Two Years!
From The President
Written by Tammy McAuley   
Sunday, October 04, 2009

It has been two whole years since Feral Fixers has been incorporated!


So much has happened!


We have spayed/neutered over 1200 cats in this time, mostly feral, some friendly. We have assisted caretakers from Aurora to Berkeley, from Elk Grove Village to Darien. We have seen our numbers go from being ecstatic at having done 30 cats in a month, to doing 80 or more during most months.


We have made great contacts that will support us from this point on – shelters, police departments, politicians, businesses and all the caretakers who care so much for their feral cats.


When we first started, we had to explain over and over just what TNR was. Now the question is where and when! The public already knows what TNR is, and want to get on to doing it! And it is so great to hear, “oh, yes, I already did my outside cats, they are so happy!


Before Feral Fixers, it was just me, thru word of mouth people heard that I did TNR and I was plenty busy, felt I was changing the world, a few cats here and there. Now, with the help of Feral Fixers’ volunteers and the backing of a solid 501(c) 3, so much more can be done and we really are changing the world for cats! We are still mostly word of mouth. We have our business cards sprinkled around and we do events, but we cannot advertise – we are overwhelmed with calls right now, I could not even imagine the volume from actual advertising.


We have many roadblocks, now and coming in the future. The growing need as more people contact us could bring us to the point where a great many organizations go belly-up and we need your help to keep that from happening.


We need more volunteers – the risk of our core group burning out is great. We all tend to do too much and get sick and then feel further behind. As word of our organization spreads, our volunteer base must increase to handle the increased numbers of cats.


We need people to do transport with large vehicles – vehicles that can hold 15 to 20 cats in traps for the long trip to PAWS.


We need a low-cost spay/neuter clinic in the suburbs that can match PAWS fees. PAWS is doing so much – surgeries for owned pets in Chicago and surrounding areas, rescued cats and dogs from shelters who cannot afford the fees at local vets and ferals for all the people in the area who are taking up the practice of TNR! While PAWS can do up to 100 surgeries in a day, there are limits of how many animals we can get into PAWS due to the volume of all the animals that need to be done. We need comparable low-cost spay/neuter for ferals in the suburbs!


We need more people to talk to their neighbors - nothing is as disheartening as having a colony TNR’d and a neighbor calls and complains about the cats – after that happens it can be too late to mitigate the impact if there is no pro-TNR ordinance in place. If caretakers will talk to their neighbors, we can suggest ways to keep the cats out of neighbor’s yards but the first step is always TNR. If you are going to care for feral cats, you must be a good neighbor first and foremost.


I have always found that one must ask for what one needs – there are very few mind readers! So, please, volunteer for us in one of the many ways that can help and talk about TNR and feral cats. We have done so much and we can do so much more with your help!


October 16th is National Feral Cat Day. Please take a moment to think about the improvements all over the country that have been made for feral cats. Ferals truly are everywhere in the United States and so many cat lovers are stepping forward and speaking out for the ferals, no longer resigned to letting others decide the fate of these cats who are outside thru no fault of their own, reproducing endlessly, cats that used be automatically trapped and euthanized. Almost every day we hear, “thank you so much for what you do, I am so glad you are here.


I am already looking forward to National Feral Cat Day 2010 to see what achievements we can report from our third year!


Thank you all so much!


Tammy

 

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