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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 #22 - August  2010
In This Issue
Message from the President
Want to Help?
How many cats? 1,946 !!
Donate to Feral Fixers
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 the middle of summer and Feral Fixers (and DuPage County) is experiencing a "Kitten Storm".

We've created a new phrase, a "Kitten Storm", to describe the situation we are in - we are literally in a whirlwind of kittens (and friendly adults) with nowhere for them to go.
We cannot take on anymore.  Friendlies and kittens are going to have to grow up outside and be neutered when they are old enough.
If you can help in any way with the cats we have on hand, please do so.  We are literally frozen in place with nowhere for the cats and kittens to go, which limits our ability to do TNR and prevent more cats.
Everyone is in the same boat, we just wanted everyone to be aware that we could no longer pull kittens and friendlies.

In our monthly Message from the President column, Tammy writes more about the kitten situation and the need for Foster Homes.  If you can help out fostering kittens (and this is not a job for the faint-hearted), please let us know.

The results of our Wet Your Whiskers - Cataoke fundraiser, a calendar of all of the remaining events scheduled this year 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 Message from the President

All the calls we get are about kittens...

Well, yeah.  It's what cats do in April and May that affect conditions in July and August.  We have neutered, have on hand, know about, over 100 kittens since "kitten season" began.  These are kittens that would have gone on to make more, died out in the wild, or been euthanized due to lack of adoptive homes, so we are doing a fantastic job with your help!  This is the most extreme foray into fostering and taming that we have done to date, but there are always more kittens out there and will be for some time until we can make sure we neuter before the kittens arrive.  Usually there are more adults than kittens but at this time of year, the few are becoming the majority and part of TNR is pulling friendlies out of the colony.

We average 3 new calls each day.  Almost all with kittens and the colony can be just one cat or as many as 30.  How do we keep ahead of that?  When we ask for people to foster, transport and trap we are expressing a very real need.  I hope that we have not asked too often already, or is there another way of asking?  Our caretakers have really stepped up to the plate and many have fostered their own kittens and adults and then gone on to foster others when they found how fulfilling it is.  To do a good job, a foster should not take on more than 6 kittens maximum and there are some colonies where we have found 3 times that many at once, so the caretaker could not support the whole kitten load.

We've had school employees fostering for us - they will soon have to go back to work.  We've had people who are unemployed fostering for us - we hope they will be able to go back to work soon!  They've all done a fantastic job, fostering is the hardest part of Rescue.  It takes a lot of time and patience, it takes seeing the big picture and knowing that they have to let these kittens go, so that the next litter can be taken from the outside and put on the path to their forever homes.  It takes listening and paying attention and relaxing and knowing that all in all, kittens are durable.  Fostering is feeding, socializing - kitten boot camp if you will, getting them ready to go into a cage at a PetsMart, Petco, vet's office or shelter for adoption.

We have several adults and probably 30+ kittens right now that we could pull from the outside. But there is no where to go.  If you know someone who can foster we would love the opportunity to talk to them.  It is only with your help that we can make a difference!
Worse before it gets better

People who have studied TNR'd colonies have found that females left intact increase the size and frequency of their litters in order to maintain and increase the size of the colony when TNR has been incomplete or cats have been removed for relocation or euthanization.  They fight very hard to maintain their numbers.  In stark contrast, when an entire colony has been TNR'd, some cats may leave their current location on their own, finding another yard more attractive now that they don't have the same concerns as before neutering, but usually more do not move in to bring the numbers back up to pre-TNR levels.

Read more from our President this month here.
Wet Your Whiskers II - Cataoke WYW Logo

On July 17th, Feral Fixers held its second annual "Wet Your Whiskers" get-together and fundraiser. This event was held at the Elmhurst Public House, located at 683 W St. Charles Rd in Elmhurst.

Thank you to everyone who helped make the Wet Your Whiskers - Cataoke fundraiser such a rousing success!

Thank you to everyone who bought tickets and attended the event!

Thank you to everyone who donated items to our Fill The Van!

Thank you to all the Feral Fixers Directors and Officers who worked so hard to plan this event and make it a success!

And finally, a special Thank You to the Elmhurst Public House who donated the room and who provided some very delicious appetizers!

And, who needs a karaoke DJ anyway - the guy we had hired didn't show up, but we had a great time anyway - thanks to everyone for dealing with the awkward situation with such good humor!

(Click on our Photo Gallery link to see pictures from this event and others that we have been a part of.)

Help Wanted signWant 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 info@feralfixers.org.
How many cats? - 1,946 !! 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 467 cats spayed / neutered.

This brings us to a total of 1,946 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

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!
Calendar of Upcoming Events

Calendar graphicSeptember 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 Beach Tote shown to the right (perfect for summer!), 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 Beach Tote 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