|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 #41 - July 2012|
It's July and it's hot, hot, hot! Just last month we wrote about how the weather seemed cooler than normal - that's sure changed!
Hot summers present their own special challenges when it comes to trapping and overnighting cats. Feral Fixers has been very careful in scheduling these activities in order to minimize the stress on the cats. It's tough enough for them being inside of a trap for 3-4 days - being extremely hot on top of that is just something else we have to worry about.
In this month's Letter From the President, Tammy writes about the Kitten Storm we are still in the middle of. It has absolutely stretched Feral Fixers to the breaking point - but we are coping, somehow... If you can foster a cat or two for a month or two, that would an enormous help.
This eNewsletter also contains some current TNR-related stories in the news, with one of particular interest - loaning out some feral cats to the 47th ward in Chicago to help them control a rodent problem - now THAT'S a win-win situation.
Read about this, other TNR-related news, all of our Upcoming Events (the calendar is starting to fill up!) and all the other goings-on at Feral Fixers in this eNewsletter...
Thank you again for all of your support.
| Letter From the President |
Not a Cloud in the Sky but the Storm is Raging
Every call has included kittens. In threes and fours and fives, they just keep popping up. Our fosters are full. All of our people are stressed. You can't get kittens to grow up any faster than their programming. You can't neuter them before they are 2.25 pounds. We reach an impasse between flow going out to shelters and the flow coming in from the street.
Truly, this is the time of year when it is just too much to even return a call. If you've been caught up in that, our apologies but we are only human and this is taking a toll on us.
Our current crisis involves a hoarding situation. At least 20 adults need to leave this home and find other homes or colony relocation. Kittens have been being removed with upper respiratory for years without all the adults being neutered. Now, the village authorities are involved and the cats have to go. This is yet another situation that would end up involving animal control if we did not step in. Animal control does not have the resources to be able to take the time to evaluate the cats or make them physically and mentally healthy enough for adoption.
Our ongoing crisis is, of course, all of the kittens and friendlies we currently have on hand.
I hate to be negative, I don't want to dwell on our situation, but needed you to know just how bad it is. We cannot do this without your involvement.
Please contribute to our "Keep Those Cages Empty" Fundraiser. We need your donations more than ever now as the calls keep pouring in.
Thank you so much, we cannot do this 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
| Keep Those Cages Empty!
Kitten cages at DuPage County Animal Care & Control have been consistently empty since the end of 2011.
Help us to keep them empty by donating the cost to TNR one, two or three ferals and help us keep those cages empty all year long!!!
Our cost for one feral: $35
Our cost for two ferals: $70
Our cost for three ferals: $105
Our generous matching funds donor has once again pledged $1,000 to start off the "Keep Those Cages Empty"
Our goal: To raise enough funds to cover TNR of 100 ferals!
To donate, just visit the Feral Fixers homepage
and click on the ChipIn! button in the box. There, you will be able to donate to our ChipIn campaign via PayPal (you can use your PayPal account or a Credit Card to donate).
Our Fundraiser will end on July 20th. Thank you for helping us reach our goal!(The picture thumbnail is of one of the banks of empty cages at the DuPage County Animal Care & Control facility. Click on it to see a full-size version of the picture.)
| 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.
| 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.
| In the News..|
Cook County v Bridgeview
The Circuit Court of Cook County ruled in favor of the County in the suit between Cook County v Village of Bridgeview.
In 2010, when Bridgeview decided it didn't want feral cats in town, they "enacted an ordinance forbidding the operation of feral cat colonies and imposing a maximum fine of $500 per day for operating a feral cat colony in violation of the ordinance." Click here to read the Tribune's 2010 editorial.
Thanks to the initiative and perseverance of Dr. Donna Alexander, Administrator, Cook County Animal and Rabies Control, a case was filed against Bridgeview. This week, the court released its decision. Cook County won and the Cook County Feral Cat Ordinance will take precedence in Bridgeview. For now, it is legal to care for a colony of feral cats in Bridgeview. A huge win for the ferals!
47th Ward of Chicago
The 47th ward Chicago has started a pilot program to use feral cats in place of poison to rid the neighborhood of rats. Tree House's Director of Development, Jenny Schlueter, says that Tree House began placing neutered, vaccinated and microchipped feral cats in the 47th Ward in April as part of a pilot program. Read more here.
An updated drop trap
On the Tomcat Solutions website, they show an updated version of the drop trap. When trapping a feral, either in a regular trap or a drop trap, it's important to cover the trap with a cloth or towel as quickly as possible after the trap has been sprung - this to quiet the cat down and prevent it from injuring itself. This video (it's the second one on the webpage) shows a cover which is automatically deployed once the trap has been sprung. A little more equipment intensive, yes, but probably very useful for those really wily cats who get spooked if they see a human anywhere in the area.
(If the video has disappeared from their website, you can view it directly here on YouTube.)
(Thank you to Triple R Pets for the 'hat-tip' on the first two articles.)
| How many cats? - 3,952 !!
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 447 cats spayed/neutered
This brings us to a total of 3,952 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|
July 31st, 2012 - 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 July 31st, 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!
August 18th, 2012 - Natural Pet Market Adopt-a-thon!
- We're in the early stages of planning this Adopt-a-Thon along with the good folks at Natural Pet Market - more details will be posted soon. August 19th, 2012 - Yogli-Mogli Fundraiser! - This will be a "Back to School" event - when you're out shopping for school supplies for your children, stop by the Yogli-Mogli store at 135 Danada Square East in Wheaton and have one of their delicious desserts! A portion of every purchase made that day between 1 and 5 pm will be donated to Feral Fixers. So come by, enjoy a treat and help out Feral Fixers at the same time!
September 8th, 2012
- This year, Feral Fixers will again host a booth at the Wood Dale Park District's annual Pet Lover's Showcase
. This is the fourth year in a row that we will have a booth at this event, one that's always a lot of fun for everyone. While details about the event are not yet on the Wood Dale Park District's webpage, mark your calendars now so you don't forget - see you there!
September 15th, 2012 - DuPage County Animal Care & Control Fall Festival & Open House
- Feral Fixers will once again host a booth at this event. The event will be held at the County Animal Shelter (120 N Country Farm Rd. in Wheaton) and the field just outside of it from 11am to 3pm. This is always a fun event, so mark your calendars and come out and say hello!September 18th, 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 September 18th, 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! September 30th, 2012
- For the sixth year in a row, Feral Fixers will host a booth at the West Suburban Humane Society's barkaPALooza
event, an event that is just great one to visit. While the website still points to last year's event, information on it (except for the date) is mostly correct and I'm sure they'll be updating it soon. Mark your calendars now so you don't forget - see you there!November 11th, 2012
- Feral Fixers will be hosting it's third annual Bazaar - Shop4Strays!
Planning is still in the very early stages, but mark your calendars! If you're a vendor and would like to host a booth at this event, please contact us at email@example.com
.January 20, 2013 - FROSTY CLAWS!
- This will be our fifth annual Frosty Claws - our oldest and most popular event. More details will be posted in the next few months, but mark your calendars now!
| 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 Velcro Cooler shown to the right (perfect to keep your drinks cool on these hot, hot, hot summer days...), we have T-shirts, sweatshirts, aprons, hoodies, mouse pads, gym bags, messenger bags, coffee mugs, tote-bags, pet food bowls, Pajamas etc. A portion of each sale goes to help us in our TNR efforts.
To visit the store, just click on the Cooler 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