|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 #38 - March 2012|
Is it March or is it June? If you just looked at the weather, you wouldn't know. Don't you remember when, late last year, we were told that the odds favored a "more severe" winter than normal for 2011-2012? Hah! I don't think so...
We have now begun to ramp up operations for 2012. This very early Spring/Summer(?) means that the outdoor cats are already in "breeding mode". We're hoping to get a jump on "Kitten Season" by being very proactive in our early TNR efforts.
In her monthly Letter From the President, Tammy talks about our early start to the year's activities, how several shelters are now experiencing a lack of kittens (yay!), the various fundraisers we have going on, our new "Gift Registry" at Walmart and the Toyota competition that Feral Fixers has now entered.
Thank you again for all of your support.
| Letter From the President |So Much Going On!
Our "hiatus" is over. With the unusual weather, there really wasn't much of a break. With the 17 cats we sent in today, we will have done 118 cats so far this year. We were really driven by the early activities of the cats. And here, I really thought it had more to do with the angle of the sun instead of the temperature!
We've had several dedicated caretakers who have finally and completely tnr'd their colonies. Some have been working at getting that last difficult female for two years+! I hope it's a trend that continues all year long!
So far I've only heard of one litter being born so far this Spring in all our phone calls, so I am definitely hoping there will be a reduction!Ongoing Kitten Shortage! No lack of adults for us!
Whenever I get a chance to talk to a shelter, I ask how many kittens they have and what the age is of the youngest cat they have on hand. Repeatedly I am hearing that they have no one under 6 months old! How fabulous is that? This, more than anything shows that we are making a difference!
We are also making a difference in how many strays and friendlies we are getting. They keep knocking on our caretaker's doors! I have to tell you about Monte. He is the sweetest cat, turning cartwheels in his trap. Of course he went in as a friendly. Unfortunately, that strange scabby stuff going on in his coat was not just the result of being attacked but actually ringworm (I've seen ringworm, this was just bizarre stuff, HUGE!). So, he's staying with me, getting lyme dips and I have the first spot of ringworm since I was nine years old - long time! He's a lanky boy, about a year old and his coat is already filling in but he's terribly bored. It takes weeks!
This is an extreme case, one I probably would not hand off to a foster, even if there was one willing, but we have many more adults that need fostering, so please contact us!What's Happening?
As you can see from our banner, we will be doing a Flower Power Spring fundraiser
. I can't wait to see the flowers that I got last year make an appearance in a few weeks! The best part of this fundraiser is that everything is taken care of by the folks at Flower Power. You order from them, from anywhere in the country, designating us as the charity, we receive 50% of the total purchase and they ship directly to you at the best time for planting in your area! The only other thing they could do is come and plant them for you! Cut off is 4/27/12 for the Spring fundraiser.
Come see us at Sweet Tomatoes
(located at 2820 Highland Avenue in Lombard 630-932-5009) on the 20th! I try to be at every one and it is great to see our caretakers and donors and be able to say hello. Don't forget to vote first and then come to dinner! And make sure you bring this flyer
with you and give it to the cashier - 15% of your meal price will be donated to Feral Fixers if you do so!
With the end of the year, we were looking at our Profit & Loss statement and seeing where the money goes. While it is a very small percentage, a portion of our monetary donations do go to purchasing supplies. We need to update our website Wish List, but did you know that Walmart does an online Wish List? It's very similar to a bridal or baby registry, you click on items you would like to receive and then people can access that list to see what you want. As an experiment, I've set up a Wish List for Feral Fixers. On the Walmart page
you click on Registry->Wish List and enter "Feral" in the First Name field and "Fixers" in the Last Name field to get to our Wish List main page. On that page, you can click on "TAMMY MCAULEY" or "FERAL FIXERS NFP" to get to our specific wish list. Right now our list has cat litter, food, toys, garbage bags and electric heated throws. I've never done this before, it's very interesting and I hope it's a way that people can support us and know exactly how their money was spent - that is very important to some people. You can also print out the Wish List at the store kiosk - I haven't done that yet, but it's on the to-do list! The most frustrating part was that the 6" Great Value paper plates (best value for the $ I've found) cannot be purchased online. FYI, 1,024 cats neutered last year, average of 4 plates per cat = 4,096 paper plates!
Keep your fingers crossed! Toyota is donating cars to charitable organizations! 100 Cars for Good! Visit their website
for a report on the 2011 contest. We've begun the application process, if we are selected, we will be one of 500 organizations picked to receive votes on Toyota's Facebook page. We could win $1,000 or a new car! And, it's so cool, they give you a video camera in order to produce a video about your organization! Voting begins May 9th, we will keep you posted as to whether we are selected and then we will have ONE DAY to receive votes, so sign up for Facebook now and at a minimum, "like" Feral Fixers and Toyota! No soda codes!!!It was a Dream
Thank goodness it was just a dream! We've all had dreams where we were at work, right? Well, the cats must be getting to me, 'cause now I'm dreaming about them. "Driving along, passengering, so I was able to look around. Come to an intersection, there's a group of small houses, like one bedroom in size. You know, like those built right after World War I, all clustered together? So, I see 3 - 4 black cats pawing at a door and then I look wider and there's black cats all over this group of houses, sitting on stoops, prowling in the grass. I ask the driver to stop, I've got to look into this! Go up to the house with the most cats. Lady who lives there is in a wheel chair, just able to throw the food out the door for the cats, no money, no hope of any help with the cats."
So that's my 60 Cats Dream - a distillation of the scenarios we run into, amped up just a bit. I can tell you, I was really paranoid for days, waiting for black cats to show up! We had just heard of a colony of 40 cats, perhaps my subconscious was telling me to be grateful there were only 40!
It is your donations that keep dreams and realities like these from becoming nightmares, because, due to your continued generosity, we can take care of a rare 40 (even 60) cat colony when it occurs.We couldn't do it without YOU!
|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 email@example.com.
| 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
. 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.
| Flower Power! |
This is the second year we have worked with the people at Flower Power to raise funds for Feral Fixers. It's so easy - just visit their website
and order bulbs and flowers for spring planting. They will ship them to you at the proper time for planting and 50% of your purchase price goes to benefit Feral Fixers!
The quality of their products is very high and their customer service, should you encounter any problems, is first-rate. It's a great way to beautify your yard and help Feral Fixers at the same time. So, come on everyone - let's get Green for Feral Fixers!
| How many cats? - 3,632 !!
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 and in 2011, Feral Fixers had 1,024 cats spayed/neutered. So far in 2012, Feral Fixers has had 127 cats spayed/neutered
This brings us to a total of 3,632 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!
|Calendar of Upcoming Events|
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 Men's Pajamas 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 Men's Pajamas 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