|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 #33 - September 2011|
As the heat of summer has broken and the summer is winding down, our trapping efforts are ramping up and the number of events and activities we're planning and participating in continues to increase.
In addition, we're now celebrating two major milestones - we're now "four years old" (we began work in September of 2007) and this past month we TNR'd our 3,000 cat!
In this eNewsletter, our President writes about these milestones and a symposium on shelter medicine she recently attended. You can also read about our upcoming Celebrate 3000! fundraiser, how the United States Fish & Wildlife Service is now actively trying to suppress TNR (and what you can do about it), how to help A.S.A.P send food to rural shelters and much, much more.
Thank you for all of your continued support!
| Letter from the President |Milestones
As I'm writing this on August 31st, we've neutered yet another 30 cats today and a quick count of the results show that only 9 of them were males! By Spring those 21 females could have produced another hundred cats and so on, and so on...
We are asked repeatedly why we do what we do and can't we take a break for awhile? The potential for the numbers to blow up quickly and to have to seemingly do it all over again is too great. We are in for the long haul, as evidenced by our achieving
Over 3,000 cats neutered!
and we are only approaching our fourth anniversary of Feral Fixers as an organization!Much To Do
September and October are going to be hoppin'!
In September we will be at three different events and we have a Sweet Tomatoes fundraiser.
In October we will be hosting a breakfast for Celebrate 3000 on National Feral Cat Day, October 16th, followed very quickly by our second annual "Shop For Strays" Bazaar on October 23rd!
We hope to see a lot of our supporters at these events, it's great to get caught up on what's happening in the lives of the people and the cats we've helped!Shelter Medicine
Our friends at PAWS recently hosted a symposium on shelter medicine that I was able to attend. Through grants from Maddie's Fund and in conjunction with Purdue University Veterinary Medicine veterinary students doing research at PAWS, they establishing new and useful data for the care of shelter animals. While Feral Fixers does not have a shelter, we do care for many cats on a temporary basis that are ill and injured.
A very interesting study on FIV+ cats seems to indicate that in a household that has a mix of FIV+ and negative cats, the negatives are not acquiring the virus. As there is such a stigma associated with a positive FIV test, I will be watching this study and crossing my fingers - for four more years til the results are in! FIV+ cats have never been studied before so this is truly ground-breaking!
Additional research is being done on just what upper respiratory viruses and bacteria are present in shelter cats and which antibiotics tackle those causes the best. Very interesting!Eventually
We may not be able to help everyone who contacts us right away, but we seem to get everywhere eventually!
We were contacted last week by a neighbor of someone we helped in '08. They just weren't able to get every cat and said there were several caretakers in the neighborhood. Well, we did another cat in '09 and nothing more until this week. One of the neighbors has talked to everyone in the neighborhood and they are willing to resolve this now. Unfortunately, there are now 20 cats that come to just one of these houses, so we may be looking at a big project but it will not get any better without intervention!
The gentleman who called was surprised by my reaction when he told me his address, I was so glad as I knew the problem had most likely intensified in the last two years!
But we will make kittens a rarity, eventually!
|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.
October 16th, 2011, is the date of our Celebrate 3000! Fundraiser.
This event will be held from 9:00am to 12:00 noon
at the Diplomat West Banquet Hall
located at 681 W North Avenue, in Elmhurst
(corner of North Ave and Rt 83).
Come and celebrate National Feral Cat Day
on our four year anniversary
and our success in TNRing over 3,000 cats!
The Breakfast buffet will include: Coffee, juice,
scrambled eggs, hash browns, bacon, sausage, toast and fresh fruit.
Admission: $25 at the door or $19 with our Early Bird special (see below).
Bring a friend!!
Buy your tickets for Celebrate 3000! now and get the 'Early Bird' special. By purchasing your tickets early, you can buy them for only $19 each. You can pay via PayPal or a Credit card by clicking the "Buy Now"; button to the right
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| Every Rescue & Shelter Needs Fosters NOW! |
We are in touch with almost all of the shelters in the DuPage area in one way or another. Fostering is down, not as many people are doing it this year. Most shelters are closing their doors to intake as they cannot support the animals they currently have. For shelters that do store front adoptions, without a brick and mortar shelter, they need to have at least as many fosters as they have animals in those cages in case they get sick or need a break from being too long at the stores. Brick and mortar shelters are limited because most animals need to go into foster and be "tested" in a home situation. They need to know how a cat is going to behave in a home so that when they adopt it out, they can be reasonably certain that the cat will use the litter box, not attack other animals or children or climb the drapes. Fostering is the proving ground prior to adoption.
What the lack of fosters means to us is that we CANNOT take in fully adoptable animals from the outside. Every time we place kittens with a shelter, the same number show up, fresh from the outside. There are long lines waiting to get in.
Adoptions are down. The economy sucks.
If you have the ability, the room, the talent, please offer to foster. If not for us, for any shelter close to your home.
We've asked for fosters before and ended up softening the wording, trying to be more positive, but it has not worked. Every day, we have to make hard choices about who can have a home because we have nowhere to put these cats and kittens.
There are fewer cats than there would be if we had not begun almost four years ago. Things are going to get harder before they get better. And if you can play a part in things getting better, you will have our unlimited gratitude and the satisfaction of playing a part in making things better for cats all over DuPage. It may just be one cat, one litter of kittens that you see in front of you, but look behind them at all the others that they symbolize.
Thank you so much, if you are reading this, you care. Please pass on information about this enormous need to anyone you think can help.
|How many cats? - 3,095 !!
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. In 2010, Feral Fixers had 1,002 cats spayed / neutered! This year, Feral Fixers has had 614 cats spayed/neutered so far.
This brings us to a total of 3,095 cats. Clicking on the adding machine 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 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!
|Noche - Another success story
Noche is a very vocal, people-oriented cat. He showed up in a colony one day. Feral Fixers had him fixed and then he was fostered out (for a very long time), waiting for the right opportunity for him.
Enter PURRS Naperville Animal Rescue organization
. A family who already had taken in one PURRS cat decided to give Noche a forever home too, with the result you see in the picture to the right (click on the picture to see a larger version).
Thanks to Feral Fixers, the foster family, PURRS and to the family, Noche is now a contented house cat!
(Picture taken by PURRS volunteer Carlee Kruep)
|Calendar of Upcoming Events|
September 17th, 2011 - DuPage County Animal Care & Control Fall Festival Open House & Pet Expo.
For the fourth year, Feral Fixers will be hosting a booth at this annual event. It will be held from 11am to 3pm at the grounds outside the Animal Shelter, located at 120 N County Farm Road in Wheaton.
Many shelters and rescue organizations will be represented and lots of activities are planned for this event - everyone always has a great time. More details can be found on the Friends of DuPage County Animal Care & Control website
. Come on out and say hello!September 25th, 2011 - BarkaPALooza!
Feral Fixers will again host a booth at the West Suburban Humane Society's annual BarkaPALooza. This will be the fifth time we've been at this event and it's always a wonderful time. Even though this is a "dog-themed" event, many people are interested in who we are and what we do and we have received much support from attendees. Unlike previous years, this year's event will be held in Lisle at the Lisle Community Park. Details can be found on the West Suburban Humane Society's webpage
. You can also download their flyer
and a map
of the event location. Please come out and visit us - I'm sure you'll have a great time!September 27th, 2011
- 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 September 27th, 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! Come out, bring a friend and join us for a great dinner and help Feral Fixers!October 16th, 2011
- Celebrate 3,000!
Come celebrate our 4th year anniversary and 3,000th cat TNR'd with us at the Diplomat West Banquet Hall at 681 W North Avenue in Villa Park (near Rt, 83). The event will run from 9:00am to noon. More details, including how to purchase "Early Bird" tickets, are in this eNewsletter.October 23rd, 2011
- Shop For Strays!
Come to our second annual shopping bazaar to be held on this date from 12 noon to 3:00pm at the VFW Hall located at 39 E St. Charles Road in Villa Park. Vendors will donate a portion of their proceeds to Feral Fixers. Our first event, held last year, was a great success and this year will be even better. More details will be posted soon, but mark your calendars now!November 29th, 2011
- 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 November 29th, 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! Come out, bring a friend and join us for a great dinner and help Feral Fixers!January 15th, 2012 - Frosty Claws!
This will be our fourth annual Frosty Claws get-together and fundraiser. It's going to be held at the VFW Hall located at 39 E St. Charles Road in Villa Park. Planning is in the very early stages and more details will be posted soon. Mark your calendars now!
| Let's help A.S.A.P.! |
Animal Services and Assistance Program (ASAP) recently won an online "Pepsi Refresh Project" voting contest to get animal cages donated to offices of veterinarians. They are now in another online voting contest, this to ship 1,000,000 pounds (one million pounds!) of pet food to rural shelters.
You can visit their Facebook page
to learn more about the project and how you can add your vote. Vote early and often - it's a tradition around here!
| 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 CafePress store and Buy Something
! In addition to the Coin Purse shown to the right, 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 Coin Purse or visit our website
and click on the 'Buy Something
' button at the top - Thank you!
|US Fish & Wildlife Service now targeting Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)!|
As incredible as it sounds, the United States Fish & Wildlife Service is now actively targeting TNR and is holding a workshop in November to show attendees how to implement strategies against TNR in their communities.
Talk about a misguided use of our tax dollars! In a way, it's a backward 'complement' to the success of TNR if they feel that they have to actively fight against it.
Best Friends has started a campaign to oppose this workshop and you can use it to send emails / letters to President Obama and to the US Fish & Wildlife Service. To participate in this campaign, just click on this link and follow the instructions.
Let's let them know that TNR is the only effective, humane solution to the problem of cat overpopulation!
|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 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