VILLA PARK – Feral Fixers, a nonprofit organization whose goal is to humanely control the feral cat population, is struggling to reach its target number of cats before a grant expires in September.
The organization received a private grant to help it neuter cats in the Villa Park area. The grant's goal is to treat 300 cats, but Feral Fixers has only treated 150 cats so far, said Tammy McAuley, president of the organization.
"We thought we would have more in the Villa Park area," McAuley said.
The DuPage County-based organization began in September 2007 and has neutered more than 5,200 cats, including about 400 in the Villa Park area. Feral Fixers promotes the Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) policy, where feral cats are trapped in their natural habitat, evaluated, vaccinated and sterilized by veterinarians.
Tame cats are then adopted into good homes through local no-kill shelters. Cats who are not socialized to humans are returned to their familiar habitat and put under the care of volunteers. This process is intended to increase the health of the cats, reduce negative behavior and reduce the number of euthanized cats in the DuPage County area, McAuley said.
"There is no money for the alternative, which is to trap and kill," McAuley said. "We need a lasting solution to the cat overpopulation problem."
Those interested in helping, donating, volunteering or learning more can visit www.feralfixers.org.