Today we had another 17 cats fixed at the PAWS-Chicago Spay/Neuter clinic. All of these cats were ferals (no 'friendly ferals' today) and, again, came from several communities in DuPage County. I drove them in this morning and picked them up and returned them to Tammy this evening.
With these 17 cats, Feral Fixers has had 56 cats fixed so far this month, 663 this year and 1,274 since our inception.
Our goal this year was to meet or exceed last year's total, 525, and we blew by that number in the first few days of September. Then we thought that 'maybe' we'll get to do 700 this year. Now it looks like we'll easily beat 700. I don't think we'll reach 800, but we might have a shot at 750...
And it's not just us that is busy TNRing cats. PAWS-Chicago shared the information with me today that they have now spayed/neutered 3,000 cats for this year! That's an awful lot of kittens being prevented and I'm sure is beginning to put a real dent in the problem of cat overpopulation. We'll have to wait to see what the various statistics are for the local shelters, but I have hopes that their intake this year (excluding owner returns and give-ups of family pets) will show a decline. That's when we'll know we're really making a difference.
In between the drop-off and pick-up, I visited the PAWS Adoption center on North Clybourne. I had been invited to the grand opening and have since been invited by PAWS staff on multiple occasions, but I just never seemed to make time. Yesterday, I was invited to a meeting (held today) with various Feral cat colony sponsors in Cook County (I was there as an observer). After the meeting, Sue Robinson (the Community Outreach Manager for PAWS) gave me a tour of the facility. This place is something special. It has a very nice and relaxed atmosphere, designed to appeal to the people who would purchase an animal rather than adopt one from an Animal Shelter. It certainly appears to me that they've succeeded. I can't imagine anyone finding a visit to this center to be stressful. The only problem would be choosing which animal to adopt!
If you haven't had a chance to visit this place, I recommend you do so - you're in for a treat!