Saturday, May 11, 2019


I get this sort of thing now and then:

My response:

Just in case you ever wondered...

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Lists of What People Want

I repeat this all the time, so I may have talked with you all about this before, but just in case...

We don't keep lists of what people are looking for.  If you want a chin, let's say a specific color, and you want it now, I may be able to work with another breeder to get it.  That's sort of the exception.

But for those who are like, "hey, let me know when you get rats in" and that sort of thing... we don't keep a list.  Let me explain why... because I have kept a list in the past.  And in the past, when I kept the list, and then would message / call / reach out to the person and be like, "hey, so this is so and so, we have in rats at the rescue, you had mentioned you were looking for rats..." -- the answer was always, "oh!  Thanks for letting us know, but we already got some.  Thanks though!" 

Every.  Single.  Time.

Like no joke, without fail.  Once, it was as quick as like a two-day turnaround, where I told the person I thought I was getting in guinea pigs, and they were super excited, and this was actually going to be a transfer from another rescue, so they would be available once they got here.  The person said they would wait.  So I contact them, early on the second day, to tell them, we got in these guinea pigs, all young ones, cool colors, both sexes, yadda yadda.  Oh, they'd already gone and gotten one... and here's the kicker... right after they got off the phone with me (and yes, that means, right after they told me they'd wait to hear from me).

So no, we do not have lists of people waiting for animals.  Simply because there's no point. 

This all came up because I received an email from someone who wanted me to share with them some potential leads for homes for animals they have.  I don't have em to share, unfortunately... I told this person, I'm happy to take in the pets, if desired, but I don't have contacts to hand out.  It would be nice if people really did get on a list and stay on the list and wait... but since people don't... this is how it is at the moment...

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Yelp and Other Phone Calls

So, you may remember how Yelp has pestered me in the past, to pay for their paid service.  Their paid service is like $300 / month, so it's nothing cheap, and nothing I could "try out" -- not at that price!  For $300 / month (if I had that to spend), I could legit hire someone to work for me and really get a lot of effort out of that, rather than just get a listing on their website.

Part of the reason I have always told the Yelp representatives, when I have been unfortunate enough to get on the phone with them, that I will not pay, is because of the way my rescue pops up on search results.  It pops up under rescue, and I understand, it is a rescue... but so is every humane society out there. And since, as we all know, people don't read... this creates a problem. 

The main thing being, people see "rescue" -- don't read "NWI Chinchilla Rescue" -- just focus on "rescue" and call.  Then they're surprised when I don't have what they're looking for.

So, a few days ago, I finally had someone fill out a request for information on Yelp.  Mind you, it's only taken two years for one of these to be filled out, since I created a Yelp account (so, you see how useful Yelp really is).  The person wanted a price estimate... wait for it... on a kitten.

I kind of ignored it for a day or so, mainly because I was on my phone and couldn't seem to log into Yelp, but once I got on my computer and logged in, I was able to select "service not offered" and I typed in a little blurb about, we are a chinchilla and small animal rescue, we do not take in / adopt out cats / dogs / kittens / puppies.  Sorry, but best of luck! 

... and this sort of thing is why I will not pay for Yelp.

Also wanted to share a phone call from the other day, which I wouldn't be at all surprised if it came from someone viewing the Yelp page:

Me:  Hello?
Them:  Hi, is this an animal rescue?
Me:  This is NWI Chinchilla Rescue, how can I help you?
Them:  I'm looking for a puppy, I--
Me:  Let me stop you right there.  We don't handle any dogs or cats, we just take in small animals like chinchillas, guinea pigs, rats...
Them:  Oh but that's what I'm looking for, a small puppy.

*major facepalm*

Fun fun fun...

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Calls About Adopting Other Animals

This is another one of those things that I just don't get, and we've been getting a LOT of this lately, so I wanted to talk briefly about it. 

So, someone calls the rescue, and asks, do we have kittens / dogs / puppies for adoption.  Lately a lot of people asking for kittens.  And I will explain, we don't take in dogs or cats, we only take in small animals.

So then the next question is, "ok, what do you take in?"  So I tell them, chinchillas, guinea pigs, those sorts of animals.

Their next question is, "oh, are those free or do they cost?"  I explain, they all have adoption fees.

"Oh, what are the adoption fees?"  So I tell them, chins tend to start at $75, guinea pigs $25-35 for a single, $40-50 for a pair.

And that's usually the end of the phone call. 

Here's what I don't get... if you're calling to get a kitten... and someone says, oh we don't have them, but we have chins and guinea pigs... first, it's not what you're looking for, so why does the phone call not end there, and second... when you start asking about adoption fees (and sometimes they even ask what those pets are like and how hard they are to care for)... how does this NOT seem like an impulse thing to the person at the rescue?  Of course, I'm always nice to the people, because maybe some of them go home and research and decide that a small pet is right for them... but I think many of them seem a bit overly curious, about an animal that they weren't looking for, 5 seconds ago.  That is all.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Expo Dates / Scheduling

So, I've had some chats lately with some people about which expos we're going to be at, and when, and how this can easily be kept track of.  Best way -- we have a "Come See Us" section on the home page of our website.  Other than that... it gets kind of messy.

Some expos, we have planned way in advance.  Like WAAAAAAAAAAAY in advance.  For example, I already know when the Chicago Pet Show -- Kane County is in the fall, and I'm pretty sure I already had to notify that we will be there... like as of last November (which is fine, we love that expo).  Yeah, LAST November.  Some are booked way in advance.  So that probably will not change.

But, on the other hand... the All Animal Expo (AAE) in Wheaton / Hammond -- we can schedule or cancel up until the day before, probably even the day of... and sometimes we have waited until the day before to officially decide.  And that's fine.

Also, sometimes expos get moved.  See if you can follow this:  The Chicago Pet Show -- Oak Lawn is scheduled for May 4-5.  Did you know... it was originally scheduled for April 27-28th.  When it was originally scheduled for April 27th, I had agreed to go.  Then, it turned out, the Atlantic Chapter MCBA (Chinchilla) Show was also 4/27.  So, I was going to go to the Chicago Pet Show, as I'd already booked that.  Well... then we received notification from Chicago Pet Show that the Oak Lawn venue had been double booked for 4/27-28, and the show was moving to May 4-5.  Well... shit.  That was the day of the Ohio Chapter Show.  So for a moment (actually a span of 3-ish months), I had to tell Chicago Pet Show... I really don't know if I will be there or not, please check back, and I will notify as soon as I figure out (I'm on the Ohio MCBA Chapter Board, so it's hard to NOT be there for a show... I have stuff to do).  What else this meant though... was that April 27th was now expo-free again.  So, I decided I was going to the Atlantic Chapter Chin Show, as, with the Chicago Pet Show moved, I would not be able to attend the Ohio Chapter Show (IF I attended the Chicago Pet Show).  Knowing I would not likely attend the Ohio Chapter Show, I was going to attend the Atlantic Chapter Show.  Then, the Ohio Chapter Show got moved to 5/18.  Learning that, I called up the Chicago Pet Show and informed them that I WOULD be able to attend the Oak Lawn show.  In the meantime, I received a flyer from the Be Kind to Animals Pet Care Expo... also on the 27th.  With the Ohio show moved, knowing I would be able to show my animals more locally, and under a judge I liked better (than the judge for Atlantic Chapter), I applied for a booth at the Be Kind to Animals Pet Care Expo, and decided not to show at the Atlantic Chapter Show.  With the Ohio Chapter Show on 5/18, the AAE scheduled having kangaroos at the show on 5/19.  So that week/weekend will be insane, with me driving out to Ohio Wed/Thurs, showing Saturday, driving back Saturday night, and going to the AAE Sunday. 

With all these changes -- mostly event dates changing and whatnot -- can you understand why I tell people to always check our Come See Us section, when they are unsure if we will be at an event or not?  Sometimes it's hard for me to keep track of all of this!

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Donations Etc.

So, I know I posted a bit ago about how when people are sponsoring a chin, they can designate which chin they want to sponsor, and this and that...  this sort of thing is across the board.

See, if you donate something, you're more than welcome to mention what you'd like that to go to, or who's name you want it in, or whatnot.  Of course, within reason, and of course, we try to accommodate as best we can.  Want the donation in someone else's name?  No problem.  Suggest that that we buy a new shop vac with your donation, when the current one is running fine... we will likely reach out and have a chat.

The reason I bring this up, though, is because people have, moreso in recent years, been donating in honor or someone, or wanting someone else's name up on the donation.  You might remember how when Ed R.'s wife passed, he wanted his donation in Bonnie's name (and informed us that she had passed).  Not only did we do that, but since this family had always been so generous and kind to us and the rescue, we also got a plaque that has been  put up on one of our cages, dedicating the cage to Bonnie.  In case you missed that post it is ---> here.

... and basically, I just wanted to let you all know, in case you happen to be donating, feel free to suggest what you'd like it used for, or if you want it in honor or someone or whatnot.  Of course, we can't get plaques for everyone, but we can do our best to make people feel appreciated!

More recently than the cage plaque, I received a donation from someone, and they wanted it put from someone else, for their birthday.  I sent that person a message, asking if the person might like a donation thank you card from the rescue, and explained that I would need their address, if they would (the donations on the webstore don't require an address... though even if they did, this would be a separate person entirely).  They responded saying that was thoughtful, and gave me the person's full name and address.  I went out and got them a birthday card, in addition to the donation thank you card, wrote a little message inside, thanking them for their donation to the rescue, and mailed it out.  Hopefully they got it in time for their birthday and enjoyed getting it. 

Obviously, this is a different situation than a lot of people who are donating, but we really do appreciate every little bit, and if there's a simple way that we can express gratitude, we are definitely happy to do so.  :)