|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 #45 - April 2013|
It's April and it's raining! At least we're having a spring this year. You may remember that last year we jumped into the 80's almost immediately...
We're gearing up for our annual "Shop4Strays" event, to be held this Sunday. Each year it gets bigger and better and this year should be no exception. You can read more about this event later on in this eNewsletter.
In Tammy's Letter from the President, we learn about more misleading information about feral cats, this time from the Smithsonian Institution, a very noble gesture by the daughter of one of our long-time supporters, our new fundraisers that we have going on and a very 'interesting' situation at a local barn.
You can also read about TNR in Chicago's Chinatown and more in this eNewsletter - See you at Shop4Strays!
Thank you again for all of your support.
| Letter From the President |The False Information That Won't Die
Recently, the Smithsonian printed misleading and false information about feral predation on birds - so false that the author of the article was terminated. But, just like when a disclaimer gets printed on page 32, the original information is circulated again and again. This article
in the Journal of American Veterinary Medicine is the latest instance of copycat journalistic laziness. What is interesting is that their headquarters is right in Schaumburg - not even a long-distance phone call! The contact information is available in the banner above the article - follow "contact us" and feel free to comment on what was supposed to be an impartial pro/con article on feral cats. Shame on R. Scott Nolen and shame on his editors for repeating the same old drivel! No wonder vets are scared to have ferals in their practices when a resource that states "We Are Veterinary Medicine" claims that ferals are responsible for millions of bird and wildlife death. Please take the time to read the article and make your feelings known. If we can't influence the "locals".....Children Are Our Future
I would like to single out one of our donors - Nora is the daughter of one of our long-time fosters. She loves cats so much! She supports Feral Fixers by doing impromptu fundraisers, the latest of which was in honor of her birthday. Nora donated $131 of her birthday money to Feral Fixers! Thank you, Nora!Busy, As Always!
We have a few events going on currently and more coming up!
We'd like to thank our friends at Stella & Chewy's for their offer to make a donation from all the sales in the month of April at Natural Pet Market in Wheaton. Natural Pet Market is a great place to stop in and learn a lot about food options that aren't on the shelves of some of the other pet food vendors! No coupon necessary, its automatic with purchase!
Our Feral Fixers' Bazaar "Shop 4 Strays" is imminent! Where else can you shop such a variety of home party vendors, the Feral Fixers Boutique AND our fabulous Bake Sale at one time! Nowhere else! As always, Feral Fixers volunteers will be on hand to answer questions, so come, hang out, have some coffee & shop!
Our Petco Foundation "Life Is Better Together" fundraiser is still going til April 29th. Emphasis on "fundraiser" - you vote with your donation. We have a team of animals, under VIEW PHOTOS, enter Feral Fixers and all the options appear! We have some really cuties! They all have a story, check them out and vote! We need to raise $1500 by the 29th or all of the money we have raised goes into a big pool, and we would only receive it if picked in a drawing. So pass the information on to your friends and family!Keeping Pace With Last Year
We are, at this writing, one shy of the total number of cats neutered at the end of April last year. I expected us to be slowing down, but people really do not want their ferals to have kittens! This is great news! We are crossing our fingers as usually the shelters are awash in kittens by now and that is not the case yet! Yea!!!
I have to tell you about a recent trapping experience. I rarely GET to go out trapping myself anymore, there's just too much to do! But, for this location, there wasn't anyone who could go this far, in this direction. Sue was stopping at a barn to leave food for the cats and was concerned about how many kittens would be born if they did not get TNR'd. She was sure there were 17 cats, she had counted that many. So, I brought 18 traps with and made contingency plans for someone to come later and take filled traps away and bring more empties, just in case. We trapped 14 cats before we called it an afternoon - it was time to address the
peeping of kittens that I had heard off and on. By then (super volunteer) Judy had arrived with the drop trap that she had been sure would be needed. She and (super volunteer) Ted had been on a project even further out in the boonies and I had asked that they stop and check on the situation on their way back. We were pretty certain which was the mother of the kittens, having seen her jumping out of the trough in which 3 kittens were screaming, barely a day old in the small amount of straw they were laying in, soooo cold. We set up the drop trap, put the kittens in a bowl with "their" straw, warmed them in the car periodically and finally! got the mom! That was definitely enough for that day. The next day, Judy and I came back with the drop trap and with Sue's help, got 8 more cats before the remaining cats would no longer come out of hiding to check on what was going on. We knew there were more. Over the next 5 days, Sue trapped the remaining 9 cats. Yes, 14 + 1 + 8 + 9 = 32 cats & 3 kittens. Mom had a rocky start, but it doing well with the kittens now. And we have a new trapper in Sue who has gotten the TNR bug and is willing to help with locations in her area! With 14 adult females, you do the math, there could have been 50 - 60 kittens born there this Spring! Great job, Sue!
(The picture thumbnail is of the Barn mom and her three babies - click on it to see a full-size version of the picture)
As always, we thank everyone who donate their time and money to making Feral Fixers a success!
| 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.
| 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.
| 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. They have found a new foster and are doing very well. They just love attention and beg for it. They really need a forever home that can give them a future together if possible. They are special needs cats, Jackson is FIV+ and they both do so much better on a special diet but other than that they are wonderful and uncomplicated!
Kelly is still with us. FINALLY his ears seem to have been resolved, back and forth between fungal and earmites, he does not appear to be scratching at all, any more. YEA! He is such a wonderful guy, just loves being groomed and hugged, not super outgoing yet but doing soooo much better.
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? - 4,954 !!
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 218 cats so far in 2013.
This brings us to a total of 4,954 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 (Trap-Neuter-Return) in Chicago's Chinatown |
Feral Fixers is one of several Trap-Neuter-Return organizations in and around Cook County (and is the only one in DuPage County that we are aware of). TripleRPets
, a really fine sister TNR organization works mainly in southern Cook County but also can work with colonies elsewhere (as we do).
A recent article
in DNAInfo.com discusses TripleRPets efforts in Chicago's Chinatown and discusses TNR efforts in general.
This is a very good article and well worth the read.
Well done TripleRPets!
|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
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 - Be there or be square!
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!
April 29, 2013 - Petco Foundation Fundraiser - last day to vote! - The Petco Foundation has set up a Fundraiser to help animal welfare organizations raise money. You can help Feral Fixers by joining the Feral Fixers team and entering one or more pictures to be voted on or voting on our pictures ($1 per vote - minimum $5 donation). April 29th, at 12noon Pacific time, is the last day to vote - so vote early and often (details of how to do so are here). Thank you!
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!
May 18, 2013 - Shred4Rescues! - The Citadel Information Management Information company will be holding an adoption event from 9am to 1pm at their location, 827 Blackhawk Drive in Westmont, IL. Several organizations, including Feral Fixers, will be represented at this event and will have animals there looking for their for their 'fur-ever' homes. More information about this event can be found in this brochure.
June 18, 2013 - Sweet Tomatoes Fun-raiser! - The latest Fun-raiser at the Sweet Tomatoes located at 2820 Highland Ave in Lombard will be held on June 18th! Come and join us for dinner - the food and atmosphere are great (and healthy)! Sweet Tomatoes will donate 20% (as opposed to the usual 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!
October ??, 2013 - National Feral Cat Day - Feral Fixers is planning on holding a Fundraising and Thank-you dinner on National Feral Cat Day to commemorate spaying/neutering our 5,000th cat. This event is very early in the planning stages and more details will be posted as soon as we finalize them.
November 21st, 2013 - Last call for 2013 Spay/Neuters! - Feral Fixers is planning on ending its spay/neuter activities for 2013 on this date. This is the last Thursday before Thanksgiving. Feral Fixers will resume its spay/neuter runs in early 2014. So, if you are taking care of feral cats you want fixed this year, plan accordingly!
| 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 Can Cooler 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 Can 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