|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 #37 - January 2012|
It's 2012 already! It's also January, but the weather would certainly fool you if you didn't know better.
We had a great 2011 - our final 2011 year-end total of 1,024 cats fixed is something that we're very proud of and very thankful to our friends, supporters and volunteers for helping us to make it happen.
Next up is Frosty Claws, our oldest (this is now our fourth year hosting this event) and biggest fundraiser of the year. It's also a good way to kick-off the New Year. You have only a couple of days remaining to buy the Early Bird tickets (details below), so don't delay!
In her monthly Letter From the President, Tammy talks about how you can help us by spreading the word about Feral Fixers, talks about Frosty Claws, thanks our Fosters for what they do, and discusses orange kittens. You can also get the details on Frosty Claws (you are coming, aren't you?), learn about our Holiday Card contest and read how a Feral Cat caretaker took on the IRS and won!
Thank you again for all of your support.
| Letter from the President |Happy New Year!
Seems so bizarre that we are already in 2012, doesn't it?
Most organizations set goals at the beginning of the year. Our number one goal would be to be less busy, not have so many cats to TNR, nor so many kittens and friendlies to make decisions about.
You can help with that by telling everyone you know that feeds outside cats to call us at the end of February so that we can schedule them in March. We want to be insanely busy in March so that we don't have to be busy the rest of the year. Sound like a plan? Word of mouth advertising means that half of our educational work is done for us by you, in telling about TNR and Feral Fixers, you've cut our discussion time in half. We don't have the volunteer volume to advertise in normal ways, but word of mouth results in caretakers who are committed to TNR contacting US and we find that the results are much better for everyone.
If you see us at an event, ask for some extra business cards to have on hand just in case, you never know who you will be behind in a checkout lane, and see that they are buying a ton of cat food for those "outside" cats. Don't be shy, ask if they're neutered. If not, pass on one of our cards, and help make it a Happy New Year for us!Kitten Shortage
It was music to our ears to hear a rescue say that they couldn't get any kittens for adoption from County, they were out of them. It was great in the weeks before Christmas as so many of our adoptable cats went to shelters, many going home by the very next day.
Yep, no matter how temporary it may be, there's been a shortage of kittens!
So, if we can get to all the new colonies by the end of February, perhaps the shortage will continue. What a wonderful New Year if people were willing to put in the time to turn around those cats that were slightly less tame, because that is all that could be had!Frosty Claws
Whether you call it Frosty Claws, Frosty Paws or "that thing you do in January", hope to see you there!
The donations for our Silent Auction are rolling in, we have several quilted pieces, two of which we have photographed for your perusal. We have an art print, two cat shelters, gift baskets, a hotel stay, wine tastings, lots of stuff for your enjoyment!
And, once again, Recycled2New
will be there! If you were lucky enough to receive their flyer in the mail, you will receive a free gift! So keep an eye out for it! Visit Recycled2New.com
for a sampling of their wares but it is only a sample, their "product line" is only limited by their imagination!
For the gamblers among you, the ladies with the "cat caressers" will be there with their wonderful prizes - take a chance and win!
There's always so much going on, hope you can join us!Thank you to our fosters!
We'd like to take a moment to thank our fosters, we wouldn't be able to remove so many friendlies from the streets and place them with shelters for adoption, without their help. They may be able to foster for a few weeks, many have been helping us for months at a time, their help is invaluable all the time!
Thank you to: Charlotte & Maria, Susan, Tracy & Rich, Debbie, Alison & Tim, May, Donna & Ariana & Tristan, Rhae & family, Zhanea & family, Marilyn, Peggy, Karen, Debbie & family, Mike & Jennifer, Elaine, Christine, Gillian & family, Jill & family, Vanessa, Dedra, Lisa, Ellie, Sue, Neil, Jennifer, Connie, Julie, Lauren, Jamie, Judy, Karen, Mary, Kim.What is it about orange kittens?
We have more information about Aladdin. The reason for his passing was not his surgery, his need for a perineal urethrostomy, but he actually had a diaphragmatic hernia - that is when there is a hole in the diaphragm, or sometimes the diaphragm is almost nonexistent, and the organs, mainly the liver, crowd up around the heart. The organs move around quite a bit and it was never discovered because they were where they should be whenever he was examined by the vet, its all about timing. This was a congenital defect and he actually died of heart failure due to the hernia. It is very difficult to find this problem and very difficult to repair, but it is good to have an answer.
Last week we got a call about a kitten that couldn't walk. Of course Farley is orange. We got him to the vet and his right rear leg femur had a spiral fracture. Almost two inches long and split lengthwise with a twist. Two days later, xray shows it looking good as new, vet fit it back together perfectly. Of course Farley also had roundworms, coccidia and fleas, so he's a little tired. But, I think he was held for hours by the staff at the vet's office so he is far from being feral at this point. He's been thru a lot in his 8 or so short weeks of life. We'll be doing our best to see that he becomes a happy, healthy adult!
Thank you for helping the cats of DuPage County!
We wish you all a
Happy New Year!
You're invited to Frosty Claws!!
January 15th, 2012, from 12:00 to 3:00pm,
our fourth annual
FROSTY CLAWS fundraiser.
Villa Park VFW Post 2801, 39 E St Charles Rd, Villa Park
Come and celebrate our four year anniversary!
We'll have hot drinks, pastries, a silent auction, a boutique,
and, of course, a cat-friendly crowd!
$15 at the door
$10 in advance.
Get the "Early Bird" price by using PayPal:
Or send a check to Feral Fixers,
PO Box 1416, Lombard, IL, 60148.
Early Bird Payments must be received by 1/8/2012.
We'll also have some educational events,
including discussions and demonstrations of trapping,
using a drop-trap, colony care, etc.
Come and see where your colony is on our map of colonies
and enjoy the company of like-minded people!
Bring a Friend!
|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.
| Don't forget to follow us on Facebook!
Feral Fixers has a very active Facebook page. You can go there and get the very latest information about what we are doing - sometimes even before it shows up on the blog!
Don't forget to "Like" us and the good karma will surely flow your way...
To find our Facebook page, click on the Facebook logo.
| 2012 Holiday Card Photo Contest! |
As most of you know, each year, Feral Fixers sends out a Holiday Greeting card to everyone on our mailing list.
Beginning with the 2012 card, the picture on the card will be chosen from entries made by you, our friends and supporters. While there is no monetary prize awarded for the winning entry, the winning photographer will be credited on the Holiday Card.
The picture should definitely say "winter" and "outdoor cat". A shelter would be nice, but is certainly not required. We can accept pictures in nearly any format as long as the resolution is acceptable.
Please send your submissions to email@example.com
. The deadline for entering is March 31st, 2012.
Come on everyone - let's get creative!
|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? - 3,505 !!
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 1,024 cats spayed/neutered.
This brings us to a total of 3,505 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.
| Stray Cat Strut: Woman Beats IRS |
An article earlier this year in the Wall Street Journal details how a feral cat caretaker in Oakland, California, won a challenge against the IRS. She wrote off a number of her expenses incurred while taking care of approximately 70 cats but the IRS disallowed her claim. She took the case to US Tax Court and won! Money quote from the article:
The Tax Court allowed her to take a charitable deduction for expenses she incurred while taking care of the cats in her home for an IRS-approved charity, Fix Our Ferals. Among the $12,068 in expenses she deducted: food, veterinarian bills, litter, a portion of utility bills, and other items such as paper towels and garbage bags.
Of course, we are not advocating that you try and take such a deduction without being part of an IRS-registered charity, but it's good to know that there are now guidelines for these kinds of cases.
You can read the entire article online 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|
January 15th, 2012 - Frosty Claws!
This will be our fourth annual Frosty Claws get-together and fundraiser. It's going to be held from 12noon to 3pm at the VFW Hall located at 39 E St. Charles Road in Villa Park. More details are in the article earlier on in this eNewsletter - see you there!January 24th, 2012 - 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 January 24th, 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!March 20th, 2012 - And still 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 March 20th, 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!March 31st, 2012 - 2012 Holiday Card Photo Contest deadline.
We will be accepting entries up until this date for our 2012 Holiday Card contest. More details about this contest are given elsewhere in this eNewsletter.May 22nd, 2012 - And yet 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 May 22nd, 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!
| 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 Zip Hoodie shown to the right (perfect for keeping warm this winter), 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 Zip Hoodie or visit our website
and click on the 'CafePress
' 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