Practicing and promoting Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) in DuPage County, Illinois

We're 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 #44 - March 2013
In This Issue
Letter From the President
Want to Help?
Shop4Strays - coming soon!
Don't forget to follow us on Facebook!
The City of Elmhurst and Feral Cats
How many cats? - 4,809!!
2013 Holiday Card Photo Contest
Donate to Feral Fixers
Calendar of Upcoming Events
Shop for Feral Fixers
Visit us on the Web
What is Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)?
About us
Dear Friend,

You wouldn't know it by looking at all the snow on the ground right now, but Spring really is just around the corner.  The late onset of snow allowed some of the ferals to start breeding and now all of the snow on the ground is making trapping tougher.  Hopefully, the snow will be melting in the next week or two and we can all get back into the swing of things...

As we were unable to get an eNewsletter out last month, this month's Letter from the President is a 'twofer' - a combination of Tammy's February and March missives.  And even though we are just beginning to start high-volume TNRing this year, lots of things have been going on and Tammy covers them all...

We also have many events coming up over the next few months; Fun-Raisers, Adopt-a-thons, etc.  You can read all about these events, the City of Elmhurst's latest show of support for TNR and Feral Fixers, the 2013 Holiday Card Contest (for which we've already received several entries) and more in this eNewsletter.

Thank you again for all of your support.


Feral Fixers
Letter From the President

Adoption Event

This Saturday, 3/9, DeVries Animal Hospital is welcoming us into their facility for an adoption event.  During the Elmhurst St. Patrick's Day Parade, it has been a long tradition to stop into DeVries for refreshment and to warm up during the parade and visit with adoptable animals from various rescues.  So, stop in and say hello and meet a few of our "friendlies"!

Feral Fixers "Shop 4 Strays" Bazaar

We are planning our next fundraiser, Shop 4 Strays, which will take place April 21st from 12 - 3 at the Villa Park VFW.  We will have a Bake Sale, our Boutique and home party consultants with a wide range of wares for you to sample and purchase!  So far we have Recycled2New, Krafts by Kondrot, Mary Kay, Thirty-One, Jems for Jackie, Soaps by Abbie & More, Tupperware.  This is just the start of what should be a fabulous event!  We will be asking for a $3 donation at admission - just to cover our hall rental costs - we want our vendors to have a great experience and come back year after year!  So come out, shop, and say hello to the Feral Fixers volunteers and start your Spring off right!

Don't Forget to Vote & Donate!

We apply for grants all the time. We applied for the HSUS Spay Day grant and while we did not receive one, we are one of 25 non-profits across the country that are taking part in the United States' World Spay Day 2013 Pet Pageant! And we are one of only two in Illinois. When participants enter their pet's photos, they make a donation. After the Pageant is over, those donations are then split 25 ways! If you look at the list, these are all worthwhile organizations so this is a win-win for the animals. And the participants can win in their categories. Donaghy Burton has pledged his winnings to Feral Fixers! He is currently in 3rd place - a dog that loves cats! Honestly, he's getting my vote every day! There are prizes for pets that don't have the most votes, the judges are allowed to select photos in the Judges Choice Award! Reading the entries and voting is a lot of fun and posting pictures of your pets to share with everyone can create a lasting memory! (Click here to vote for Donaghy Burton).

The World Spay Day Pet Pageant continues til March 15th - please visit and vote and donate!  Check out Donaghy Burton, the dog who has pledged his winnings to Feral Fixers!  The stories for all the contestants are great, please take the time to read how all of these animals have made a difference in their families' lives!  Feral Fixers is one of 25 organizations that will benefit from the donations made to the Pageant.  Thank you so much!


Winter finally came and has slowed us down some.  We had high hopes of huge numbers of cats being neutered in February and that is our goal once again in March as we see daytime temperatures climb to the 40's.  Our list of colonies & cats is growing longer everyday - looks like another big year for the cats in DuPage County!  Please be patient with us as we have so few volunteers to cover a very large area.

Relocation Possibilities

Everyone's life can go thru major changes - even more so these days with the economy!  As a result, we need relocation sites for cats on an ongoing basis, all thru the year.  Colonies that we thought could be in the same place forever can go thru changes unexpectedly and the cats need to be moved.  It is our absolute last choice but as always, our first priority is the cats.  If you know of anyone with the space, outbuildings, permanence to accommodate 2 to ? cats, please contact us!

Frosty Claws Recap

Wow! What a crowd! We had at least 173 attendees (not counting volunteers) and they had a great time socializing, enjoying the food, shopping, raffling and bidding! Many people sent their regrets at being unable to attend.

One of the coolest things was to hear that people had come to spend and donate because we had helped them when they had no money, could not neuter their ferals and we got it done for them - now they were in a position to donate for other cats and they felt really good about that.

We had several attendees that had been at the first-ever Frosty Claws - we were happy to have 30 or so people at that one - and could not believe what a difference had occurred in five years!

We really do need a new location for next year, we've maxed out the VFW hall for this event. If you know of a hall that would accommodate 300+, has tables on-site, a kitchen area and is affordable of course, please pass that info along! We always have the event at the beginning of January (its supposed to be our down time) and now is not too soon to reserve a space!

We do hope everyone had a really great time and look forward to seeing you all again!

DuPage County Animal Care and Control

I'm trying to make an effort to put that "Care" in their title these days. They euthanized only 5 cats for cage space in all of 2012. That is phenomenal compared to previous years when it was several hundred in one year. They are giving Feral Fixers a lot of credit for helping with this, which in itself is phenomenal. When I walk in to the facility it really does have a different feel and I think that great things are on the way. Next is no cats euthanized for cage space and then, who knows, no cats euthanized for illness? The volume that DPACC deals with is huge, but if all the organizations in DuPage pull together, it is a bright future for cats!
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

Feral Fixers Logo 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.

Thank you!
The City of Elmhurst and Feral Cats

As our President, Tammy McAuley, wrote in her March, 2011 Letter from the President;

"Not only has Elmhurst publicly embraced TNR, but they have recommended that their residents call Feral Fixers when they see a stray or feral cat. Some months ago, they posted an article about TNR and Feral fixers on their website and now they have endorsed TNR and Feral Fixers (again) in their community newsletter, The Front Porch.

Please take any and every opportunity to praise the City of Elmhurst for their progressive, positive and fiscally responsible decision to embrace TNR!!!"

This article celebrated the fact that the City of Elmhurst, once a very unfriendly place for feral cats and TNR, had now fully embraced TNR and Feral Fixers.

Once again, TNR and Feral Fixers has been highlighted on the City of Elmhurst's Official Website.

Thank you Elmhurst!
Fosters are needed now!

We talk to most of the shelters in the DuPage County area. There are fewer people fostering, yet we have more and more "friendlies" that need time in homes in order to find "forever" homes. The only way to get a cat into a shelter that will then adopt it out is to foster it first so that we can vouch for its behavior in a home. Even then, its a tough sale, the cats need to be neutered, up-to-date on all shots, be healthy - no sniffles! There are many borderline cats that could possibly be tamed, be happy in a home that have to be returned to the outside as there is simply nowhere to put them, even temporarily. We often ask caretakers to foster kittens themselves and that has worked out very well in many situations, but is not the answer for dozens of others - one reason is that the caretakers are actually allergic and this is how they get their cat fix, there's no way they can bring them inside.

The word seems to be out amongst the ferals - going inside, having a home, is a good deal and worth the effort! We need to come up with a similar number of foster homes in order to cope with the influx!

It is hard work. Takes a large part of your day for socializing, feeding, cleaning. But you can keep at the front of your mind - this cat will not be outside - this cat will never be short on food or care - this cat will not face the dangers from humans, cars and other animals. It is extremely worthwhile!

We began this just over five years ago. There are so many fewer kittens being born, things are better for cats all over DuPage County.

Please help us, help them!
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)...

Jackson & Indigo are both male cats.

We are in immediate need for a foster for Indigo and Jackson.  These two boys need and give so much affection - they are so good at hugging you would never believe they are former feral cats!

Jackson has been with us for over a year. He is a former feral that had some trouble initially communicating just how much he loved human attention - cats show love by biting, so don't humans? We are well past the biting but if he does not get enough attention he will try to grab your hand with his paw - hey! need you! Jackson is FIV+ and to help his food sensitivities, he is on a special diet. He is a beautiful, intelligent 4+ yr old large gray cat.

Indigo came to us in late summer. His caretakers had been trying to trap him ever since they saw that he was covered in blue paint. He was very trap savvy and by the time they caught him, he had cleaned (read consumed) the paint off and had become friendly. They brought him to us. He has gone thru a lot as the paint affected his immune system, etc. I've included a picture of when the skin sloughed off his nose and he drooled for a month. We got past that and then he started to lose his hair. We think that the best resolution for that is again a special diet, the hair has started coming back since he was switched to duck only. He is another demanding boy. He wants you to hold him and love him. He's three to four years old.

Indigo and Jackson have been together for two weeks and have started to bond very well, they are now grooming each other and have been being very good guests. Jackson has been in this foster for about 8 months.

It would be absolutely devastating to these cats to be put into cages at this stage. They spent so much time there as their health and behavior stabilized, it would really seem to be a step back to them now.

It is a very tall order to ask someone to take in two male cats with health issues, but the benefits to the person who would do that are endless! We know that special home is out there, can you spread the word so that it shows up right away?

Jenny has been adopted!  So many of our "friendlies" have moved on to new forever homes!  We never knew how many of the ferals would end up being friendly - it has been quite a challenge!

We still need a foster for Kelly - he needs a chance to get out and run around a home and learn what it is all about.  When bored he tends to scratch his ears - even cats can have OCD!
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.
Thank you.
How many cats? - 4,809 !!

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, in 2011, Feral Fixers had 1,024 cats spayed/neutered, and in 2012, Feral Fixers has had 1,231 cats spayed/neutered.  Finally, we've spayed/neutered 73 cats so far in 2013.

This brings us to a total of 4,809 cats. Clicking on the abacus will send you to the Feral Fixers 'Statistics' page where you can see our progress, month-by-month, since we've started work.
2013 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 is 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.
And so we would like to recognize the winning picture for this past year's holiday card submitted by Ms. Julie Dannhauser.  Thank you Julie - this picture truly says "winter" and "outdoor cat"!

Please send your submissions to The deadline for entering is April 15th, 2013.

We've already had several pictures submitted, but would like more.  Come on everyone - let's get creative!

(Picture thumbnail is of the winning picture - click on it to see a full-size version)
PayPal DonationDonate 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 9th, 2013 - DeVries Animal Hospital Adopt-A-Thon! This coming Saturday, as part of the Elmhurst St. Patrick's Day Celebration, the DeVries Animal Hospital will be hosting a few of our "friendly ferals" for adoption.  Details are in this flyer.  So, come out, enjoy the parade, and then visit DeVries to take a look at some of our cats available for adoption!

April 15, 2013 - Holiday Card Photo Contest
- As explained earlier in this eNewsletter, Feral Fixers is holding its second annual Holiday Card Contest.  April 15th is the deadline for submitting entries, so, with some of the snow we've recently had, it's now time to GET CREATIVE!

April 21, 2013 - Shop4Strays!
- Our yearly Bazaar is back and will be better than ever this year.  Details about this event are posted elsewhere in this eNewsletter - Mark your calendars now!

April 23, 2013 - Sweet Tomatoes Fun-raiser! - And yet another Fun-raiser at the Sweet Tomatoes located at 2820 Highland Ave in Lombard. Come and join us for dinner - the food and atmosphere are great (and healthy)! Sweet Tomatoes will donate 15% of all meal proceeds from people who dine at this location between 5 and 8 pm and give a copy of this flyer to the cashier when they pay for their meal. See you there! 
May 18, 2013 - West Chicago BloomingFest! - This will be the second year that we have a booth at this street fair. It is a big event - lots of people, lots of things to see and do and lots of fun. We'll post our booth number when we have it - mark your calendars! 
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 MousePad 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 MousePad or visit our website and click on the 'CafePress' button at the top - Thank you!
Visit us on the Web 

Visit our website at  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 CatTNR 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