Pet Chin Rescue & Rehoming
Saving Ranch Chinchillas ..Pet
Homes For Ranchies: News, Information, Photos
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ChinCare: Educating Chinparents
MM promotes positive
activism, not AR extremism, see: Correcting
Misconceptions and Defining
|Matilde's Mission is a 501(c)3
non-profit registered charity and the only chinchilla charity in
the U.S that focuses on saving both rescue and ranch
chinchillas. MM is not affiliated with any animal rights
organization. We promote positive
activism in the pet chinchilla community and give aid to
programs initiated by others to help chinchillas in crisis
situations. We also conduct rescue
chinchilla outreach programs of our own, see Achievement
Reports. Positive activism gets lasting results, without
extremist hate and violence.
by Choice we raise awareness of the plight of chinchillas in
the U.S. today: how pelting
is no longer profitable but how some pelting still continues
because interest in peacefully opposing it and saving ranch
chinchillas has been subverted by some pelter club
members who exert influence over the pet community, and how
chinchillas raised for the pet market are often treated as livestock,
not valued pets.
In life, selfish choices are typically easy and unselfish ones
more challenging, like valuing an animal more than it's coat,
show potential or adoption value. We believe that the unselfish
choice, to put the chins' best interests first at all times, is
more rewarding. At Matilde's Mission, we don't indulge petty
politics. We set aside differences in order to work WITH people,
including cooperating ranchers, to save
ranch chinchillas and to see that every chin we work to help,
whether rescue or ranchie, gets a chance at life and happiness
as a cherished pet.
Chinnie cheers to Croatia for their
successful fur protests
and more power to them as they
progress toward becoming a fur-free nation!
BOARD OF DIRECTORS, ABOUT MM
Achievement Reports: 2006,
Board of Directors
Hugo S. -
Eira S. -
Secretary and Treasurer
Scott - Advising DVM, Birmingham
Veterinary Clinic in MI
Mya T. - MM Website and Project Manager
The Board of Directors of MM volunteer their own time,
labor, and resources for the charity's projects. They receive no
compensation and all donations go directly to helping
chinchillas in crisis.
About Matilde's Mission
"The Matilde Mission: Pet Homes For Ranch Chinchillas,
Inc." is a 501(c)3 registered charity that was founded in
November, 2005 as a result of the success of the 2004
Pet Homes For Ranchies (PHFR) Midwest Project which
homed 100 at-risk
ranch chinchillas with the pet community between 10/2004 and
6/2005. The photo at upper right shows Matilde, MM's mascot and
the chief fundraiser for the 2004
Project. Affectionately nicknamed "Matty" by her
doting chinparents, they teamed with the ChinCare webmasters to
form this charity that carries on the good work of helping
chinchillas in her memory. Dear Matty passed away in June, 2006.
Matilde's Mission is now twofold, helping both rescue and ranch (PHFR)
chinchillas in crisis, but MM was initially formed to expedite
the transition in the U.S. from regarding chinchillas as both
pelts and pets to protecting and respecting them as valued pets,
only. Details about our work in conjunction with the present-day
ranching situation are covered in FAQ's.
MM believes in setting aside differences (egos, agendas,
negative typecasting) in the pet chinchilla community to
pursue the greater good: to help chinchillas in a positive
way using only peaceful, legal and educational means.
In July of 2006, MM initiated projects to include benefitting
pet chinchillas in need of rescue, as indicated by our
Achievement Reports. In January, 2007, assisting the public with rescue
related advice and assistance was included in our activities.
"How does MM help ranch chinchillas, are
ranchers taking advantage of the pet community?"
Most people mistakenly believe that the
ranching situation in the U.S. today is the same as it was fifty
years ago. This is not true, but since talk shows and
world leaders didn't come forward to announce the change most
people's thinking is still mired in the past. In the mid 1990's,
high production costs and a market demand for cheaper pelts for
fur trim made pelting unprofitable in the U.S. Ranchers
that didn't subsequently retire switched to selling their
animals live as pets (pet stores, direct sales) or
breeding stock (to other ranchers or pet breeders), see CbC
for references and details.
Ranchers pelt the animals they can't easily sell live, but when
pelting is done it's at a financial loss compared with wholesale
pet prices; young, healthy chinchillas become at-risk
when they are deemed unfit or undesireable for live sale.
Ranching is a business and MM realizes that there must be an
economic incentive for ranches to prefer working with us to
pelting at a loss,
in other words, they're not going to just give their animals
away, that'd be even less economical than pelting.
So, Matilde's Mission raises funds through donations
and acquires at-risk
ranch chinchillas at prices between what they'd get for pelts
and the wholesale pet prices they would get from their live
animal brokers. This does NOT encourage
ranchers to breed more chins, the "at-risk"
lives we save are those that would be killed, regardless, if we
did not intervene.
We help participating ranchers to do business entirely in live
animals, benefitting everyone: ranchers who don't have to pelt
at a loss, the pet community that gets to save chinchillas in
crisis, and the chins who get to LIVE! We screen adopters/
foster workers so that the ranch chinchillas are placed into
responsible pet homes. Everyone wins!
"Aren't ranchies vicious and mean from lack of human
No. At least, not the ones from the ranchers
we work with. These ranchies are shy and sometimes very scared
because they're unsocialized but as put forth by the PHFR Process
Summary, we don't release them to the public until they have
been socialized. Ranchies have an inexperienced
social disposition that makes it easier for them to get along
with other chins when they're right off the ranch. This
article was written for people getting chins directly from
ranches, not from a PHFR project, and it addresses expectations.
"If you can't 'save them
all,' then why bother?"
Suppose you were one of the ranchies being welcomed into a
pet home rather than facing a cruel death
at the prime of youth, would you question the value of our
Mission then? Working towards a
future where chinchillas are protected and respected as valued
pets, only, is absolutely worthwhile, because every single
life saved matters.
Large chinchilla ranches in the U.S. are gradually phasing out
due to production costs and market demands that make pelting unprofitable.
Matilde's Mission PHFR projects provide an immediate, direct way
of addressing the problem of unnecessary killing of at-risk
chinchillas in the U.S. We CAN phase out pelting sooner rather
than later and end the senseless killing now. We may not
be able to save them all, but we will save the ones we can.
Britain has made the break already, pelting is
illegal there and the pet chinchilla community in that
country thrives because they kept the good (information,
resources, etc.) and left the bad (pelting) behind.
We CAN make a vital and significant difference, today, here in
the U.S. to put an end to the unnecessary killing of the animals
that have rightfully earned a place in our hearts as valued and
happens to the chinchillas that are purchased with donation
"Is PETA behind or
involved with MM projects?"
NO. "The Matilde Mission: Pet Homes for Ranch
Chinchillas, Inc." is a federally registered charity in its
own right and has no affiliations whatsoever with ANY animal
rights organization. Gain a better understanding of the big
picture and what's really going on between PETA and big business
by reading this
article: neither side is above reproach, neither is
necessarily, "all wrong/ bad."
But PETA has registered a very sour note
with those of us who are actually DOING
something to help ranch chinchillas. Their 2004
investigation of a chinchilla pelting ranch (ref)
presented them with a golden opportunity to buy out and
"shut down" the ranch and save ALL the animals there,
which numbered more than five hundred. In fact, the PETA
investigators went to the ranch under the pretext of having an
interest in buying out the entire herd and the ranchers were
interested in selling it so they could retire from breeding/
pelting altogether. We know both sides of the story from direct
correspondence with both parties.
The chinchilla killings in the video that the investigators made
are NOT candid footage from some "pelting day." The
PETA investigators REQUESTED those killings specifically so that
they could film them. They told the ranchers they were
interested in buying the herd to use for selling chinchillas as
both pets and pelts and they wanted a demonstration of how to
kill and pelt. Yes, the suffering chinchillas in that video were
sentenced by PETA to gruesome deaths just so they could
film their sick publicity stunt, which continues to rake in
donations to this day from people who don't know the whole
story, people who want to believe that PETA is actually doing
something to help ranch chinchillas. But the sordid truth is,
after making their film PETA turned their back on and DID
NOTHING for the rest, the hundreds of chinchillas languishing on
that fur farm. They put their nose in the air and simply WALKED
AWAY, knowing full well they were dooming the rest of those
chinchillas by abandoning them.
Three years later, in 2007, they claimed a "victory"
when they got a judge to order that particular rancher to
euthanize with vet advisement rather than electrocution or
neck-breaking. He could continue to breed and pelt, of course.
What a JOKE when PETA could have put that fur farm out of
business years before, preventing the hundreds born since.
Clearly, getting a "victory" over the rancher was far
more important to PETA than saving chinchilla lives, the proof
is in their actions and the choices they made.
PETA's conduct is an example of extremism,
where the focus is primarily on attacking people for
self-righteous gratification (making an example of the
rancher, killing chinchillas for publicity) rather than
putting the animals first and doing what it takes (buying out
and closing down the fur farm) to save them. By contrast, positive
activists will ALWAYS put the animals first: their lives are the
When the ChinCare
webmasters were working on the 2004
Project that saved 100 ranch chinchillas from pelting, we
wrote PETA out of curiosity just to see if they would donate to
support our efforts, and they flatly REFUSED! Their specific
reply was: "If they cared about their chins at all, they
would just let you take any animals that they planned to kill.
You would be doing them a favor! As it is now, it appears that
you are just giving them more money to breed more chins, and
perpetuating this awful business. We want to help shut these
ranches down, not pay them to breed more animals."
What a whopping hypocritical lie considering what they did on
their fur farm investigation, when the opportunity to put a fur
farm out of business was within easy grasp and they refused to
take it. PETA's response to our inquiry also revealed their
ignorance about the present day chinchilla fur industry, because
pelting in the U.S. has
not been profitable since the mid 1990's and ranchers breed
for pets (pet stores, direct sales) or breeding stock
(to other ranchers or pet breeders) and only
pelt to eliminate those they cannot
sell live. The MM perspective is, we WILL work with
ranchers to save at-risk
(of being pelted) chinchillas, chinchilla lives must come
first and we will do what it takes to save as many from pelting
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