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 #59 - August, 2015
In This Issue
Letter from the President
Don't forget to follow us on Facebook!
Thank you Phillip's Flowers!
Feral Fixers Wish List
Australia government plans to cull two million feral cats
Want to Help?
Flower Power Online Fundraiser!
Fosters are needed now!
A new Fundraising Partner!
Celebrate 5500 T-Shirts now on Sale!
Shop on ebay - Help Feral Fixers!
How many cats? - 7,880!!
Shop on Amazon - Help Feral Fixers!
Donate to Feral Fixers
Event Calendar
Shop for Feral Fixers
Visit us on the Web
What is Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)?
About us
Dear Friend,

Once again, Feral Fixers is busy, busy, busy and all of the information in this eNewsletter reflects that!

In this issue's Letter From the President, Tammy talks about our latest fundraiser, As If They Were Our Own - 2015.  Our non-TNR Medical bills have become a significant drain on our funds and this fundraiser has been created to help address that.  If you're thinking of donating to Feral Fixers, now is an excellent time to do so!  Tammy also tells us the story of Timmy, the cat with the broken leg, Shamrock (Mimi), the wandering cat with many names, the Million Cat Challenge and the "Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare" - a quick checklist of the minimum care that all pets should receive.

We also give a shout-out to the great folks at Phillip's Flowers, describe the misguided attempt by the government of Australia to cull (kill) millions of feral cats, show our current Events Calendar and report on the number of cats spayed/neutered by Feral Fixers and much, much more...

Thank you for reading and thank you for support of Feral Fixers!


Feral Fixers
Letter from the President

As If They Were Our Own - 2015

Feral cats need more than neutering. Because they have been neutered, they are living longer and are encountering some of the illnesses and injuries - without help these would have killed them previously. They have caretakers that care about them yet have limited funds. Feral Fixers attempts to assist the caretakers in keeping their ferals healthy and helps do the necessary testing and health care that enables some of these ferals to live out their days outside or inside if they choose to make that change.

Our June, 2015 bill is typical of one month in number of cats helped, a little higher in total cost because of two big surgeries. We got lots of various dewormers, ear meds, eye meds for our fosters & friendlies but we also did:
  • One Rear leg femur repair surgery
  • One eye enucleation (removal)
  • One dental
  • Two fecals (we're really good at figuring out what parasite it is just by symptoms!)
  • Three Xrays
  • Three blood panels
  • Three euthanasias
  • Four FVRCP vaccinations
  • Five Rabies vaccinations
  • Five Convenia shots
  • Nine Snap tests
The total bill for June, 2015 was $3,331.57. The caretakers often ask what the services cost and donate to cover if they can, but many can't and sometimes these cats do not have caretakers at all. If an injured cat appears with no history, do we turn him away? No, we give him a chance and if he needs to be euthanized, we make sure that happens without fear and pain. Our costs for limb and eye removal are very reasonable due to the generosity of our vets, but still a major expense in the total.

 Our goal is a minimum of $3,000 to be raised between August 15th and October 16th, which is also National Feral Cat Day! Donate thru PayPal (you can donate now by clicking on the "Please Help!" logo just to the left), by mail or in person at one of our many events and help us care for the cats, worry free, for at least a month's time!

Feral Fixers is a TNR organization but we go so much further than that, we care about more than simple spay and neuter because all cats matter, this is about more than preventing uncontrolled numbers of kittens. Each cat is important to us, AS IF THEY WERE OUR OWN.

Timmy's Story
Timmy is the sweetest, most lively kitten - and we've seen many! We got a call from a caretaker on June 22, the emergency vet wanted $5,000 to treat a kitten with a broken leg, they could not afford it, could we help? Emergency vets are very expensive and we already knew what a leg amputation usually costs at our vet - okay. The femur bones had a very clean break and should have a very good outcome with surgery. The broken bones in the pelvis would have to heal on their own but it didn't look like there would be a problem with that. Surgery took place on June 23rd. Timmy yelled from the get-go, demanding attention and holding. He had a huge, blue cast on his rear left leg and he was not happy about it. I had never seen a cat do repetitive forward rolls to move themselves around - seriously, he would put his head down and throw his body over after. Ten days after the surgery, after his bandage change and re-wrap, the rod that had been placed to hold everything together began working its way out. Back he went to the clinic for severely restricted movement, some sedation. Second day there, he managed to get the rod out entirely on his own - laying next to him when he was checked on in the morning by clinic staff. The rod could not be replaced due to risk of infection, another surgery was out of the question, we would wait and see how well the bone formed without the rod. He went to foster and was still very mad about that cast, only happy if he could be held and it was impossible to keep him quiet unless he was being held. Unfortunately, bone did form on the ends of the break but they were still nowhere near each other, did not connect. On July 31st, Timmy's leg was amputated, he spent several more days at the clinic for recovery, but now is much happier without that useless leg weighing him down! He's still confined at foster. Still yelling if he is not getting attention. But a happier cat that will be able to get around just fine on those three legs!!! These written words cannot convey all the effort that went into trying to help Timmy keep that leg - one of the staff at the clinic bought him a special memory foam bed - he was severely spoiled while there - hmmm, have anything to do with the yelling? We cannot wait til he is ready for adoption, he is sure to make his new family very happy!

Addendum: During his stays at the vet clinic, the employees tended to hold him and walk around with him.  One of the vet techs simply could not let him go and has adopted him!  She is headed back to school to become a vet herself and he will have excellent care the rest of his life!

(Visit our "Timmy" photo-album" to see all of our pictures of this lovable little guy.)

Shamrock's Tale

This was our facebook post in May:

In addition to helping ferals, we help strays. A woman in Four Lakes in Lisle brought in a stray cat. In January. Not being a cat or animal person, she had no clue about microchips. Her schedule is just not pet friendly, she travels all over the country so asked for our help in placing this cat. He is chipped to Seattle Washington Animal Shelter, he was adopted in 2000 - yes, he's 15 years old. The phone number was a land line, no longer in service, we have no way of finding his people. Ya gotta figure, they probably want him back. Four Lakes has five different associations, tracking down where this guy lived, if he still lives there, a current phone number... If someone has a contact at any of the associations in Four Lakes, could they let me know (tnr.tammy [at] There's just not enough time to do so many phone calls. He's a wonderful boy and I'm sure we can place him, but we have to do due diligence in locating the owner. Microchips are forever!!! He's thin but otherwise seems in good health. We'll probably get him into the vet on Friday, so before we do all that, we need to try. At that age, bloodwork is necessary, we'd hate to duplicate vaccinations if not necessary, etc. I'm not sharing his photo at this time - we want his people to describe him to us. We've named him Shamrock because he is one lucky kitty!!!

Some wonderful people went to work and they found Shamrock's original adopter. He had been based in the Chicago area almost three years before and had someone caring for Shamrock - who he had named Mimi - and the cat was lost. He now lived in Los Angeles but would be visiting Chicago in the near future and hoped to take Shamrock/Mimi back to LA. Despite this hope, there were delays, during which time Shamrock began losing weight, hoping it was because of his bad teeth, he got a dental and a blood panel - he had a thyroid condition but was otherwise doing well. We began treating his thyroid and improved, we then got him vaccinated so that he could make the trip cross-country - airlines require a current health certification on animals. Shamrock began to loose weight. Thyroid conditions often mask many other ailments that might be present. We re-did blood tests and many things were out of balance now. His kidneys were not keeping up and the decision was made to euthanize him. His person was in China and out of communication with us but it was very important that Shamrock not suffer any longer. We have spoken with his person since and he is very thankful for everything we did for his Mimi.

His foster nicknamed him Guy and wrote this in his memory:

Outside under the dark sky, there sits a new bright star shining extra bright. What is that new star is asked. Well it is the light of a soul's journey marked. As an old orange cat with three names prances youthfully across the rainbow bridge, many people all over the country share a blessed heart in knowing this old soul. RIP my dear Guy, Mimi, Shamrock. RIP my old boy. Thank you for sharing your last few months with me.

Feral Fixers has the opportunity to interact with so many people and cats, hoping to help in any way we can and we thank all of the people who played a part in Shamrock/Mimi/Guy's life, from the shelter who first cared for him, his adopter who loved him and did his best, the rescuer who brought him in and did his best, the resourceful people who tracked down his adopter, our foster and the vet staff who did everything they could for him and for you, our public, our donors, our support, who make stories like these possible. This is not a sad story, it is a story of one cat's life and all the people who wanted the best for him.

At the recent Prairie States Conference in Bloomington, IL, Dr. Kate Hurley spoke about the new Million Cat Challenge which hopes to save cat's lives thru the use of TNR, managed intake, remove adoption barriers, reduce surrender rates (thru medical or food assistance) - a cat that does not enter an animal control is a "saved" cat. One of the factors is called "Return To Field" which is more than TNR. Return To Field reduces the number of feral and stray cats turned into animal control - if someone brings a cat that they have trapped to AC, they must pay a fee to leave it there to be most likely ultimately euthanized OR give permission to allow the cat to be TNR'd and returned to their neighborhood for free. A TNR organization coordinates the spay/neuter and return of the cats to their previous location. Donated funds are allocated to pay for this program, reducing the impact on the animal control shelter. Return To Field means all cats, including friendly strays. When asked about "friendlies", Dr. Hurley replied, "What about them?" That seemed to be the consensus among the animal control representatives at the conference. The goal is to keep the cats out of the facility, whether those cats would do well in a home or not. Please take a look at the Million Cat Challenge - there are some great ideas there and some that need a second look, but it is very educational! There has been a shift in the Animal Control world, the goal is not to euthanize their way out of the cat problem any longer, a good thing!

When you visit a shelter, when you consider your own animals, keep these Five Freedoms in mind!
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.
Thank you Phillip's Flowers!

Our gratitude goes to the hard-working employees of Phillip's Flowers on Cass in Westmont!  Bake sales and lunches on each Thursday in July and a generous donor who matched the monies raised resulted in $1,164 for Feral Fixers!

When you see their delivery trucks on the street, smile, they are cat lovers!
Feral Fixers Wish List

SPECIAL NOTE - We have recently updated our Wish List on this site.  If you haven't visited it 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 List on Amazon.  It contains 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).

Thank you!
Australia government plans to cull two million feral cats  

This is the headline in a recent article in Australia's Daily Sun newspaper.

Can't We Learn From The Past?

An attempt to eradicate feral cats from Marion Island took 19 years, shotguns, poisons and the release of species specific deadly disease to kill all of the cats from the original under 3,000 on the 115 square mile island.  The 4 - 5 cats were brought to the island in 1949 to control mice.

The review of the successful eradication of feral cats from sub-Antarctic Marion Island, Southern Indian Ocean, is report is chillingly dispassionate, yes, prepared by scientists, but...

"In conjunction with increased trapping, a large scale poisoning campaign, using sodium monofluoroacetate injected into the carcasses of 12,000 day-old chickens, commenced in May 1991 and was continued throughout the following winter and early spring. Poisoning was repeated over a similar period in 1992 (Bester et al. 2000) with 18 000 chicks. The exercise was governed by a very strict and detailed protocol for the use of the poison, documented by Bester & Naude (1991) and amended following van Rensburg (1991), to safeguard personnel and minimize detrimental effects on the biota and the environment. The last cats were trapped by July 1991, and no further signs of cats were seen despite the continued efforts of two successive teams of ten and six hunters/trappers respectively in the following 20 months."

I would recommend reading the review first and then the report by Alley Cat Allies, there are a few differences in information, for example, panleuk (panleukopenia) was not sprayed over the island, cats were deliberately inoculated with it.

And now, the number of mice on the island have increased to such an extent that a feasibility study has been proposed for the eradication of the mice.

"The problem, however, is that mice have colonised almost every corner of the 290 square kilometer island, which was declared a Special Nature Reserve in 1995. Apart from eating rare and endangered seabirds, the mice also damage rare vegetation such as the pincushion plant.

'We know they eat albatross chicks, flightless moths and a wide range of species that are integral to the whole ecosystem. 'Wanless said mice had reached densities of up to 200 a hectare, suggesting that there were now "a couple of million" of them spread across the island."

And now on to Australia's plans to cull 2 million feral cats.  They cite the scandalous Smithsonian study which calculates the numbers of animals killed by cats by using outdated and erroneous data itself.  The lies go on to perpetuate false beliefs.  Data suggests that the population of feral cats exceeds 20 million in Australia.  There has been research that low-level culling (this would be only 10%) can actually increase the population by up to 200%, and it was found that numbers returned to pre-cull status soon after culling was stopped - 13 months of effort having no net effect on the population.

Putting their resources into spay/neuter of all owned cats, TNR across the country would have better results and faster than this ineffective plan.

This whole proposal is so outlandish, where do we start?  If you have an opportunity to share your views to the Australian Tourism Board, or contact businesses that profit from Australian tourism, please let them know your feelings on this.  We don't just live in a town, a state, a continent.  We live in this world and even tho Australia is geographically distant from us, what happens there, happens to us, too.
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 currently have lots adult cats that have decided that the life inside is for them!  And the kitten avalanche is happening NOW!  Many of these adults are very calm and so very grateful for the opportunity to come inside - please help us, help them!  And, although they can be messy, who can resist a litter of kittens!

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!
A new Fundraising Partner

Feral Fixers latest fundraising affiliate is Animal Hearted Apparel, " animal centered apparel company based out of California. Our goal is to make the world a better place by supporting organizations like yours that are dedicated to improving the lives of animals in need. We are dedicated to donating 25% of our proceeds to non-profit animal shelters and rescue organizations around the world."

They have some very cool items for sale, T-shirts, hats, tank tops, etc., and all of it animal-themed.

If you visit their website and enter the Discount Code SUPPORTFERALFIXERS at Checkout, you will receive a 10% discount and, best of all, Feral Fixers receives 25% of all proceeds!

So, get stylish and help Feral Fixers at the same time!
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? - 7,914!!

# 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!
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!
Event Calendar  
FlowerPower Fundraising Event! - Now through October 15th, you can help Feral Fixers by purchasing items from Flower Power Fundraising! It's not too soon to begin thinking about next year's garden and the folks at Flower Power Fundraising can help you beautify it. Feral Fixers gets 50% of the purchase price and, best of all, purchased items get shipped directly to you at the proper time for planting. To learn more about this fundraiser and to see what you might want to purchase, click here. Thank you!

August 15, 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, August 13th) at [email protected]. You can see all of our adoptable cats by clicking on the "Adoptable Cats" link at the top of our website.

August 22, 2015 - All the Comforts of Home! - Feral Fixers will be hosting a very special adoption event on this date in a home setting - a wonderful place to interact with your new forever friend! In addition, there will be a Boutique, Raffle and Refreshments and Feral Fixers will be talking about the importance of TNR in your neighborhood. For more details, see this flyer.

September 5, 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, September 3rd) at [email protected]. You can see all of our adoptable cats by clicking on the "Adoptable Cats" link at the top of our website.

September 12-13, 2015 - PetsMart Adoption Event!! - Feral Fixers will be hosting an adoption event at the PetSmart located at 63 Rice Lake Square in Wheaton sometime during this PetSmart National Adoption Weekend! We will post more information about the exact times we will be at PetSmart when that information is available. 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, September 10th) at [email protected]. You can see all of our adoptable cats by clicking on the "Adoptable Cats" link at the top of our website.

September 19, 2015 - Friends of DuPage County Animal Care & Control Fall Festival - Feral Fixers will again be hosting a booth at this annual event. We've hosted a booth here for the past several (seven ?) years and it's always a great time. Lots of activities and things to do! Details will be posted on our website when available.
September 27, 2015 - Barkapalooza! - Once again (for the ninth year), Feral Fixers will be hosting a booth at this annual event. It's always a great event and, if you love dogs, this is the place to be! Details will be posted on our website when available.

October 16, 2015 - National Feral Cat Day! - This is the fifteenth year in a row that Alley Cat Allies has designated October 16 as National Feral Cat Day. From the National Feral Cat Day website: "Alley Cat Allies launched National Feral Cat DayŽ on our 10th anniversary in 2001 to raise awareness about feral (also called community) cats, promote Trap-Neuter-Return, and empower and mobilize the millions of compassionate Americans who care for them. National Feral Cat DayŽ is observed on October 16 every year. The theme for National Feral Cat DayŽ 2015 is 'The Evolution of the Cat Revolution.'" Watch this space to see how Feral Fixers is going to participate in this nationwide event.

December 1, 2015 - #GivingTuesday - This will be the third year we will participate in the ever-growing #GivingTuesday Fundraiser. Once again this year, our theme will be "Black Cats" and helping us to help them to find a home. More details will be posted as we get closer to the Fundraiser date. 
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 Tea Tumbler shown to the right, we have T-shirts, sweatshirts, aprons, mouse pads, gym bags, messenger bags, coffee mugs, tote-bags, pet food bowls, Pajamas and much, much more! A portion of each sale goes to help us in our TNR efforts.

To visit the store, just click on the Tea Tumbler 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