|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 #34 - October 2011|
It's amazing that October is here already - where did the summer go?
Feral Fixers continues to busily TNR cats throughout DuPage County and we're not slowing down. Our volunteer support has been amazing and it allows us to keep up our efforts towards reducing the number of homeless and unwanted cats in our local communities.
October is scheduled to be a very busy month for us, both in terms of TNR'ing cats and in hosting events. Celebrate 3000! is just around the corner and Shop4Strays will be held just after that.
We strongly encourage you to come and Celebrate 3000! with us on National Feral Cat Day, October 16th. Early Bird tickets can still be had for a few more days (this offer expires October 10th). And on the following Sunday, October 23rd, you can get an early start on your Holiday shopping at our second annual Shop4Strays Bazaar.
You can read about these events, feral cats at Disneyland and in Wisconsin and our ongoing need for Fosters.
Thank you again for your support and we hope to see you at Celebrate 3000! and Shop4Strays.
| Letter from the President |
Hope to see you all!
We may be pushing the envelope in more than one way this month - two events, trying to TNR as many cats as possible and coping with a flood of friendlies, all at the same time!
We scheduled Celebrate 3000! on National Feral Cat Day as it seemed a perfect opportunity to multi-task celebrating the milestone of 3,000 cats neutered, our fourth anniversary, a National event - and we get to eat breakfast!
Our Shop4Strays Bazaar is October 23rd, just one week later, so that people can take their time and enjoy a more relaxing event, while getting things done well in advance of the holidays! We've added a Bake Sale this year and we have some fabulous bakers supplying the goodies!
Both of these events are opportunities to meet other feral cat caretakers and to talk to Feral Fixers volunteers while helping us to raise funds to continue our efforts!
Could you put a friendly cat back outside?
I've been asked, when I talk about how many friendlies we encounter, "What happened to the "R" in TNR?"
It just ain't that easy, come to find out. For every 20 cats we trap, we're ending up with four to six kittens or adult friendlies. That is HUGE. We've filled every foster, caretakers are fostering kittens themselves, we have such a good reputation of helping outside cats that want homes that it may be our undoing.
Each friendly costs us $55 in services. Shelters are already strapped, they cannot possibly reimburse us these costs when they take our cats for adoption. Caretakers who cannot afford even the $35 donation for a feral cannot afford $55 each for the neutering of 4 kittens.
Some organizations adopt a policy of just waiting until the kittens are older and beyond taming and treating them as ferals. We've done the opposite and neutered each colony as soon as possible, removing the kittens.
In this year alone, there has probably been over 100 ferals and friendlies that no donations were received to cover the expenses. While we have so many generous donors, demand is exceeding money supply.
It is rare to find a charitable organization these days that is flush with cash and I hate to join the ranks of those who ask so often for more donations, but I see no other way to continue to reduce the number of cats who overcrowd our shelters and reduce the number of cats euthanized due to lack of homes. As a result, our newest fundraiser -
Feral Fixers "Chip Pins"
Of the 3000+ cats we have neutered, over 2,000 do not have a collar to attach a microchip tag to. We've kept those tags over the years and would like to offer them as a memento of a donation to help other cats.
At Celebrate 3000 and the Feral Fixers Bazaar, we will have our new "Chip Pins" - for a $55 donation you will receive a pin with the microchip of a feral cat that we have TNR'd with its basic information of name, description and town that it lives in. We hope that wearing these pins will encourage more discussion with people you meet and you can be proud that you've supported another cat on its way to a home. Our thanks to Recycled2New for their help in creating these mementos!
Hope to see you!
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.
Early Bird tickets must be purchased by
October 10th, 2011
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|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.
| 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? - 3,193 !!
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 712 cats spayed/neutered so far.
This brings us to a total of 3,193 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.
| "We own the night!" |
Not only does the United States military state unequivocally that "We own the night", the same slogan might apply to an army of feral cats that live at Disneyland.
From an article on the Best Friends website:
"Disneyland, "the happiest place on earth," is home to more than just a wealth of fun attractions and memorable Disney characters - it is home to at least 200 feral cats that roam the premises at night. The cats began venturing into the park many years ago when Disneyland first opened. However, instead of treating the wandering felines as a nuisance, Disneyland decided to regard them as a potential benefit.Back in 2001, Best Friends Catnippers learned about the numerous free roaming felines at Disneyland from a concerned volunteer. Soon after, Disneyland's environmental division permitted Catnippers to bring in a team of veterinarians to spay and neuter the cats on premise...Every night, when all the diligent employees come out to make the park crystal clean, the free roaming felines partake in the clean up too. As an outdoor resort, Disneyland is bound to have some unwanted visitors occasionally. But Disneyland's cats, as natural pest exterminators, do their crucial part in helping to keep the resort rodent-free...
This is so cool - you can read the entire article here
|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!
|Calendar of Upcoming Events|
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!
| TNR in Milwaukee, Wisconsin |
From an article in the June 9, 2011 edition of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:"The gray tabby arched her back and hissed at the hand holding the syringe poking into her cage.She had spent her life on the streets but was hungry or curious enough to walk into a trap to eat the bait. Within 48 hours, she would be back out in the wild.But on a recent day the cat ended up at the Wisconsin Humane Society, along with four other feral cats captured by trained caregivers. The sedative administered by a veterinary technician calmed the tabby down, and when she was picked up that afternoon she was a changed feline.Under the care of the veterinary staff at the humane society, the cat was vaccinated and spayed, a microchip tracking device implanted under her fur, nails clipped, and a topical flea treatment administered. The tip of her left ear also was trimmed like a kitty tattoo that marks her as a participant of the "trap-neuter-return" program for feral cats.Though some communities handle feral animals by capturing and euthanizing them, many humane societies and animal shelters curb the population by spaying and neutering..."
It's a great article, and talks about some of the same issues that we at Feral Fixers run into in our local efforts - read the full article 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 Keychain 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 Keychain or visit our website
and click on the 'Buy Something
' button at the top - Thank you!
|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