20 more to start October Print E-mail
The Feral Blog
Written by Ted Semon   
Thursday, October 01, 2015

Feral Fixers started out October by sending in another load of cats to the PAWS-Chicago Spay/Neuter clinic to be fixed. Feral Fixers president Tammy details the trip:

"Feral Fixers sent 21 more cats into PAWS today.

11 ferals and 10 friendlies, 14 females and 7 males - one of which was already neutered.

With this trip we are fast approaching 70 cats and kittens from that one location on Rt. 83. We learned today that one female had given birth there just yesterday - we don't know how many kittens she had yet but it adds to the total!

There was much media uproar about the hoarder situation in Chicago recently - one house and just over 100 cats there. We never thought we would come close in one spot! Keep your fingers crossed we don't get to that number! In the meantime, all the usual calls are still coming in and people do not understand why it would take longer for us to get to them. Sigh.

Please come to our booth at 2 Bostons this weekend - look at our adoptables, in person and in our book, make a donation, buy a t-shirt or any of our other logo merchandise! Pick up some of our information and business cards and share our stories with your friends and families! Help us find fosters and volunteers and more adopters!

Today, a kitten was trapped at the National University of Health in Lombard - a single lonely, hungry kitten. Another 6 kittens were trapped at a location in Hanover Park. They just keep pouring in!!!

Our stalwart transport volunteers made the trip to PAWS today - Charli & Debbie in the AM and Debbie & Dedra did pick up in the PM.

This brings us to 21 - 1 = 20 for this trip and for the month, 832 for the year and 8,110 since we began 8 years ago."

Thank you to super-volunteers Charli and Debbie and Debbie (again) and Dedra for doing transport.

Four more ferals fixed on Sunday Print E-mail
The Feral Blog
Written by Ted Semon   
Tuesday, September 29, 2015

On Sunday, 9/27, Feral Fixers sent in five more cats to the PAWS-Chicago Spay/Neuter clinic to be fixed. Feral Fixers president Tammy tells us what happened:

"We were "lucky" enough to get five more cats from the Rt. 83 situation and they went in to PAWS on Sunday. Debbie did the AM and the PM trips. The five ferals were 4 females and one already neutered male - one of the caretakers had been trying to get some neutered on his own but with this volume was really overwhelmed.

In all, we are over 60 cats and kittens at this one location. West Suburban Humane Society, Naperville Area Humane Society and ADOPT Pet Shelter are all stepping up to help us on this. The more you adopt from them, the more you help us!

This brings us to 5 - 1 = 4 for this trip, 104 for the month, 812 for the year and 8,090 since we began."

Thanks to super-volunteer Debbie for doing 'double-duty' in transport on Sunday.

September 26th Adoption Event Print E-mail
The Feral Blog
Written by Ted Semon   
Sunday, September 27, 2015

Feral Fixers held another Adoption Event yesterday, Saturday, and Feral Fixers Board member and Adoption Coordinator Sue gives us the details:

What a day - let's all celebrate! We had the most successful adoption event to date. 7 kittens joined their new families today :-)

Tracy was adopted by Traci and her husband from Oswego, who had contacted me earlier in the week. She will have two 1 yr old kitty brothers to play with.

Snickers and Mittens were adopted by a family in Bolingbrook. The family had met them earlier in the week and took a few days to make the necessary preparations at their home. They have a dog, but are first time kitty parents.

Freya was adopted by a couple from Lisle, who met her at the event and fell in love. They had previously adopted a 2 yr old kitty from ARF and are hoping that Freya will be a companion to her.

Samurai and Disney were adopted by a family from Glen Ellyn, who had also contacted me earlier in the week. These are their first kittens and everyone was very excited. Samurai and Disney will get plenty of love and attention.

Choco was adopted by young woman who lives in Chicago and was in the suburbs visiting her parents for the weekend. Choco will be a solo companion of this young woman, which will suit her just fine.

A wonderful day :-)

Thanks to all of the cat & kitten participants. We had 4 adults (Foxy Lady, Smoocher, Zeke & Zeva) and 18 kittens (Freya, Fancesca, Hilda, Samurai, Silhouette, Seneca, Trey, Disney, Tracy, Berlin, Campbell, Cancun, Choco, Penelope, Pippi, Butterscotch, Lolly, Willis) in attendance. Everyone was very sweet and well-behaved.

Many thanks to all of the human volunteers who made the day a success! I needed lots of help to work all of these adoptions! Thanks to Toni, Laurel, Lauren, Sara and Debbie for all of the help with the set-up, adopter interaction, paperwork, photography and clean-up. Thanks to Joanna, Natalie, Soni and Julie & Vey for bringing their fosters and staying through the event to work with potential adopters. Thanks also to Bethany, Stephanie, Cheri and Michelle for bringing their fosters to the event. Special thanks to Judy for helping out in many ways, including vaccinating several of the kittens.

Thanks to Mike for updating the binder, and to Connie and Ted for advertising the event.

A wonderful day indeed! Thank you Sue and thank you to all the fosters and volunteers for making it happen!

As If They Were Our Own - 2015 Print E-mail
From The President
Written by Tammy McAuley   
Monday, August 10, 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 (just click on the Please Help! - As If They Were Our Own logo, on 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!

(To see full size pictures of Timmy, just click on the picture thumbnails or 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 Tammy know? This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 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.

Million Cat Challenge

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!

Who's smarter? Print E-mail
Audios / Visuals of the Week
Written by TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsKatt   
Monday, September 22, 2014

Despite our best efforts, uninformed people still ask the age old question; "Who's smarter, cats or dogs?"

Behold Exhibit A: (my favorite part is the dog still believing what the cat told him :))

Cats rule, dogs drool...


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