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 #56 - January, 2015
In This Issue
Letter from the President
Don't forget to follow us on Facebook!
Frosty Claws!
Study: TNR reduces feline euthansia, overpopulation...
Feral Fixers Wish Lists
Want to Help?
Fosters are needed now!
Celebrate 5500 T-Shirts now on Sale!
Shop on ebay - Help Feral Fixers!
How many cats? - 7,278!!
Shop on Amazon - Help Feral Fixers!
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 Holidays are over and it's on to a New Year!

First up this new year is FROSTY CLAWS!!  It's hard to believe, but this is our SEVENTH annual winter Frosty Claws event and each year it gets bigger and better.  This year should be no different.  Already ticket orders are pouring in as well as donated items for our Silent Auction.  Because our event has gotten so big, we've extended the time by one hour in the hopes that it won't be quite so cramped for everyone!

There is still time to get the Early Bird special rate of $10 by logging on to the Feral Fixers website and paying via PayPal or mailing a check to us.  Full details on how to do this and about the event itself are on our website.

In this months edition of Letter from the President, Tammy shares some of the stories that she and Feral Fixers have been a part of, information about the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 Holiday card contest and much more.  There is also a link to a study on TNR (spoiler alert - it's favorable!), information on some of the many ways you can help Feral Fixers, a summary of the number of cats we've had fixed and a whole lot more.

So, enjoy this eNewsletter, register for Frosty Claws and thank you again for all of your support - we couldn't do what we do without you!


Feral Fixers
Letter from the President

Happy New Year!

This has been a great and exhausting year!  We've neutered 1,291 cats for the year and 7,278 since we began, as I write this.  Between March and October we made the trip to PAWS almost every week and many times went in two and three times in a week.  In those trips we may have taken just one cat or in most cases, three dozen! at a time.  We started the year with the friendlies - kittens left over from the fall and early winter and we ended the year with the same.  But every year we neuter more ferals than friendlies means we are getting to the colonies before there are kittens born - our most important goal - and once again we achieved that.

We've learned a lot of things, changed how we do some things and helped a lot of cats and people along the way.

In order to cope with the huge number of friendlies that are part of doing TNR, we have an aggressive adoption program.  We do not have a facility, so we depend on our Adoption team, led by Sue Lee, to field the hundreds of applications we receive in order to match those potential adopters to our incredible fosters.  We depend on those fosters, coordinated by Judy Walker, to keep those kittens healthy and adoptable.  

Some Of Our Stories

One of the reasons I say that we have neutered 1,291 cats to date is that Homer is going in for eye surgery on 12/29 and will be neutered at the same time.  We've been waiting for Homer to get big enough and healthy enough to have his eye removed.  When he came to us at about 5 weeks of age, his third eyelid on his left eye was trying to grow together.  We opened the eye and almost immediately it filled in, leaving just a tiny opaque hole that he might see light & dark thru.  Instead of continuing to put him thru failed attempts to make the eye more normal, we waited.  He is such a happy little guy, just having one usable eye is not a problem for him, it is all he's ever known.  He's now 2.5 lbs and we can now remove that constant irritation that eye is causing - the tear duct drains into his sinuses instead of outward as a normal eye would and he's always at risk for developing an upper respiratory infection  due to that drainage.  Removal of the eye should help his overall health tremendously!  We will keep you posted.  Homer came from an industrial area in Westmont and the toxins in the area are sure to have impacted the health of the colony.  Luckily, we have now neutered all of the adults and there should be no more kittens in 2015 from this area!

In October we received a call from an extremely distraught lady, a kitten had been stuck in a fence, they could not figure out where the cries were coming from - it was intermittent over the course of two days - until they found him lodged in the fence, his leg was caught in such a way that he could not free himself.  He had even started to try to gnaw off his own foot in attempt to get loose.  In freeing him, he had escaped and went under a stoop, could we come help?  It took a day, but he was trapped and taken to our vet.  Truly feral cats do not do well with limb amputation - even if they survive the surgery, the aftercare is just too much for them as interacting with humans and being confined is more than they can deal with, resulting in failing overall health and ultimately euthanization.  So we hope for clear indications with a limb injury as to whether a cat is friendly or feral.  Well, Royal was handleable from the moment he was taken out of the trap and purred constantly during the exam and has not had a grumpy or feral day since!  The injuries to his leg were too severe to heal, so his leg was amputated three days later and he was in a foster home ten days after that and never looked back.  He is currently at ADOPT of Naperville, up for adoption with another of our three-legged friendlies, Chatter.

Cat #7000, Wamsutta, was returned to his colony - a townhome complex.  This area has always had a large number of ferals which we have worked on - the multiple residents complicates getting every cat neutered - there's always food somewhere!  Two months after his return we were contacted by a resident who had been feeding him and seen his tipped ear and, being the manager at a veterinary office, took him in to be scanned.  She lives a few blocks from his original caretaker.  Wamsutta had decided to be friendly and became determined to come inside.  He is now being fostered by this woman and is available for adoption at West Suburban Humane Society!  So many of our "milestone" cats go on to have a bigger story!

All of our stories about the cats we neuter and care for are not about life-saving surgical interventions, but without our donors to provide the financial resources that can make 1,291 spay/neuters possible in a year, allow us to use our local vet for routine and emergency vet care, permit us to purchase the huge amount of food and supplies that this many cats need for pre- and post-operative care and in foster...we simply could not have stories with positive outcomes!

(You can click on the picture thumbnails of Homer and Wamsutta to see a larger version)

Come Join Us At Frosty Claws!

As always, Frosty Claws promises to be a fabulous event!  Donations for our Silent Auction have started to arrive - see our facebook for updates of what will be available for bid - so far the Tiffany bowl is a standout item and we will have jewelry, wine baskets, cat trees, cat shelters, a big variety as usual!  

If you wish to donate to our Silent Auction, please be sure to have it to Tammy's house by January 14th so that it can make it into the event.  Please contact Tammy at 630-881-3977 if you have something to donate.

We will be expanding to four hours for the event in order to accommodate the large number of people who wish to attend and run out of time to fully enjoy everything that is available!  We will have door prizes, the stick raffle, lots of food and great cat-loving people to talk to!  We may be crowded but it's a good thing!!!  Please check our Facebook for updates!

2015 Holiday Card Competition

You've seen this year's photo of Ringo - what a handsome boy!  In order to be selected for our next Holiday card, please submit your feral photos - they should show eartipped cat(s) and snow in a positive setting.  Deadline will be April 1st, 2015.  It will be interesting to see what the weather brings us this year!  So please take the opportunities as they are presented - don't miss a chance to share your favorite feral with our wide circle of Feral Fixer friends!  E-mail your favorite feral photos to!  

What Will 2015 Bring?

Every year I hope that we will actually neuter fewer cats than the year before because there are fewer cats remaining to be neutered.  So far that hasn't happened but I still have hope!  We continue to go far above and beyond in our efforts to reduce cat overpopulation and euthanization in DuPage County.  For the second year it appears that DuPage County Animal Care and Control will have zero euthanization of cats deemed adoptable.  This is a phenomenal achievement!  We do not rest though, perhaps in 2015 we can expand and hope for zero euthanization of all cats that are healthy, despite their behavior - returning ferals to their colonies after they are neutered instead of being euthanized because of being unadoptable.  This may take years to achieve but it is the next goal, please join us in working towards that by talking about TNR whenever possible to whoever will listen!

Please help us in spreading the word about TNR and Feral Fixers at every opportunity so that we can prevent so many kittens being born that could have been prevented, creating homes for the cats that are already here and already friendly and just asking to come in.  We would prefer to be exhausted from neutering than from fostering and finding homes for kittens and friendlies!  So, grab some of our business cards - when you see that someone is feeding cats, and don't want to talk to them yourself, leave our card tucked into their door, under their windshield.  So many people are happy to hear that we exist, that we don't plan to kill their cats and the cats come back!  If you see 10 to 20 cats without eartips, PLEASE let us know!  We need to get there sooner than later for cats sake!

Our thanks to everyone
who has joined us on our journey to
Feral Fixers' 8th year!
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 - many times 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.
Study: TNR reduces feline euthanasia, overpopulation

A study conducted by a group associated with the Operation Catnip and funded by a grant from Maddie's Fund found that TNR is effective in reducing feline overpopulation and subsequent euthanasia.

From the study:

"...The study neutered 2,366 stray and feral cats, estimated to be 54 percent of the feral cat population in that area. As a result, Levy reported a 70 percent decline of animal control cat intake from a baseline of 13 cats per 1,000 residents to four cats per 1,000 residents at the end of the study. Outside the target area, the county only saw a 13 percent decrease in animal control intake.

According to the study results, euthanasia declined 95 percent, from a baseline of eight cats per 1,000 residents to less than one per 1,000 residents. Euthanasia rates dropped 30 percent in the surrounding non-target area..."

Those of us who practice and promote Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) are already convinced of the benefits it brings and it is very encouraging to see an independent study confirm this.

You can read the entire study here.
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!
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
Fosters are needed now!

We seem to have more kittens for this time of year than ever and at this time of year, fosters are winding down, have other activities to pursue, etc., so there's a huge imbalance between supply and demand!

We do our best to work with fosters but they need to:  
  • Be in easy driving distance of Lombard - emergencies happen and being 45 minutes away, one way, is just not a good idea.
  • Have only one or few animals of their own - asking someone to take on 4 additional cats when they already have 4++ animals on hand could be a problem
  • Spend a reasonable amount of time at home - someone who travels or has long work days cannot sufficiently support the behavior modification that is sometimes necessary with young kittens
Be clear about expectations of us and ask plenty of questions!

In return, fosters receive so much love and affection from these cats and the knowledge that they are part of the pipeline of Rescue - getting them ready for their forever homes!

Please, Help us help them!
Celebrate 5500 T-Shirts now on Sale!

The highly-collectible T-Shirts which were given out to attendees of the Celebrate 5500! event are now for sale for only $10 each (including shipping to anywhere in the US)!

Limited quantities are still available and can be ordered from the Feral Fixers website.  Don't delay - they're going fast!

Click on the T-Shirt to buy!
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!
How many cats? - 7,278 !!

# of cats fixed

For the fifth year in a row, Feral Fixers has spayed/neutered more than 1,000 cats - and the year isn't over yet!

Clicking on the "Computer Abacus" 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!
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 

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 are located elsewhere in this eNewsletter.

January 31, 2015 - PetsMart Adoption Event!! - Feral Fixers will be hosting an adoption event at the PetSmart 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. If you would like to get pre-approved for same-day adoption, please email us (by Thursday, January 29th) at You can see all of our adoptable cats by clicking on the "Adoptable Cats" link at the top of our website.

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 Sweatshirt shown to the right (a must for this cold weather!), we have T-shirts, other 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 Sweatshirt 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