“June is for Kittens” Kitten Shower
We have been working very hard to capture all the kittens that have arrived so far with the help of our shelter partners, we have been doing well so far but the Kitten Avalanche is coming, no doubt about it! Help us to prepare for the several hundred kittens we usually see in a year by attending our Kitten Shower and donating much needed supplies. Our wish list will be printed in this newsletter and available on our website – you can visit our Amazon, Walmart and Target Wish Lists as well. The Kitten Shower will be held at the Villa Park VFW (39 E St. Charles Road in Villa Park) on Sunday, June 12th from 12 noon to 4PM. You can pre-register by mail or PayPal and receive a free gift bag at the event! The donation for attending is $10, in advance or at the door, but we need to know how many guests will be participating in our Shower! We will be having a Silent Auction, door prizes and food! Recycled2New and our Boutique will be there, too! All the things our cat people love in one place at one time!
Plan for the Future
We have previously mentioned a building fund, exploring a full-fledged shelter and spay/neuter clinic. Such a big expansion would take a lot of time and funds that we don’t have yet. We’ve scaled back our plans for now and as a first step are looking to find a house or store front that we could use for housing our friendlies, storing all of our stuff, and coordinating our TNR efforts out of.
We have come to a conundrum of needing a location, needing the volunteers to enable us to move forward with a location and needing the funds to do so. Volunteers want a fixed location to come to and volunteer. Donors want a solid plan already in place to donate to. The time and energy to sustain a location requires more volunteers. You can see the quandary? It’s a real “chicken or the egg” situation. Our hope is that our donors will continue to have the extreme faith in us that they have already shown by donating to our Fund for the Future. Right now we don’t have a building you can go look at, architectural plans that you can approve of, only the hope and dream that we can stop working out of our garages, basements and spare bedrooms in order to give the continued best care we possibly can to the strays and ferals of DuPage County. You’ve seen what we’ve done with severely limited resources, just imagine what we could do with a building? Many shelters in the area have started from the donation of a house – Cat Guardians, West Suburban Humane Society, Felines & Canines in Chicago to name a few. Our needs are more diverse than simply housing the cats due to our TNR requirements and the volume of cats that we deal with, ranging from out-and-out feral to cuddly, immediately purring kittens, and all the health concerns that already neutered ferals have with no one else to turn to for help. A small location would be a first step, followed by many others as we continue to experiment and see what works for us – we haven’t followed anyone else’s model so far, can’t expect us to do so now. We have several volunteers who are examining our needs and seeing what is out there for us to move towards. We already have some funds set aside – we have one donor who has been especially generous and wants this for us very badly – and any donations marked “Fund for the Future” will be added to that total – not used for day-to-day expenses. If you want to help us achieve this forward growth, be it a dollar or a thousand dollars, it will be used for that purpose. So, like I said, we don’t have a picture, a diagram or anything ‘concrete’ yet, but think about it and please make donations now so that we can set off on our journey to the future.
Feral Fixers’ Fantastic Garage Sale
New Partnership with TreeHouse
One of the difficulties with TNR is when you cannot execute the “R” of RETURN. Try as we might, sometimes there are cats that cannot go back – hostile neighbors, uncooperative municipality, death of a caretaker and no one able to take on the care of the cats. Monitoring relocations is very time consuming – finding the locations, transporting cats and equipment, picking up equipment once it is no longer being used – we could not keep up! There’s been a lot in the news about the TreeHouse Cats At Work program. At the time of this writing, we have transported 31 cats to TreeHouse that have been released at applicant’s homes into dog crates for several weeks until acclimated and then released to do their new job of rodent control in and around the city of Chicago. Cats need to be up to date on shots, microchipped and ear-tipped. They cannot be too friendly as to cause an annoyance to the neighbors and they have to have buddies – relocation works best if they have friends at their new home. The response to the program was so overwhelming that TreeHouse had to hire a full time coordinator to oversee the program and have had a waiting list of over 50 locations consistently over the past several months – some locations request at least 6 cats for one location. Feral Fixers does not take relocation as an easy out – we want these cats to go back to the homes they have always known and only use the Cats At Work Program when all else fails and their euthanization is the only other answer. So far, things have been going well. When you see TreeHouse on the news, know that some suburban cats have found a new purpose, reducing rodents and the use of poisonous pest control in Chicago!
There has been great progress in the research on FIP (feline infectious peritonitis). Research at Kansas State University on an antiviral treatment is showing great promise and a summary of some of the work that indicates that there is a genetic predisposition in cats which results in a lack of resistance to the FIP virus – warning the language can be heavy to wade thru! This means that someday, new cat families may not have to suffer the loss of their kittens and young cats to this almost always fatal illness. Their research has made one thing clear – inbreeding results in a much higher incidence of FIP and that is at least a start. If FIP has had an effect on your cats, please visit “Save Our Cats and Kittens from Feline Infections Peritonitis” http://www.sockfip.org/ to learn more. Looking forward to a day when a cat owner or shelter will no longer worry that they could have done something different, something more for their cat that came down with FIP!
'June is for Kittens' Giving Grid
As a special fundraiser to help us cover the costs of Kitten Season, check out our "June is for Kittens" Giving Grid! Click on a space, make a donation, post a favorite picture (kitten-related or not!) and leave a message for us! See what your donations can do to help us save lives and prevent future kittens being born outside and going on to produce more kittens! Your donations will make a difference and allow us to raise happy, healthy, adoptable kittens for the rest of the year!"