|Practicing and promoting Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) in DuPage County, Illinois
a 501c3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting and
practicing Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) in DuPage County, Illinois. We
believe that TNR is the only effective, humane and long-term solution
to the problem of cat overpopulation.
|The Feral Fixers e-Newsletter - Issue #18 - April 2010|
It's April and Spring is here. The trees are leafing out, the flowers are blooming and the ferals are breeding - at least the ones that haven't been TNR'd (Trap-Neuter-Return) yet. We're working on reducing this number as quickly as possible. It bears repeating - the number of Feral Cats brought into DuPage County Animal Care & Control last year dropped a full 35% from the year before - we ARE making a difference!
In our monthly Message from the President column, Tammy writes about how "Kittens Happen" and what to do about them. She also tells us about a new "Rescue Stamps" program, our successful "March Madness" activities and, among other things, why you should 'watch out for critters'.
We have two new events coming up that you can read about in this newsletter; "Dawgs for Cats" and "Wet Your Whiskers II - Catakoke". Both of these should be a lot of fun and we hope to see you there!
Thank you for all of your continued support!
|Message from the President|
One of the reasons we work so hard in the months of February and March is so that kittens will not show up in April.
This morning, as I entered the garage to send the cats off for their spay/neuter, I heard frantic peeping. It sounded like it was coming from the floor - even tho I knew that a kitten that had just been born could not get out of a trap - panic! But, no, there were the three little kittens with their mom, Sugar, safe in the trap. Some of these mom cats hide their condition well, we had no idea she was this close to delivery. Caretaker is going out of town on vacation, someone will need to foster the bunch.
One litter of kittens can seem to wipe out all of your hard work in a colony. A litter can be from one to eight kittens and if they all survive...you do the math.
So far we've heard of only a few litters being born so far this year, which is not bad compared to other years when we got a call almost every day that mentioned tiny babies - in February.
There are several ways to cope with kittens.
- Let them grow up to neutering age in the colony.
- Nab them at 4 weeks for the caretaker to foster them for adoption - giving the caretaker instruction on how to do this and how to find homes for them - Craigs List is usually the best option.
- Trap the mom, grab the kittens and keep them all together until the kittens are old enough to eat on their own = 4 wks. The benefit is that the mom does the difficult feeding and cleaning part of the job.
- Bottle feed the kittens without the mom being available. This is the most exhausting and emotionally draining option. Remember, a mere 25% of kittens may survive and they require a minimum of 3 feedings a day. Without the mom's antibodies they are more prone to illness and formula is not cheap! And there is nothing like the stink of kittens - just what is IN that formula?! Most shelters do not have the bodies available to foster kittens, it takes a very special person to produce healthy, well-adjusted cats.
We found out early on that it is impossible to do both TNR and care for kittens, so we count on the caretakers and volunteers who would prefer fostering cats than anything else. If that describes you, please raise your hand, but be aware that you are in for the duration - until they are big enough to neuter and even after, they are your responsibility - we will help with neuter and vaccinations, but we do not do adoptions, and usually during "kitten season" it is very difficult to get cats into shelters. If we arrange their neuter, they have a Feral Fixers microchip implanted, so we need to know where they end up, so that we can return them to their home should they get lost.
I've spoken to DuPage County and they are using less than half of their kitten fosters - the numbers of kittens are way down and they are not ending up at County. Vets that normally have kittens in their lobby for adoption - have none.
So, yes, kittens do happen, but with your help they are happening with much less frequency and we are on our way to making every cat WANTED!
Read more from our President here...
|Want to help?|
Interested in helping Feral Fixers? We are looking for a 'few good volunteers'! Specifically, we're looking for someone to help us transport cats to and from PAWS (the Spay/Neuter clinic we use) in Chicago.
We need transport both in the morning and the afternoon. If you're interested in helping, call us at (630) 881-FXRS (3977) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Dawgs for Cats!|
On Saturday, May 22nd, from 11:00am to 3:00pm, Feral Fixers will hold its first annual Dawgs For Cats fundraiser.
This event will be held at the Ultra Foods Store located at 491 E. Roosevelt Rd., in Lombard, IL.
Hot dogs with fixins and soft drinks will be for sale. All proceeds will go to benefit Feral Fixers and help us in our ongoing efforts to practice and promote Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) throughout DuPage County. Depending on the weather, the event will be held outside the store, at the front, or inside the store itself.
We want to thank Ultra Foods for hosting this event - Thank you!
Come out and see us and help support TNR!
|How many cats? - 1,656 !!
Feral Fixers was founded in September of 2007. In that abbreviated first year, Feral Fixers had 86 cats spayed / neutered. In 2008, Feral Fixers had 525 cats spayed / neutered and in 2009, Feral Fixers had 868 cats spayed / neutered. So far in 2010, Feral Fixers has had 177 cats spayed / neutered, including 118 just this past month (March Madness indeed!).
This brings us to a total of 1,656 cats. Clicking on the calculator to the right will send you to the Feral Fixers 'Statistics' page where you can see our progress, month-by-month, since we've started work.
|Donate to Feral Fixers
Feral Fixers offers its TNR services to all colony caretakers, without charge.
While we ask for donations from colony caretakers, we recognize that
for some of them, any additional cost is just too much.
Therefore we rely on donations from other individuals to make up the
difference and allow us to continue our work. These donations
allow us to spay/neuter additional cats, keep a 'bank' of traps and
trap dividers we loan out for free, hold workshops and provide other
You can help us continue our work by
clicking on the Donate button, above. This will take you to
the PayPal website where you can donate to Feral Fixers via PayPal
or credit card. Feral Fixers is a registered 501c3 charitable
organization and all donations are deductible to the fullest amount
allowed by law.
We greatly appreciate any amount you can afford to give - Thank You!
|Wet Your Whiskers II - Cataoke
Mark Your Calendars!
On July 17th, Feral Fixers will host its second annual "Wet Your Whiskers" get-together and fundraiser. We will be holding this event at the Elmhurst Public House, located at 683 W St. Charles Rd in Elmhurst, IL from 7:00pm to 10:00pm.
This event was a lot of fun last year and this year, it promises to be even more fun! We are having a karaoke theme this year, but since it's a cat-friendly event, we've named it 'cataoke'.
More details about this event will be coming soon, but in the meantime, save the date - July 17th!
|Calendar of Upcoming Events|
May 22nd, 2010
- Feral Fixers hosts its first Dawgs for Cats
fundraiser. This event will be held from 11:00am to 3:00pm at the Ultra Foods Store located at 491 E. Roosevelt Rd. in Lombard. Details of this event are shown, above, in this e-Newsletter.
June 12th, 2010
- DuPage Animal Care & Control (DCACC) hosts its first annual "Friends Fur-ever Festival
" to benefit DCACC's homeless pets. This is a combination of two events they've held in previous years: the Multi-Shelter Pet Expo and the Dog Wash & Walk. The event will be held from 11:00am to 3:00pm at the DCACC Shelter located at 120 N County Farm Road in Wheaton. Of course Feral Fixers will be hosting a booth at this event. Come out and see us!July 17th, 2010
- Wet Your Whiskers II - Cataoke. Feral Fixers will host its second annual Wet Your Whiskers get together and fundraiser. This event will be held from 7:00pm to 10:00pm at the Elmhurst Public House located at 683 W St. Charles Rd. in Elmhurst. Details of this event are shown, above, in this e-Newsletter.
September 11th, 2010
- Pet Lovers Showcase in Wood Dale. This event will be held from 10:00am to 2:00pm. Feral Fixers will again be hosting a booth at this event. Our relationship with the city of Wood Dale continues to grow and we anticipate spaying/neutering many, many cats in this community this year. Come out to this event and say hello!September 26th, 2010
- The West Suburban Humane Society
hosts its annual Barkapalooza celebration in Downers Grove, IL. This will be the fourth year in a row that Feral Fixers has hosted a booth at this function. Though it is billed as 'dog-friendly' event, attendees are always very interested in what we're doing with Feral Cats. We hope to see you there!
|Shop for Feral Fixers|
Want to purchase something purr-fect for your cat-lover friends and help out Feral Fixers at the same time? Just visit our Café Press store and Buy Something
! In addition to the License Plate Frame shown to the right (which is perfect for your Pet-Friendly License Plate!), we have T-shirts, sweatshirts, aprons, hoodies, gym bags, messenger bags, coffee mugs, tote-bags, pet food bowls, etc. A portion of each sale goes to help us in our TNR efforts.
To visit the store, just click on the Gym Bag or visit our website
and click on the 'Buy Something
' button at the top - Thank you!
|Visit us on the Web|
Visit our website at www.feralfixers.org
. There you can donate to us (via PayPal or credit card), visit our store, read the latest news, and learn more about feral cats.
If this newsletter has been forwarded to you, you can also sign up to be on our mailing list so you don't miss a thing!
|What is Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)?
TNR is a full management plan in
which stray and feral cats already living outdoors in cities, towns, and
rural areas are humanely trapped, evaluated, vaccinated, and sterilized
When space is available, adoptable cats and kittens are transferred to
sheltering organizations to be adopted into good homes. Healthy adult
cats unsocialized to humans are returned to their familiar habitat under
the lifelong care of their original caretakers.
|Feral Fixers, NFP, is a certified 501c3 corporation - EIN Number 13-4364615