It feels so empty in here!

We had a record adoption month for December. Fifteen (15) chinchillas went to new homes! My own small herd appreciates being able to spread out a bit now that we have so much extra cage space. We've even been able to open ramps to allow some of the bonded rescue pairs spread out as well. Which reminds me....

We were pleasantly surprised that only two critters came to us this month. Chi-Chi, a single male is under evaluation. So far we're rather pleased that he's so friendly! He's also showing some nice interest in his neighbors. We have hope that he can be bonded to another gentle male.

We also received a call from someone who said they found a "baby chinchilla" on their porch....Let's just say....it wasn't a baby chin.

It has been a whirlwind of a weekend!

Just this weekend alone, seven (7) chinchillas found new homes just in time for the holidays and several more are on hold for the big Christmas event. Each chin and chin parent pairing is unique. Sometimes the chins amaze us by who they select to go home with. Trust me in this, the people rarely choose the chin. It works the other way around.

We even had lots of folks come to purchase items from our store to spoil their chinnies with. We actually ran out of some things! Don't worry though, the kids and I have been working hard to resupply the store with lots of fun things for your fuzzbutts.

Thank you everyone who has contacted us to order supplies and toys. Your support helps us do what we do here.

On that note... there's still time to take advantage of our holiday package deals. *wink wink*

Final exams are over!

Done! Donedonedoneydone! Final exams are over!

Back to playing with cute little chinchillas!

Thank you all for your patience with us as we've navigated through this intense past couple of weeks. We're now officially open for "meet the chin" times.

Before I forget, thank you to our Secret Santa somewhere in Lynchburg who sent the very thoughtful gift. Big smiles and hugs to you...whoever you are.                             

Also, we've done a few updates to the website to reflect the learning curve we've had to experience with operating a rescue group and the associated store and website. Our phone number is now listed at the top, but Whimsy really prefers communicating via email.

We've also made the adoption contract and history forms viewable before downloading. Please be sure you are familiar with those documents before considering adopting or surrendering a chin. It serves as a prescreening device as well as a legal contract.

And finally, we've updated the adoptions page with pictures of available chins and those who have already found homes.

At last count we were at 11 chins claimed for the month of December, but have at least a dozen still waiting to be chosen.

Mandi Vollmeradoption
A New Opportunity

Titus (our mascot) and Whimsy had the most amazing opportunity earlier this week. Whimsy is a special educator who is taking continuing education classes. This semester Whimsy was assigned to work practicum hours at the local high school with students with severe to moderate cognitive and multiple disabilities.

The students at the high school level have a curriculum that is intensely focused on learning vocational skills. This presented a wonderful chance to share with the students how to make chinchilla toys!

Whimsy was given permission to bring Titus the chinchilla to school and teach the students the new skill of assembling toss toys. The small motor tasks, copying patterns, and teamwork presented the students with a fun new task that not only provided them with more work experience, but helped out our little chin rescue too! AND, the students really enjoyed meeting a real live chinchilla. I wish you could have been there to see all the huge gaping smiles. :)

Oh, and check out our sales page for pictures of the toys!

Birth Gone Bad

I'd like to take this moment to share with our visitors just why we so strongly believe in responsible chin ownership. A brother/sister pair came in last week in pretty rough shape. The previous owners were told both were boys, but when one of them started having kits, they realized the mistake. Unfortunately, chinchillas go into heat immediately after giving birth, so without separation, chinchillas continue to breed indefinitely.

This is bad for several reasons. In this case, the mated pair of chins were directly related. This weakens the offspring which makes them more prone to health related issues, not to mention just a reduced quality overall. PLUS, breeding back to back takes quite a toll on the mommy chin. It takes quite a bit of energy to carry kits. Imagine how stressful it is to nurse a litter and be pregnant at the same time! By being put into a constant state of pregnancy, this could very quickly wear down the mommy chin. In this case, her condition (and that of her brother mate and remaining kit showed obvious signs of stress in that all of them were pretty severely fur-chewed.

The following video shows a chinchilla birth gone bad. View with caution.

Please people, be kind to your pets and consider carefully the massive numbers of unwanted animals who already need homes. I hate having to tell people who breed their pet chinchillas that the offspring will most likely end up in my shelter within the next couple of years. *sigh*