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Dear Friends of Spay and Stay and Community Cats Everywhere,

This fall we would like to address the question as to why there are new feral and stray cats in our communities. This is despite year-round efforts from Spay and Stay caretakers and volunteers for over 12 years, with over 1,000 cats having been sterilized in each of the last three years.

The following is the true story of how cats become feral. I invited a friend to the Black Cat Ball last October, and his wife told me what she had witnessed that very morning. She was driving on Telegraph Road in Lake Forest when she saw in her rearview mirror, a woman and her young son getting out of their car. She could see that the woman had a small cat in her hands. She watched the woman and her son walk to a wooded area, set the cat on the ground, and walk away, leaving the cat behind. She went back to save the cat, but the woman had already driven off, and the cat was nowhere to be seen. What message do you think this child took from abandoning their cat? That pets are disposable? That abandoning a pet is an acceptable thing to do? That cats can survive outside on their own?

This type of behavior is occurring all around us, in both affluent and impoverished areas. If this cat finds a food source and encounters other cats, without intervention, the breeding will begin and a new generation of feral cats will be born. For this reason, Spay and Stay continues to receive calls from new and existing caretakers about new cats and kittens appearing at their feeding stations. This is why it is more important than ever for Spay and Stay to continue its mission to humanely control the growth of the feral cat population through Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), as well as joining with humane groups and celebrities to encourage neutering of all pets.

Torben appeared at a feeding station last fall and was trapped and successfully socialized with the help of Spay and Stay. He is now a happy indoor-only cat.

The benefits of TNR are many, the first of which is the prevention of the breeding cycle. This, in turn, leads to many “positives” for both the cats and their communities, including the stabilization of the cat population and improvement in the lives of these cats. Spay and Stay has its share of TNR successes, as evidenced by stories related among caretakers at the caretaker meetings, as well as at Spay and Stay fundraising events. There are many colonies in which the number of cats has stabilized or decreased. The cats in some of these colonies are now over 10 years old and still continue to lead healthy, active lives. There are some colonies in which no kittens have been born for over 10 years! With the dedication and compassion of our caretakers and volunteers, and with help from our donors, Spay and Stay has become a true success story.

We are asking for your help to fund low cost neutering and vaccinations, as well as medical care for ill or injured stray and feral cats so that they might live a healthy life without adding to the population. We heartily thank the caretakers and donors who have made this work possible.

Please help Spay and Stay to continue the efforts to humanly reduce the stray cat population through Trap-Neuter-Return and working with rescue partners to find homes for adoptable cats and kittens. Thank you for sharing your generous donation and for caring for community cats. Your tax deductible gift at any level is appreciated.

Donations may be mailed to Spay and Stay, P.O. Box 145, Grayslake, IL 60030 or you can donate via PayPal using the "Donate" button in the sidebar on the right-hand side of this page.

Sincerely,

Elizabeth W. Fischer
President, Spay and Stay

Got Cats?

Spay and Stay works with compassionate individuals and local governments to humanely control the growth of the feral cat population in Lake County, Illinois using trap-neuter-return. We link people who care for feral cats with five veterinary clinics in the area to perform spay/neuter surgeries.

How We Work

  1. Call us at 847–289–4557 or e-mail us at info@spayandstay.org to reach one of our volunteers to see if your cats are eligible for our program. (If they are not eligible, we will refer you to a group that can help.) Do not trap cats before contacting Spay and Stay.
  2. Complete the caretaker registration form and fax, e-mail or mail it to us.
  3. Once your caretaker registration form has been confirmed by Spay and Stay, we will call you to arrange:
    • Borrowing a Spay and Stay trap
    • Scheduling an appointment with one of our veterinarians.

Need more information? Read about the Spay and Stay process.

Remember, we cannot accept cats that have been trapped before you contact us.

 

Trapping Webinars from Petsmart Charities (free)

You can watch a recording of the webinars. The recordings are posted approximately one week after the live session. To view a recorded session you will also need a Petsmart Charities "learning community" account. Use the search box on the learning communities page to look for the recorded session.

Trapping 101 April 9 at 12:00 p.m. PDT
Learn the basics of trapping, including what equipment to use, how to use it, different kinds of bait, items to bring along and special tricks.

Drop Traps: A Trapper’s Best Friend
April at 12:00 p.m. PDT
Learn to use a drop trap to catch difficult cats, pick out select cats from a colony and speed up the process of TNR’ing an entire colony.

Neonatal Kitten Care Webinars from Alley Cat Allies (free)

Learn how to care for neonatal kittens (kittens zero to four weeks old). The series of 90-minute online presentations includes sessions geared toward rescue organizations, fosters, shelter staff, veterinary staff, and others who want to help save kittens.

If you missed the live webinar, you can watch a recording.

Next Neonatal Kitten Care Session: April 18 at 1 p.m. EST

 

Embrace your Feral Side with Spay and Stay Gear

 Check out the short ($15) and long-sleeved ($20) versions of the Spay and Stay t-shirts with "You catch 'em, we fix em." on the back in gold lettering and an ear-tipped cat on the front.

In addition, the reusable tote bag ($12) has an ear-tipped cat on the outside and an interior pocket. The handy strap allows for it to be carried on the shoulder.

Download the order form and get your gear today!

All of the proceeds from these items benefit spay/neuter and medical care for homeless cats. Help Spay and Stay spread the word about trap-neuter-return by showing your friends your feral side.