Feral Fixers Thanksgiving Logo
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 #13 - November  2009
In This Issue
Thank you!
Message from the President
Want to Help?
Feral Fixers invited to participate in the 2009 Bensenville Christmas Tree Program
Jewel Shop & Share is back!
How many cats? 1,385 !!
Donate to Feral Fixers
October = 124 cats fixed!
Calendar of Upcoming Events
Blessed Bonds
Shop for Feral Fixers
Visit us on the Web
What is Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)?
Dear Friend,

Hello and welcome to the November, 2009 edition of the Feral Fixers e-Newsletter.

In this issue, you can learn how well we did in our campaign to raise $800 to purchase 10 new Feral cat traps and read the monthly report from our President as she discusses some of the human issues that arise when trying to take care of feral cats.

Jewel Shop & Share is back too and we hope that you can help us by using the Shop & Share coupons this week, Monday, November 16th, Tuesday, November 17th or Wednesday, November 18th when you go shopping.

Thank you for all of your support!

Feral Fixers
Tomahawk 606 trapThank you for helping us buy more traps!

This past October, we started a "ChipIn" campaign on our website - asking people to donate money to Feral Fixers so that we could purchase some additional feral cat traps.

Our stockpile of 50+ traps is in constant use and managing who gets these traps and how long they can keep them is a major logistical headache for us. If we can purchase some more traps we can TNR even more cats than we do today.

Our favorite traps are made by Tomahawk.  Our preferred model for trapping is the Model 608 (we often use a different one for transport), priced at $80.

Our goal was to raise $800 by the end of October so that we could purchase 10 more of these traps. We are very pleased to announce that, not only did we meet our goal of raising $800, we exceeded it.  In total, we raised $1,057.50!  We will be placing an order for traps shortly and, when it arrives, we'll photograph them and share it with everyone on our website.

Our sincere THANK YOU to everyone who donated to Feral Fixers during this campaign.  Your generosity will help us take care of even more feral cats in the future.  Thank you again.
ScrollMessage from the President

November Updates

In October's newsletter, I alluded to the changes we have gone thru, how much greater the need for TNR is than I ever imagined before Feral Fixers came about. This month I would like to tell you more about what's happening with us.

I am writing this a little early, before October is over, actually, but we have made our final trip for October into PAWS and our final numbers are: 124 cats for the month, 731 for the year and 1,342 since we began. Perhaps we repeat the statistics too often, but we know that if we had no idea of the volume of cats, no one else did either and we need to impress on everyone the enormity of the task still ahead of us.

The economy has given us a new challenge - PAWS Lurie Family Spay Neuter Clinic has been forced to increase its rates for ferals. It is only $5 more per cat, but when neutering hundreds of cats, it has a definite impact. So far, we have asked people to donate $30 per cat to cover our costs, we will soon have to ask for $35 in order to keep doing what we do and remain solvent.

Often, being able to donate to cover the cost of getting their cats fixed is a point of pride with caretakers. I have run into several that won't take "charity." And the cats remain unneutered, producing kittens and sometimes the colony is unhealthy. Even when I have said not to worry about the money right now, the most important thing is the cats, they won't budge. In one of these situations, the colony did become very ill, some of the cats still have a very bare coat and now that the caretaker has agreed to TNR, it came a little too late and another litter has been born. But, we have TNR'd 14 cats at that location with only 3 more adults to go. This process is an education for everyone involved. When you start out to trap and neuter cats, little do you realize how much interaction must take place with people in order to do this. TNR and feral cats are often very emotional issues, our volunteers are becoming very adept at handling some tough situations. The knowledge of just how much you can or should do to help a person is developed with practice, and we can't seem to help the cats without helping the people too! So far we have been able to obtain donated food that we give to caretakers who are barely scraping by. It feels wonderful to be able to hand them 3 big bags of dry food and know that they can feed their cats for at least a month without having to buy any. We do wish we had access to more canned food, but that shows up every once in awhile, too. Like everything else, cat food has become very expensive.

Help Wanted sign 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 info@feralfixers.org.
Christmas Tree & Cat Feral Fixers invited to participate in the 2009 Bensenville Christmas Tree Program

For the second year in a row, Feral Fixers has been asked to participate in the Village of Bensenville's annual Christmas Tree program.  Each year, Bensenville puts up Christmas trees in the Town Center (located at the corner of Green and Center streets) and asks individuals and organizations to decorate those trees.  Feral Fixers volunteers Mary and Christina will be decorating the tree for us again this year.

This tree, along with all the others, will be part of the annual Tree-Lighting ceremony in Bensenville.  This event occurs on November 20th, from 6:00pm to 8:00pm, at the aforementioned Town Center.  The actual tree lighting occurs at 6:50pm.

Feral Fixers enjoys a wonderful relationship with the Village of Bensenville and this is just one of many village-sponsored activities in which Feral Fixers has become involved.  Other activities include having a booth at their summertime Music in the Park festival and also participating in their Fourth of July Parade.

The village has a very enlightened policy regarding feral cats and Feral Fixers is proud and honored to be able to work with the village in dealing with the problem of cat over-population.

Thank you Bensenville!
Shop And Share Button Jewel Shop & Share is back!

Yes, the Shop & Share program is back!  Last year, Feral Fixers received over $230.00 from this program and this year we'd like to do better.

If you click on the Shop&Share button, you'll be able to download coupons good for this coming Monday, November 16th, Tuesday, November 17th and Wednesday, November 18th of this week.  Just bring one of these coupons to any Jewel-Osco on one of those three dates.  Sign it and give it to the cashier when you pay for your groceries and they will fill in the amount of your purchase that day.  Jewel-Osco will then donate 5% of your total purchase amount to Feral Fixers - it's that simple!  And don't forget to make copies of these coupons and send them to your friends so they can support us too - thank you!
Feral Fixers Logo How many cats? - 1,385 !!

Feral Fixers was founded in September of 2007.  In that first year, Feral Fixers had 86 cats spayed / neutered.  In 2008, Feral Fixers had 525 cats spayed / neutered.  And, so far in 2009, Feral Fixers has had 774 cats spayed / neutered.

This brings us to a total of 1,385 cats.  Clicking on the charts in the upper right-hand corner of this article will send you to the Feral Fixers 'Statistics' page where you can see our progress, month-by-month, since we've started work.
PayPal Donation Donate 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!
Another Feral CatOctober = 124 cats fixed!

This past month, Feral Fixers fixed over 100 cats, 124 to be exact.  This is the second month this year that we have been able to process so many and it is a testament to our ever-growing body of volunteers.

As is mentioned in this month's "Letter from the President", oftentimes dealing with the cat caretakers is as demanding (or more so) as is handling the cats.  Some of the volunteers who have been with us for a while are now able to step up and do this delicate job of interacting with people who want to help the cats but are a) fearful that the authorities will try and take them away and/or b) cannot afford to pay for food or medical care for the cats.  For some of these people, it takes time to win their trust and some of our volunteers are now getting very accomplished at this.

So, thank you to our volunteers - without you, this would not have been possible.
Calendar graphic Calendar of Upcoming Events

November 20, 2009 - Feral Fixers will participate in the Bensenville annual Tree-Lighting Ceremony.  You can find more details about the event here.

January 17, 2010 - We will host our second annual Frosty Claws fundraiser. Everyone had a great time at our first Frosty Claws - make sure your calendars are marked for this day! More details will be posted when they are available.
Blessed Bonds

(Some people think that the ferals and strays outdoors are the result of uncaring, mean individuals.  More often it is due to desperation and lack of information and time.  Linda Harper, founder of Blessed Bonds, gives us some insight into how some animals find themselves without a home, outside.  There are many ways to fight cat overpopulation and Linda is playing a huge role in reducing the numbers!  Please consider helping by fostering, but be sure to talk about this with friends and family - this may happen to someone you know and you want them to be informed as to the choices they can make for their cats!)

I received a call from a woman whose visiting nurse had just told her she needed to immediately be hospitalized.  The woman replied, "I need to find someone to take care of my two cats first."  The visiting nurse suggested that she let the cats outside "to fend for themselves.   They are animals and can take care of themselves," she said,  "you must think of yourself and get to the hospital, now."   The two housecats, 8 and 10 years old and frontal declawed, had never been outdoors.   While the nurse thought she was doing the right thing, thankfully another nurse intervened, educated her friend about why cats should not be let outside on their own,  and asked Blessed Bonds to take the cats temporarily into a foster care home.  After three weeks, the owner was back home and reunited with her furry feline family.  
The current crisis facing animal welfare agencies today is the overwhelming number of  pets that have been displaced by evictions and foreclosures. Statistics indicate that relinquishments to shelters are up at least 30 percent because these difficult economic times.  It is also believed that a significant percent of the stray "friendly cats" may be from families who felt it was best to just let them go.  Blessed Bonds currently has a 17 year old cat that was abandoned in an apartment after an eviction.  The unclaimed friendly declawed healthy cat that my husband found in the middle of the road on a raining night a couple weeks ago may have been let go for a similar reason.  Many loving owners in these desperate situations believe  that if they let their cats out on their own,  they have a better chance for survival than if they take them to the overloaded shelters where euthanasia is likely. They hope with all their heart that their furry friend will be  picked up by a caring animal lover.
If animal welfare agencies could consider offering temporary fostering for people who want to keep their cats but just need a little time to get on their feet again -I wonder how many  more cats we could save by keeping them in their families?   When we save pet owners, we save room at the shelters, we save families and we save lives.  For more information on how your  group could start a temporary program or to become a temporary cat foster home and save a furry family member in need, please contact Blessed Bonds.
CafePress Messenger Bag 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 CafĂ© Press store and Buy Something! In addition to the Messenger Bag shown to the right, we have T-shirts, hoodies, coffee mugs, tote-bags, pet food bowls, etc. A portion of each sale goes to help us in our TNR efforts. To visit the store, just click on the Messenger Bag, above, or visit our website and click on the 'Buy Something' button at the top - Thank you!

World Wide Web Visit us on the Web

Visit our website at www.feralfixers.org.  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!
Ear tipped cat What is Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)?

TNR 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