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 #26 - December  2010
In This Issue
Letter from the President
Want to Help?
Christmas Shopping Help
How many cats? 2,426 !!
Hoarder update
Donate to Feral Fixers
A new, yearly record!
Calendar of Upcoming Events
Bensenville Christmas Tree program
Other ways to help
Kittens, kittens and more kittens
Shop for Feral Fixers
Visit us on the Web
What is Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)?
About us
Dear Friend,

It's been another very busy month for Feral Fixers.  We set a new, yearly record for the number of cats we processed in a year, 947 (so far), breaking last year's record of 868!  We're keeping busy, that's for sure...

In this newsletter, you can read our President's report, including information about a hoarder situation that Feral Fixers is helping to clean up and some comments about where do injured cats go.

Coming up soon is our third annual Frosty Claws event.  It will be held on Sunday, January 16th, from 1pm to 4pm, at the VFW Post 2801 located at 39 E St. Charles Rd., in Villa Park.  More details about this event, including how to purchase "Early Bird Special" tickets will be posted soon on our website - SAVE THE DATE.

Also, our second Sweet Tomatoes Fun-raiser will be held next Tuesday, December 14th.  More details about this event are contained elsewhere in this newsletter.

Finally, we now have Feral Fixers Christmas Stockings for sale at our Cafepress store - perfect for the Holidays!  Just go to our website and click on the Buy Something! button at the top to visit the store.

Thank you for all of your continued support!


Feral Fixers
Letter from the President

Racing to the Finish Line

It always seems that we are racing to finish something at Feral Fixers.  Whether its to get enough cats for the slots that we have available, finish up a colony, get all the data entered, prepare for an event, get the newsletter out - there's always something!  And, just like everyone else, not enough time to do everything!

We will be shutting down feral trapping after the 12th of December.  It gets wayyy too cold for the females with their shaved bellies to go back outside.  Even with shelters stuffed with straw or heating pads that some caretakers have provided, the to and from the food gets very chilly with a bare tummy.  We may be able to transport some friendlies, but keep in mind that we have been going full tilt all year long and we need some down time to address our own lives, which get extremely neglected with the pressure to neuter every cat we can, always working toward a future where all cats are wanted and appreciated indoors!

So, if we did not get to your ferals, we are extremely apologetic, but, as you can see from our numbers this year, we weren't just sitting around.  Please contact us in February and keep calling every week until we can get your cats in.  It is still easier to receive calls than to make them, time works that way.

One litter box for 27 cats

Many shelters do not have the resources to assist in hoarder situations.  We help when we can.  One of our volunteers brought a situation to us that, believe it or not, was a "good" hoarder situation.  The cats are relatively social, they were not sick, and the conditions are not the worst I've seen, but I've seen really bad hoarder situations.  As of this week we will have neutered 22 cats from there and we have about 5 more to go.  The volunteers working on this have posted pictures on a Feral Fixers Facebook Fan Page and they are working hard to find homes for these cats. There is a time limit - the cats can only stay where they are for a limited time.  Another race to the finish line!

Where do the injured cats go?

Read more this month from our President here.
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.
ShurePets Logo Christmas Shopping Help

From now until December 15th, Tom from ShurePets is going to be donating 25% of sales on his website from Feral Fixers supporters. Thank you Tom!

So, get some more of your Christmas shopping done early and hassle-free and benefit Feral Fixers at the same time!

Supporters will need to go to http://www.feralfixers.shopshurepets.com to place their order.

How many cats? - 2,426 !! 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 947 cats spayed / neutered.

This brings us to a total of 2,426 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.
Hoarder litter box Hoarder update

This article is an update to the Hoarder situation that our president writes about in her Letter from the President column.

We sent in 8 of the last 9 today.  These cats are the ones most scared, hardest to get and pretty smelly themselves.
Number 9 was thought to be pregnant so went to our volunteer's home a few days ago, just in case.  Tuesday she began to give birth, had one kitten but completely ignored it.  Number 9 was little more than a kitten herself, we hoped it was just inexperience.  8 hours later and no more kittens although they were in there waiting so off Number 9 went to the vet for drugs to produce contractions.  An hour or so later 4 more were born, one stillborn.  In the meantime the first kitten, despite valiant efforts had passed away.  The three remaining kittens were being cared for by their young mom, everything seemed to be going well but in the morning they had also passed.
Why are we telling this apparently negative story?  To show how hard we work to save these cats and care for them and to illustrate that despite anyone's best efforts, there is only so much you can do when animals have a rough start to begin with.  The mom was less than six months old, getting food that was adequate if she were not pregnant and in a home with dozens of other cats in a less than 500 square foot space - so much stress!
Number 9 is doing well and will be spayed in a few weeks when she has fully recovered.  And soon, the rest of the 34 of the cats will be ready to move on to their next adventure - fostering!

(The picture thumbnail is of one of the cats and the litter box that all of them share.  Click on the thumbnail to see a larger version of the picture.)
PayPal DonationDonate 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 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!
A new, yearly record!

During the month of November, Feral Fixers surpassed the previous record we had set for the number of cats we had spayed/neutered in a single year - 868.  So far in 2011, we have had 947 cats spayed/neutered!

It takes a volunteer network and it takes a Spay/Neuter clinic committed to spay/neuter and to TNR to do this kind of number.

We are once again very grateful to our volunteers and to the PAWS-Chicago Spay/Neuter clinic and we'll say it again - WE COULDN'T DO WHAT WE DO WITHOUT YOU - THANK YOU!
Calendar graphicCalendar of Upcoming Events

December 14th, 2010 - Another Sweet Tomatoes Fun-raiser!  We have booked another 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 December 14th, please give a copy of this flyer to the person collecting your money.  Sweet Tomatoes will donate 20% of all proceeds collected from people bringing that flyer to Feral Fixers!  The first time we had one of these, in October, it proved to be a huge success, so come out and join us for a great dinner and help Feral Fixers!

January 16th, 2011 - Planning is underway for our third annual Frosty Claws!  This year, it will be held at the VFW Post 2801 located at 39 E St. Charles Rd., in Villa Park.  More details (including information about how to purchase our discounted "Early Bird Special" tickets) will be posted on our website - SAVE THE DATE!
Bensenville Christmas Tree Bensenville Christmas Tree Program

For the third year in a row, Feral Fixers has been asked to participate in the Village of Bensenville's annual Christmas Tree program. Each year, Bensenville puts up Christmas trees in the Town Center (located at the corner of Green and Center streets) and asks individuals and organizations to decorate those trees. Feral Fixers super-volunteer Mary decorated the tree for us again this year.

This tree, along with all the others, were part of the annual Tree-Lighting ceremony in Bensenville, an event that occurred on November 20th.

2010 Feral Fixers Xmas treeFeral Fixers enjoys a wonderful relationship with the Village of Bensenville and this is just one of many village-sponsored activities in which Feral Fixers has become involved. Other activities include having a booth at their summertime Music in the Park festival and also participating in their Fourth of July Parade.

The village has a very enlightened policy regarding feral cats and Feral Fixers is proud and honored to be able to work with the village in dealing with the problem of cat over-population.

Thank you Bensenville!

(Click on either picture thumbnail to see a full-size version of the picture).
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 - 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!
Mom and Kittens Kittens, kittens and more kittens...

Feral Fixers continues to be inundated with calls about "I found some kittens - can you take them for me?"  Even though we are not a shelter, we still get these calls.

The situation is simple; there are just too many kittens and it's overwhelming the shelters and the fosters.  It's SO important to 'TNR that mom' BEFORE she has her next litter.  We're now in the position of usually having to ask people who call about this to 'step up' and socialize and foster these kittens on their own.

And, if everyone who is thinking of adopting a kitten or a cat would adopt TWO of them, rather than just one, this could make a significant dent in the problem.  It's better for the cats anyway, to have some companionship when their owner / caretaker is not home.  It's OK to adopt from any shelter, even from Craigslist as this is where many caretakers are trying to place their cats.
Christmas StockingShop 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 CafePress store and Buy Something! In addition to the Christmas Stocking shown to the right (perfect for the Holidays), we have T-shirts, sweatshirts, aprons, hoodies, Mouse Pads, 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 Christmas stocking 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