Today, Feral Fixers brought in five more cats to the PAWS-Chicago Spay/Neuter clinic to be fixed. Two of the cats were ferals while the other three were 'friendly ferals'.
Super-volunteer Charli picked up the cats from Tammy's this morning and brought them to PAWS (Thanks Charli!) while I picked them up in the evening and brought them back to Tammy's for recovery and distribution. And, as always, super-volunteer Judy was on hand to help out with everything that needed doing (Thanks Judy!).
One of the ferals was a three-legged cat, having had one of its hind-legs amputated. Despite this, Tammy thinks it might become friendly so we had it tested for FIV/FeLV and fortunately these tests turned out negative. Here's hoping...
With these final five cats for February (at least I think it's final - with Tammy and Judy you just never know), Feral Fixers has processed 27 cats for February, 64 cats for the year (in the face of another nasty winter) and 7,342 overall.
16 more today
The Feral Blog
Written by Ted Semon
Thursday, February 19, 2015
So, what does Feral Fixers do on the coldest day of the season? Why, we spay/neuter more cats of course!
Feral Fixers brought in 16 more cats to the PAWS-Chicago Spay/Neuter clinic today to be fixed. 7 of these cats were ferals while the other 9 were friendly-ferals. And, 10 of them turned out to be males (including some VERY big boys) while the other 6 were females.
New super-volunteer Claudia and I picked up the cats from Tammy's house this morning and brought them to PAWS and then she and I did double-duty today by picking them up from PAWS this afternoon and bringing them back to Tammy's. Thanks Claudia! And, as always, super-volunteer Judy was at Tammy's this morning and this afternoon helping out with everything - Thanks Judy!
It really was cold out there today. My car never really warmed up inside - the heater just kept putting out lukewarm air, but we had the cats covered with towels and multiple blankets and they stayed nice and warm.
With these 16 cats, Feral Fixers has now processed 22 cats for February, 59 for the year and 7,337 overall.
February 15th Adoption Event
The Feral Blog
Written by Ted Semon
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Feral Fixers held its most recent Adoption Event at the PetSmart located in Rice Lake Square in Wheaton. Feral Fixers Board Member and Adoption guru gives us the details:
Despite the cold weather, we had many warm and cuddly kittens as well as warm-hearted volunteers, fosters and visitors at the PetSmart adoption event on Sunday, 2/15 at the Rice Lake Square PetSmart in Wheaton. It was a PetSmart National Adoption weekend. We had front and center of the store with our kittens, and ARF had puppies near the back of the store.
We had 10 kittens at the event including Gerber, Reymond, Duggie & Dunbar, Fuzzball, Samwise, Stormy, Tillman, Cedar and Pringle. Pringle drew a lot of attention, including a woman that drove all of the way from Milwaukee to meet him! She fell in love with him, but has a young male kitten at home that needs to be neutered before the adoption will proceed.
We did have one same day adoption of Fuzzball to a very nice family from Joliet. They were very excited to add a kitty family member as their prior cat had passed late last year. They are also very interested in adopting Gerber, if his foster family can part with him.
Other than that, we had a steady stream of on-lookers, a few folks that provided their names for follow-up, and others that just stopped by to chat. All in all, it was a good day.
Many thanks to the volunteers that helped with the event, including Toni, Joanna, Debbie, and Gabriella! Also, many thanks to the fosters who brought their kittens to the event, several of whom stayed to help, including Joanna, Bethany, Sheri, Susan P, Ron & Barb and Susan & Marino P! Joanna and Ron & Barb also provided photography for the activity to enable Connie to keep our Facebook page updated.
Special thanks to Laura, from Recycled 2 New, for her generous donation of scratchers for the foster families. Special thanks to PetSmart for their generous donations of a large volume of canned food, which will be put to good use by the foster families as well as our feral colony caregivers.
Our next PetSmart adoption event will be in March - likely Saturday, 3/7. Please stay tuned for details.
From The President
Written by Tammy McAuley
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Yesterday I received a call from someone I had helped TEN years ago! This was before Feral Fixers existed and I was just receiving random word-of-mouth calls. I used Glen Ellyn Animal Hospital for the spay/neuters and helped offset the costs by making catnip knots and catnip stuffed squares for sale. I probably neutered 40? cats in a year? Most of this woman’s TNR’d cats are still alive and living outside but a new cat has shown up – so we will be working on him as soon as the weather allows. I had also helped this woman’s brother with cats, he lives close to a heavily wooded area – one of his cats is still coming around. Those are really long lives for feral cats, what great news!
Fast forward – and it really does seem fast – who knew that thousands of cats would be neutered with such humble beginnings?
It's not easy to communicate to others what we do, so I try to share some stories to illustrate just what Feral Fixers does, in addition to trapping cats.
We received a call from someone who said that there was an injured cat coming by. We got a trap out there but it took two weeks to trap this cat. She was trapped on a Sunday, taken to Glen Ellyn Animal Hospital on Monday. When the vet called, she asked if I had even seen the cat, did I want to before we moved forward? I did. The cat was lightly sedated but still aware and from handling sooo many cats, you can get an impression of who wants to be friendly or not just by how they react to touch. We discussed her leg, rear, left, as I stroked her neck and shoulders – there’s a certain kind of trembling they do as they get accustomed to the idea that, so, these people are going to touch me and its going to be okay. She had a fracture above the foot and infection to the bone on most of the leg with bruising around the leg socket. The only answer was amputation and due to the bruising it was not advisable to spay her at the same time – too much going on in that area already. She snap-tested negative, and we decided to move ahead with the amputation. She did very well with the surgery, which the vets stayed late to complete, she stayed there an additional 24 hours, did some hissing but allowed the technicians to put on and remove an Elizabethan collar several times, take her temperature (what could be more invasive than that!) and did not strike or growl. I had called West Suburban Humane Society before I ever left for GEAH and asked, if we took care of the surgery, would they consider taking her into their adoption program – she needed a foster that could give her individual attention – and they said if she was adoptable, sure! That Wednesday I picked up Sesame from GEAH, interacting with her a bit beforehand to make sure this was a good idea, took her to WSHS where they had a very comfy cage waiting. The next day she went to a foster and everything is going well. Look for Sesame among their adoptables in a few weeks! It takes a community to get these cats where they need to be!
DuPage County Animal Care and Control called this past Monday, they had one of “our” cats. From the microchip number I knew that we had neutered him in 2012, he was from an apartment complex, his caretaker would let him inside on occasion and she had moved in 2014. The new information is that someone in that same complex had brought him inside for the last year and now had surrendered him to County. The staff said he was nice. I picked him up and off we went to the vet. He was a mass of knots and very scared. So, sedate, snap test, vaccinate & shave was the plan. Rusty now is sporting a lion cut and slowly gaining interest in his surroundings. I can hold him and he’s starting to feel safe enough to look around. At fifteen pounds he could do a lot of damage but has been terribly sweet and calm. Cats are sensitive creatures. Despite how kind the people at DPACC are, the cats know what happens there and often start shutting down so that they don’t have to care. It can take awhile for them to return to normal. I’m hoping he will come along quickly and we’ll have a foster that can take in this big guy so he can make the next steps in his journey.
Another call came from a woman who had taken in a kitten in the Fall, around the same time, her son brought home two kittens who happened to be female. The first kitten was male. “Eleven kittens in the closet” was the result. The male cat was neutered in January, the girls last week and this week seven of the kittens were taken to ADOPT in Naperville for fostering and adoption. The other four went to homes and we should be neutering them as soon as they are old enough.
These situations happen all year long, they stand out a little bit more because now is our “down” time. But cats get injured, cats decide to be friendly, kittens have kittens, cats get abandoned all the time. We do what we can to get them what they need in addition to making sure there are fewer and fewer every year. Due to the high volume of cats that we deal with, we have the experience to know who should be adopted, who should go back outside. Cats revert to “feral” after only a short time outside, we have the equipment to trap and house them until we know their true nature.
If You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get
It's becoming clear that Feral Fixers needs a building. My experience has been that if you don’t ask, you don’t get. We have started discussion of what form a building would take. The big dream is to have a large building that would house an adoption area, holding area and a spay/neuter clinic. Think of all of the empty warehouses and car dealerships you pass. Plenty of parking and areas that cars could drive into and be protected as cats are moved in and out of vehicles. We could start in a house, many shelters have done so. We could start in a store front, that’s been suggested to us many times. These changes won’t happen tomorrow, it may take some time, but we cannot continue to operate with the limited resources of our volunteers homes and garages forever, in order to provide what the cats need, we need a building. We have started setting aside some donations in what we are temporarily calling a “Fund for the Future” – we may come up with a snappier name – when we get an unexpected large donation we will put it in that account. We would not be acting responsibly if we did not plan for change and this is one way that we are working towards that. Donations can be designated towards this Fund, simply give us those instructions when making a donation. Here is the start of our “ask”, keep it in the back of your minds, if you know someone that has the resources to help with this, tell them about us. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
Once again, my letter to you has gone long. Just a bit more:
Our Shop for Strays Bazaar is coming up on April 19th – come shop and if you would like to bake for our Bake Sale, let us know! We always sell out!
Watch for our Adoption events!
Our Tastefully Simple Fundraiser is a fun way to donate and get something for yourself!