In the past two weeks Feral Fixers made multiple trips to PAWS. We sent a total of 30 cats, 5 friendlies and 25 ferals. Of these, 19 were males and 11 were females. One male feral was already neutered and one female feral died unexpectedly before surgery - no clear reason for the passing could be found. So 28 for the two weeks, 61 for the month May, 276 for the year and we've reached 8,711 since our start! Many thanks to Debbie, Charli and Dedra - we could not do this without you!
We will not be sending any cats to PAWS on 6/9/16. If you trap 'em, you take 'em, you recover 'em. Trips will resume on 6/16/16.
The Feral Blog
Written by Ted Semon
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
We have had some very good luck lately in getting our sweet, FIV+ cats adopted. If you look at our Can You Change Their luck web flyer, you'll note that we have only ONE FIV+ cat we're now trying to adopt out.
It has helped that we have had some generous donors pay the donation cost up-front so that some of these cats can be adopted. One of them is:
Many thanks to Margie Cleveland who provided the $55 donation to cover Rutherford's adoption! Margie is a Feral Fixers supporter and the proud adopter of two Feral Fixers kittens (Rutger and Bobby). Bobby had some health issues himself as a kitten which delayed his growth and development. But with the help of Margie's good care, he is now healthy and happy and enjoying life with his buddy Rutger.
Thank you Margie! And, please note that the adoption fee has already been paid for Nola, our remaining FIV+ cat up for adoption.
May 14th Adoption Event
The Feral Blog
Written by Sue Lee
Saturday, May 14, 2016
With our adoptable cats being primarily adults at this point in the season, it was a calmer, though still productive adoption event today. It was nice to be back at our regular PetSmart location in Wheaton. We had a great line up of cats including Alamo, Arthur, Monica, Midas, Wilson, Rusty, River, Boots and Ruthie.
There was a good amount of foot traffic and resultant networking with folks about our organization. We also passed out flyers to several interested adopters.
We have a very strong lead on a family interested in Wilson. They have 2 cats currently and recently lost a 17 yr old black cat with much the same personality as Wilson. The gal held Wilson for quite some time and then left the store saying that they weren't quite ready to adopt. So we were surprised when she came back a second time to see him again. There was obviously a strong connection! We will be following up to see if this will be Wilson's forever home.
I am also happy to report that Morgan (one of our wonderful FIV+ boys) was adopted today by a couple from Bensenville. They did not have any pets currently, were looking specifically for a Maine Coon male, and Morgan's sweet personality won them over.
Set-up for the adoption event occurred in record time as a result of the help of many wonderful volunteers! I originally thought that Lauren and I would be alone for the set up, but Sara, Bethany, Laurel, Toni and Edie all showed up and pitched in to help. It was wonderful. Marissa and Maureen arrived soon there after with all of their and Judy's foster cats. Debbie and Judy arrived later in the afternoon and stayed to help with the clean-up along with Lauren and Maureen. Many thanks to all!
Thanks also to Sara and Maureen for helping with the photography of the event. Thanks to Mike for updating the adoptable cat binder and to Debbie for updating the poster. And many thanks to Connie and Ted for their advertising of the event.
Upcoming events include our Kitten Shower on Sunday, 6/12, 12-4pm at the Villa Park VFW Hall and the Shred for Rescues event on Saturday, 6/25, 9am-1pm at Citadel Information Management in Westmont. We may also have another adoption event on Saturday, 5/28, pending the number of available cats & kittens for the event - please stay tuned.
Thanks again to all!
(Click on the thumbnails of Wilson (right) or Morgan (left) to see a full-size picture)
Spring, 2016 Letter from the President
From The President
Written by Tammy McAuley
Thursday, May 12, 2016
“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.
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!"