So you have seen the chinchillas and have decided that you want to adopt a chinchilla. Now what?
The first step is that you MUST read: http://www.owningchinchillas.webs.com/ as it offers a lot of CORRECT information. Even if you think you know all there is to know about chinchillas, this site follows the same chinchilla caring philosophy that we do. It covers everything from behaviour, to health, to cages, safe treats and proper items for chins. (please read the site, your answers to the application tell us if you have read it or not, ).
Then we need you to fill out the adoption application form. This form has a variety of questions you need to fill out and also undertand that NO rescue is to be bred EVER. We also request that if anything happens and you can't look after your chinchilla you must return it to the rescue. These questions help up figure out what chinchilla is a good match for you and how much you really know about chinchillas.
We will have follow up questions based on your application and will go over different areas. This process is not a fast process. WE WILL NOT RUSH THROUGH THIS. We take out time to ensure that everything is legit. There are many people that really don't have the animals best interest at hand and we do our best to weed those people out. Sometimes it can take time for us to respond to emails and your patience will be appreciated and we won't tolerate to be told what schedule you want us to use. We don't do quick adoptions.
Once you have filled out the form you can come by and meet the chinchilla to see if this is really the chinchilla for you. You will not go home with a chinchilla that day. This gives you time to get everything ready for that chin. As well it gives Foster Moms will give the rescue insight into the person that came by. If they understand the care involved with a chinchilla and if they are a good match. AND we know when someone hasn't read the info site.
You need to get your cage and supplies ready. Once your cage is ready we ask for you to send us a picture of it. NOTE: We want cages that are safe for the chinchillas. During the visit you will see how our cages are and that is how we would like them. If your cage does not meet our standards you can and will be denied the adoption at that point. A chinchilla spends most of its time in their cage and as such it needs to meet all their needs. Unsafe or empty cages are not going to pass. If you are unsure, please just ask us. Everything you need is in the shopping list.
Once you are approved you are able to pay the adoption fee and pick up your chinchilla.
We also offer our support after you have taken your chinchilla home. We have our forum: http://www.canadianchinchilla.proboards.com/ as well as the rescue email that you can contact us at. We are here to answer any question and help with any situation that may come up.
This process may seem more involved when people are able to walk into a pet store and walk out moments later with a chinchilla but we want these chins to be place in a forever home. Too many people jump without looking when it comes to chinchillas and in the end it's the chins that suffer. These chins have already had at least one home, sometimes more so they deserve the time we take to find them the perfect home. Sometimes the adoption process can take weeks or even months depending on circumstances. It's not something we will speed up.
NOT everyone will be approved. There are many requests from many people that just aren't a good match for the rescues. We will look at each person thoroughly and will ensure that the rescues are going to a great home that will be a great match. Just because you fill out a form does not entitle you to a chinchilla from us. We value the respect this rescue has and will continue to hold ourselves to high standards.
If things don't work out
Sometimes things just don't work out. In the event that you no longer can care for the chinchilla you adopted from the CCR, you MUST return the chinchilla to us. Chinchillas adopted from us are not to be sold, given away or sent off with anyone. We will always take back a chinchilla. We will not refund adoption fees and ask that any of the chins items that were sent with the chin, be returned as well. If you decide within the first 5 days that you do not want to keep the chinchilla, we will return half the adoption fee.
OUR goal is to not have chinchillas moving from home to home so we ask that you seriously think over adoption before you have the chinchilla.
The cage is one of the biggest issues for people wanting to adopt a chinchilla. Because of this we are changing our guidelines.
The ferret nation cage is our choice for all of our chinchillas. You must modify this cage so there is no plastic in the cage. This includes the bottom pan and the shelves. Chinchillas MUST have ample shelves in their cage. You must have longer shelves and shorter shelves.
Things your cage should have:
Glass water bottle
Pine shelves (MANY- on each level of a ferret nation I use 1 long shelf and 5 smaller shelves)
Bedding or fleece
Wheels are optional but a great item for your chinchilla.
So you are bringing home a rescue chinchilla now what? Like getting any chinchilla from whatever situation, the best two things to remember are TIME and PATIENCE. You will need both when dealing with chinchillas.
After you get your chinchilla home and in their new cage, the best thing to do is just leave them be. For the first day I wouldn't try to touch them and just talk to them when you go by the cage. Depending on the chinchilla you will know just how long you have to do this for. Some chins adapt very well to new places and are quite happy to come up to. Others want to be left alone.
If after a day or two they will let you touch their face then go for it. If not, then just wait. Some chins will take treats from your hands and feeding a pinch of oats (old fashioned kind) out of your hand is a great way to get them to trust you.
Dusting is something chinchillas love to do BUT because they are a prey animal some will not dust around you at first. You can put a duster in their cage and walk away or set up a playpen and have a duster in their playpen. I like to have their cage door open so they can go in and out as they like. Some chins won't come out for a playtime until they are comfortable.
You may be kacked at by your chin, they may bark in the middle of the night, females may spray and some may bite. These are normal behaviours BUT they may go away once your chin is more comfortable. I have chins that kack at me that I've had for years. Some bark a lot. It's just how some chins are.
A chinchilla is not known as a cuddly pet but some do crave your attention and will let you give scritches. With Time and Patience you will get to know your chin and you will learn just how much attention they want from you. Don't take it personally, some chins just don't want to be handled or touched. Some do. They are all unique and that's what makes chinchillas such a great pet.
I have chins that want no part of me unless I'm there with a treat, and others that want to be held and patted.
Talking to your chin will get them used to you. Offer then a hidey house in their cage so they can go hide if they want to. I also put fleece on top of my cages so they feel far more comfortable.
Don't give up on your chinchilla. Some need a longer time to settle in but in the end it's worth it!
WHY DOES IT TAKE SUCH A LONG TIME TO ADOPT FROM A RESCUE?
When you compare the time it takes someone to walk into a petstore and buying any pet versus going through a rescue's adoption process it may seem like more of a bother. The reason being is that, the pet store is there to make money. They want you to buy the pet and everything they sell for that pet. The quicker the better, for them.
At this rescue and all other rescues, our top priority is the animal itself. We want all our chinchillas to be in a safe and happy home. Sometimes we have received these chins in poor condition. We've worked hard to get them in good health and socialize them. They deserve to get the same care at their new home and we want to make sure of that.
During the adoption process we also will help educate you not only about chinchillas in general but about the chinchilla you are interested in.
In today's society everyone is in such a rush to get things but shouldn't you want to take your time with a pet that will part of your life for up to 20 years?
DOESN'T EVER CHINCHILLA DESERVE A HOME, EVEN THE PET STORE ONES?
If people stopped buying in pet stores and contacted their local officials about stopping the sale of animals in stores it would slow down the number of unwanted pets. There will always be pets in need but shouldn't be do our best to stop a HUGE part of the problem?
Pet stores do not educate people on all of the ins and outs of a certain pet. Most sales people don't know a lot about the variety of pets. Bad information is common in pet stores and soon people have a pet that doesn't work for their lifestyle.
THINK before you buy! There are better options.
AREN'T BREEDERS JUST AS BAD?
There are good breeders and there are backyard breeders. Backyard breeders are there to make money. They want to "create" as much profit in the least amount of time. Some of these people will go through online ads and get all the free chinchillas they can find and then breed them over and over. They are disgusting people and NO ONE should ever support a backyard breeder.
Good breeders, are breeding to ensure there are no health issues in future lines. They want the best and healthiest animals. We do need good breeders to ensure that future chinchillas have less chance of getting malo and other genetic related issues. Good breeders will NEVER breed chinchillas that have any hint of malo in their background. They are breeders to make the species better and healthier. If you don't want a rescue, find a good breeder with a GOOD reputation.
BABY CHINCHILLAS ARE EASIER TO TRAIN TO LIKE BEING HANDLED?
A lot of people don't want a rescue as most are adults because they feel if they get a baby chin they can make the chin be more cuddly. Chinchillas ARE NOT a cuddly pet. They don't like to be overly handled regardless if you have handled them from 8 weeks or 8 years.
They all are very different and have their own personalities. Some chinchillas do like to be held but it has nothing to do with having them from the time there were a baby.
Babies all have to go through puberty and can change their personality. Some get cranky and moody. With an adult chinchilla, you can see their personality.
RESCUES ARE NOT FRIENDLY.
Some chinchillas aren't the friendliest but it's not because they are rescues. While some do need more socialization due to the life they had before they ended up in the rescue, they are all very different.
One pair of chins that I had were the friendliest chins I've ever seen. Both were very affectionate and loved people. Some rescues though, do need more time to adapt to new settings.
WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME BREEDING MY CHINS OR WANTING TO BREED A RESCUE?
Nothing is wrong with breeding IF YOU are doing the proper way. This means breeding QUALITY, PEDIGREED chinchillas. There is a HUGE difference between the chinchilla you pick up at a byb or pet store. Pedigreed chinchillas have their "lines" or family history known. This is really important so you don't pass on genetic issues such as malo, seizures and heart murmurs.
Even though some people think their chinchilla is a beautiful animal, if it's not of breeding quality and you don't know the lines then don't breed it!! There are countless unwanted chinchillas out there and this rescue is proof of that. I have to turn away people just due to the sheer number of chins needing help.
Enjoy just having a pet and don't create chinchillas just because you can.
WHY DO YOU SAY NO VEGGIES OR FRUIT?
No matter what you hear from other sites, vets or other owners the simple thing is that chinchillas should NEVER have fruits (dried, fresh, dehydrated or any other type), veggies, seeds or nuts. If you are giving a pellet or treat with any of those items, its not a good diet for your chinchilla. Chinchillas should not have sugars and by giving them items with sugar you are risking their health. I stress this so much to people. In fact someone adopted a chinchilla and ignored this and woke to a dead chin after giving them fruit. Most likely the chin developed bloat. Why risk your chins life?
ARE CHINS NOISY?
While some chinchillas make very few vocal sounds they are indeed a noisy pet. They can get going around their cage making all sorts of noise from their antics. Some chins bark and others scream. It just depends on the chin but for the most part if you are a light sleeper I wouldn't sleep next to a chinchilla.
MALE OR FEMALE?
There are many opinions on what sex is the better bet and the short answer is neither. Both males and females make great pets. BOTH act chinchilla like so chances are they won't be a super snuggly pet. The main argument for not wanting a female is that they can spray. Females can spray urine with deadly accuracy however, my own personal chins are all girls and none spray. EVER. It all depends on the chinchilla. Some will spray all the time, others only when they are irritated and some when you are bugging them.
For males the biggest issue that is raised is the dreaded hair ring check. It really is not so bad and unless your male is prone to them, they aren't something you are going to have to deal with often. Most times a male will let you know he has a problem and once you have done one a hair ring check it's easy each time after. For anyone not familiar with a hair ring check, it's when hair gets wrapped around the penis and needs to be removed by an owner.
WHAT TO EXPECT DURING A VISIT?
During a visit for either adopting or fostering you will have to come by and meet the chinchillas. This gives us a chance to meet you and go over things in person. As well it gives you a chance to learn more and ask questions! PLEASE remember, we do this out of our private homes. So be on time or at least contact us if you will be late. AND if you are bringing anyone, please make sure it is okay. Again, we do this out of our private homes and letting strangers into our homes is something we do only after we have gotten to know you via email. So while you may be excited and want to show all your friends as well, just make sure it is okay.