As I write this, we have blown past our 2,000th cat! It seemed like time was dragging as we neutered and neutered and then bam! we were at 2,070 in the next week! When we started Feral Fixers we had no idea just how many cats were out there, we are still surprised at the volume of calls we receive. Just think, if half the cats were females and each female had one litter of four… Yea!
We can never say enough good things about our volunteers
Other Rescue volunteers know how much goes into this work; the pressure, the emotions, the lack of sleep, but its hard for the general public to grasp that anyone would work that hard “just for animals.” Through our volunteers’ efforts the general public is becoming much more educated, the volunteers are really good at getting the message out. In order to be effective, an entire neighborhood may need to be educated and once informed, they go on to educate others.
Personal story – I was walking thru Osco one day, wearing a Feral Fixers shirt, two ladies were sitting by the pharmacy, waiting for their prescriptions. One sees me and says loudly, “Feral Fixers! Okay!” then turns to her companion and explains in detail just what we do – we help trap the cats, get them neutered with all their shots and bring them home to live. And I didn’t have to say a word, I just smiled. That was so cool!
We care for these cats as if they were our own
We trapped a feral recently that illustrates that sooner is better than later. The caretaker was having a really hard time with the idea of seeing the cat that she cares for every day in a trap. He appeared to have repeated upper respiratory infections, she was able to mix antibiotics in his food and he would be better for a little while and then the symptoms would be back. This went on for months. I asked one of our volunteers to take on this project and she was persistent and finally trapped the cat. We put him on antibiotics, hoping that a consistent high dosage would do the trick, but after 6 days, he was no better.
We took him to the vet. They tested him, he was FIV positive, but his blood tests indicated that he had a mycoplasma bacterial infection and had very bad teeth which were probably the cause of his apparent URI symptoms and why they lessened when he was given antibiotics but came right back. Mycoplasma used to be called Hemobartonella – usually diagnosed by a low red blood cell count. More details are at http://www.idexx.com/pubwebresources/pdf/en_us/smallanimal/reference-laboratories/diagnostic-updates/realpcr-fhm-test.pdf We were given different antibiotics in addition to his receiving a Convenia shot and were told to schedule his dental and neuter in two weeks when he had recovered sufficiently. So we fostered him, he put on weight and was a really good guest – tho definitely still a feral – and his surgery went fine – they removed several teeth, neutered him and gave him another Convenia shot and he was able to be released in less than a week back to his old stomping grounds. Healthy and a lot fatter!
This one cat required the time and care of several volunteers for 4 weeks, two trips to the vet. And we would do that for any feral that needed it. Once again, we have to thank our donors for giving us the resources that enable us to help those ferals that need the extra care.
We just fix the cats
I was talking to another Rescue person the other day, about a hoarder situation we are helping. A woman asked for help with her 4 male cats as the other tenants in the apartment complex were complaining. When I arrived to pick up the cats, imagine my surprise at the flood of cats present in the apartment! In addition to the cats, there were the stacks of books and paper that many hoarders collect, but everything was very clean, I was very glad – I’ve been involved in hoarder situations that had gone completely out of control. Although we could not get all of her target cats, we did neuter 4 and we will be going back for the 11+ others as soon as possible. She will have people helping her to adopt them out as we get them neutered.
It would be great if we could help the people we encounter who have mental illnesses, but for now, we just fix the cats and hope that will help situations improve.
This is another illustration of how the current economy is impacting our animal’s lives. Perhaps this woman could have afforded low cost spay/neuter a year ago, before most of these cats were born, but it simply is not available, resulting in overcrowding and possible abandonment of animals.
On an extremely bright note, a donor offered to pay for neutering those first 4!
Those wonderful donors!
We have another fundraiser this month! Celebrate 2000! Another donor has pledged $1,000 to Feral Fixers to use in a matching fund drive to raise a total of $2,000 or more! The donor's wish is to reward the volunteers of Feral Fixers for accomplishing such an incredible milestone of neutering 2,000 cats in just under three years! We could not have achieved this without the hard work of our wonderful volunteers! These funds will get us well on the way to reaching our goal of reducing cat overpopulation and euthanasia in DuPage County!
We will be using Chip-In once again, so please keep track of our progress!
Hope to see you at our upcoming events, the Friends FurEver Festival at DuPage Country Animal Care and Control and the West Suburban Humane Society Barkapalooza!