Posts tagged behavior issues
Happy October!

For the month of September, two (2) chinchillas were surrendered and two (2) chinchillas were adopted. The number of chins adopted has significantly decreased lately. Fortunately, so have the number of surrenders.

Someone asked us recently if we are a no-kill shelter. The answer: not quite. On occasion we do receive a chinchilla with severe medical issues that are not treatable. Malocclusion affecting the tooth roots is one of the more common ailments. People also bring chins to us on the verge of death. A vet visit early on could have saved those, but when an animal is lethargic and showing signs of agonal respiration, there is really nothing more that can be done to save them. But for those who are treatable, we treat.

As a rescue shelter we also take in chinchillas with varying degrees of behavioral issues. Sadly, many of the behavior issues are human induced. One chinchilla came in recently whose former owner clearly did not know how to handle the poor thing. It became so cage aggressive that it actually learned to strike out at the hand that was feeding it-- literally! With many of our potential adopters being families with children or first time chinchilla owners, we make it our policy to NOT rehome aggressive biters unless someone is specifically willing and able to take on a huge challenge. 

Like toddlers, chinchillas are natural nibblers, and we understand that an exploratory nibble is not a bite. However, there are some chins that have learned to use their teeth in a way that is more than one of curiosity. We do our best to rehabilitate and allow even the most extreme cases to stay as long as we have space for them. We have, however, expanded our chin room to two rooms and long ago gave up our clothes washer and dryer to accommodate the rescues. Sending chinchillas over the rainbow bridge is not something we regularly do. Rather, it's an act of desperation. Ours and other rescues constantly battle for space and resources to care for waves of unwanted animals.

Our support store has been our primary means of operating the chinchilla rescue. Unfortunately, we have seen a rise in unscrupulous, copy-cat vendors making our original products for their gain. Some have even started fake "rescues" as a false pretense. Many try, but few succeed in the long term. Know who you support and support who you know. For those of you who have remained loyal customers: Thank you! For those of you who are new to our website: Welcome! How may we serve you and your fur babies?  


The full moon is waning, thank God! We definitely see a difference in behaviors with the full moon, not only in the chins, but in people as well. Either that or sheer volume of inquiries dictates that we receive calls and emails that are sometimes rather... interesting.

Chinnie behavior during a full moon brings out high energy and sometimes subtle aggression. Just like siblings who occasionally have tiffs, chins have their differences too. One way we manage squabbles is with a-- no kidding-- timeout cage. The chaser is placed into a small carrier within the regular cage. This keeps everyone safe, but still in communion. We find that a night in time out is enough to regain the previous harmony. 

For this reason, it is also important that groups, especially males, have a place they can retreat to. Those silly little ceramic "dusters" with the ears is a perfect solution to allow a respite. 

As for human behavior, I'm going to bring this post to a screeching halt to add my latest pet peeve: We are a home-based rescue and as such are open by appointment. We are NOT a pet store.  We do not "sell" chinchillas. Our job is to ensure that each chin(s)  goes to a home that is fully equipped to offer them a better environment than the one we currently do. 

With that being said, we have, and will deny adoption to those who do not read our adoption contract and are not completely prepared to receive them. Non emergency phone calls before 9am or after 8:00 pm will NOT be warmly received as I question the competence of anyone who will make this kind of judgement error. 

If you don't already have a suitable habitat, we offer complete cage setups available for purchase that are much, much cheaper (not to mention chin-ready) than anything available in a pet store. 

Catharsis. I'm better now. Thanks. :)