Feral Fixers 2010 January 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 #15 - January  2010
In This Issue
Message from the President
Want to Help?
Feral Fixers purchases 21 new traps!
We're taking a break...
How many cats? 1,479 !!
Jewel-Osco Shop&Share
Donate to Feral Fixers
Calendar of Upcoming Events
Shop for Feral Fixers
What is Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)?
About us
Dear Friend,

Happy New Year and welcome to the January 2010 edition of the Feral Fixers e-Newsletter.

It's a new year and a new decade!  The first decade of the 21st century saw the idea of Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) begin to be accepted in many communities across the country.  We hope and trust that this new decade will see the idea of TNR become mainstream, that feral / community cats will become an accepted part of the landscape and that we will finally see the demise of all the silly and inhumane laws that get in the way of caring for these wonderful creatures and controlling their population.

And since it's January, that can only mean one thing - FROSTY CLAWS!  The planning and organizing for our second annual Frosty Claws Open House is well underway.  Save the date - January 17th - and read more about this event later on in the newsletter (and find out how you can save money by using the "Early Bird Special" to purchase tickets).

Our President's monthly column discusses feral cats and winter weather and how caretakers can help them survive in the very cold conditions we are experiencing.

Finally, you can read about the new traps that Feral Fixers just purchased, thanks to the generous donations we received during last October's "ChipIn", and how much money we raised with our latest Jewel-Osco "Shop&Share" campaign.

Thank you for all of your support!

Feral Fixers
Frosty Claws

You're invited!!

January 17th, 2010, is the date of our second annual FROSTY CLAWS Open House.

This event will be held from 1:00pm to 4:00pm at the Lombard Lagoon
located at N Grace St & Marcus Drive, in Lombard

Come and celebrate our second year anniversary with us!

We'll have hot drinks, pastries, a silent auction, a boutique, cat-themed music, and, of course, a cat-friendly crowd.

Admission: Donation of cat food or $15 at the door.

Bring a friend!!

Buy your tickets for the 2010 Frosty Claws Open House now and get the 'Early Bird' special. By purchasing your tickets early, you can buy them for only $10 each. You can pay via PayPal or a Credit card by clicking the "Buy Now" button to the right.  You can also mail us a check (to PO Box 1416, Lombard, IL., 60148), but we must receive it no later than Tuesday, January 12th. PayPal Button

Frosty Claws Map

From North Avenue, turn south onto N Grace St.

Marcus Drive will be the first street on your left.  Turn left and then into the parking lot.
Message from the President

Baby, it's Cold Outside!
President's ScrollWhere's the global warming these days?

I know it's really hard to watch the ferals outside, worry about how they can possibly make it thru these freezing (and below) temperatures, but they do manage to make it.

When I've had cats in traps in the garage during really cold weather, it amazes me how much heat they produce.  If you lift the trap up and feel the table beneath them, it's almost hot to the touch.  Of course, I still cover them with a bunch of blankets, finishing off with an electric blanket because I have the same mindset that everyone else has - how can they possibly stay warm!

I want to emphasize the best way to support the ferals in the winter:  STRAW in whatever house you provide as fabric retains moisture, even good wool blankets.  Houses can be dog igloos, Rubbermaid tubs, Styrofoam shipping containers duct taped together or the really nice ones you can buy from different organizations that have two levels inside.  I know people who shove a bale of straw under their deck, close to the dryer vent and the cats do just fine.  There are electric heating pads designed for outdoor dog kennels that many people use for their ferals - be sure to cover them with something to prevent punctures and electrocution.  If you just can't stand it and let the cats into your garage to warm up, be sure to provide them with a litter box - they can really trash a garage in a short amount of time - urine and feces are not a big deal to them!

Do the best you can to provide water - some people just pour warm water into the bowls so that it takes longer for them to freeze.  Some caretakers have purchased Snuggle disks that can be heated in the microwave, then created a holder out of Styrofoam or Great Stuff for the disks and set the water bowls on top of the disks, keeping the water from freezing.  And there are electric water bowls for birds that the cats will use if you have an outlet...

Help Wanted LogoWant 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.
Feral Fixers purchases 21 new TNR traps thanks to the generosity of our donors!

Traps in boxesThe first part of "Trap-Neuter-Return" (TNR) is "Trap" - and to trap cats you need traps to do so - good ones, sturdy ones, reliable ones. But even the best traps wear out over time. They are constantly handled and transported and occasionally dropped. They are out in the cold and heat, ice, snow and rain. They get soaked in cat urine and contaminated with cat feces. In short, they take a lot of abuse and even good traps can wear out. In addition, sometimes they just "grow legs and wander away". Add that to the fact that the number of volunteers we find that are willing to trap cats for us if only they had access to some traps, and you can see why our store of traps needs to be occasionally replenished and augmented...

Many of you may remember the ChipIn campaign we ran in October, asking people to "Chip In" with donations so we could buy some new traps.  Our goal was to raise $800 and we are very happy to report that, thanks to the generosity of our donors, we raised $1,230.00 in this campaign!  We want to shout out a big "Thank You" to everyone who contributed (especially HSBC who came up with a matching corporate donation). We put these funds to immediate use by ordering 21 new traps of various sizes.

Stack of trapsThese traps arrived a few days ago.  They are so nice and shiny, it seems almost a shame to use them ☺

Of course they will be heavily used and we once again thank all of the people who "Chipped In" to help us buy these new traps - we promise that they will be put to full and productive use.

(The two picture thumbnails are 'before' unpacking and 'after' unpacking - 21 shiny new traps in all. Clicking on either thumbnail will download a larger version of the picture.)
We're taking a break...

Break / Pause GraphicYes, it's true - Feral Fixers is taking a break.  From December 16th through January 31st (inclusive), we will not be bringing any cats to be spayed/neutered.
We need to a) recharge our batteries and b) have some free time available so that we can concentrate on planning our 2nd Annual Frosty-Claws Party and Fundraiser (January 17 - save the date!).
In addition, trapping cats in the winter is generally not a good idea - leaving them out in the cold inside a steel trap can be very dangerous to their health.
However, if you have a situation which you believe MUST be addressed in this time period, you are, of course, more than welcome to trap the cats yourself and bring them to PAWS (or the spay/neuter clinic of your choice).  Detailed instructions on how to do this will be on our website.
How many cats? - 1,479 !!

Statistics graphicFeral Fixers was founded in September of 2007.  In that abbreviated first year, Feral Fixers had 86 cats spayed / neutered.  In 2008, Feral Fixers had 525 cats spayed / neutered.  And in 2009, Feral Fixers had 868 cats spayed / neutered.

This brings us to a total of 1,479 cats.  Clicking on the calculator to the right will send you to the Feral Fixers 'Statistics' page where you can see our progress, month-by-month, since we've started work.
 Jewel-Osco Shop & Share

Shop & Share ButtonIn June, August and November of this past year, Feral Fixers partnered with the Jewel-Osco Shop & Share program.  With this program, shoppers are able to have Jewel-Osco donate a portion of the amount they spend at the store on specified dates, just by signing a participation slip and handing it to the cashier during check-out.

The cashier writes in the total amount of the purchase and Jewel-Osco totals them up and donates 5% of that amount to Feral Fixers.

When we first tried out this fund-raising method in 2008, we raised $232.90.  This past year, we raised $443.36 - that pays for a lot of cats being spayed/neutered!

Thank you Jewel-Osco and thank you to everyone who took the time to print out and use (and share!) the participation slips and a special THANK YOU to Diane Wells who set up this program for us.
Donate to Feral Fixers

PayPal DonationFeral 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!
Calendar of Upcoming Events

Calendar GraphicDecember 16, 2009 - January 31, 2010 (inclusive) - Feral Fixers will be taking a break from practicing Trap/Neuter/Return (TNR) during this period.  Feral Fixers will be using this 'down-time' to catch up on paperwork, order traps and other supplies and, of course, plan and organize the upcoming Frosty Claws fundraiser.  Beginning February 1st, 2010, we'll be hard at it again, doing our level best to reduce the number of unwanted cats and kittens.  If you want to trap cats and bring them to PAWS (or the Spay/Neuter clinic of your choice), of course we applaud the effort.  We just ask that you exercise great caution in trapping cats during the winter - they need to get out of the cold as quickly as possible.

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! See the article at the top of this newsletter for more details.
ApronShop 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 Café Press store and Buy Something! In addition to the apron shown to the right, we have T-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, messenger bags, 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 Apron or visit our website and click on the 'Want to Help? -> Buy Something' button at the top - Thank you!
WWW GraphicVisit 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