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 #46 - June 2013
In This Issue
Article Headline
Don't forget to follow us on Facebook!
You never know who you might be helping...
Want to Help?
Shred4Rescues and Stella & Chewy's
Foster are needed now!
Villa Park TNR
How many cats? - 5,126!!
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,

It's been an unusually hectic time at Feral Fixers, getting the hub at Tammy's house functioning again after the recent flood (thank you again, to all of you who helped out by donating time and/or money and/or supplies to Feral Fixers).

You can read about this, processing our 5,000th cat, focusing on the cats of Villa Park, how the local shelters have really stepped up, helping out your neighbors and more in this eNewsletter.

Thank you again for all of your support.


Feral Fixers
Letter from the President

Huge Thank You to area shelters!

In the past month, several area shelters have really stepped up and taken in cats and kittens! Here are some ballpark numbers because, hopefully, they will all be taking more!

West Suburban Humane Society has taken 37 kittens and one adult from us. That is a savings to Feral Fixers of over $2,000 in surgeries and initial vaccinations and of course, hundreds of hours of foster time! St. Sophia's has been working on several situations and has taken over 25 cats & kittens. ADOPT has taken over 20 cats and kittens into their shelter and fosters. PURRS of Naperville has taken 10 adults and youngsters from us and more are in the works. Strays Halfway House took 2 cats from my house on the day of the flood and has taken in several more kittens straight from the outdoors.

The kittens ranged in age from 1 day old bottle-babies to 3 months, so in just a few weeks the adoption market will be flooded with all of these wonderful kittens! June is Adopt-A-Cat Month and by the end of June, your options will be endless!

It encourages me to no end that shelters are stepping up and putting their energies where they are needed most! We are creating a deficit of kittens but we are still getting multiple calls every day of 2 - 6 kittens in each call. Please talk about TNR to your friends, family and neighbors BEFORE KITTENS HAPPEN!

Huge gratitude to all of the area shelters!!!

Times May Be Achangin'!

Recently, Dr Kate Hurley, Director of the UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program, has changed her philosophy. Previously, trap & kill was her advice and practice as she was brought in to advise on many difficult situations regarding cat overpopulation and shelter crowding.

180 degree turnaround later - the acknowledgement that feral cats will never be happy in a home, so "sheltering" them only leads to their death. Her proposal is that animal controls no longer accept feral cats. Accepting cats only to be euthanized is finally being seen as a useless practice.

I hope you take the time to read the FAQs, but let me repeat the last paragraph:

"Some members of the public will be unhappy regardless of the strategy a shelter or community chooses to manage community cats. However, the data suggest that, if the alternative is euthanasia, most people will support non-lethal strategies even if these represent an imperfect solution. There are no easy answers nor is there a magical solution that affordably, humanely and safely eliminates the many issues associated with cats in communities. In the long run, strategies that focus on removing dangerous, sick and injured cats, re-homing adoptable cats and providing resources to help community cats and people co-exist peacefully may be more cost effective, palatable and successful than reliance on continued removal and euthanasia of unwanted cats."

This is novel thinking and it is TIME! There are many elected officials this year that are new to their jobs and hopefully open to new ideas that will fix the issues we have had for so very long.

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!
You never know who you might be helping

Recently, we were contacted by a caretaker.  Her neighbor fed the cats mostly but they were out of control, so many kittens born, she was really worried.  And it seemed he had stopped feeding because they were at her door all of the time now.  He was a recluse and they were apprehensive about even speaking to him, unsure of his reaction to the suggestion of TNR - there had been harsh words between them before.  Years ago, the County had come and confiscated all the cats at his house and cleaned out his house as he was a hoarder, and he blamed his neighbors.  But this did not stop his behaviors.
If the cats are out, they get TNR'd, that is our policy and it has worked well for us.  So, Sunday, 9 kittens were scooped up, their fleas and eyes treated and they are doing well so far.  Between Sunday and Monday, seven adults were trapped.  Then on Tuesday, no more cats.  Susan (names have been changed) was worried that he had taken the remaining kittens and adults into his home and would not let them out and more kittens would be born.
So, I did something really radical.  Remember TNR organizations and animal controls have been enemies thru the ages.  We have a good and unique relationship with DuPage County Animal Care and Control.  I called DPACC, talked to their head ACO and asked for her help.  She was more than willing to send an officer to talk to "Bill" and explain that the cats were coming back, the kittens were being cared for and would find homes.  I was still a little concerned, but didn't see any alternative to the cats and the people and Bill himself being held hostage by this situation.
Today, the ACO came to talk to Bill.  He expressed his concern that something terrible had happened to the cats, Susan overheard and came over and explained that Feral Fixers would be returning the cats in a couple days and to not worry.  He was incredibly relieved.  When we next go to PAWS, he will help get the remaining cats into the traps.  He will also help search for one of the remaining kittens that no one has seen for two days.
The reason Bill had stopped feeding?  He is 80+ years old, has fallen victim to some financial scams and difficulties and had run out of food for not only the cats, but for himself.  The ACO is hooking him up with some resources for food, for resolving some of his financial woes and things are looking better for Bill.  Susan feels so much better, knowing that she has a neighbor that she can speak to and not be afraid of any longer.
You can never assume the worse.  You NEVER know who you might end up helping.  You may think you are only saving these cats right in front of you, but there can be much farther impact than you can even imagine.  Get out of your comfort zone, get out there, and TALK!!!
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 protected].
Shred4Rescues and Stella & Chewy's 

Our thanks to Citadel Information Management for hosting Shred4Rescues.  It was great exposure and they split the donations for shredding amongst the participating animal organizations, resulting in a $600+ donation to Feral Fixers!  Shown in the picture thumbnail are Feral Fixers President Tammy McAuley and Board Member Sue Lee accepting the donation from Citadel Information Management (click on it to see a full-size version).  This event was also covered in an excellent article on

Also, a big thank you to Stella & Chewy's Feeding Friends Program for donating a percentage of purchases made at Natural Pet Market which resulted in an almost $300 contribution to help neuter DuPage County's ferals!
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.
Thank you.
Villa Park TNR

Feral Fixers has received a grant to work on the feral cats located in Villa Park.  We have a few months left to complete our grant, so if you have feral cats in Villa Park, don't wait any longer, contact us!  Help us help the cats of Villa Park!  Contact  [email protected] or 630-881-3977.
How many cats? - 5,126 !!

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 393 cats so far in 2013.

This brings us to a total of 5,126 cats. Clicking on the calculator will send you to the Feral Fixers 'Statistics' page where you can see our progress, month-by-month, since we've started work.
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  

August 27, 2013 - Sweet Tomatoes Fun-raiser! - And yet another Fun-raiser at the Sweet Tomatoes located at 2820 Highland Ave in Lombard will be held on August 27th! 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 12, 2013 - Feral Fixers Celebration - Feral Fixers is planning on holding a Fundraising and Thank-you dinner on this date to commemorate spaying/neutering our 5,500th cat. This event is very early in the planning stages and more details will be posted as soon as we finalize them.

October 16, 2013 - National Feral Cat Day - This day has been designated by Alley Cat Allies as a day to raise awareness of Feral Cats and that the program of Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is the only effective, humane way to deal with the issue of outdoor cats.

October 29, 2013 - Sweet Tomatoes Fun-raiser! - Once again, Feral Fixers will be hosting a Fun-raiser at the Sweet Tomatoes located at 2820 Highland Ave in Lombard on this date! 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!

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!

December 10, 2013 - Sweet Tomatoes Fun-raiser! - The last Fun-raiser of 2013 at the Sweet Tomatoes located at 2820 Highland Ave in Lombard will be held on December 10th! 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! 
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 Keychain 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 Keychain 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