Feral Fixers Logo
Practicing and promoting Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) in DuPage County, Illinois

We're 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 #20 - June  2010
In This Issue
Message from the President
Want to Help?
June is for Kittens!
How many cats? 1,814 !!
Dawgs for Cats!
Donate to Feral Fixers
Feral Fixers speaks out against Wheaton's new ordinance
Calendar of Upcoming Events
Shop for Feral Fixers
Visit us on the Web
What is Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)?
About us
Dear Friend,

It's June and everyone knows that "June is for Kittens!"  Well, everyone SHOULD know that June is for Kittens.  We have 'accumulated' a backlog of kittens (about 50) that need to be spayed/neutered and made ready to be adopted.  Spaying/neutering this many kittens is going to be an expensive proposition and so we are turning to our supporters for help by hosting a "ChipIn" to help us raise money for this effort.

Each kitten will cost us about $55.00.  This will get the kitten spayed/neutered, micro-chipped, vaccinated and tested for FiV/FeLV.  The total amount of money we need to raise is $2,750.  If you would like to donate, please visit our website and click on the ChipIn button near the top.  If you can donate $55 to cover a 'whole kitten', that would be wonderful, but any amount would be gratefully accepted.  Thank you!

In our monthly Message from the President column, Tammy writes about all the "Firsts" she has experienced as our organization's president, gives us an update on several friendlies up for adoption and lets everyone know that we are 'on break' for June and why this is so.

We had a great time at the recent "Dawgs for Cats" event and appreciate everyone who came out to see us and to donate to us.  This was a new event for us and was very successful.  I'm sure we'll be doing it again soon!

Planning is also underway for "Wet Your Whiskers II - Cataoke". While this is not our first "Wet Your Whiskers" event, it will be the first one that features 'cataoke'.  We've enlisted the help of an experienced Karaoke DJ, so he should help us through the rough-spots...☺

Details on these events, a calendar of all of our events scheduled so far (this will be our busiest event year ever) and a report on how many cats Feral Fixers has taken care of so far are in this newsletter.

Thank you for all of your continued support!

Feral Fixers
Scroll graphic Message from the President

When we started Feral Fixers and I became president, I had no idea of the scope of responsibilities and experiences that would entail.  Perhaps it is unique to my interpretation of the responsibilities and what I think should be done by the president of a TNR organization, but it is my job nonetheless.

All of my prior experience has come into play - working in office environments helps with data entry, record keeping.  Being a letter carrier has increased my confidence in dealing with people - many in a crisis mode.  Fundraising, coordinating a food drive, all have contributed to making Feral Fixers a success.  Volunteering at a humane society has given me tons of experience in dealing with the day to day needs of the cats, and was the driving force to help reduce the cat population.

On the new list:

Being on-call.  The phone rings all times of the day.  It can be a desperate caretaker, a concerned neighbor, a police department or village representative asking for more information to implement TNR, people asking for referrals for vets or a TNR organization in their own town, out of our area.  Requests for food, for relocation, what are they going to do?

Consoling the bereaved.  You never know how that conversation is going to go.  Some caretakers are devastated to hear that their feral has died.  Others are past the grieving they did at the time the cat went missing and are relieved that it is not suffering somewhere.  Others, of course, are upset if a cat was trapped and euthanized before they had a chance to do something about the situation.

Public speaking.  I never considered that I would have to speak in front of a crowd.  All we were going to do was TNR.  Trap/neuter/return, what could be more simple?  Wouldn't everyone get it?  Why would anyone have to be convinced?  Radio interview?  Oh, my.  

Money management.  We have no mortgage, no credit to pay off, but we do have an unknown number of ferals still out there, so we have to be prepared to handle the unexpected and keep a good balance on hand in our account, just in case.  So, do we get the new t-shirts, caps, etc., to sell?  Do we buy new traps, trap dividers?  Will we get a donation of food or do we need to buy a skid at regular prices?  How much kitten food are we going to have to lay in for the litters we can help?  As we get requests to do cats for people who cannot donate, as long as the checking account does not dip below a number I have in my head, we can do it.  And, to date, everyone's generosity has kept us above that number!

So far, I've been up to the challenges, thank you for the opportunity to grow as a person and to help this cat overpopulation crisis!

On the radio

I recently did a phone interview for the College of DuPage.  I didn't have a chance to hear it air, please give us feedback on it, I'd like to know what others thought.  It was as a result of speaking at the town council meeting in Wheaton, in regards to an increase in fines for feeding feral cats and dogs and wildlife.  I and 5 others spoke during an open forum portion of the meeting.  We were against the increase and asked that the whole ordinance be examined and removed.  Then during the voting portion of the meeting the councilmen did not discuss, simply voted to pass the ordinance.  Three different newspapers carried a report of the meeting, with a similar tone - the ordinance makes no sense.  I am sure that we have not heard the last of this situation, there are too many people concerned about the possible outcome.

Upcoming events

Please look for us in the Memorial Day Parade in Wood Dale on May 31st.  Mary Rosa will be in her versatile Jeep, waving to the crowd!  In a repeat performance, look for her on July 3rd in Bensenville at their 4th of July Parade!

We will be at the Friends Fur-Ever Festival hosted by the DuPage County Animal Care and Control on June 12th.  Stop by, ask questions, purchase some of our boutique items or make a donation!  We always see great people at the DCACC events!

It's not too soon to inform you about our Wet Your Whiskers Cataoke event on July 17th at the Elmhurst Public House in Villa Park.  We will have food, silent auction, and lots of great singing!  Make us perform for a donation!

Read more from our President this month here:
Want to help?

Help WantedInterested 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 info@feralfixers.org.
Mother cat and kittens June is for Kittens!

We have proclaimed "June is for Kittens!" We currently have about 50 kittens that will soon be old enough to spay/neuter. Then they will be going on to shelters and vet offices that will adopt them out into loving homes.

Kittens are expensive; our costs are $55 each for s/n, vaccinations, dewormer, microchips. We are doing a Chip-In Fundraiser, like we did to raise funds for traps last year, to help us cover the costs of kittens that we take out of their colonies so that they can grow up as loving friendlies, in good homes. Most of the kittens are on target to be neutered at the end of June at the PAWS-Chicago Spay/Neuter clinic, and while it is a hefty goal, our goal is to raise $2,750 to cover those costs.

If you can contribute $55 for one "whole" kitten, great! If you can only donate $5, we promise to put it to good use! We TNR'd so many cats in February and March, these are the litters of the cats that we missed, but we are working very hard to capture the kittens and spay the moms so that this does not go on and on. We are making a huge difference and this will bring us that much closer to stopping cat overpopulation and euthanization. Previous years, we have been so strapped for volunteers and time, we couldn't help the kittens as much as we wished. Now, with your help, we CAN.

To donate, please go to our website and click on the "ChipIn" link near the top.

Thank you for all you do for the cats. We'll say it again - WE COULDN'T DO WHAT WE DO WITHOUT YOU!
How many cats? - 1,814 !! Statistics graphic

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 335 cats spayed / neutered.  This is 68 cats more than what we had TNR'd last year at this time.

This brings us to a total of 1,814 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.
Dawgs for Cats!
Dawgs For Cats Logo

On Saturday, May 22nd, Feral Fixers held its first annual Dawgs For Cats fundraiser.

This event was held at the Ultra Foods Store located at 491 E. Roosevelt Rd., in Lombard, IL.

Hot dogs with chips and soft drinks were for sale. All proceeds collected (nearly $150!) will go to benefit Feral Fixers and help us in our ongoing efforts to practice and promote Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) throughout DuPage County.

You can view the photos we took at the event here.

We want to thank everyone who came out to see us and who donated to the cause of TNR and we especially want to thank Ultra Foods for hosting this event - Thank you!
Donate to Feral Fixers

PayPal DonationFeral 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 educational benefits.

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 WYW Logo

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!
Daily Herald Logo Feral Fixers speaks out against Wheaton's new ordinance

The Wheaton city council's recent ban on feeding almost all wildlife within it's city limits has been making the local news lately.

Feral Fixers president Tammy McAuley recently spoke out against the ban at the Wheaton council's meeting, as did several others.  Ultimately it did no good as the ban was passed anyway.

This made the news in last Tuesday's Daily Herald newspaper (front section, page 3).  There is a link to the online edition article here.  The story seems to be balanced and well written.  The reader comments are especially interesting and are well worth a look.

This story is a follow-up to a previous story on the issue that you can find here.

WDCB LogoWDCB radio, the radio station hosted by the College of DuPage, took note of this issue and interviewed Tammy a few days later.  This interview aired on Monday, May 24th, on both their morning and evening news shows and snippets of the interview were played throughout the day.  Unfortunately, the interview was not podcast, so it is not available to listen to now.

Alley Cat Allies LogoThe national Feral Cat action group, Alley Cat Allies (ACA), also sent out an email to its subscriber list discussing feeding bans and linked to Tammy's interview.  If you want to view the ACA statement on Feeding Bans, you can find it here.  And, if you want to sign their online petition against Feeding Bans, you can find that here.
Calendar of Upcoming Events

Calendar graphicJune 12th, 2010 - DuPage Animal Care & Control (DCACC) hosts its first annual "Friends Fur-ever Festival" to benefit DCACC's homeless pets on Saturday, June 12th.  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 on Saturday, July 17th.  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 on Saturday, September 11th, 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 on Sunday, September 26th.  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 Sigg Water Bottle shown to the right, 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 Sigg Water Bottle or visit our website and click on the 'Buy Something' button at the top - Thank you!
WWW GraphicVisit 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 CatTNR 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 by veterinarians.

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