Practicing and promoting Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) in DuPage County, Illinois

We're a 501c3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting and practicing Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) in DuPage County, Illinois. We believe that TNR is the only effective, humane and long-term solution to the problem of cat overpopulation.
The Feral Fixers e-Newsletter - Issue #64 - April, 2017
In This Issue
Letter from the President
Kitten Shower!
Have you checked out our Adoptable Cats and Kittens?
Want to Help?
There are Kittens in my Yard!
Will you change their Luck?
Feral Fixers Wish List
Feral Cat Task Force
Check out our Social Media!
Online Garage Sale!
Support Illinois Senate Bill 641
Foster Homes are Needed Now!
How many cats? - 9,559!!
Cats and Public Health
Shop on Amazon - Help Feral Fixers!
Event Calendar
Shop on CafePress - Help Feral Fixers!
Visit us on the Web
What is Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)?
About us
Dear Friend,

It's Spring and that can only mean one thing - KITTENS!  Yes, they're starting to show up now and Feral Fixers is gearing up to meet the deluge.

Spring also means that it's time for our HELP OUR MEOWERS KITTEN SHOWER!.  This is the second time we've held such an event and we hope you can make it and show your support for Feral Fixers in this, one of our most stressful times.  Details about this upcoming event are elsewhere in this Newsletter.

As the theme of this Newsletter is KITTENS, we've also included an excerpt from the Feral Fixers article "There are Kittens in My Yard" - what to do if you wind up in such a situation - as well as a link to the full article.

There are articles talking about our Adoptable Cats and Kittens, our ongoing need for Foster Homes and wondering if you will take a look at some of our FIV+ cats and Change Their Luck?

Finally, we also have articles on the Feral Cat Task Force, Illinois Senate Bill 641 and Cats and Public Health.  You can also read about our current Trap-Neuter-Return statistics, view our Event Calendar and much, much more - a jam-packed issue again!

Thank you for reading and thank you for support of Feral Fixers!  See you at the Kitten Shower!


Feral Fixers
Letter from the President

Come Party with Us!

Our next event is the "Help Our Meowers" Kitten Shower on April 30th at the Villa Park VFW from 12noon to 4PM. We will have great food, door prizes, silent auction items and our Boutique. We will have some of our excellent fosters on hand to answer questions you may have about fostering or more about our organization as a whole. The donation is $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Please feel free to bring Kitten Shower gifts too - we always need supplies! Kitten Chow, Tidy Cat clay litter, Friskies poultry flavors, are items we go thru rapidly! If you would like to donate prizes to the event in advance, please contact Tammy at

On October 15th (day before National Feral Cat Day), we will be celebrating our 10,000th cat neutered and our 1,000th cat adoption at an event, also at the Villa Park VFW from 2PM to 5PM - Feral Fixers' 10K 1K Celebration! Amazing how far we've come in such a short time!!!

How Do We Measure Success?

In addition to working hard to get every last intact cat from each colony, and knowing we have done so, we also use the statistics from DuPage County Animal Care and Control. Here are some numbers:

This is the FOURTH year that no adoptable cats have been euthanized for cage space and the first year that no treatable cats have been euthanized! That total intake from all sources has gone down and that cats deemed feral have gone down 89% is phenomenal. One source of cats that have been euthanized in the past have been kittens too young/too sick to survive and those are simply not coming to DPACC at the previous rate either. We are so glad of the hard work that DPACC is doing in changing the outcomes of these cats!

What Have We Been Doing?

We have been neutering cats on a limited basis. With fewer volunteers and fewer s/n slots available to us, we have still managed to neuter 154 cats since January 1st! Made possible by the transport help of Debbie, Charli, Dedra, Judy, Laura, here's the breakdown:

Impressive what can be done in 3 months time, isn't it? These cats were kittens left over from the end of 2016, cats that had one left to be TNR'd in a colony, intact females that we knew were going to have kittens at the first opportunity, etc., etc. These numbers bring us to 154 for the year and 9,599 since we began in 2007.

We Won!

Many thanks to Heritage Cadillac of Lombard - we were the winners of their March 2017 $500 "Gift of Charity" contest!


By the time you read this, Kim Marrazzo will be nearly ready to or have already run the Paris Marathon. So many wonderful people have donated to Feral Fixers to show their support! We hope it makes a big difference for Kim! It is so kind of her to run in our name!

It's not too late to donate - we are promised matching funds up to the first $1,000 raised! To donate, click on the "Paris Meow-athon" graphic in the upper, left-hand corner of this web page - thank you!

GiveBack Market

Our online garage sale is open and slowly raising funds. Please visit our sale and shop for finds from the comfort of your computer! Purchases are easy to make and easy to arrange pickup/delivery. Treasure is in the eye of the beholder, clear out your former treasures to benefit Feral Fixers and post items on GiveBack yourself! Click on "sell something", select Feral Fixers and you are on your way to an easy way to donate!!

Have you checked out our Adoptable Cats and Kittens?

Of the more than 1000 cats spayed/neutered in 2016, over 400 were rescued and socialized for adoption into loving homes.  While our local shelters (West Suburban Humane Society, ADOPT Pet Shelter, Naperville Area Humane Society) take in many of our adoptable cats & kittens, we have a great team of volunteers who fosters these cats & kittens and handles their adoption directly into loving homes.  In 2016, we successfully adopted out over 300 cats & kittens!

The Feral Fixers adoption program began in mid-2013, and the momentum has been building.  By the time we reach 10,000 cats and kittens spayed/neutered, we will also reach 1000 cats & kittens successfully adopted into loving homes!  Another amazing milestone to celebrate!  Most of our adoptions are done from the foster homes with careful screening of potential adopters prior to the visit.  We also have 1-2 adoptions events per month at local pet stores, including PetSmart Wheaton, Pet Supplies Plus Naperville, Kriser's Glen Ellyn and Two Bostons Naperville.  Please check out the Event Calendar on our web site or our Facebook page for listings of upcoming adoption events.

While we have many successful adoptions to celebrate, there are a few of our cats who have been waiting for the right home for quite awhile.  Several of these are our great FIV+ boys, who are featured below in the "Change their Luck" article.  We also have a others who are older, more shy or have unique personality traits that make finding the perfect home a bit more challenging.  Here are two such cats.  If you have have any ideas on a good match for these great cats, please email or call 630-881-7459.

James is a very social 1 year old frosty gray tabby male. He loves nothing more than to play and cuddle with his friends, both human and animal. James is incredibly quick to purr with petting, and usually comes running when his foster parents call him. He is an active cat, and needs a good amount of playtime to use up all his energy. Once tired out, he loves to curl up and sleep happily on the nearest lap. James's other favorite pastime is looking out the window at all the activity going on outside. He does sometimes get overexcited when playing, and starts to nibble on his companions. His foster mom has been working on this behavior with him, but he needs a family who will continue to reinforce good behaviors. James would do best with an active playmate to keep him entertained.

Nala is a petite, 5 year old female, who was raised from a bottle baby in a home. However, she became the victim of the changing environment and her owners' less than stable lives. Recently spayed, Nala has blossomed into a gentle, sweet cat. She doesn't mind being held, loves being petted and brushed, and enjoys one on one attention. Nala will be the happiest being an only cat in her new home. She might even learn to enjoy playing with toys as she becomes a more confident cat!

You can find pictures and descriptions of all of our Adoptable cats & kittens as well as information on adopting them by clicking on the "Adoptable Cats" link at the top of our website.  Thank you!
Want to help?

Interested in helping Feral Fixers? We are looking for a 'few good volunteers'! Specifically, we're looking for someone to help us transport cats to and from PAWS (the Spay/Neuter clinic we use) in Chicago.

We need transport both in the morning and the afternoon. If you're interested in helping, call us at (630) 881-FXRS (3977) or email us at
There are Kittens in my Yard! 

One morning you go out into your yard and you hear a strange, meeping, meowing sound.  What is that?  You investigate and find, to your dismay, that a litter of kittens is living in your backyard and the mom is nowhere in sight.  What do you do?

Don't panic!  Feral Fixers has prepared a document giving you the knowledge to be able to handle this situation correctly.

Excerpts from the document:

"The first step upon discovering kittens in your yard is to vacate the area unless they are in immediate danger.  Keep tabs on the situation from a distance, inside the house so the mom cat will feel comfortable returning to them.

The second, assuming you have not been feeding the mother cat, is to check with your neighbors to see if they have been feeding cats.

The third, if you are able, is to offer the mom cat a safe place to move her kittens to.  A shelter stuffed with straw, even a cardboard box (stuffed with straw) with a hole cut in the side just big enough for her to come and go might encourage her to move her kittens out of bushes, a pile of firewood, etc.

If the kittens are in danger - roaming dogs, coyotes seen daily, lawn care workers coming to re-do the back yard, your siding is being replaced, mom cat has not been seen for two days, then and only then, should the kittens be removed.  The mom cat can usually do an excellent job of caring for the kittens and there is time to contact Feral Fixers and make a plan of how to move forward.  The best food is the mom's milk, the best emotional support is mom's care - human care is a poor second choice at best.

Pregnant females will give birth in locations that they think are safe but inexperienced first-timers may have to make a hasty selection.  That's how kittens end up in bushes, flower beds, window wells.

Moms move their litters several times while caring for them, situations change, kittens grow, weather changes.  The important thing is to keep an eye on them and be aware of where the kittens are being moved to.  The rule of thumb has always been that kittens need to eat every two hours.  In truth, while the kittens are with the mom they might nurse continuously, but the mom can be gone for long stretches of time - sometimes eight hours plus.  If she is out searching for food, searching for a new location, that can take time.  While the mom is gone, kittens often go into a semi-comatose state, limiting energy expenditure until she returns.  So, unless the kittens are screaming with hunger, are cold, have been left for more than 24 hours, it is best not to intervene."

To read the entire document, click here.
Will you change their Luck?

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) seems to be one of the most misunderstood feline diagnoses.  In days past, cats and kittens diagnosed with FIV were euthanized, as it was thought that their prognosis was poor and the disease was highly contagious.  More recent findings have revealed that FIV+ cats can live normal lives in both quality and duration.  FIV cannot be spread to humans or other animals, and it can only be spread among cats through deep puncture wound bites, in utero and through milk from an infected mother cat.  FIV+ cats can make wonderful, loving companions for many years.  Good nutrition and routine vet care including dental check-ups are important, which is actually important to keep all cats healthy.  There are many wonderful stories of successful adoptions of FIV+ cats who lived healthy and happy lives for 12-15 years.

Still the FIV stigma and concern persists, and although the cats are not euthanized, adopters, in general, are very hesitant to adopt an FIV+ cat.  As a result, we have several wonderful, loving FIV+ boys who have been long awaiting a forever home.  Friendly, playful & out-going, these boys were all clearly someone's pet at one time.  However, sadly, they were not neutered, engaged in cat fights (as unneutered males do), and contracted FIV.  While they are symptom-free and likely to live long lives, because of their FIV+ label, they get overlooked for adoption.

Will you help change their luck?  Our adoption fee for FIV+ cats has been reduced to $55.  If the adoption commitment seems too great, we are also offering long term foster arrangements for these wonderful cats.  This takes the risk out of any significant medical expenses.

The following are the awesome FIV+ boys we currently have available.  If you have have any ideas on a good match for these great cats, please email or call 630-881-7459.

Feral Fixers Wish List

SPECIAL NOTE - We have recently updated our Wish List on this site.  If you haven't visited it recently, we invite you to do so again in the near future - Thank you!

Want to help Feral Fixers by purchasing something that we really could use?  Then check out our Wish List on Amazon.  It contains many items listed that we would greatly appreciate and they are shipped directly to us!

This is a wonderful way to help Feral Fixers.  Many people prefer to support a charitable organization by purchasing items for them rather than sending them a donation and this is a way you can do so.

To find the Feral Fixers Wish List on, just go to their website and click on the Wish List link near the top, right-hand corner of the page.  Then enter the words "Feral Fixers" (without the quotation marks) into the box that says "Find Someone's Wish List" and hit Enter.  You'll then be presented with all of the items currently on that Feral Fixers would like to have.  Add the item(s) you wish to donate to your Shopping Cart in the normal manner and, when you pay for them, they'll be ordered and shipped directly to Feral Fixers!

And, if you order from the AmazonSmile website (see instructions elsewhere in this eNewsletter for instructions on how to do so), you'll help us in an additional way - you'll have donated one or more items to us AND 1/2% of your purchase price will also be additionally donated to Feral Fixers (this only applies to items that are so eligible - shown in the description of them item).

Thank you!
Feral Cat Task Force

On December 1, 2016, SJR0053 was adopted by both houses of the Illinois General Assembly.  This resolution created the Feral Cat Task Force.

On January 23rd of this year, Steve Dale and Anne Bealle Ph.D both testified before this Task Force on the benefits of Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) and why it is the best solution to the problem of free-roaming ('Community') cats.

From Steve Dale: " I'm going to begin my statement with the bottom line truth. TNR may not be perfect. but it's the best system we have to control community cats today.  Nothing that's been tried - at least so far - equals the success of TNR."  He goes on to list the other possible 'solutions' to controlling cat overpopulation and why they are far inferior to TNR.  He ends by saying to the Task Force: " Most of all, I am glad you are here, together, in one room - because I do believe we all want the same thing to benefit wildlife - including birds - as well as owned and community cats alike."

From Professor Bealle: "My message is simple: the majority of American feel sorry for stray and feral cats and they support TNR programs."  She goes on to discuss the benefits of TNR and also discusses the over-hyped concern about how many songbirds that are killed by cats.  She ends by quoting the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds website: " Despite the large numbers of birds who are killed, there is no scientific evidence that predation by cats in gardens is having any impact on bird populations....".

You can read more about the meeting and the testimony on Steve Dale's Pet World website.
Check out our Social Media!

Feral Fixers has a very active Facebook page. Information is updated daily - sometimes hourly!  Find out what you can do, what we need, how you can have an impact on ferals, strays, cats in general!  "Like" us there and the good karma will surely flow your way...

Feral Fixers is also active on Twitter and, like our Facebook page, information is updated daily - sometimes hourly!  If you like tweets about cats and Feral Fixers, this is the place to be!

Visit our website at, an enormous resource about feral cats and what we do.  There you can donate to us (via PayPal or credit card), see the ways you can help Feral Fixers, our adoptable cats, the latest news, visit our store and learn more about feral cats.  Follow the "running total" of how many cats we've spayed/neutered, see the Upcoming Events, archived articles from the past and learn about our Friends and Partners and so much more!

There are links to our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages, ResQWalk - a smartphone app that tracks how far you've walked your pet or exercised (these miles accumulate for Feral Fixers to help us win money at the same time)!  And sign up for our mailing list so that you receive our email newsletters and stay informed!
Support Illinois Senate Bill 641

On January 25th of this year, Illinois Senator Linda Holmes (Democrat, District 42) introduced SB 641 to the Illinois Senate.  According to Rebekah DeHaven, Senior Attorney and Director of Humane Law and Policy for Alley Cat Allies:

"The Illinois Senate and Agriculture Committee is considering Senate Bill 641-Amendment 1. Under this bill, if counties put their money from dog and cat registration fees into a county animal population control fund, they can then use the money for lifesaving Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) programs.

Community cats are usually not adoptable, so shelters are a death sentence for them. In fact, 70 percent of cats are killed in shelters. TNR saves cats' lives by getting them out of shelters and back to their outdoor homes.

Support TNR in Illinois! Tell your legislators to support SB 641-Amendment 1.

Counties should have the option to use their funds to save cats. Tell your legislator to support SB 641-Amendment 1!"

You can read the full Press Release here.  This page also provides a link whereby you can directly contact your representatives and the Senators who sit on the Senate Agricultural Committee (where this legislation was introduced).

The Best Friends Animal Sanctuary also has a page up about this legislation along with a link to your representatives and the Senators who sit on the Senate Agricultural Committee.

As of April 4th, this bill is still in the Agricultural Committee, so there is still time to contact your legislators.  You can find the current status of this bill here.
Foster Homes are Needed Now!

For the adoptable cats & kittens Feral Fixers rescues, loving and committed foster homes are our most important resource.  While we have several devoted foster families who have helped us prepare many cats & kittens for adoption (hats off to them!), we have many more rescued cats & kittens who desperately need this fostering experience.  As we approach kitten season, this need becomes especially great.

Would you consider giving a loving foster home experience to some of our great kittens or cats?  We will work to find a cat or kittens that matches your situation and schedule.  The basic requirements for fostering include:
  • Be within reasonable driving distance of Lombard - this is especially important for kitten fosters, as kittens require regular medical care.
  • Have a separate room you can dedicate to your fosters, apart from other pets.
  • Spend a reasonable amount of time at home with your fosters.  Socialization is one of the key needs of many of adoptables.  This is especially important for kittens.
  • Patience, kindness, love, understanding and openness to learning socialization techniques for our rescues
If you would like more information on fostering, please click on the "Want to Foster?" link on the top of our website or visit the Foster Table at our Kitten Shower on 4/30.  We will have lots of information on fostering, photos of fosters families with their foster cats & kittens, fostering applications, and several experienced fosters on hand to answer your questions.  We will also be honoring our current fosters by distributing "I love my Feral Fixers fosters" magnets.  Won't you join us and learn more?
How many cats? - 9,559!!

# of cats fixed

Clicking on the Computer monitor will send you to the Feral Fixers 'Statistics' page where you can see our progress, month-by-month, since we've started work.
Cats and Public Health

One issue regarding outdoor, community cats is the concern about diseases that can be transmitted from these cats to human beings.  The Humane Society has a webpage which specifically discusses this issue.  From the article:

"Many animals, both wild and domesticated, can pass diseases to people. These are known as zoonotic diseases. Although we should be concerned about such diseases (like rabies, toxoplasmosis and more ), there are some common myths about the public health risks associated with community cats. In most cases, a compassionate coexistence between cats and humans can be established-and knowing how to prevent zoonotic disease is the best medicine."

The article is a quick read and contains lots of good information.
Shop on Amazon - Help Feral Fixers!

Feral Fixers is now a designated charity on, the website which offers a gazillion items for sale.  A great many of these items have been designated eligible for "amazonsmile", a program that automatically donates 1/2% of the purchase price of the item to the charity of your choice.

Instead of signing on to, sign on to instead.  You'll then be able to designate a "Favorite charity".  Enter "Feral Fixers" where asked to and then Feral Fixers will be eligible for these donations.

In order for you to then purchase amazonsmile items, you will always need to sign in to  This is the same website you've always enjoyed - all of the products are still listed, but note that not every item on Amazon is "amazonsmile" eligible.  Items that are eligible are clearly designated as such in the description.

So, register Feral Fixers as your favorite charity and help us help the cats!

Thank you!
Event Calendar  
April 30, 2017 - Kitten Shower! - Feral Fixers will host its second annual Kitten Shower event on this date. Last year's event was very successful and lots of fun, so we're going to build on it this year. Look for details on this event elsewhere in this Newsletter.

May 7, 2018 - PetSmartCharities Adoption Event!! - Feral Fixers will be hosting an adoption event at the PetSmart located at 63 Rice Lake Square in Wheaton from 11am to 3pm. All of our cats/kittens are in Foster homes, are spayed/neutered, current on their vaccinations, microchipped, dewormed and FeLV/FIV tested. If you would like to get pre-approved for same-day adoption, please email us (by Friday, May 5th) at You can see all of our adoptable cats by clicking on the Adoptable Cats link at the top of our website.

September 24, 2017 - Barkapalooza! - This will be our ELEVENTH consecutive appearance at the West Suburban Humane Society's annual Barkapalooza event. More details will be posted as they're available - but in the meantime, mark your calendars now! This is always a mega-fun event and, if you like dogs, it's a must-visit - see you there!

October 15, 2017 - 10K-1K Event! - Feral Fixers will celebrate spay/neutering 10,000 cats and finding furrever homes for 1,000 of them on this date. You'll certainly want to join us for this milestone event where we will also celebrate 10 full years of doing Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) and also National Feral Cat Day! Planning is still in the very early stages and details will be issued as soon as they are available - but mark your Calendars now - SAVE THE DATE!

October 16,2017 - National Feral Cat Day! - This commemorative date, first marked by our friends at Alley Cat Allies, celebrates "On this day of action, dedicated cat lovers and advocates alike will host spay/neuter clinics, TNR workshops, fundraisers, adoption events, and more-working toward a world where every cat is valued and protected and every community and shelter has policies and programs to save their lives." Each year, Feral Fixers marks this day and this year will be no different. We will be celebrating this day at our 10K-1K Event (see above).

October, 2017 - Lynfred Winery - Feral Fixers named "Charity of the Month for October 2017 at Lynfred Winery's Roselle and Wheeling locations. Lynfred is a non-tipping facility, however customers often wish to leave tips in appreciation of the friendly service they receive. Building on the tradition of community involvement and advocacy established by Lynfred founder, Fred Koehler, the winery has decided to donate their tips to a different local charity each month." (More details to follow)
Shop on CafePress - Help Feral Fixers!

Want to purchase something purr-fect for your cat-lover friends and help out Feral Fixers at the same time?  Just visit our CafePress store and Buy Something! In addition to the Lunch Bag shown to the right (perfect for keeping your drinks cold), we have T-shirts, sweatshirts, aprons, mouse pads, gym bags, messenger bags, coffee mugs, tote-bags, pet food bowls, Pajamas and much, much more! A portion of each sale goes to help us in our TNR efforts.

To visit the store, just click on the picture of the Lunch Bag or visit our website and click on the ' CafePress' button at the top - Thank you!
Visit us on the Web 

Visit our website at  There you can donate to us (via PayPal or credit card), visit our store, read the latest news, and learn more about feral cats.

If this newsletter has been forwarded to you, you can also sign up to be on our mailing list so you don't miss a thing!
What is Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)?

TNR CatTNR is a full management plan in which stray and feral cats already living outdoors in cities, towns, and rural areas are humanely trapped, evaluated, vaccinated, and sterilized by veterinarians.

When space is available, adoptable cats and kittens are transferred to sheltering organizations to be adopted into good homes. Healthy adult cats unsocialized to humans are returned to their familiar habitat under the lifelong care of their original caretakers.
Feral Fixers, NFP, is a certified 501c3 corporation - EIN Number 13-4364615