AskMe pet placement June 30, 2010 5:39 PM   Subscribe

Just to engage in a probably-futile disagreement with cortex's decision here. Yes, granted, I understand not wanting to get into the classifieds business. But this isn't trying to use Mefi instead of craigslist

Laos per-capita GDP is slightly better than Haiti - internet use is at 2% of the population. There aren't(that we've found) any "normal" veterinary or pet-placement services. The expat community seems much smaller than in other areas of SE Asia

My point is, pet placement in Laos is about as routine as selling a bicycle on a submarine. That's why we posted on askme. I can understand a general rule against that type of thread, but I think this is a fairly unique situation

e.g. googling for 'laos adopt [cat/kitten]' seems to turn up literally nothing other than my girlfriend's post in a laos expat community forum and, before it was deleted, my post on askme
posted by crayz to Etiquette/Policy at 5:39 PM (78 comments total)

This is actually a pony I'd love to see in MetaFilter: someplace to let MeFis know about available animals that need homes. (And an actual full scale classified ad section would be even more awesome.)
posted by bearwife at 5:43 PM on June 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Given the situation and AskMe guidelines, I think a better use of your question would have been "I am in Laos and found a stray kitten. What adoption or placement resources exist here?"
posted by lalex at 5:44 PM on June 30, 2010 [32 favorites]


For what it's worth, I agree with the deletion. AskMe, and Metafilter for that matter, isn't supposed to fill every need or be all things to all people.

You might be interested in this discussion, which your post kinda reminds me of.

On preview: that sounds like a good idea, lalex.
posted by box at 5:46 PM on June 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah lalex's approach is usually what we tell people who need to do something that is sort of not what AskMe is for. We see this a lot with "Help me find my dad, his name is Branford Winston and he lived in Coconut Creek Florida" with "Help me find resources to figure out how to track down a person who was last seen in Florida sixty years ago"

Basically AskMe isn't for any classified ads. We're not saying "no pet ads" we're saying "no buy/sell/swap posts" generally. The purpose of that part of the site is to answer questions, though I get that people sort of mesh that in with solving problems and sometimes the line is fuzzy. I'm sorry that you guys are having a dilemma here, but it's really outside the range of what AskMe is for, not even teetering on the edge of it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:51 PM on June 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


lalex - I was going to say that in this post, actually, that just someone pointing in the direction of an existing placement/listing service, or any ideas of what to do besides put her back on the street, would be extremely helpful. We did search for pet-placement, and I think the closest one we found was in Cambodia

Maybe I should have made the situation more clear originally
posted by crayz at 5:56 PM on June 30, 2010


Jessamyn and Cortex, I'd be willing to use my AskMe quota for the week to ask the question, "What pet adoption placement/listing resources exist in Laos, for a found stray cat?" Would that be okay, if it's posted without further context?
posted by zarq at 6:02 PM on June 30, 2010


I'm sorry that you guys are having a dilemma here, but it's really outside the range of what AskMe is for, not even teetering on the edge of it.

Didn't see this part. If you'd prefer that I not ask, then no problem. Just let me know.
posted by zarq at 6:03 PM on June 30, 2010


I am fully in favor of AskMe being used to find homes for pets. I'm sad we don't allow this for some "classified ad" reason.

Could you maybe post an 'Adoption for Laos Kitty Meetup' in the IRL site? I'd go, if I were in Laos. Black cats make the absolute best pets ever. Especially ones with green eyes like yours. My spouse, who is NOT a cat person, fell in love with cats largely due to our third cat, after the first two orange kittens were unable to permeate his Dog Person shield.

The third cat is a black cat with green eyes.

Coincidence? I think not.

If that doesn't work for you, I am going to blame Cortex for this orphaned kitteh.

That's right, Cortex.

Had he not stopped updating his Look At This Cat website, you could have posted pics of the kitteh there and someone would have fallen in love with it and adopted the cat and there would be unicorns and rainbows and elves singing and peace reigning throughout the land.

But no, now, purely because of Cortex's laziness, this cat has no home.

I hope you're happy, you cat-orphaner.
posted by misha at 6:09 PM on June 30, 2010 [11 favorites]


Every time an AskMe is deleted, God kills a kitten.
posted by carsonb at 6:12 PM on June 30, 2010 [7 favorites]


Would that be okay, if it's posted without further context?

Well here's my thinking. That's nice of you. But, the "Help me rehome the cat, do you know anyone?" question isn't okay. "What resources exist for rehoming a cat in Laos?" is fine but it really looks like the OP has tried that and come up with nothing. And at some level what we don't want is someone posting "What resources exist for rehoming a cat" and then linking to the "Will you take my cat?" question because the "Will you take my cat?" question is already not okay and it's a little sketch that it's here in MeTa in the first place.

So yeah if you wanted to do that it's your business and we probably wouldn't delete it. That said, I'm not totally sure the "Don't use the site as a classified ad space" idea is getting across. We mean "Don't use it as a classified ad space even if you have a really good reason" and while I'm sure there are ways to rephrase the question so it's legit, that legitimacy gets a little tarnished by the original AskMe and this MeTa being here.

I'm aware that this is a troubling situation and I don't mean to make light of it, but there are many people who think their situations are unique, enough so we have a bunch of guidelines so that we don't have to make judgment calls. So if you think that would actually help solve the problem, and you understand what the existing problem is, I think that would be okay in an "I'm not that psyched about it but it seems like an okay way to proceed" way. Don't link to the original question.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:14 PM on June 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


i'm glad metafilter doesn't engage in answers for profit or classified listings. the ability for abuse is just too high.
posted by nadawi at 6:14 PM on June 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


Had he not stopped updating his Look At This Cat website

And then domain-squatters ate the url up out from under me! The whole thing is basically a tragedy.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:15 PM on June 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm sad we don't allow this for some "classified ad" reason.

As usual I have a hard time telling how much people are kidding, but I have to say that running a free classified ad space has to be one of the most thankless jobs on the internet. Because as soon as you get one vivisectionist or snake dealer who realizes that people give away fluffy bunnies and kitties to just anyone, the place blows up.

That said, I do blame cortex for the absence of Look At This Cat from the world
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:16 PM on June 30, 2010 [7 favorites]


I think this was a great deletion. Using AskMe as a classified ad section is a bad bad idea.
posted by OmieWise at 6:18 PM on June 30, 2010 [8 favorites]


this does seem like a really great way to keep your thread open even though it's been deleted.
posted by nadawi at 6:19 PM on June 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


The whole thing is basically a tragedy.

I think you mean a... catastrophe.
posted by BeerFilter at 6:20 PM on June 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


Best deletion ever.
posted by fixedgear at 6:28 PM on June 30, 2010


And then domain-squatters ate the url up out from under me! The whole thing is basically a tragedy.

Man, I had two photos on that site and was waiting for the third.

someone renewed my anansitech.com domain. I was hoping they would do something cool with it, but I have no idea if they did, or if it's just parked.

cortex, did you forget to renew?
posted by cjorgensen at 6:35 PM on June 30, 2010


I'm hungry now.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:35 PM on June 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Can't you just put a note in the local paper or local grocers offering to pay for neutering/food/vets stuff to anyone willing to take care of it. Maybe the locals aren't particularly cat people but they might be 'hey extra income' people. If you don't have the money, it makes no difference to the kitty's ultimate fate. If you do, consider it sponsoring and try to get photos of it once a year.

Erm. I have no opinion on the deletion, sorry.
posted by shinybaum at 6:40 PM on June 30, 2010


cortex, did you forget to renew?

Yeah, and I didn't get the nice reminder emails that my registrar sends me when its getting close because I'd made some DNS changes a month or two earlier to try and deal with some unrelated issue and it borked the wildcard email forwarding that I'd had set up. It was a cascade of foolishness.

If I ever find a way to reboot the site in a more maintainable fashion I'll just use a different domain.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:40 PM on June 30, 2010


So if you think that would actually help solve the problem...

I hope that my proposed wording is innocuous enough that it avoids sounding like an ad, since the personal stuff is stripped out of it and it's just asking for resources rather than for someone in the area to take in a stray. FWIW, I do understand both why classified-style ads are not appropriate for AskMe, and why re-doing this particular question may not necessarily be a great precedent. But I'd like to help in some way if I can within the AskMe guidelines.

I think that would be okay in an "I'm not that psyched about it but it seems like an okay way to proceed" way.

OK. Thank you!

Don't link to the original question.

Absolutely. I won't. Or this MeTa.

Crayz, I suppose I should also mention that I suspect the post I'm about to make will be more likely to survive if you don't add personal info in the comments. And please don't link to your original post, or this MeTa in the comments either.
posted by zarq at 6:54 PM on June 30, 2010


Done.

Hopefully that's okay.
posted by zarq at 7:01 PM on June 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


The potential for meta IRL grows.

Tread the waters carefully mods.
posted by Max Power at 7:03 PM on June 30, 2010


OK, this is driving me insane. How exactly does one pronounce METAIRL? Or MEFIIRL, for that matter

MET A IRLE?
MET AIR ELL?
META IRE ELL?
ME TAIRE ELL?
META I RELL?

MEFI-EARELL?
ME FEE REL?
posted by zarq at 7:06 PM on June 30, 2010


In my head it's META EYE ARE ELL. "IRE ELL" doesn't have the right emphasis.
posted by lalex at 7:14 PM on June 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


The potential for meta IRL grows.

Tread the waters carefully mods.


I always do, but I also have no idea what you're talking about.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:14 PM on June 30, 2010


It's pronounced "Marlene."
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 7:20 PM on June 30, 2010


So I have this pony that needs a home...
posted by albrecht at 7:23 PM on June 30, 2010


bearwife: “This is actually a pony I'd love to see in MetaFilter: someplace to let MeFis know about available animals that need homes. (And an actual full scale classified ad section would be even more awesome.)”

HUH WEIRD CHOICE I MEAN IF YOU'RE GONNA PICK ONE WHY PICK THAT ONE BUT WHATEVER I GUESS

BUT I MEAN THIS IS A PONY I'D LOVE TO SEE IN METAFILTER

posted by koeselitz at 7:27 PM on June 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


How do I find another Ameri-friend? You gotta know I wanted to post it it Ask :)
posted by Chuckles at 7:28 PM on June 30, 2010


snake dealer who realizes that people give away fluffy bunnies and kitties to just anyone
You want the snakes should starve? Anti-reptite!
posted by Addlepated at 7:32 PM on June 30, 2010


My sister used to hang out in the Craigslist forums a lot. I sort of stayed out of them and she sort of stays out of here. She would talk about the weird crazy fights people would get into. I assumed they were all happening in the politics forums and she was like "No, it's all Pet Forum (petfo) people." I did not believe her then. I believe her now.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:37 PM on June 30, 2010 [6 favorites]


I have no idea how these people lost their cats in Laos, or why.
posted by Frank Grimes at 7:46 PM on June 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Here's the problem with using AskMe for pets. My girlfriend works for the humane society, we foster a lot of animals. The healthy ones aren't hard to place. A lot of the animals we've fostered are the difficult ones. For instance, right now we have Hope, a beautiful Siamese who a month and a half ago couldn't only lift her head. Somehow (well, through a lot of work with her) she's recovered the use of her legs and can get around now albeit not terribly gracefully. Before that there was Princess, a really nice 5 pound chihauhua with a cyst the size of my (quite large) fist that fortunately turned out to be just a cyst and not a tumor. I can continue the line back through probably 30 hard to place animals due to their health, age or temperament.

In other words you could count on a post a week from me on average.
posted by substrate at 8:00 PM on June 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


* HUFF HUFF HUFF *
* PANT PANT PANT *
I came as soon as I could - someone's giving away fluffy bunnies and kitties to just ANYONE?!?
Because we - um - no, wait, I - need sixteen! I brought my own bag!!!
posted by yhbc at 8:02 PM on June 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Laos per-capita GDP is slightly better than Haiti - internet use is at 2% of the population.

I don't mean to sound all negative, because, y'know, cute kittens, but if internet use is only at 2% in Laos, I gently suggest that the likelihood of anyone seeing the Ask who would be in any position to help would be pretty slim.
posted by desuetude at 8:08 PM on June 30, 2010


Tread the waters carefully mods.

I always do ...


Well, I should hope so! Living in the middle of the lake like that.
posted by jgirl at 8:23 PM on June 30, 2010 [11 favorites]


Hey man, I'm just looking for a used car.
posted by qvantamon at 9:33 PM on June 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Forget Laos. This is the real lost cat story here today.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:24 PM on June 30, 2010


Yeah, and I didn't get the nice reminder emails that my registrar sends me when its getting close

You should go with register.com. They just charge my credit card, even when I explicitly unchecked the "Auto-renew" option.
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:30 PM on June 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


And yeah, I rescue cute little baby bunnies that are sold illegally on the street in the L.A. fashion district. There are literally over 100 looking for homes right now.
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:32 PM on June 30, 2010


So I have this pony that needs a home

I... I... I... dig a pony...
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:33 PM on June 30, 2010


So, just theoretically, now... if a non-member wanted to make a feature request for trading virtual horses in, say, World of Warcraft,

...they'd have to pony up to post a pony request for phony pony pwnage?

I'll get my horse.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 10:53 PM on June 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


I rescue cute little baby bunnies that are sold illegally on the street in the L.A. fashion district.

Sold for what? As food, for fur, as pets? By whom? Why is there a market for baby bunnies in the fashion district?
posted by orthogonality at 10:57 PM on June 30, 2010


I don't mean to sound all negative, because, y'know, cute kittens, but if internet use is only at 2% in Laos, I gently suggest that the likelihood of anyone seeing the Ask who would be in any position to help would be pretty slim.

And I would guess that they'd be not super concerned about looking after the poor kitteh.

I do apologise, but this is a very Westerner thing to be doing in the Third World. "Ooh, let's save the poor kitteh!" While there are tribes being hunted like feral dogs in the jungles, and people are struggling to survive, and there are people poor enough they's probably eat a poor kitteh.

Make a difference locally, i.e., where you live. Go home to NYC or wherever and there will be plenty of poor kittehs to save. Let the Laotians worry about the poor kittehs of Laos. You've done your best, leave it in a village when you are on your way out. It will find a home, or go feral, or die.
posted by Meatbomb at 2:01 AM on July 1, 2010 [16 favorites]


Sold for what?

LA Times:
Baby bunnies rescued from Downtown L.A. streets

The bunnies sat in stacked cages on the downtown sidewalk. They nibbled on lettuce as passers-by stopped to pet them. How much? A young woman cheerfully named her price. ($20 is the going rate.) [...]

In the weeks before Easter, the illegal bunny trade is booming in downtown Los Angeles. "It's kind of a perennial problem," said Lt. Paul Vernon of the LAPD, especially around holidays.

In Los Angeles, selling anything on the sidewalk is against the law.

Though the sale of animals may not be on an economic par with the selling of counterfeit designer handbags and bootleg DVDs, what makes it particularly egregious to animal rescuers, the Department of Animal Services and law enforcement officers is that the animals are usually unweaned, malnourished and destined to die once buyers get them home. [...]
posted by pracowity at 3:13 AM on July 1, 2010


I lived in Vientiane, Laos for a year and a half - I was there until late last year. There are a LOT of these stray kittens - many of the expats I knew had adopted ones they had found walking around their house, so while this kitten is indeed cute, it's not necessarily unique. Personally, I had three living under the guard station outside my house.

But if you want to keep trying, try making a flyer and posting it at the Internet cafes around town. There are a few boards near Phimphone market that people use to buy/sell stuff. There's also a board at Sticky Fingers.

Good luck.
posted by bertrandom at 3:16 AM on July 1, 2010


Thank you, drjimmy11, now I will get that song stuck in my head every time I see a pony request.

You can celebrate anything you want...
posted by NoraReed at 3:33 AM on July 1, 2010


Sold for what?

Pets or meat.
posted by fixedgear at 4:32 AM on July 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


I am just looking for a used cat...what is all this?
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:30 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yes, but the real question is whether or not that cat should be declawed.

Sorry.
posted by ob at 6:20 AM on July 1, 2010


Can someone scan the kitten so we can see it too?
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:25 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


This doesn't bode well for my "Can you help a brotha out with $5?" askme.
posted by electroboy at 7:09 AM on July 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


Some very nice answers on that question now. With luck, some will be helpful.
posted by zarq at 7:26 AM on July 1, 2010


Laos per-capita GDP is slightly better than Haiti - internet use is at 2% of the population. There aren't(that we've found) any "normal" veterinary or pet-placement services. The expat community seems much smaller than in other areas of SE Asia

Someone already commented on this, but I can't help feeling that every bit of the justification used to suggest that Askme was appropriate just, to me, makes it more and more unlikely that it would at all be suitable even from an expected success perspective. Nothing in that set of statements and statistic comparisons suggests that anyone appropriate (or perhaps even anyone at all) reading Askme in Laos would be a likely scenario.

I find it bizarre that when there are no real world solutions for your issue, you sort of hoped that there would be some mythical underground internet solution on a tiny (relatively speaking) and very distant in focus site in a land of teeny-tiny internet activity. Truly bizarre. The chances of hitting anything approaching a target audience is ludicrously small.
posted by Brockles at 7:38 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


If I ever find a way to reboot the site in a more maintainable fashion I'll just use a different domain.

checkoutthispussy.com is, surprisingly, available, and would entertainingly lead to the befuddlement of many.
posted by quin at 7:45 AM on July 1, 2010 [3 favorites]




o_O
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:48 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Do we get to ban jessamyn for linking to her father's most worshipful cypress grand lodge of ancient pepsi blue?
posted by electroboy at 8:56 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I used to live in Lao, and for better or for worse, the locals eat anything which moves, regardless of the amount of meat. If it makes you feel any better, they do eat every part of the animal and waste virtually nothing. I've even had a water buffalo soup which had fuckin' teeth in it. In the late nineties, there used to be a stream of hundreds of thousands of bats which would travel between the caves in the mountain range by the Nam Song river every evening at sunset. By 2000, the bats were gone, and we always imagined that the Laotians figured out some way to capture them. I hear they're back these days, but in substantially smaller numbers. The only people I've actually seen eat cat in Lao were Chinese, but bats, rats, cats, etc. are all available in the markets.
posted by gman at 10:01 AM on July 1, 2010


checkoutthispussy.com is, surprisingly, available, and would entertainingly lead to the befuddlement of many

Not anymore, thanks for the heads up!

As for cat, yeah, there's probably a native who would thank you for fattening up the cat a bit, so yeah...um...go you?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:07 AM on July 1, 2010


Do we get to ban jessamyn for linking to her father's most worshipful cypress grand lodge of ancient pepsi blue?

Self-linking in the comments of a post is okay. :D

I know you're kidding, but I thought it would be funny to say.
posted by zarq at 11:22 AM on July 1, 2010


Well, mathowie linked to a video of pb! If that's not self-linking I don't know what is. <-- [not to be taken seriously]
posted by cjorgensen at 2:04 PM on July 1, 2010


Shelf-link.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:45 PM on July 1, 2010


if relationship askmes have taught me anything, it's that askme is meant to be used as the craigslist rant section, not the classifieds.
posted by shmegegge at 2:48 PM on July 1, 2010


I know you're in a tough situation, crayz, but that's part of what "hard cases make bad law" means.
posted by Halloween Jack at 3:50 PM on July 1, 2010


Swelf-Link
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:27 PM on July 1, 2010


Serf-link
posted by jefeweiss at 8:56 PM on July 1, 2010


.

stealth link
posted by MuffinMan at 11:49 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


""Ooh, let's save the poor kitteh!" While there are tribes being hunted like feral dogs in the jungles, and people are struggling to survive, and there are people poor enough they's probably eat a poor kitteh."

This is the same old tired argument that gets trotted out at least once whenever animal rescue is discussed. OMG why aren't you helping hoomans, hoomans are hungry/need homes/need medical care too, and WON'T SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?! If I followed your line of reasoning in the States, I'd never get around to donations/volunteering for charities like the Best Friends Animal Society, because there are so many deserving hoomans that need assistance too.

These people are doing their best to help a small creature, and good for them. They may not achieve their goal of finding someone to adopt the cat, but at least they've given it a second chance. Maybe this will then inspire them to act locally as well, but if not, they've still done a kind thing.
posted by HopperFan at 12:08 AM on July 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


> ! If I followed your line of reasoning in the States, I'd never get around to donations/volunteering for charities like the Best Friends Animal Society, because there are so many deserving hoomans that need assistance too.

What the hell is that all about?
posted by Burhanistan at 4:07 AM on July 2, 2010


Smelt link
posted by electroboy at 5:35 AM on July 2, 2010


Twelfth link
posted by Burhanistan at 5:57 AM on July 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


"What the hell is that all about?"

It's about Meatbomb's comment. Having lived in places where animals aren't treated very well, I do understand that you can't save them all. However, I wouldn't want to associate with anyone that would pass by a kitten that was "laying in a gutter in the sun, barely moving" - even if it was oh-so-very-Western to want to help it. Where I lived, I had lots of tourists ask me how to help animals there - but I probably had an equal number ask me about helping humans, too. It all comes out in the wash.
posted by HopperFan at 8:56 AM on July 2, 2010


I figure people should care about what they care about.

There's way too many things out there to devote your time to them all, so pick one and go to it.

If enough people do this things will get done and nothing will be missed. And in the event something is missed it means...no one cared!

So even if someone finds nearly dead kittens more important than nearly dead people...more power to them. It's not a zero sum game. You can care about both, and chances are if you don't, someone else might (or might at least care about the one you don't).

If you try to care about everything you'll be too paralyzed (and broke) to care about (or do anything) about anything.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:03 AM on July 2, 2010


i'm glad metafilter doesn't engage in answers for profit or classified listings. the ability for abuse is just too high.

Contrarily, I find MetaFilter can be an excellent source for abuse already.

As much as I could ever wish for.
posted by rokusan at 2:02 PM on July 2, 2010


Late to the thread, but you might try the catster.com forums, where you'll find a lot of people passionate about cats. There is a specific forum for rescue issues. Dunno how widely read it is in Laos, but you might find a friend-of-a-friend or something more helpful there.
posted by judith at 6:16 PM on July 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


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