|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 #42 - October 2012|
Yes, we know it's been several months since we've issued an eNewsletter. We're sorry about that, but we've been so busy spay/neutering cats that we just haven't had time to do much else...
We've now surpassed 900 cats (919 to be exact) that we've fixed in 2012 and, barring something unforeseen, we'll easily pass the 1,000 mark again this year.
In Tammy's Letter From the President, she announces our newest fundraiser - "Fall is For Friendlies" and tells you why we are looking for some additional funds from our loyal supporters. She also talks about our 'missing traps' and 'seed ticks' - you can learn a lot by reading our eNewsletter!
We're planning on taking a break from our TNR activities beginning December 1st, and are looking to start up fixing cats again on March 1st of 2013. So, if you have any cats in your area that need to get fixed, now is the time to contact us and arrange to get this done.
You can read about this, and more in this eNewsletter.
Thank you again for all of your support.
Letter From the President |
Sorry it's been so long, there's just is not enough time for everything!
First off, let me announce our newest fundraiser - "Fall is for Friendlies!" A very generous donor has promised matching funds up to $1,000! And our most pressing need is the neutering of all the friendly cats and kittens that have no one to provide funds for. We will be doing our own version of "Chip-In", Ted has been hard at work on creating a "widget" that will allow us to post the funds as they come in, not only those that we receive online so that you can see a true reporting of how the campaign is going. This fundraiser will begin on October 20th and end on November 11th. That's a short period of time, so don't set this aside when you get it and think you will come back to it - the harsh truth is that we need the funds now and are hoping that knowing there are three short weeks to participate may encourage you to donate now before you forget.
As an example: In August we neutered 92 friendlies. Of those, about 49 had no donations to offset the cost. Friendlies cost us $55 each, so that is $2,645 just for August. We cannot continue at this pace without additional donations, it is wonderful that our donor suggested the matching funds campaign because they want to see their donation grow in order to help us the most! Donate thru PayPal or by mail, we will update the amount donated daily!
You may have noticed that our annual "Bazaar" is no longer on the calendar. The venue that we hold the event at had a fire and would not be up and running by November 11th. We could not find another location in the amount of time at the same cost and decided to cancel the event entirely. If you have a location we could hold our Bake Sale at, that would be great! Our bakers would still love to do that for us! This is another reason that the "Fall is for Friendlies" could not come at a better time!
In my last letter, I asked for a rainbow of adoptions and we have placed soooo many cats and kittens. It has been great! We give them to shelters six at a time some days and our fosters have a great network of friends! But. There's always a but, isn't there? The flow in is greater than the flow out. In one day, we took in 15 cats and kittens. They could not stay where they were, we could not leave the kittens out there to grow up to the size to neuter, the adults were going to end up getting hit by a car as they had lost their wildness that protects them. Again, those that probably could be tamed but would take two months instead of two weeks to be purr monsters, we have to put back. They have a colony to protect them unless they decide to be friendlier on their own and hopefully someone will take them in at that time. Our best hope is that the caretakers, upon hearing that we cannot take the kittens and cats in to our homes, will accept our dog crates and instructions on how to tame them on their own. This happens quite often, and then we do our best to help them place the cats. Please volunteer to foster and help us keep these friendlies off the streets!You're Mailbox is Full
If you've tried to contact us, we have to tell you that all of these friendlies take up so much of our time that we cannot keep up. Heck, it took me 3 weeks to change our outgoing message because there was always something more important to do - like answer the phone - which, if you got the "mailbox is full" message, you know there was still something more important than answering the phone - like caring for a cat. But, as of this writing, we have neutered 840 cats this year alone and are on target for doing more than 1,000 once again and what keeps us going is that next year has to be easier. We do this with just 4 people doing trapping and coordinating caretakers. These 4 also do other jobs as well. We're pretty much "on call" seven days a week as TNR is not a 9 to 5 job.Traps
If you have one of our traps and are not using it, PLEASE get it back to us! Every trap that goes unused and unfilled results in more kittens being born and puts us farther behind. People seem to find it comforting to have one on hand "just in case." Make sure you don't have one hiding in your garage, attic, crawl space or your trunk! Not having traps can slow us down, too, so we've had to purchase some more. Not what we want to spend money on.Seed Ticks
Just when I think I've seen everything - I encounter Seed Ticks
This adorable 8 week old kitten seemed lethargic and I thought he was just underfed. Then I saw these tiny, tiny black insect things. I thought they were newly hatched beetles but could not find anything that they could possibly be. Then I came across SEED TICKS - the larval form of ticks. Imagine a perfectly formed tick, but smaller than the head of a pin, latched onto the kitten's skin. He was already under the weather, did not want to use frontline on him til he perked up a bit, so I was on tick patrol for 3 days. Then I found an adult tick and could not take it anymore so crossed my fingers. Saved the little buggers that I didn't crush in a jar. Just thinking about them makes me twitch. Andy is doing fine, seems to think I'm going to be picking him all over still but hopefully we will get past that soon! Please read up on them, droughts seem to really bring on the insects!
Thank you to everyone who participates in our fundraisers, visited us at the events we have a table at, like us on Facebook and care about the cats.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 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.
| 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.
Here are a few of 'our' cats that need fostering right now (click on the picture thumbnails to see a full-size version of the picture)...
These black and black and white kittens were born to a black&white mom - we called her Sweetie. Her kittens were not so sweet, in fact one was the recent rabies hold at PAWS, but are now purring loudly and playing very hard. They have already been neutered and need a family to bring them the rest of the way to adoptability! They are Eddie, Ettie and Ernie.
This is Jenny. She was abandoned at a dog park with a kitten and we think they came from the same house. So scared that the staff at PAWS took no chances and would not handle her to examine her. She now turns upside down in your arms and gets so carried away kissing you that sometimes she nips - but not hard! She needs to be in a foster home so that she can learn to trust everyone, not just Tammy!
These 4 kittens came from the Home Depot on Army Trail Road. The mom had been raising them in the straw bales at the front of the store. The employees found them and called us. Timing is everything and we were able to pick them up within a few hours. Even the screaming, vicious, attack-kitten - the gray one - is now learning to purr. We will be going back for the mom as soon as possible. The store wants her back, she's been there a long time but no one realized the consequences of leaving her unspayed. They are totally behind TNR!
Artie is one of several kittens from a location in Bensenville. The caretakers have a very limited income and the more we can remove from that location, the better. We also have his brother Ari. It is clearly genetic to be sweet and purr-y. They are among several that really should go to a foster home before being adopted so that they can learn the do's and don'ts of houses.
This picture does not do justice to this black smoke long haired kitten. Her eyes were enormous, almost cartoon-like when she came to us. A woman had been keeping her in the garage as there were already too many children and animals in the house, while she dialed organization after organization to take her. Milly is so thin with an enormous purr. The fleas are gone, but she has to bulk up in order to be neutered.
Kelly came from a hoarder house. He had been trapped, neutered and put in a cage in the dark basement for the last six months. He prefers to lay in his litter pan, as he feels safest there, but appreciates a hand just layed on his back. Everything is sensory overload to him right now. He was had fleas, has earmites that will be treated as soon as his ears can be touched without panic. He is a wonderful boy and well worth the time it will take to make him whole.
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? - 4,424 !!
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 919 cats spayed/neutered
This brings us to a total of 4,424 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.
| TNR Break... |
From December 1st through February 28th, 2013, Feral Fixers will NOT be bringing in cats to PAWS for TNR. We're doing this for three reasons; 1) We have a TON of paperwork we need to catch up on, 2) trapping cats in winter / cold-weather can be very dangerous to the cat and 3) we need a break!
But this doesn't mean that we're not going to be busy with Feral Fixers activities. People sometimes don't realize how much behind-the-scenes documentation and paperwork is necessary to make a 501c3 organization such as Feral Fixers a successful organization. To list just a few activities that we'll be concentrating on beginning in December, we'll be updating our name & address database so that we can send out our Holiday cards, we'll be updating all of our donor/deposit information so that we can send out our Donation tax letters, we'll be updating our database of feral colonies so that we can more effectively plan our efforts in 2013 and beyond, we'll be planning our fifth annual Frosty Claws fundraiser, etc., etc., etc.
So, if you have feral cats that need to be fixed, we would encourage you to work with Feral Fixers NOW, so they don't have to wait until next Spring.
|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
November 10th, 2012 - Feral Fixers will be hosting a Bake Sale booth from 9am to 2pm at the 33rd annual Holiday Craft Show at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Lombard (corner of Meyers and Roosevelt roads). Shop for gifts, handmade, homemade or one-of-a-kind items and you can purchase brownies and cookies and pies, oh my! View the article, here, from the online Glen Ellyn Patch for more details.
November 18th, 2012 - For the fifth year in a row, the City of Bensenville has invited Feral Fixers to 'host' and decorate a tree in their town center for their annual Holiday Magic and Tree Lighting Ceremony. Feral Fixers is always very pleased to take Bensenville up on their annual offer - they are a long-time partner of Feral Fixers. They were an early adopter and supporter of TNR and we have a great relationship with their city hall, police department and other civic leaders. Come on out on the 18th, from 2 to 6pm, and enjoy the festivities! Check out their website for more details.
November 27th, 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!
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 Canvas Lunch Bag shown to the right, 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 Canvas Lunch Bag 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