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 #47 - September 2013
In This Issue
Celebrate 5500!
Letter from the President
Don't forget to follow us on Facebook!
Cats are stalking us...
Want to Help?
Foster are needed now!
How many cats? - 5,680!!
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,

The summer has been busy, busy, busy...  In addition to fixing over 900 cats for the year now, we've been finding homes for strays, working to build our Foster network, tabling at several events and all around just doing stuff.

The next big thing we have coming up is Celebrate 5500, an event you surely do not want to miss.  Details are later on in this eNewsletter.  We also have an update from Tammy on all the things that she and Feral Fixers have been doing over this past few months.

You can read about this, get more details on Celebrate 5500, find out about "cats that are stalking us" and more in this eNewsletter.

Thank you again for all of your support.


Feral Fixers
Letter from the President

Happy Monday

That is the how I begin e-mails and phone calls to local shelters every Monday in hopes that they have had sufficient adoptions over the weekend to enable them to take in just a few of the many friendlies that we have on hand.  Our Petfinder has dozens and dozens, our adoption coordinator spends about five hours a day responding to inquiries and following up on potential adopters.  Maintaining our fosters takes at least a five hours a day if not more.  Too many people are demanding that cats be relocated as they will not care for them any longer.

This is preventing us from trapping and ultimately preventing this overabundance of cats.  

We need more volunteers to help with adoptions, to assist our fosters, to foster, to relocate, to trap.  

We have been working so hard that unfortunately, we are now facing what is called Compassion Fatigue in the rescue community.  It is a very real thing and more often than not, results in individuals just walking away from what has become too big to deal with.  Until you have been thru it, its very hard to understand and I have made every effort to get enough help to prevent this, but we are at a crossroads.  Many of our volunteers have had life changes and are unable to continue, we need people to fill their shoes and beyond!

It is painful to return cats that could be happy in a home, worse yet to hold onto cats in limbo until those homes can be found.

Please help us so that we can continue to make the same progress that we have become known for!

Come Celebrate With Us!

Please join us on October 13th for Celebrate 5500 and help us celebrate how far we have come in just six short years!  Great food and the best cat people in the area - what more could you ask for?  Sign up on our website or send in those invite responses as soon as possible so we can reserve your spot!

September was Hoppin'

We were at four different event locations in September, in four different directions.  We were at:  the Villa Park Paws on the Path event, the Westmont Pet Promenade at Ty Warner Park in Westmont,  the DuPage County Fall Festival in Wheaton  and wrapped up the month with the West Suburban Humane Society Barkapalooza in Lisle.  When we first started appearing at these events, people were suspicious and walked by, averting their eyes.  Now, people walk right up, thank us for what we do, share stories of how we have helped them, their neighbors, their community.  Its great to be reminded what a difference we are making!

Haven't Heard From Us?

When people contact an organization, they often expect the phone to be answered or a call back within minutes or at the most, hours.  In a volunteer organization, that may not be possible due to the volume of calls, cats, just plain work that is already on our hands.  For instance, I started to write this letter back in August and so many things got in the way!  We know we need to contact you, communicate with you, please be patient but call us again - that may be the window of time when we CAN answer the phone :)!  

Again, thank you all so much!  We could not do this without YOU!
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!
Cats are stalking us...

Back on September 6th, a volunteer, leaving my house, called to say there was a cat down the street and sent me pictures.
The next day, that same cat, as I was arriving home, sat in the middle of the street at the end of the block, watching me.
The following day, that cat was under one of our cars.
The next, he sat in the middle of the end of the driveway, staring at the open garage.
I give up.  I started feeding him - he was so skinnnnnnny!
We have a TruCatch trap that is so ancient, all it is good for is pre-baiting, with the door wired open.
I sat his food at the opening and over the course of the next few days, he pushed the food farther and farther into the trap as he was eating.
Finally, he seemed bulked up enough and it was the day before we go in to PAWS.  I set another trap, identical to the feeding trap, right next to it.
Five minutes later, I had him.
He was too skinny, still, so I kept him in a trap for a few days while I tried to create enough room to put him in a cage because he told us loud and long that he was a friendly!!!!
When I picked him up for the first time, he held on and purred.
He finally bulked up enough for neuter and is now blitzed by an upper respiratory.
This is clearly one of those cats that wanted to end his life on the street and may be the last one we can take in for awhile.
Please wish Peter a speedy recovery!

(Photo thumbnail is of Peter - he's right in the center.  Click on the thumbnail to see a full-size version of the picture.)
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].
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.
How many cats? - 5,680 !!

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 947 cats so far in 2013.

This brings us to a total of 5,680 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.
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  

October 13, 2013 - Celebrate 5500! - Feral Fixers is celebrating its sixth anniversary, spaying/neutering 5500 cats and the 22 annual National Feral Cat Day.  We will be hosting a buffet dinner, preceded by Hors d'oeuvres and followed by a Keynote speech from Rochelle Michalek, Executive Director of PAWS, another speech by our President, Tammy McAuley and a short video presentation showing the history and highlights of the first six years of Feral Fixers.  Tickets are $55 and must be purchased (either online or via mail) by Saturday, October 5th.  Please come out an join us that day - it should be a wonderful time!

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 9, 2013 - Bake Sale! - On this date Feral Fixers will host a Bake Sale at the Lombard Trinity Lutheran Church's 34th Annual Craft Show.  More details will be posted soon.

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!

January 19, 2014 - Frosty Claws! - Feral Fixers will host its SIXTH annual Frosty Claws on this date at the VFW Hall located at 29 E St. Charles Road in Villa Park. More details will be posted soon - but MARK YOUR CALENDARS NOW!

April 6, 2014 - Shop4Strays - Feral Fixers will host another Shop4Strays event on this date at the VFW Hall located at 29 E St. Charles Road in Villa Park. More details will be posted soon. 
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 Playing cards 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 Playing cards 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