Maine Chinchilla Shelter
Maine Chinchilla Shelter serves all of New England with a chinchilla specific facility. Surrendering owners simply submit an online surrender form and bring them to my location, or sometimes I will pick them up with their equipment. MCS surrender fees are $20 each, or free if cages and supplies are donated. Sales from remodeled cages support the shelter, food and toys are often composted or donated to other shelters, but dust, hay, and shavings are always consumed.
Because becoming a 501c3 requires board members, MCS is simply a state licensed shelter facility. Licensing is $100 annually, distinguishes MCS from hoarders and pet flippers, and legitimizes MCS as a trusted facility. The Animal Control Officers and other Maine animal shelters call MCS to transfer their chinchillas, because I have made myself known to them through licensing, personal contact, and pet store and TV appearances. I attend Animal Welfare Committee meetings a couple times a year to maintain contact and hear the latest issues facing shelters and wildlife.
Most surrendered chins were purchased at pet stores in Maine and Massachusetts, although I’ve had a few from byb’s and legitimate breeders. SydChilla’s adoption contract states clearly that all chins return to me if adopters cannot keep them, this is to minimize incidents of chins being bred, sent to shelters, or sold to uneducated homes. Shelter adoptions in Maine require an adoption application, and an adoption contract with wording prohibiting breeding the adopted animals. Maine requires shelters to report their numbers annually, and maintain paper records of adoptions and surrenders.
Unfortunately I euthanize several chins each year who arrive with malocclusion, or are inappropriate as pets due to health issues, aggressive or extremely fearful behaviors. I keep questionable chins for over a month for observation and quarantine before I decide if they can be pets. I’ve spent way too much on vet fees attempting to resolve everything from broken limbs to birth defects, luckily now I can gauge when a chin can be patched up to be a good pet, or when to end it’s suffering. Adopters love before & after photos and success stories, so I will always vet a chin with injuries, they will get adopted first!
Often I will pair a same sex shelter chin with a kit and sell them as a bonded pair. The customers feel good about adopting a shelter chin, but also have a purebred for it’s companion. MCS chins are priced about 50% lower than my own chins, so of course customers also enjoy the discount. Pairs of shelter chins are always attractive to budget minded customers, but very often they will surprise me and purchase mutations or the best behaved chins instead.
Surrender appointments are not for the faint of heart or short tempered. Can you restrain yourself from violence when meeting meth head surrendering their suffering malo chin? How about when an owner brings you a bleeding, ferret ravaged chin for vet care? Heartbreaking situations and crying chin parents are commonplace at surrender appointments. Because I’m a sucker, now I offer boarding to folks who need temporary solutions. I charge $5 weekly per chin, or $20 for a vacation stay, and these chins stay in quarantine areas away from my herd, just like the shelter chins.
Maine Chinchilla Shelter is registered in the State of Maine, is owned by Marianne Sansouci and is located in Augusta, Maine.
Approximately 30 animals come in each year. To help the Maine Chinchilla Shelter check their list of needs below.
Maine Chinchichilla Shelter Wish List
Handyman to help with barn