This blog post is from our President, Tammy McAuley.
Recently, we were contacted by a caretaker. Her neighbor fed the cats mostly but they were out of control, so many kittens born, she was really worried. And it seemed he had stopped feeding because they were at her door all of the time now. He was a recluse and they were apprehensive about even speaking to him, unsure of his reaction to the suggestion of TNR - there had been harsh words between them before. Years ago, the County had come and confiscated all the cats at his house and cleaned out his house as he was a hoarder, and he blamed his neighbors. But this did not stop his behaviors.
If the cats are out, they get TNR'd, that is our policy and it has worked well for us. So, Sunday, 9 kittens were scooped up, their fleas and eyes treated and they are doing well so far. Between Sunday and Monday, seven adults were trapped. Then on Tuesday, no more cats. Susan (names have been changed) was worried that he had taken the remaining kittens and adults into his home and would not let them out and more kittens would be born.
So, I did something really radical. Remember TNR organizations and animal controls have been enemies thru the ages. We have a good and unique relationship with DuPage County Animal Care and Control. I called DPACC, talked to their head ACO and asked for her help. She was more than willing to send an officer to talk to "Bill" and explain that the cats were coming back, the kittens were being cared for and would find homes. I was still a little concerned, but didn't see any alternative to the cats and the people and Bill himself being held hostage by this situation.
Today, the ACO came to talk to Bill. He expressed his concern that something terrible had happened to the cats, Susan overheard and came over and explained that Feral Fixers would be returning the cats in a couple days and to not worry. He was incredibly relieved. When we next go to PAWS, he will help get the remaining cats into the traps. He will also help search for one of the remaining kittens that no one has seen for two days.
The reason Bill had stopped feeding? He is 80+ years old, has fallen victim to some financial scams and difficulties and had run out of food for not only the cats, but for himself. The ACO is hooking him up with some resources for food, for resolving some of his financial woes and things are looking better for Bill. Susan feels so much better, knowing that she has a neighbor that she can speak to and not be afraid of any longer.
You can never assume the worse. You NEVER know who you might end up helping. You may think you are only saving these cats right in front of you, but there can be much farther impact than you can even imagine. Get out of your comfort zone, get out there, and TALK!!!