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 #53 - August, 2014
In This Issue
Letter from the President
As If They Were Our Own Fundraiser
Don't forget to follow us on Facebook!
Can your cat live with birds?
Feral Fixers Wish Lists
Feral cats in the news...
Want to Help?
Fosters are needed now!
Tree House is a winner!
Shop on ebay - Help Feral Fixers!
How many cats? - 6,724!!
Shop on Amazon - Help Feral Fixers!
The Great Charity Contest
Donate to Feral Fixers
Albuquerque gets on board with TNR!
Calendar of Upcoming Events
Shop for Feral Fixers
Visit us on the Web
What is Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)?
About us
Dear Friend,

Another jam-packed eNewsletter!  We have been so busy this summer and there's no sign that things are letting up anytime soon.

In this eNewsletter, Feral Fixers Tammy McAuley shares a couple of more stories about the daily (but never the same) activities of Feral Fixers.  We ask for financial help with our latest fundraiser, "As If They Were Our Own" and we share lots of interesting articles, including how you can have pet cats and birds peacefully co-exist!

We also share the good news about the town of Albuquerque and the Tree House Humane Society.  And, there are stories about Feral Cats being useful creatures in the wild, Kramer the cat, ways you can help Feral Fixers by shopping on ebay or Amazon Smile, voting for us in The Great Charity Contest, our ever-present need for Fosters and much, much more!

Thank you again for all of your support - we couldn't do what we do without you!


Feral Fixers
Letter from the President

I think I'm going to continue sharing our stories with you guys, you seem to like them and it helps you get the big picture about what we do! And I'm never going to run out of stories!


Got a call today from a lady, she's 86 years old, retired 26 years ago from AT&T, didn't expect to live this long, she says! She has a barn and two horses and she's doing okay taking care of everything still but she went and fed these two cats. Now, there's 12 adults and 8 kittens. Could we help? She feels really bad, but just can't stretch her finances further than donating $100 to offset our costs. She thinks the kittens are 9 weeks old. I'm torn between wanting them to be 7 weeks or less or more than 10 weeks old. 7 weeks or less are usually easily tamed (although there is nowhere to put them) and 10+ weeks can be put back, hard as it is to see the little guys out there. The upside of this, even tho she is outside of DuPage County, we have a wonderful volunteer out there on the edge of our service area that may be able to help somewhat. You do the math tho, if all 20 are done as ferals, that's $700 to us. If the kittens are sent thru as friendlies, that's $20 more each, bringing the total to $860. A long way from $100 but we cannot let this situation explode into 40+ in the Spring. I'm hoping we can get out there this coming week, cross your fingers for us!


Got a call from a girl on Wednesday = we go to PAWS on Thursday, you know. She had put off calling us in order to save up money to get a few of the cats done. In the meantime, the total had grown to 14 cats or so. Clearly, it does no good to wait, the problem will always grow beyond the resources! Imagine her relief when I told her that since she lived in Addison, we get reimbursed for the s/n! I told her that we would get to her as soon as possible. I Mapquested her and realized that one of our indispensible trappers takes care of a colony within two miles of her. Called her up, she went over there after work and brought four cats in that evening for surgery the next day!


This is all made possible because we have willing volunteers who rearrange their lives in order to reduce the numbers of feral cats. It is made possible by our donors who create that cushion of money that enables us to front the costs in Addison to be reimbursed later, to be able to neuter all 20 cats and kittens that have suddenly erupted from one location. It is made possible by each person who friends us, forwards and shares our info, participates in our events.


Thank you!




I recently attended the Illinois Animal Welfare Federation Prairie States Conference in Bloomington. Attended by employees and volunteers of animal controls and shelters for the most part, I seemed to be the only attendee from a TNR focused organization there. I felt I was spreading the gospel at times in talking to different people. Most were receptive but I was amazed at the number who did not think it was important to microchip ferals - even representatives of national organizations were clearly befuddled that we were "wasting" our money. I'm reminded of the starfish story, you can't toss all the stranded starfish back into the sea, but its very important for the ones that you are able to do so for - and so it is for all of the cats that we have microchipped and had their lives changed as a result and we are lucky enough to know their stories!


On the whole, these were friendly, receptive people who attended and hosted the event. Remember, these are "animal" people, they don't normally relate well to humans! But, I think that conferences like this break down the barriers and fears that our overwork and isolation produce in animal rescue.


I was able to talk to a few vendors and have promised to share some of our experiences with their products with them. I enjoyed talking to the Tomahawk trap representatives!


One of the seminars that I attended was dedicated to increasing donations, maintaining communication with donors. You know there are some organizations that have full-time, paid employees that all they do is solicit, groom, schmooze donors? They go to lunch with prospective donors or at the very least, meet them for coffee. I walked out of there feeling that I had let you guys down - you know I have every INTENTION of keeping up with thank you cards & letters, right? I just can't seem to keep up with that when there are still cats to neuter, kittens to tame, and all the wide and varied duties that are part of doing TNR that no one ever sees.


One entertaining seminar was devoted just to ticks and the illnesses they spread. Itched the whole time. The life of a tick is much more complicated than I had any idea!




Our shelter partners have done their best to take kittens from us this year but now they are maxed out for the most part and we have dozens and dozens of kittens on hand. This is over and above the friendly adults that have come our way. We will be participating in a few adoption events in the next two months, please stop by and say hello and let your friends and family know our schedule. And of course, when you stop at a shelter - ask to see the cats that came from Feral Fixers!


Every call we get these days involves moms & kittens. In March and April and even May, we can be pretty certain the kittens are going to be young enough to tame easily, but now we are getting into those kittens that are older, if they haven't interacted with humans already, they will need to go back where they came from - we cannot afford the months of taming that they will require to be adoptable. This is why people should not wait until they see the kittens come up to the food bowl and then try to find an answer - it can be too late. There are a limited number of adoptive homes and fewer foster homes than that. Please help us get ahead of the kittens! The next rush is due in just a few short weeks - they are out there mating now! Don't delay! Spay today!


And finally, the story of the Starfish...


A young man is walking along the ocean and sees a beach on which thousands and thousands of starfish have washed ashore. Further along he sees an old man, walking slowly and stooping often, picking up one starfish after another and tossing each one gently into the ocean.


"Why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?," he asks.


"Because the sun is up and the tide is going out and if I don't throw them further in they will die."


"But, old man, don't you realize there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it! You can't possibly save them all, you can't even save one-tenth of them. In fact, even if you work all day, your efforts won't make any difference at all."


The old man listened calmly and then bent down to pick up another starfish and threw it into the sea. "It made a difference to that one."

Feral Fixers is trying to raise money to cover some of our veterinary bills, bills that we incur in addition to what we pay for spay/neuter costs.  On our Home Page, you can see the stories of two of the cats we are trying to raise money for, "Tillman" and "Chatter".

This fundraiser runs through September 15th and we are trying to raise $3,000.  Please donate if you can.  Thank 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!
Can your cat live with birds?

The Greater Chicago Caged Bird Club is one of the rescues we have partnered with and they have many members who have both birds and cats.  We have heard from many people "we really love this cat and would like to bring him in, but we have birds and we just can't risk it - can you find him a home?"  So often, the cats choose the family/person that they would prefer to live with, it can take extra effort to get them to change their focus and accept other people as the ideal home, can be done but if the bird and cat can live together without a problem, perhaps its worth a try.

Check out how other cat and bird lovers have made it work!


Introducing Cats Into a House With Pet Birds


Training Your Dog and Cat to be Around Your Pet Birds - SAFELY!   

Feral Fixers Wish Lists

SPECIAL NOTE - We have recently updated our Wish Lists on both of these sites.  If you haven't visited one or both of them recently, we invite you to do so again in the near future - Thank you!

Want to help Feral Fixers by purchasing something that we really could use?  Then check out our Wish Lists on and Amazon.  Both of them have many items listed that we would greatly appreciate and they are shipped directly to us!

This is a wonderful way to help Feral Fixers.  Many people prefer to support a charitable organization by purchasing items for them rather than sending them a donation and this is a way you can do so.

To find the Feral Fixers Wish List on, just go to their website and click on the Wish List link near the top, right-hand corner of the page.  Then enter the words "Feral Fixers" (without the quotation marks) into the box that says "Find Someone's Wish List" and hit Enter.  You'll then be presented with all of the items currently on that Feral Fixers would like to have.  Add the item(s) you wish to donate to your Shopping Cart in the normal manner and, when you pay for them, they'll be ordered and shipped directly to Feral Fixers!

And, if you order from the AmazonSmile website (see instructions elsewhere in this eNewsletter for instructions on how to do so), you'll help us in an additional way - you'll have donated one or more items to us AND 1/2% of your purchase price will also be additionally donated to Feral Fixers (this only applies to items that are so eligible - shown in the description of them item).

To find the Feral Fixers Wish List on, just go to their website and point to the Registry link at the top.  From the drop-down menu shown at that time, click on the Wish List link.  Enter "Feral" in the First Name Field and "Fixers" in the Last Name field (without the quotation marks) and click on the "Find" button.  You'll then see a table with one line item in it.  Click on the FERAL FIXERS line and you'll see our Wish List displayed.  Add the item(s) you wish to donate to your Shopping Cart in the normal manner and, when you pay for them, they'll be ordered and shipped directly to Feral Fixers!

Thank you!
Feral cats in the news...

Those of us who have worked with feral cats and look at their relation to nature with an unbiased eye have long known that their reputation for being a pest (or worse) is largely unfounded.  Recently, a couple of stories were published about a study showing the positive effect that Feral cats can have on their surroundings.

These stories related to a study published in Global Ecology and Biogeography stating that feral cats were not the "creatures of doom" for local fauna that they're often painted to be.  And in some cases, Feral cats can have a beneficial effect.

At, they recently published an article about this study which found "5 Ways Feral Cats Do More Good Than Harm for Wildlife".

And at the Sydney Morning Herald, they published a more extensive review of the report.

You can access the full report here.

It's nice to see some unbiased, data-supported studies regarding feral 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 [email protected].
Fosters are needed now!

Update on Lenny, he went to Felines & Canines in Chicago for adoption, along with several of our other cats and kittens.  Remember, ask for Feral Fixer cats - they are always special!

We are always asking for foster homes.  Fostering is not a life-long commitment, some times people can only foster for the summer or, conversely just for the winter and their lives can change dramatically and very quickly, so we are always looking to replace fosters who are no longer able to do so.  The need is constant, the supply of homes not so much!  Please consider helping Feral Fixers' friendlies find their way into forever homes with a stop at yours first!

Kittens this year have seem to have an extra spark to them, more are friendly than any previous year it seems!  And the weather has cooperated so much, resulting in more than ever being healthy.  The only thing holding them back to being in forever homes is a foster to put them while they get big enough for surgery and learn the ins and outs of being in a home!

Adult cats are trying very hard to get into homes, sitting on doorsteps, rubbing ankles - so often of someone who cannot take them in!  So, that's where fosters come in! to make sure they are 100% adoptable!

Help us, help them!
Tree House is a winner!

Recently, we heard some very happy news about our good friends at the Tree House Humane Society;

"Thanks to everyone who voted for us in the IKEA Life Improvement Challenge! We won the Grand Prize of an $8,500 makeover. We'll be working with IKEA designers to create some "Real Life" rooms for the cats to enjoy. Plus, we'll be able to take the furnishings with us to our new facility! Watch for our makeover updates and stop by when we are all finished!"


So, congratulations to Tree House and thank you to everyone who voted for them! 

Shop on ebay - Help Feral Fixers!

Did you know that some of your purchases on ebay can directly help Feral Fixers?  When a seller posts an item, they can designate a charity to donate a portion of the proceeds to.  Several people have done so for Feral Fixers.  When you purchase one or more of these items, a portion of the sale is donated directly to Feral Fixers!

You don't have to register anything, submit any coupons, fill out any forms, etc.  All you have to do is to purchase an item whose seller has designated Feral Fixers as their Charity of Choice.

If you follow this link, you can see all the items on ebay that have Feral Fixers as a designated charity.

Our thanks to those sellers who have so-designated Feral Fixers - your contributions are greatly appreciated!  And, if you are a seller and would like to start designating Feral Fixers as a Charity, instructions on how to do so are shown on the same page.

Thank you!

Can't take Kramer home?  Help Feral Fixers take care of him until he finds that perfect home.  Click on "Sponsor Me" and make a donation!  This is a new program and Feral Fixers received $45 for the month of June in sponsorships!  Lots of food and litter!  Of course, Kramer would like some toys, too!

Thank you!
How many cats? - 6,724 !!

# of cats fixed

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.
Shop on Amazon - Help Feral Fixers!

Feral Fixers is now a designated charity on, the website which offers a gazillion items for sale.  A great many of these items have been designated eligible for "amazonsmile", a program that automatically donates 1/2% of the purchase price of the item to the charity of your choice.

Instead of signing on to, sign on to instead.  You'll then be able to designate a "Favorite charity".  Enter "Feral Fixers" where asked to and then Feral Fixers will be eligible for these donations.

In order for you to then purchase amazonsmile items, you will always need to sign in to  This is the same website you've always enjoyed - all of the products are still listed, but note that not every item on Amazon is "amazonsmile" eligible.  Items that are eligible are clearly designated as such in the description.

So, register Feral Fixers as your favorite charity and help us help the cats!

Thank you!
The Great Charity Contest

Feral Fixers has been nominated as one of the charities to be in the running to win $500 from Bill Stasek Chevrolet.

It's easy to help us try and win.  Visit their Facebook link, "Like" Bill Stasek Chevrolet and then vote for Feral Fixers!  You can vote every day the contest is running (from now until the end of the month).

Remember, this is Chicagoland - vote early and often!

Thank you!
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!
Albuquerque gets on board with TNR!

The city of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was the subject of a recent YouTube video about how they are now practicing Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) with the help of a grant from PetSmart Charities and assistance from Best Friends.

They have reduced their euthanasia of cats by 85% and have seen all of the benefits that come with a fewer number of kittens being born.

We've seen that here in DuPage County - we all remember that in 2013 they achieved their goal of not euthanizing a single cat for space, something they've been trying to do for a long time.  And it's clear that the efforts of Feral Fixers in reducing the number of cats that enter the shelter system has played a large part.

Feral Fixers was also the recipient of a grant from PetSmart Charities to target the feral cat population in Villa Park.

So, thank you PetSmart Charities!  Thank you Best Friends!  And thank you to the city of Albuquerque for becoming a practitioner and advocate for Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)!

You can read more about the efforts in Albuquerque here as well as seeing a video of what they are doing.
Calendar of Upcoming Events

Adoption Events

September 6, 2014 - PetSmart Adoption Event! Feral Fixers will be hosting an adoption event at the PetSmart store located at 63 Rice Lake Square in Wheaton from 11am to 3pm. All of our cats/kittens are in Foster homes, are spayed/neutered, current on their vaccinations, microchipped, dewormed and FeLV/FIV tested.

September 27, 2014 - TwoBostons Adopt-A-Rama! Feral Fixers will be hosting an adoption event at the TwoBostons store located at Springbrook Shopping Center at 2523 W 75th Street in Naperville from noon to 3pm. All of our cats/kittens are in Foster homes, are spayed/neutered, current on their vaccinations, microchipped, dewormed and FeLV/FIV tested.


July 2, 2014 - October 15, 2014 - Future Blooms Fundraiser! It's not too early to start thinking about next year's garden, it's really not. Anytime between now and October 15th, you can purchase from the wonderful selection at FlowerPowerFundraising and 50% of your purchase price will go directly to Feral Fixers and your order is shipped directly to you! Just click on the "Future Blooms Fundraiser" link in the Top Menu to visit the FlowerPower Feral Fixers page - Thank you!

August 15, 2014 - September 15, 2014 - As If They Were Our Own!  One of the reasons Feral Fixers is such a success is that we do so much more than TNR.  In many cases the cats that we help have fallen thru the cracks and there is no one there to provide support for them.  Some times that includes medical care that a caretaker simply does not have funds for - whether that is for a shot of antibiotic for a severe upper respiratory infection or abscess or in some cases, extensive, life-saving surgery.

Our local vet bill is almost always well above $1,000 a month.  In one month we might have 10 rabies vaccinations, 15 Convenia (long-acting antibiotic wonder drug) shots, a dental, 10 FELV/FIV snap tests, and bam! there you are at $1,000.  The rabies vaccinations have to be done at a veterinarian's office to be legal, Convenia is incredibly expensive and expires in a short time after opening (cats used to die from upper respiratory!), dentals can make the difference between life and death and snap tests are the only way we will get a cat adopted.  We manage our vet visits carefully but everything adds up!

Please visit our Home page to see the story of "Tillman" and "Chatter", and to see how you can donate to help us help them.

Other important dates 

September 20, 2014 - DuPage County Annual Fall Festival - The Friends of DuPage County Animal Care & Control produces this event each year on the grounds just outside their facility in Wheaton. It has tons of vendors and always draws a large crowd and, once again, Feral Fixers will be hosting a booth there. More details about this event will be posted when available.

September 28, 2014 - Barkapalooza! - This will be the eighth year in a row that Feral Fixers will have a booth at this really fun event. The West Suburban Humane Society hosts this event and each year it draws a very big crowd. More details about this event will be posted when available.

November 8, 2014 - Bake Sale! - Once again, Feral Fixers will be hosting a Bake Sale at the Craft show being held at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lombard. More details about this event will be posted when available.

December 7, 2014 - Celebrate 7,000! - To celebrate our 7,000th cat (yes, we're looking ahead!), Feral Fixers will be hosting an event at the VFW Hall located at 29 E St. Charles Rd in Villa Park. More details about this event will be posted when available.

January 18, 2015 - Frosty Claws! - Feral Fixers will be hosting its seventh (yes, SEVENTH) annual Frosty Claws on this date at the VFW Hall located at 29 E St. Charles Rd in Villa Park. More details about this event will be posted when available.

April 19, 2015 - Shop4Strays! - Feral Fixers will be hosting its fifth Shop4Strays Bazaar at the VFW Hall located at 29 E St. Charles Rd in Villa Park. More details about this event will be posted when available. 
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 Apron shown to the right (perfect for that late-summer Bar-B-Q), 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 Apron 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