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.