Posts tagged volunteers
Happy October!

For the month of September two (2) chinchillas were surrendered and six (6) chinchillas were adopted. For the first time EVER, we've had to delay inquiries for surrender due to space issues. We simply do not have extra room to fit the numbers of chinchillas needing care and a permanent home. As it is, our current chin count is 102 with 3 boarding and 58 for adoption.

Pet stores and backyard breeders continue to be our biggest nemesis in our effort to reduce the huge numbers of unwanted animals.  Nonetheless, we have a gigantic support network of people who want to help. Girl Scout troops, high-schoolers who need volunteer hours for an honor society, middle-schoolers who need volunteer time as part of their required curriculum, and the high-schoolers with special needs who desperately desire vocational training that doesn't involve the usual, paper folding, envelope stuffing, or paper shredding tasks. Making our colorful, texture-rich chew toys is something they heartily look forward to. 

When you purchase from our store, not only are you supporting our rescue work, you are also providing work opportunities for the students. :D

Happy September!

For the month of August, nine (9) chinchillas were surrendered and seven (7) chinchillas were adopted. Most of our summer boarders went home and we now only have five chinnies staying both short and long term. For a brief few days we actually had our dining room free of temporary cages. *cough* I did say "brief", didn't I? Visitors often falsely believe that the welcoming chins are "the rescue"...until they walk into the actual chin room.  

We're fortunate enough to have lots and lots of volunteers who are willing and able to help out. This past weekend we had the pleasure of working with a local Girl Scout troop who needed animal service hours to earn a special badge. The girls helped clean cages, cut crabapple and pecan wood, socialize the chinchillas, help make shelves and assemble chew toys from extra parts and pieces for the rescues.

When asked how many of the girls asked their parents if they could have a chinchilla the answer was, "All of them, of course!" ;)

Happy January!

Happy New Year Everyone!

For the month of December, 14 chinchillas were given up for adoption, and 10 chinchillas were adopted. For the entire year of 2011, 134 fuzzbutts were adopted to new homes! Not only is this a remarkable success, but some of the amazing people we've met through our rescue efforts have been a blessing in many, many ways.

We have quite a following now of young volunteers and hard core customers who religiously return for supplies while eagerly looking forward to our newest creative cage accessory or chew toy. We've even had our first completed international order!

This year has had its share of struggles too while we have played the role of supportive care for chins in hospice, advised people in emergency situations, become privy to, and called to help alleviate some rather shocking living conditions, been a relief agency for various animal control facilities, and dealt with the occasional broken contract.

All in all, it's been quite a learning experience. Thank you, everyone, for a year well spent.

Keeping Busy

We at the Menagerie have been keeping busy!

What started as a simple homeschool project has become nearly a full fledged business. We receive several emails and phone calls each week asking about chins for adoption, supplies, questions about chinchillas, and inquiries to surrender. It's really been remarkable the learning opportunities our love for the critters has afforded our humble family. We especially love the new friendships we've gleaned with all who we've meet this special way.

On Monday, we went back to the local high school to work with the students with cognitive disabilities to make more chinchilla toys. We were all thrilled that the students rose to the challenge of making our suspension bridges and swings!

Which reminds me... at this time, I'd like to honor our volunteer, Clarissa.  This plucky little girl is quick to jump in and help! We look forward to her visits to the Menagerie where she helps us clean cages, prepare items for the store, hand out hay and supplement, dust baths for the chins, fill water and food bowls and socialize the baby chinchillas.  Thank you for your time and energy,  Clarissa!