good idea (not due to her.... but rather, the stray dogs and cats that are around, and Hammond's leash laws), but she is very good off-leash and she is very obedient.  She actually won the "Most Obedient" Contest at Woofstock: A Bark in the Park in September 2017.

Kailey now enjoys her costume contests, which don't require the same effort on her part, as the tricks.  We won Best Pet & Owner Costumes at the 2017 Pet-A-Palooza in Burbank, IL, last fall...

About a year or two ago now, she started limping full time.  It was the same leg (her front right) that had bothered her, on and off, since she fell down the stairs as a puppy.  We'd had x-rays done then (as a puppy) but they never turned up anything... but we had them done again, and it was found that she had arthritis in her wrist.  She was put on Rimadyl, along with some supplements, and seemed to improve a bit.... until she started limping on both her rear feet as well.  She got to the point where she was really having a hard time walking, and initially, we were going to start her on acupuncture.  However, the cost was looking pretty prohibitive ($75-100 per session, several times a week... possibly reducing sessions eventually to be less frequently... but on-going like forever).  She went into the vet again, to x-ray the back legs, and they found arthritis in both her back ankles as well.  She was started her on a nerve blocker as well, gabapentin.  That didn't help as much as the vet would have liked, but they didn't seem thrilled to try anything else, either.

Over time, Kailey developed allergies and occasionally needs medicated baths, to combat these.  Due to her random onset of allergies and the fact that she started gaining weight, I asked if the vet could run a thyroid test on her.  They said it wasn't her thyroid, and testing wasn't necessary. 

While not solely as a result of this... we did eventually switch to a different vet.  The new vet tested her thyroid, and while it was normal, at least then we knew that that was not the problem.  Her allergies had gotten so bad that the new vet gave her a steroid shot as well as oral antibiotics, and prescribed a new painkiller for her, and sent her home.  We continued the medicated baths once a week (and still occasionally).  A few days later, Kailey became incontinent. 

I called the vet, they recommended finishing her course of treatment and then, if she still had a problem, coming back in.  I purchased her doggy diapers and we continued treatment.  After her treatment was done, she was still leaking full force.  I hadn't had a chance to make an appointment at that point, to bring her back into the vet. 

Over the next few days following her pills ending (antibiotics, so not related), Kailey seemed more stiff and more sensitive in her back-area, than usual.  It occurred to me that maybe she'd injured her back, playing or something.  My other dogs go to agility classes, and the trainers there use canine chiropractors for their dogs.  I asked them who they used, and they referred me to Dr. Lyndsay Klemens at McAfee Animal Hospital in Valparaiso.  I'd actually met her before, at a canine games dog clinic I'd attended with Misty.  So, I set up an appointment.  About two weeks after finishing her meds, but still being incontinent, Dr. Lyndsay saw Kailey, did a chiropractic adjustment on her, and prescribed medication for her incontinence.

The next morning, I got up, gave Kailey her new incontinence pill, took off her diaper, and let her outside to pee.  She would still pee outside, while she was incontinent, but she didn't seem to realize that she was leaking 24/7, regardless.  I didn't really pay attention to if the diaper was wet or dry when I took it off, I just had a bucket that the dirty ones went in, and let her out.  Kailey came back in, I put a fresh diaper on, and went downstairs to work on chin stuff.  Came upstairs, she had her diaper off.  Up until this point, we'd gone about 3-4 weeks of Kailey wearing her diaper, and never once trying to remove it.  I put a clean diaper on, went back downstairs... she removed it again.  I figured, ok, if she took it off, I'll see how bad the leaking is.  She'd completely stopped leaking, and hasn't leaked to this day.  She apparently somehow understood that that's what the diaper was for, and took it off when she no longer needed it.  That was about 9-10 weeks ago now.

Kailey's been back to see Dr. Lyndsay again, and has had another canine chiro adjustment.  She'll go in every few months for these appointments, which are reasonably priced (the initial was... $75ish, recheck was $60ish).  She's never taken another of her incontinence pills, as they haven't been needed.  Apparently the answer for her was canine chiropractic treatment. 

The funny thing about this all, is that I know that in the past, I have heard people comment about the variety of things they have done for their dogs, and I have commented, oh I don't know that I'd do that for mine.  I remember specifically, someone I knew used to chop up chicken and put it in with their dog's kibble, because the dog wouldn't eat enough, otherwise.  I remember saying, I'd just let the dog eat the kibble and be done with it.

Yeah.  About that.  Kailey is getting canine chiro visits.  She is on all sorts of health supplements, which will soon be upped again, due to Dr. Lyndsay's recommendations, and... she will not eat most of them, without having them mixed with wet food.  But before you think, "oh my dog gets wet food too, no big deal"...hold up a sec.  If you mix it up and put the bowl down, she will eat around the pills and supplements.  Misty and Sky, on the other hand, would have scarfed it down so fast, they wouldn't even know what they ate, but not Kailey.  She's the type where if you put a tiny-tiny-spec-sized pill in a huge block of cheese, she'd eat the cheese and spit out the pill.  So, to top off my pooch getting special treatment....twice a day, Kailey gets spoon-fed her wet-food-mixed-with-supplements.  And I used think that adding chicken to dry kibble was something I wouldn't do.  Amazing how perspective can change.

Kailey is my heart dog, and she is worth it.  She turns 10 years old today.  I always tell her she's going to live forever.  Here's to "forever" more years with her by my side.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Other Rescues' Policies / Our Policies Regarding Vet Care & Adoption Fees -- PART 3

... continued from yesterday...

So, for the other rescue's application... I got farther on theirs before I decided it likely wasn't going to work out (myself getting listed as an approved rescue of theirs) due to my own personal / rescue policies and such... the reason for theirs was due to their adoption fee policy.

One thing that you had to agree with, on their rescue application, was that the animals would be adopted out only to approved homes (no problem there) with either no fee or only asking for a donation.

Oh hell no.

I know I've talked about this before, but I cannot agree with that, and that ended that application right there.  I do NOT agree with adopting out any animal not no fee.  I know I've specifically talked about this when the dogs shelters do their "clear the shelter" events, locally, 1-2 times per year.  The dog that no one wanted, last week, at a $65 adoption fee, now has 10 people fighting over it, because it's free.  Is $65 that much?  If you said yes, you may want to wait to get a pet until you have a smidge more money. 

In no way am I saying $65 is pocket change.  I acknowledge that $65 is a decent amount of money.  However, if you think $65 is a lot to spend for the pet itself, you may be in for a rude awakening as far as what else you may have to spend to keep that pet alive.  A few posts ago, I broke down that if you got all your chin supplies from here, you could probably do it for around $80-ish per year (for one chin).  That's at our prices.  If you go to the pet store, it's going to be at least a few hundred.  So... if $65 is too much, then upkeep is probably also going to be out of budget.  Not being mean, just being realistic. 

Now, I don't say any of this because I'm money hungry.  If you've ever met me, or been to the house / rescue, you know I don't live in a mansion and that I drive a 14 year old vehicle.  I'm hardly getting rich off rescue (though I do get to do what I love! but money-wise, not rich).  It's not that I'm so-dying-to-make-money-off-the-rescues, that I think you should pay an adoption fee.  Not at all.

Rather... society sees pets as throw-aways.  I'm not saying this doesn't happen when people pay for pets, but I have heard so many times, over the years, "oh, we got it for free, it's not working out, here ya go."  Or, even better, "oh, well it was free, so I hate to spend money on vet care / meds / etc, I'd rather just get another one, and drop this one off at the rescue."  Ugh. 

I firmly believe that pets should not be free.  At least, not from a rescue.  Give your niece a free puppy all you want, but adoption should not be free.  Paying an adoption fee suggests that the adopter is aware that costs will be involved in caring for the pet, in years to come, and the adoption fee is just the beginning.  Adopting out for no fee, to me, is problematic.  The people who could never-before afford the pet, now can... because there's no adoption fee.  That's the problem with the clear-the-shelter events... can't afford $65?  No problem, those people can wait for clear-the-shelter, and then adopt... and the second there's a medical concern, bring the dog back, because they can't afford it.  Now, of course, I don't mean to suggest that that's everyone, but... I guarantee you that it's at least some of the people.

Second thing.  Irregardless of whether or not it's a money issue on the part of the potential adopter, there's another slight tiny little issue with charging no fee, and that is, that the rescue needs money to stay afloat!  Our expenses are somewhere in the realm of $25,000-$30,000 every year.  You read that right.  It costs a LOT to care for a ton of furry small animals, and much of that cost is feed, shavings, hay, and so on.  Something has to pay for that.  I'm not independently wealthy, and I have never won the lottery (though if anyone has a winning ticket, feel free to donate!).  These costs are paid for through adoption fees, sales of non-rescue chins, and also, sale of the chin supplies.  All of that just barely covers the costs and not by much (remember, no mansion / 14-year-old-vehicle).  I'm not complaining by any means, but I bring this up so you can consider... what if there were no adoption fees?  The simple answer would be... there would be no rescue.  I already put "my own" money into the rescue yearly, through the sale of non-rescue chins and such... which is fine, but if the rescues themselves had no adoption fees... the only money coming in would be myself funding every cent of it... and you gotta be independently wealthy to do that.  I dunno bout you, but I don't just have $30,000 lying around each year, to spend on rescues.

Same goes for donations.  The average person doesn't know what it costs to care for an animal.  That's fine.  Nothing wrong with that, but if you ask for a donation, you may very well get very little.  I remember one time at an expo, we had our houses for sale there.  In case you're not familiar, they start at $15 and go up to $25 for the largest one.  Someone was there, looking at one of the $20 cottage houses, and asked if they could get one if they made a donation.  I explained, they were for sale, and that the sales benefited the rescue animals, and further explained which houses were which prices.  They said something along the lines of, "oh, they were going to donate like $2 and wanted to get the house."  Now... if we had everything donated... wood, glue, rubberbands, hole saws / augers (which are expensive and break over time), time, effort, etc etc.  The houses would still be worth more than $2.  A cottage house has an 11" x 8" footprint, and takes almost 4' (yes, four feet) of wood to make.  That's not counting the glue that holds it together, the file bands used to hold it in place until the glue dries, the hole saws used to cut the holes... oh yeah, and the hour of labor that is involved in making each house.  So, you can imagine how a $2 donation doesn't even go towards paying for the raw materials, much less helping the rescue make any profit off the house. 

That is what I think would happen in asking for donations.  Sure, there'd be some people who would donate a reasonable amount, but then you'd also have those who would donate $5 and say, well, that money would be better spent on the animal, once they have it (another discussion for another day), rather than the adoption fee.

At the end of the day, the rescue (whether mine or anyone else's) has to have money to stay afloat.  No adoption fees doesn't help that, and as long as people want the average rescue to stay around and continue re-homing animals, most of those rescues will have adoption fees.  I hope, through this post, you can understand why we will not be going to no adoption fees (or donations for adoption fees), and why we will not be joining the ranks of some of the other rescues who believe that no adoption fees are the way to go.  To each their own, but for me, this is why we do what we do.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Other Rescues' Policies / Our Policies Regarding Vet Care & Adoption Fees -- PART 2

So, this is Part 2 (of 3 parts) of the post I started yesterday, about differences in policies / procedures / adoption fees.

In today's post, I'm going to talk about the second part of the adoption process for the other rescues, which was that the adoption application had to be approved by many people.  Again, this is one of those things, I can see how it can be good, I can also see how it can be problematic.

Raise your hand if you've ever asked a group of friends an opinion question, and gotten different answers from everyone.  Yep, that's what I thought.

Now imagine that's all those people reviewing an adoption application.  Will the people who get through and are able to adopt be the absolute best homes ever?  Most likely!  However... will some good homes slip through and not be approved, due to someone not liking how something is worded and not everyone being able to agree?  Also likely.

Let's go back to my Part 1 post for a second.  On my adoption form for the chins, it asks if people have an established exotics vet.  Some people put yes, some people put no.  Here's the thing... if you've never had a chin before, or never had a small pet before... and therefore, never had the need / opportunity to take a small pet / chin into the vet... should a "no" answer be that big of a deal?  I don't think so, at least not in all circumstances.  If someone puts no, I ask them, do they know of a vet in there area that does see chinchillas, should the need arise?  Ideally, people should at least know that.   Now, if someone tells me that they don't have an established vet, because they don't believe that it's worth taking a sick animal to the vet, and would rather it suffer and die... I think we can all agree that's different.  But you see, a "no" answer isn't always the end of the world, and in my case, doesn't automatically disqualify someone.

This sort of thing actually goes for a variety of stuff on the adoption forms.  I've shown some friends adoption forms before (identifying information removed, of course), to show interesting answers to some of the questions.  In some instances, those people have said, it's not worth the effort, just tell them that they can't adopt.  For me... often those people just needed guidance.  Some hadn't read the care packet and weren't aware that some of the products that they put down that they would use (food, treats, etc) were unsafe.  When this was suggested to them, and they were given safer alternatives, many were happy to learn of better, healthier treats, as most people do want their pets to live as long as possible (suppose this shouldn't be a surprise, eh?).  Many of those people return to continue to purchase supplies / food / treats / etc from us, so I know they are continuing their pet on a healthy diet and healthy treats... but if it was up to my friends / other rescues, sometimes, these people would not have been approved to adopt.

Of course, it's a fine line.  You can't approve everyone, and have to draw the line somewhere.  But at the same time, if criteria is too strict, you won't approve as many as could be approved, and many of the non-approved-homes could actually be good homes.  And this is where it can be hard to get everyone to agree on whether or not someone should qualify to adopt.

Sure, I acknowledge, I do sometimes ask my friends and other rescues, something along the lines of, "hey, this person wrote this on their application... what are your thoughts?"... so that I can get insight.  But the reason we don't have basically an approval committee (besides the fact that I can't get many volunteers as it is, much less that many people at all times, haha), is because I think that actually makes the process harder, and can deny some homes that should be approved.  But, to each their own.

... continued tomorrow...

Friday, April 20, 2018

Other Rescues' Policies / Our Policies Regarding Vet Care & Adoption Fees -- PART 1

So, this post was prompted by hedgies...  You may remember, we had hedgies available a bit ago, and someone from another rescue reached out and suggested some helpful info and whatnot.

They also suggested that maybe I should join the ranks of hedgie adopters.  I said I'd look into it.  Long story short, that is not going to happen, but it has also prompted a discussion between myself and some of my friends, which I wanted to share with you.

Let met start by saying, I'm sure these organizations have hedgies' welfare at the top of their to-do list, and I, in no way, mean to write this post to imply bad about them.  I just want to explain some differences in policy, because this sort of thing does come up, now and then.

The one hedgie organization required that all hedgies get vet checked, and have oversight from others in the organization to be approved to adopt to a family.  Vet care is one of those heavily debated thing among different types of rescues.  Some rescues think that every animal should go into the vet for wellness checks every year, regardless of the type of animal.  For dogs and cats -- being animals that do get yearly vaccinations (unless you titer test, but that's a whole 'nother discussion) -- this does make sense.  For other small animals, especially ones that do not get yearly vaccinations and that sort of thing... it's less of a black and white issue. 

Many people have heard me say, over the years, that if you can't tell the chinchilla is sick, often a vet can't either.  Honestly... this is often true, regardless of the species.  I take my dogs in for their shots and wellness checks every year.  If I think the dog is healthy, the dog usually shows up healthy.  Heck, even times when I've thought the dog isn't healthy, bloodwork / testing all came back -- the dog is fine!  The thing is, though... I've never taken in one of my dogs, being like, "ok, this dog looks and acts fine..." and had the vet tell me something was wrong. 

Now, I'm in-no-way-saying... that that couldn't happen.  It could.  But the same has gone for other animals that have gone in over the years, both here and at other rescues and with other people I know.  When a rescue takes in a dog with a stinky mouth and open sores, the vet will find dental issues, and skin issues.  When I take in a drooling chin, the vet will find teeth spurs and / or malo.  But take in a health dog / chin / cat / whatever... often the vet finds that the animal is healthy.

Assuming the animal is otherwise in good health, and not on any long-term meds... this begs the question... is it useful to take them to the vet just for a wellness check?  For some animals, maybe.  Notably, the ones mentioned here... if they are on meds.  My dog Kailey gets bloodwork done every 6-12 months, as needed, due to the fact she's on prescription arthritis meds (and a buttload of supplements), and her liver enzymes and bloodwork needs to be monitored, to see that the meds aren't negatively affecting her body (so that the meds could be altered / changed, if needed).  For her, it makes sense to go in, to get the bloodwork run, to make sure we don't ruin her insides, before she's ready to leave us. 

What about for other animals?  I know of another chinchilla breeder / rescue who took a chinchilla into the vet.  The chinchilla caught bortadella at the vet's office, brought it home unknowingly, and most of this person's chin herd also caught it, and was wiped out.  Um, oops?  Honestly, this is a risk you take, anytime you take any animal to the vet.  Am I saying  don't take your animals?  Of course not!  You just need to weigh the risks and benefits, and decide, is it worth taking the animal.

Our stance on taking the small animals to the vet is, if it's not broke, don't try to fix it.  If the animal appears healthy, until there's some sign that the animal is not, in fact, healthy (for example, lethargic, not eating, change in behavior, watery eyes, squishy poo, etc etc), we assume the animal is healthy.  Honestly, most animals that are sick do not drop over dead with no signs.  Sure, it happens, on occasion.  But in reality, when I think of animals that have passed here at the rescue over the years, the ones that come to mind are typically ones where they weren't eating as well, acting not as perky, and so on... and then soon after, passed.  To some people with busy lives, this may completely go unnoticed, as it's not always glaringly obvious signs that something is wrong.  But rarely do most animals just up and die, without some warning. 

But without that warning... well, it's just needlessly spending money.  Last year, we adopted out something in the realm of 270ish (if I remember correctly) chinchillas and other animals.  Of course, a few people had questions after adoption about care and wellness and whatnot.  While I acknowledge that it may give some people peace of mind to know that their animal is vet-checked and given a clean bill of health, it is also costly.  The local vet charges $59 for an office visit to see a small animal.  $59 x 270 = $15,930.  If someone would like to foot that bill, by all means, I'll think about taking each and every of these animals into the vet, but in reality... I'm pretty positive (like 1000000%) that the rescue never makes anywhere near that kind of money, and only stays afloat because I put plenty of my own money into it every year, over what it generates on adoption fees and supply sales.  If all of those 270 animals would have checked out healthy at the vet... let me ask you... is that money well-spent?  I'm not so sure.

... continued tomorrow...   

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Was just minding my own business, taking chin pics, and...

So, the other day, I was just minding my own business, taking chin pics.  I had on sandals (which I love cause they're so easy to slip on and off), and I felt a prick on my foot.  Thinking maybe a pointy shaving fell on my foot from the picture-cage, I ignored it.  Another prick, and I looked down.

There sat a day-old baby tan chinchilla, chewing on my foot.

Pictures momentarily on hold, I picked up the kit and brought it to my cart.  I got out my binder where I keep track of babies, and just as I'd thought, none of my chins had had a tan baby anytime recently.  Crud.

So, the baby was kinda cold and lethargic, so I rubbed it between my hands and took it upstairs.  Not knowing how long the baby had been out, I set it down in a box where it couldn't go anywhere, while I got out goat's milk.  Fresh goat's milk is sort of an odd commodity when you're not in the country, so the last time I had a quart of it, I froze what wasn't needed in an ice cube tray, put the cubes in a tupperward container and put that in the freezer.  Went to get a milk-cube, went back downstairs to get a syringe.  Had to microwave the ice cube to get it to be liquid so it could be fed, and got as much into the baby as possible at that sitting. 

Baby went back into the box.  Temporarily, since he was still cold (though not as lethargic), I set up one of those plastic kritter keeper enclosure things, with a heating pad under one side.  Two hours later, came back and fed him again.  By that point, he had definitely warmed up and was considerably more perky.

Before the next 2 hour feeding arrived, I was feeding my chins downstairs, and ran across a new litter.  The parents have had tans before, and have (so far) always had two kits... but this time, they only had one.  Figuring that was his parents, I put him in with the mom, and he is still doing fine to this day.

Wanted to share this little story with you all... but also, I was telling this to someone else, and they pointed out, this sort of thing is sometimes why things take longer, whether it's orders, or returning phone calls, or whatever.  Whatever I was doing that day was momentarily put on hold, so I could take care of the baby.  Best laid plans don't always work out the way we think.  So, thanks all for being understanding. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Adoption Statistics

Ever wondered about adoption statistics?  How we've grown over the years?

Had a journalist ask about the increase in chin sales, and asked if I had numbers for her, so I compiled numbers.  While doing chins, it was just as easy to do the other animals as well, so here we go:

Yes, I acknowledge, that could be a better pics, but you get the idea.  Chin adoptions have really taken off over the last few years, and on years when chin adoptions were little less (like compare 2017 with 2016), then we had more of the other animal adoptions, so it all evens out. 

And look at the final total, at the bottom right, we've adopted out over 1000 animals!  Who-hoo!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Have a little consideration...

So.. had someone call last night, asking if we take in guinea pigs.  Yes we do.

They said they would call in the morning to drop them off (this was from the 12th).  I explained, I was going out of town midday, and if they wanted to drop off that day, they'd need to bring the guinea pigs with a cage and supplies, so I could basically just set them down, so they'd be ready for my pet-sitter, and I could go.  I also explained, they'd have a page to sign, saying they would be signing them over.  Yeah, no problem.

So, the morning comes, they call crack of dawn.  I'm asleep, they don't leave a message, but they do call again, and I answer the phone.  They ask if now is a good time to drop off the guinea pigs, and I say yeah it's fine, so they tell me, it'll be about 45 minutes cause they're coming from the city.  That's fine.  I ask if he wants me to text him the address, he says yeah that'd be good, so I do.

Get a call, around that time later, the guy says he's here.  Now, mind you, I've told him to go to the side door so we can get the guinea pigs and their stuff inside and sign the forms.  So I go to the side door, he's not there.  I wait there for maybe 5 minutes, cause some people text before they are actually out of their cars, and then when no one has still shown up, I text asking if he's sure he's at the right house.  No response.

I look out the front door, and there's a car parked in front of my house, with a guy standing there and his dog peeing and pooing on my front lawn.  This goes on for about 25 minutes.  Considering I was just told that the guy was "here," I figured that was the guy.  I watched him and the dog for a little bit, before I decided, if he's just gonna let the dog randomly romp around, I'm going to go back to packing.

I really wanted to go out there and say something about the dog pottying on my lawn (cause you know, that's totally how you repay someone for taking in your unwanted pet..... let your dog shit all over their lawn), but I knew it wouldn't come out nicely, so I refrained.

Almost 25 minutes after that first call saying he was here, he called again, saying he was at the side door.  Cool, so I go to the side door.  STILL no one is there.  I give it a few minutes, then text saying that I am at the side door.  No response.  Few minutes go by.  I text again, describing the house and the cars in the driveway.  Still no response.  It's now been about 10 minutes since the person said they're at my side door.

I hear my dogs start barking, which makes me think maybe someone's at the front door (and you know, people go to the front door all the time), so I go to the front door.  Greeted by this:

Now, who remembers that I said I need a cage and all supplies with them, raise your hand.  Yeah.  Lovely cage and supplies.  I get that places are full, WE ARE TOO.  SO STOP FUCKING BEING ASSHOLES PEOPLE.  If someplace is NICE ENOUGH to take in your pets, when everyplace is full and every place else is turning you away, and specifies that the ONLY WAY they will take them in, is with supplies / cage... which you SURE BETTER HAVE to own the pet, you need to f-ing bring that stuff to the rescue.

This is literally what I get for being nice.  I tried to help out someone who needed to find a place for their guinea pigs.  Even moreso...on a day when I am packing to go out of town, already busy... this person wasted plenty of time.  From when they first called to say they were here, then had their dog shit on my lawn for 25 minutes, then said they were at the side door, then had me stand around for 10 minutes AT MY SIDE DOOR, waiting for them to arrive after they said they were at the side door.  Then I GET the pigs, and because they don't have a cage with them (which they were supposed to), I had to spend another hour putting together cages and getting them water bottles, food bowls, etc etc etc.  Obviously, this is all done for the good of the pets, but I mean.... what an asshole to not care and to leave the pigs outside.

Oh did I mention, I texted the guy after I brought them in, and asked for info.  Names, ages.  That's all.  The asshole couldn't be bothered to even text me back.  While I acknowledge, yes, they are in a better place now... it irritates the hell out of me that he couldn't be bothered to bring a cage, sign surrender paperwork... especially since we talked about this.  Why even CALL if you're going to just drop them on the porch??

The thing is... without info... I can tell they're both males.  But how old are they?  Young adults?  Adults?  Seniors?  Do they live together?  (the answer to that is clearly not, they do NOT like each other... but I could have been TOLD that).  Are they healthy?  Why are they being given up?  I mean... this may seem like no big deal, but it's a LOT harder to adopt out an "adult male guinea pig, sorry, no other info available" than a "3 year old male guinea pig, given up because the family no longer had time, previously got along with another buddy guinea pig, who sadly passed..."  Not having the info only hurts the pet's chances of adoption, that's the thing.

I do realize, the likely reason the guy left the pigs outside, rather than bring them in and talk to me, was cause he KNEW that we had talked about him bringing a cage and signing forms, and for some reason he didn't want to do that stuff.  Really... I imagine I would have squeezed them somewhere anyway, even if he'd shown up without stuff for them... but with him just plopping them on my porch, oh that makes me mad.

All I ask for, is a little consideration.  If you want me (or any rescue, for that matter) to take your pets, be nice.  If they ask for something and you say you'll bring it... bring it.  Don't waste their time when you get there.  This isn't hard stuff to do!  But so few people do it...

Further, these are their nails...

Those look like hawk talons, not guinea pig nails.  See that last pic of the clippings?  I bet they feel a lot better...   Anyway, I did not hit the quick ONCE!  Which means they could have been cut even shorter, but I was hesitant to cut any more off, as they were already not happy piggies and were gritting their teeth at me an at each other.  But these nails did NOT get this long overnight... this is neglect to not cut them that long, and I guarantee, was painful for the pigs.

So, these are some pics of the pigs.

This first guy is a male Abyssinia:

True-to-life color.... see more pics taken with flash for features...

And the other pig...appears to be a sheltie / crested mix?

Not sure if he was trimmed (ha! if they didn't cut the nails, probably didn't cut the hair either) but he's got a weird cowlick in the back of long fur... the rest of him is more medium-ish length.  Time will tell how his fur looks and grows out.

Neither looks to be in horrible condition, but they definitely should get more plumpness and more shine back to their coat with an appropriate diet, regular nail clippings, and so on.  Ugh.

Monday, April 16, 2018


Someone donated a ream of paper the other day. 

Awesome, cause I mean... if you've ever adopted, you know that there's four pages for each adoption (minimum) -- pickup form (details which animal is going home), adoption contract, health guarantee, and invoice.  If there's more than one animal, add more pickup forms.  The adopter gets copies of this, so however many pages there are, double that.

Plus, everyone gets a care packet, and that's... maybe 6-8 pages, plus a coverpage.  The other animal care packets (non-chin ones) are shorter, but still 3-5 pages plus coverpage.  Everyone adopting a young chin gets two handouts -- what to expect when you take home a young chin, and do's and don'ts for young chins.  Plus, the adoption form is printed out and stapled to all of this for my records... so you can see how we use paper.... and this is just for adoptions, specifically.

So, someone donated a ream of paper, yay!  As of 5 minutes ago, it was still sitting where I set it, which prompted me to write this blog.  It's now put away, so I have it when I need it. 

If you are ever looking to donate... I understand not everyone has gobs of cash to donate, or chin cages lying around... I get it!  So I created this page on the website -- List of Needed Items -- which details basic items that we go through all the time.  Some off the top of my head would include paper towels, reams of paper, simple green, white vinegar, sharpies, notecards, packaging tape, and so on. 

Yes, I do realize (though thank you to the people who have pointed it out) that the list does not include things like chinchilla food, dust, hay, etc.  Honestly, most of this stuff we're already getting cheaper than the average person, anyway.  For example, you can get chinchilla dust at a pet store... it's usually $8-10 minimum for about 2-3 pounds, which works out to about $3.50ish per pound.  If you only have one chin, maybe that's totally reasonable.  But here's the thing... I just bought two 50-pound bags of dust last week, for perspective on how much we got through.  I'd have to look up exactly how much those cost (I bought a lot of stuff... it's part of the grand total...not quite so sure of the breakdown), but I'd bet you that I didn't pay more than $50 for those two bags.  So, $50 for 100 pounds of dust is $0.50 per pound... as compared to $3.50 per pound.  Comes down to... if someone wants to spend $10 to help the rescue, there's better things to spend it on than a tiny canister of dust.  Sure, if that's what you want to buy to help us out, feel free... but my personal opinion on that is that it could be spent better.  $10 for dust, or $10 for... $3 simple green, $1 pack of notecards, $2 -- 2 rolls of paper towels, $3 white vinegar gallon, $1 dish soap... see what else we could have for $10? 

That's why I made the list.  I think the average person can understand, yes, we need chin food, yes, we need hay, yes we need bedding.  And yes, you're welcome to donate any and all of those, plus more things not on the list.  Someone donated sterilite tubs last week.  Can always use more storage (thanks Kenneth)!  Doesn't have to be on the list, but those are just ideas.  We had someone else donate hay (thanks Aleks!)... their family ordered 50 pounds of hay, and wasn't quite aware just how much hay makes up 50 pounds... so they took what they wanted, and brought us the rest.  There's probably 35-40 pounds left, and that will last, oh... about 2-3 weeks, so it's appreciated!  The list is just meant to be less expensive suggestions... basically... things that you might not necessarily think of, when wondering, "hmmm what does a chin rescue need?"... but things that we definitely go through on a regular basis, and can always use more of.  So, if you're ever looking to help out, but stay within budget... keep that list, and the rescue, in mind!

Sunday, April 15, 2018


Sometimes you all are funny.

This happened a bit ago, but just remembered it now.  Had someone wanting to come see some geckos, and I asked if they were ready to make an appointment.  Their response:

Yes this Saturday mourning 9am if anything changes I will let you know

Which... if I was going to be home on that Saturday, and had that time open, it would have been fine.  But... I was leaving that Thursday to go out of town, and coming back the following Tuesday... so... I would not be around Saturday.

All I ask... is that you all think about what you're saying, and maybe ask, "would this work?" rather than just pick a day and time, and assume it's fine.  While some days I do only have one appointment, others I have people all day.  When you pick a random day and appointment time out of the air... you have no idea what I might be doing that day, what other appointments I might have, if I even might be in town... and so on.

For this person, I emailed back and explained, I would not be in town, specified what days I would be gone, and asked when else they could come.  It's not a big deal, but to me, it's courtesy to ask, "does this work for you?" rather than just specify that I'll be somewhere at a certain time.  That is all.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Sharing Pics & Stories

So, we had one of our foster homes here the other day, dropping off Finn to be adopted from the rescue and picking up their next fosters... their kids took some pics while they were here, and eventually sent them over so I could see.  I'm sharing them with you below.

Now, these are pictures of chins and prairie dogs at my place, but I also get where people share pics and stories of chins or other animals they've adopted.  It's always nice to know how the animals are doing and see pics of them enjoying their new lives and new families.  Always feel free to share that sort of stuff, I love seeing it :)