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Chin Debate Debate chin topics here - PLEASE KEEP IT CIVIL!

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  #11  
Old 12-13-2011, 01:51 PM United Kingdom
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I'm in complete agreement with you that it isn't a good idea to give an animal as a total surprise present, it especially concerns me when it's for a child. A few times I've sent a message to someone who wanted a chin as a gift ('free or cheap' all too often), and found they didn't really understand how much work was involved in caring for a chin, or how much of a commitment they are compared to other small animals. Thankfully, they tended to reconsider.

Even if someone does want an animal, they also generally want to be able to choose an individual animal for themselves, so I agree that having the person receiving the pet come round and take a look sounds a good idea, then you can ask them questions and give them information as you would any potential new owner. My Henry was technically a Birthday present, but we'd established I wanted a chin and had done my research, it was simply, as you say, an excuse to use the occasion to finally have one. I actually originally wanted a white, but instantly clicked with standard grey Henry as soon as I saw him. That's something someone looking for a chin on someone else's behalf couldn't know, how a particular person and animal will connect, in my case they'd not even have considered him thinking I wanted a different colour...can't even really think about that.

We've given family members a new pet as a Birthday present a few times, but it's never been a total surprise and I don't believe it should be. Closest was my sister receiving her rabbit Snowflake. She didn't really expect to be allowed to have one, but had expressed an interest, and had loved him when she saw him in the petshop and asked if she could have him. My parents went back and got him later, and kept him secretly in their room till her Birthday. In that case I think it was Ok, as they were always quite clear that they'd be responsible for the work of caring for him, while she got the fun bit of playing with him. It definitely isn't a good idea to give someone a surprise pet and expect them to have to be the one to look after the animal, and it's far worse if that person is a child. The person may not even understand the needs of that type of animal, especially if they're an exotic like a chin. There's of course the expense, as well, not to mention the potential heartbreak involved - our poor Snowflake ended up costing us hundreds in vet bills since he developed malocclusion at a young age. We were just lucky that it was manageable for a long time, and he was still a happy rabbit despite the teeth filing operations. If someone unprepared had taken him on, whether as a gift or on a whim, he might not have done so well. That's it I think - it's not just choosing to give an animal as a gift in itself, it's whether the people involved are prepared for what taking on a animal involves, or if it is just a whim, perhaps thoughtlessly acceding to a child's request. The festive season perhaps encourages some to treat pets as disposable commodities, just a cute gift, but I doubt they'd really treat them much better at other times.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AZChins View Post
Someone told me last week that the reason why I am getting so many calls is that there was a story on the news up in Phoenix that said that Chinchillas are one of the best animals to get for Christmas for kids. I need to find out what station played that and send them a letter.
Urgh, how irresponsible of them to recommend any animal as a Christmas gift, and chins really aren't the best pet for most children. Definitly worth sending a letter, and maybe composing a standard reply to emails of the sort, and a big notice for your website explaining your policy would help cut down on the hassle for you. I sympathise, it is so frustrating when you see people looking to get a chin and get the impression they don't really know what they're getting into.
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  #12  
Old 12-13-2011, 02:05 PM United States
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I was really surprised today that I didn't get any calls. hehehe Turns out the storm knocked out my phone yesterday and I never noticed. God bless the stupid rain that has been going on for days.

Quote:
I'm in complete agreement with you that it isn't a good idea to give an animal as a total surprise present, it especially concerns me when it's for a child.
About 99.99999% of the time I am contacted this time of year for a chin it is for a child under the age of 12. Sometimes they lie to me about the ages of their children, and sometimes they scream at me on the phone for saying a six year old shouldn't have a chin. Last year I had a woman with a seven year old tell me that her child was 9! Then she called me at about 11 pm one night and left me a nasty message saying that I had agreed to sell her a chin when all I had done was talk to her briefly about the care of chinchillas.

You don't want to know about the uncomfortable conversation that I had last week with a gentleman wanting a "yellow" chinchilla.

I'll be much less whiny in a couple weeks when I have had a chance to not talk to people looking for baby chins for $3 to be delivered to them three hours away on Christmas Eve because somehow we're best friends and I owe them something after fourteen seconds of a uncomfortable phone conversation.
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  #13  
Old 12-13-2011, 02:52 PM United Kingdom
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That's awful.

I totally agree they should never be a reason to give an animal as a suprise gift. I can't say as a gift ever as my first pair of Chins were a gift for my 25th birthday. I bought the cage, found the breeder and picked them. The only gift part is that my fiance paid for them.

I had researched for years first though.

I couldn't breed, I wouldn't be able to let any of them go.
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  #14  
Old 12-13-2011, 04:03 PM United States
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Any animal given as a gift is usually a bad idea. I say usually because I would love for my husband to get me my dream cat!
That aside, shutting down for the month of December sounds great if you can afford to do so. Maybe leaving a message that there are no babies available and if truly interested they could call back after the new year.
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  #15  
Old 12-13-2011, 05:06 PM United States
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We received our first chin from one of my wife's friends, and it was a Christmas gift for my middle daughter. She is going to grow up to be a veterinarian for sure, but she had been bothering us to get her a chinchilla for a few years. She was about 5 when she started asking for a chinchilla. My wife and I discussed it before we agreed, and I new I would end up taking the responsibility, but after doing some extensive research, we finally decided it was a good choice. I am glad we did as our first chinchillas has changed our lives for the better.


It seems that you have adapted your policy for what works for you, and I agree that if it ever should be decided that a chinchillas is the perfect gift, the receiver should know all the details.
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  #16  
Old 12-13-2011, 05:08 PM Canada
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Trust me, I completely understand. We help rescue bunnies and about a month or so after Easter, we have bunnies EVERYWHERE because people always get them as impulse gifts, not realising how much commitment a rabbit really is. I would imagine a chinchilla would be even worse in that kind of situation, they're so delicate, I can't imagine them being around a young child.

Makes you wonder why a parent would get their child a pet that's going to be awake while the kid's asleep and vice-versa. Makes no sense.
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  #17  
Old 12-13-2011, 05:43 PM United States
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This poem applies to all pets, pets are not a gift, they are a life.

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
With no thought of the Dog filling their head.
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Knew he was cold, but didn't care about that.
Went out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Figuring the Dog was free of his chain and into the trash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the luster of midday to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But Santa Claus - with eyes full of tears.
He unchained the dog, once so lively and quick,
Last years Christmas present, now painfully thin and sick.
More rapid than eagles he called the dog's name.
And the Dog ran to him, despite all his pain;
"Now, DASHER! Now, DANCER! Now, PRANCER and VIXEN!
On, COMET! On CUPID! On, DONNER and BLITZEN!
To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!
Let's find this Dog a home where he'll be loved by all"
I knew in an instant there would be no gifts this year,
For Santa Claus had made one thing quite clear,
The gift of a Dog is not just for the season,
We had gotten the pup for all the wrong reasons.
In our haste to think of getting the kids a gift
There was one important thing that we missed.
A Dog should be family, and cared for the same
You don't give a gift, then put it on a chain.
And I heard him exclaim as he rode out of sight,
"You weren't given a gift! You were given a life!"

Author Unknown
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  #18  
Old 12-13-2011, 05:51 PM United States
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I have gotten contacted by several people who want to get chins for so-and-so for Christmas.... but the ones I got this year were actually reasonable. I have one coming the week of Christmas... a wife that said her husband wanted a chin and she told him she would buy him one for Christmas... so they already went out and got the cage and got everything set up, and just waiting to get the chin (from me). They will be coming, together, to get the chin. Another had been wanting to get chins for awhile, and just happened to come across my ad for a pair now... and it just happens to be Christmas.

The rest (the ones that are actually on my list for potential adopters) are ones where it really does just "happen" to be Christmas. I HATE when people decide they're going to surprise their kid or their whatever with a chin. Ok, we have our pedigreed chins and so we have babies available every so often, but we also rescue, and HELLO, I don't want to get that pedigreed baby back as a rescue in 5 months. No thank you. The other people who have chins on hold from us are (1) someone who already has two of our chins and I trust this has nothing to do with Christmas, they were just waiting for a white baby, and (2) someone who is interested in a chin that won't be ready to go (because of her rescue evaluation) until February sometime. That's fine with me.

But crud, I get a million emails this time of year from kids that are like 12-16ish and tell me they are asking their parents for a chin for Christmas and can they have more information. Now, I'm nice about it, no reason to not be, I send them the care packet, tell them more about the chin they're asking about, and tell them that mommy or daddy will have to fill out an adoption form if they want to get a chin (and I give them the form if they ask for it). Of course, after all is said and done... none of those kids ever end up adopting. I give the kids credit for going out and finding a place to get one, and being proactive and all that, but I would prefer they get the parents on board first. My time isn't endless and I'd rather spend time emailing good potential homes that will actually pan out versus people who are just curious or are trying to convince their parents or whatnot. I spend a ridiculous amount of time talking to and emailing people who never end up adopting that I don't need any more of that coming in, if I can avoid it.

But chins as a surprise? Heck no. I've had people bring that up, and I tell them, there is no way. They can bring their daughter/whoever here and let the daughter pick out a chin. Give her a picture of a chin in a card and have it say "surprise! you get a chin" but they are not taking home one to unwrap on Christmas day. No thank you. I get in enough rescues as it is. I don't need to be doing anything that will bring more back.

I normally answer my cell phone regardless of who's calling. Never know if it's a potential home, a potential "real" job for me, or what, so I always answer. But this time of year, after about Dec. 1, I let all calls go to voicemail. The people that are just interested in "what's your cheapest chin" or "what do they cost" - those same people who can't bother to read my ads or take 10 seconds to look at the website (both where it specifies what they cost) - they won't leave a message. So then, the people who do leave messages are the people who are serious about adopting and I can get back to them on my own time.
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  #19  
Old 12-13-2011, 07:54 PM United States
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I just got 2 babies for my daughter, and yes they were a gift but she's been around chins for 7 out of 11 years of her life. Secretly though, in my mind, they're mine !
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  #20  
Old 12-13-2011, 08:05 PM United States
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Sandi...that's different...you already have chins...and you're Sandi. :P

If I had someone, who already has chins and is good at taking care of those chins, wanting more chins, no problem.
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