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 #23 - September  2010
In This Issue
Message from the President
Celebrate 2,000!
Want to Help?
ASAP Rocks!
How many cats? 2,088 !!
Donate to Feral Fixers
Calendar of Upcoming Events
Other ways to help
Rabies Hold Kitty
Shop for Feral Fixers
Visit us on the Web
What is Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)?
About us
Dear Friend,

2,000 cats!


That's a lot of cats, by anyone's standards.  Feral Fixers has now TNR'd more than 2,000 cats in less than three years - an accomplishment that we're very proud of and one that Feral Fixers President Tammy talks about in her "Message from the President" report.

This newsletter contains information about our "Celebrate 2,000!" fundraiser and how you can help Feral Fixers just by shopping at your local Jewel-Osco or Gordon Food Services store.

You can also read about "Ray", a Tom Cat that finally ran into something tougher than him, a "Rabies Hold Kitty" that we were finally able to return to his colony caretaker, the latest food donation we've received from ASAP and much, much more...

Thank you for all of your continued support!

Feral Fixers
Scroll graphicMessage from the President
As I write this, we have blown past our 2,000th cat! It seemed like time was dragging as we neutered and neutered and then bam! we were at 2,070 in the next week! When we started Feral Fixers we had no idea just how many cats were out there, we are still surprised at the volume of calls we receive. Just think, if half the cats were females and each female had one litter of four... Yea! 
We can never say enough good things about our volunteers
Other Rescue volunteers know how much goes into this work; the pressure, the emotions, the lack of sleep, but its hard for the general public to grasp that anyone would work that hard "just for animals." Through our volunteers' efforts the general public is becoming much more educated, the volunteers are really good at getting the message out. In order to be effective, an entire neighborhood may need to be educated and once informed, they go on to educate others.
Personal story - I was walking thru Osco one day, wearing a Feral Fixers shirt, two ladies were sitting by the pharmacy, waiting for their prescriptions. One sees me and says loudly, "Feral Fixers! Okay!" then turns to her companion and explains in detail just what we do - we help trap the cats, get them neutered with all their shots and bring them home to live. And I didn't have to say a word, I just smiled. That was so cool!
We care for these cats as if they were our own
We trapped a feral recently that illustrates that sooner is better than later. The caretaker was having a really hard time with the idea of seeing the cat that she cares for every day in a trap. He appeared to have repeated upper respiratory infections, she was able to mix antibiotics in his food and he would be better for a little while and then the symptoms would be back. This went on for months. I asked one of our volunteers to take on this project and she was persistent and finally trapped the cat. We put him on antibiotics, hoping that a consistent high dosage would do the trick, but after 6 days, he was no better.
Read more from our President this month here
Chip In Button Celebrate 2,000!

Help us celebrate our 2,000th cat!

An anonymous donor has pledged $1,000 to Feral Fixers to use in a matching fund drive to raise a total of $2,000 or more!

The donor's wish is to reward the volunteers of Feral Fixers for accomplishing such an incredible milestone of neutering 2,000 cats in just under three years! We could not have achieved this without the hard work of our wonderful volunteers! These funds will get us well on the way to reaching our goal of reducing cat overpopulation and euthanasia in DuPage County!

To donate, just click on the ChipIn! button, above (or on our website). There, you will be able to donate to our ChipIn via PayPal (you can use your PayPal account or a Credit Card to donate).

Our Fundraiser will end on October 16th - National Feral Cat Day.
Thank you for helping us reach our goal!
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.
ASAP Donation ASAP Rocks!

Once again, ASAP (Animal Services & Assistance Program) has donated food to Feral Fixers.

Cindy Gaffney and her wonderful organization (out of Kishwaukee, IL) have been able to procure several pallets of dog and cat food and then donated them to various animal welfare organizations.

Feral Fixers has been the recipient of donated food from ASAP on many occasions - this time around, Feral Fixers was able to receive two full pallets of cat food from ASAP.  Feral Fixers president Tammy and super-volunteer Mary drove out to Harvard, IL to pick up this donation.

Most of this cat food will be distributed to various feral colony caretakers and will be, we're sure, gratefully received.

Thanks ASAP!
How many cats? - 2,088 !! 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 609 cats spayed / neutered.

This brings us to a total of 2,088 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.
Ray Ray

One of the cats that Feral Fixers had TNR'd this past month was a big old Tom named Ray.  We are informed by super-volunteers Julie and Connie that he was the 'boss cat' in his area but he finally ran into something he couldn't handle. His left rear paw was bleeding and he was limping and Feral Fixers, once again, asked the PAWS vets to do us a favor and take a look at it (and, maybe, see if there was anything they could do with it).

The injury turned out to be a severe bite-wound (confirming our President Tammy's suspicion) and the PAWS vets determined that an amputation was the only option. They took off as little of the paw as they could, cleaned and stitched it up, and gave him a shot of Convenia (a long-lasting antibiotic). They also attempted to fit him with an E-collar (an Elizabethan collar - one of those plastic cone thingys that go around an animals neck after surgery and is intended to prevent them from licking or picking at their wound). However, Ray was having none of it. The PAWS vets thought that he would still have a chance if he would just let the wound heal - but if he bit out the stitches, it was certain to get infected - and then he'd be in trouble again.

RaySo, right now, Tammy is keeping him inside and we're all hoping that he'll cooperate in his own recovery.

He's a really mellow cat (especially so for a feral), letting us pet him while he was in the trap. We're told that the colony caretakers were thinking of bringing him inside anyway, so hopefully, it's all going to work out in the end.

So we owe another HUGE THANKS to the people and especially the Vets at PAWS - they really are heroes - THANK YOU PAWS!

And THANK YOU Tammy for holding onto this cat to give him a chance.

The picture thumbnails (click on either of them to see a full-size version of the photo) are of Ray of course - in the first one, you can see this cat has been through some battles - his right ear is almost entirely gone. The second picture is the best close-up we could get of his amputated paw.
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 18th, 2010 - friends fur-Ever Festival - Take Two  at the field in front of the DuPage County Animal Care and Control building in Wheaton. This event will be held from 11:00am to 3:00pm (the Dog Walk starts at 10:30am). The original friends fur-Ever Festival was cancelled due to VERY bad weather and this is the rescheduling of that event. Feral Fixers will again be hosting a booth at this event. Lots and lots of activities are scheduled and it promises to be a great event - let's hope the weather cooperates this time. Come out to this event and visit us!

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!

October 19th, 2010 - Sweet Tomatoes Fun-raiser!  We have booked an event at the Sweet Tomatoes restaurant located at 2820 Highland Avenue in Lombard (630-932-5009).  If you come for a meal between 5:00pm and 8:00pm on October 19th, please give a copy of this flyer to the person collecting your money.  Sweet Tomatoes will donate 15% of all proceeds collected from people bringing that flyer to Feral Fixers!  So, come out and join us for a great dinner and help Feral Fixers!
Jewel-Osco LogoOther ways to help Feral Fixers

Jewel-Osco stores are now giving away "Reward Stickers" to shoppers who use the Jewel-Osco 'Preferred Card' during their purchase.  Shoppers receive one sticker for each $10 spent on eligible purchase (more details about this program can be found here).  These "Reward Stickers" can be redeemed for Thomas Professional Cookware.  If shoppers would mail these coupons to Feral Fixers (PO Box 1416, Lombard, IL.  60148) instead, we would use them to purchase this Cookware and then make these items as part of the baskets we sell at Silent Auctions.  This is a great way for you to help us without costing you a dime!  These stickers must be redeemed by January 26, 2011.

GFS LogoYou can also help us by simply shopping at Gordon Food Services (GFS) and mentioning our name during checkout.  If you shop at GFS, when they ask if your purchase is for a business or charity, all you have to do is say Feral Fixers - you don't need a card or anything and a percentage of your purchase goes to FF at the end of the year.  Feral Fixers is on file, they just type it in and that is all you have to do.  Pass the info on to anyone you know who shops there, anyone can help us raise funds in this way with no added expense!
GFS has some great and convenient products - and with the end-of-summer grillin' events coming up - check out what they have to offer!
It's like a warehouse club without the membership fee and they have similar large packaging and prices.  And if you don't see something in the store, look online and you can order it for pickup at the store, and Feral Fixers still benefits!

Thank you Gordon Food Services!
Rabies Hold Kitty...

Several days ago, we brought in "Mont Spotty", a feral, along with several other ferals to the PAWS-Chicago Spay/Neuter clinic  to be TNR'd. "Mont Spotty" was from a group of five out of Oak Brook. Everything went fine during the check-in and surgery, but when Spotty woke up from the anaesthesia, the Vet Tech was removing the breathing tube from him. We're not sure what happened, but the Vet Tech got a bloody finger out of it; either Spotty bit her as a reflex reaction or she caught her finger on a tooth - we just don't know.

No matter how it happened, though, it's considered a 'bite wound' and poor Spotty had to stay at PAWS on a "Rabies Hold". No one was worried that Spotty actually had rabies (the last confirmed case of a person getting rabies from a cat was literally decades ago), but rules are rules - Spotty had to stay in a large cage at PAWS until the 10 day quarantine period was up.

When the 10 days were up, we drove down to PAWS to pick Spotty up and to take him back home to his caretaker. We had to wait several minutes for a vet to get free so that they could do a final exam on Spotty - of course he passed with flying colors and the vet signed off on him.

Now the only problem was to transfer him from the big cage where he had been staying into a small trap so that we could drive him home. How do you convince a cat to go into a smaller space? Sue Robinson, the PAWS person who released the cat to us, had the answer. She put the open end of the trap into the cage and draped a towel over the other end of the cage. Spotty needed no encouragement - he went right into it. We put in a trap divider to hold him into the back of the cage, put the front door of the trap on, locked it, and were good to go - piece of cake.

We drove him back to his caretakers in Oak Brook - she had me bring the trap out to her back yard. The cage door was opened and, after a few seconds, Spotty ran from the cage and headed towards the nearest bushes. He'll probably sulk there for a day or so until he comes out, but he should be fine.

So, one more feral TNR'd, and we're sure that Vet Tech will be more careful removing the breathing tube in the future ☺
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 Throw Pillow 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 Throw Pillow 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