Author Topic: We Got Kicked out of the Costume Contest  (Read 16557 times)

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StillandSilent

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We Got Kicked out of the Costume Contest
« on: October 28, 2013, 08:15:32 PM »
Today was not a good day.  The local humane society hosts a yearly costume contest for dogs.  I spent over a week making Shaman's costume, and it turned out great.  It was within the top five costumes to me.  I signed him up, paid the entry fee and went to hang out and do some of the other activities until it was our turn.

We were about 10 minutes out when a staff member pulled me aside and told me that Shaman would not be able to participate in the contest.  When I asked why, she told me that it was because he was unneutered and it sends the wrong message at a humane society event.

As a side note, Shaman is only 7 months old and fuzzy, so someone would have really had to be checking out his under bits to even notice, which I find a little creepy.

I pointed out that there was nothing in the rules about that, and that I had already paid my entry fee for the costume contest.  According to her, it should have been common sense  ???   It never occured to me, since I'm not really that fixated on his private bits.  No refund on the entry fee either.

I was extremely dissapointed, since I worked so hard on the costume and I know it won't fit him next year.

The money isn't the issue, since I consider it a donation, but this woman was very rude.  I also feel like the rules of the contest should have been clearly stated. 

How should I state that?  Or should I just let it go and just not attend further events?  Or am I totally off base and I should have automatically known that an intact dog would be unwelcome?

For what its worth, Shamans behavior was beyond reproach, and there were many activities, such as canine good citizen testing, that are open to both neutered and intact dogs

cutecupcake

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Re: We Got Kicked out of the Costume Contest
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2013, 08:19:51 PM »
That's crazy! I'm sorry but a.) at 7 months the dog falls JUST within the neutering age and b.) if they wanted to only have neutered dogs compete they should have posted that on the entry form.

You should absolutely get your money back, and I believe you deserve an apology in addition.

jayhawk

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Re: We Got Kicked out of the Costume Contest
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2013, 08:21:11 PM »
I suggest you write a factual letter to the board of directors, express your disappointment, include a picture of your (adorbs) puppy in costume and suggest they make the rules more explicit next year and train their employees and volunteers better.

So sorry. Can you dress him up and have him help you pass out candy?

Knitterly

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Re: We Got Kicked out of the Costume Contest
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2013, 08:22:47 PM »
This is a case where I would definitely be calling the organizer and the person in charge.  I know you are happy to consider the fee a donation, but it should have at least been *offered* back to you.

Rules need to be clearly stated if participants are to have any hope of following them.  That is one rule that really ought to have been explicitly stated.

It SHOULDN'T and CAN'T be expected to be common sense since there were so many other activities open to intact dogs.

The woman was very rude.

Maybe you can write a letter.  I find that writing it out helps me to present the issue neutrally and gives me a chance to remove my own emotions from the equation. 

doodlemor

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Re: We Got Kicked out of the Costume Contest
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2013, 08:28:59 PM »
Suspicious me wonders if your excellent costume was going to win over someone that the worker favored.

Definitely write to the board of directors.  If you don't know the name of the staff member, give a description.  This seems very strange to me.


Goosey

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Re: We Got Kicked out of the Costume Contest
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2013, 08:32:09 PM »
The HS has the right to put up any restrictions they want, but they should have offered to refund your money.

I doubt anyone was creepily searching for doggie balls to stare at or anything. It was probably something they noticed (it's noticeable even with fuzzy dogs). It's probably something they hadn't considered and I can see why they wouldn't want to promote an unfixed animal.

Look into your local pet supply store - they often have contests or pictures.

And definitely write a letter about the woman's attitude.


flickan

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Re: We Got Kicked out of the Costume Contest
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2013, 08:37:42 PM »
That's crazy! I'm sorry but a.) at 7 months the dog falls JUST within the neutering age and b.) if they wanted to only have neutered dogs compete they should have posted that on the entry form.

You should absolutely get your money back, and I believe you deserve an apology in addition.

this basically

gramma dishes

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Re: We Got Kicked out of the Costume Contest
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2013, 08:43:30 PM »
I'd be furious!! 

Oh yes.  Absolutely send a letter and keep a copy for yourself. That's ridiculous!!

If they insisted only on neutered animals participating, then they needed to state that.  I, like Doodlemor, wonder if your superbly costumed pet was in danger of knocking someone's "favored" pet out of the competition.

It is also possible that they only wanted animals who had been adopted from their agency to be participants.  But, like the neutering, if that was the case, they should have made that very clear in their advertising for this event.

But by all means let someone higher up know what happened and how rude the lady was to you.

Halloween isn't quite here yet.   Maybe he could go trick or treating with you, or with someone you know (with kids maybe?) who would love to have a pup go trick-or-treating with them.  Your little guy deserves to get something out of his willingness to wear a cute costume and he should also be rewarded for his exemplary behavior!  So get him out there and let him show off!  Balls and all.   ;)

Dr. F.

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Re: We Got Kicked out of the Costume Contest
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2013, 08:46:06 PM »
That's crazy! I'm sorry but a.) at 7 months the dog falls JUST within the neutering age and b.) if they wanted to only have neutered dogs compete they should have posted that on the entry form.

You should absolutely get your money back, and I believe you deserve an apology in addition.

this basically

I agree completely. I think anyone who considers rules to be "common sense" deserves what they get for that. Sheesh!

Plus, I suggest EHell deserves at least one puppy-in-costume photo.

Nikko-chan

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Re: We Got Kicked out of the Costume Contest
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2013, 09:00:10 PM »
That's crazy! I'm sorry but a.) at 7 months the dog falls JUST within the neutering age and b.) if they wanted to only have neutered dogs compete they should have posted that on the entry form.

You should absolutely get your money back, and I believe you deserve an apology in addition.

this basically

I agree completely. I think anyone who considers rules to be "common sense" deserves what they get for that. Sheesh!

Plus, I suggest EHell deserves at least one puppy-in-costume photo.

Notice Dr. F said at LEAST one. that means there could be more if you so choose :D

sweetonsno

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Re: We Got Kicked out of the Costume Contest
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2013, 09:01:13 PM »
Argh! How annoying. I can imagine this being common sense if this particular humane society's mission is to provide spay/neuter services, or this particular event was a spay/neuter fundraiser, but otherwise? Not exactly intuitive. (Also, was the woman's tone rude? I don't think it's particularly rude of her to explain that you couldn't participate. "It should be common sense" leaves something to be desired, but I'm not in favor of killing the messenger, so to speak.)

I'm with previous posters that you should call/write to the organizers. Because the money isn't an issue for you, I wouldn't mention that part. However, I do think you should explain what happened. Jayhawk has the right ideas. Focus on your expectation (that your pup could participate), the reality (that he couldn't), and your reaction (disappointment). If this is an organization that you typically support/like, then use the "sandwich technique." Start with something good, explain the problem, then end on a positive note. Something like this, maybe:

"Dear Awesome Organization,

I'm a huge supporter of your organization and mission to do good for our furry friends, so I was really excited to take part in your Halloween party. I made a costume for my puppy Shaman, and when I got to the party, we signed up and I paid the entry fee. We were about 10 minutes out when a staff member pulled me aside and told me that Shaman would not be able to participate in the contest.  When I asked why, she told me that it was because he was unneutered and it sends the wrong message at a humane society event. I was very disappointed.

Money isn't the issue, since I support your cause and am happy to donate. However, I feel that the rules of the contest should have been clearly stated in promotional materials and on the entry form. I didn't think the altered-pets-only restriction was intuitive, especially because there were other events opened to intact animals.

Again, I love the work your organization does. However, I hope you take my feedback into consideration for future events. (Include the following only if it's true:) I'd love to participate in more of your activities, but it's important that I know whether or not Shaman will be welcome.

Thank you,
StillandSilent"


I think this gets the point across clearly and shouldn't make them defensive. You explain the problem and make a request.

Also, would you be willing to post a picture of Shaman in his costume? Pretty please with candy corn on top? (If you don't want to post it, would you PM me one?)

magiccat26

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Re: We Got Kicked out of the Costume Contest
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2013, 09:02:31 PM »
I agree that it is not "common sense"...those types of rules need to be stated.  I would write a polite letter, state the facts and let the charity know that they have left a bad taste in your mouth.

My DD shows horses.  Some shows welcome stallions, others state firmly "no stallions allowed" and then there are ones that allow stallions, but only if they are handled by adults and only in special "stallion classes" while us mare owners keep our girls safely in their stalls.  ;)
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esposita

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Re: We Got Kicked out of the Costume Contest
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2013, 09:11:11 PM »
I am just curious, and sorry to go off subject, but why is it such a bad thing for a puppy to be intact? Maybe I've been living in the country for too long, where a dog born to farm-dogs and raised for a few months with a herd is an incredibly valuable asset to anyone with land and some animals.

Oh, and I also vote for pictures!! :-)

Outdoor Girl

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Re: We Got Kicked out of the Costume Contest
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2013, 09:17:13 PM »
I would include Shaman's age in your letter.  I think the fact that he is only 7 months old is relevant in this case because he is just barely in the recommended range for neutering, depending on breed and some breeds, they recommend waiting until they are a year old.

Another vote for a picture.   :)
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Jones

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Re: We Got Kicked out of the Costume Contest
« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2013, 09:21:24 PM »
7 months old is definitely important information if you are writing a letter. Barely old enough for neutering; how was she to know you hadn't scheduled something for next week? I know in my area, vets only do spay and neuters on certain days of the week, and it's not unheard of to wait for an open appointment to come around.

Also, like Esposita mentioned, some bloodlines are valuable. If they want to have "fixed" dogs only to participate, they need to state that up front.