News & Events


Click here to visit the SNAP homepage
In This Issue July 1, 2011

   Tails of Two Cities Winners Announced
   SNAP Goes Back to Zihuatanejo
Do You Love Animals Year Round?
   Kroger Shopper Program Benefits SNAP
   Harris Family Funds Spay-Neuter Events
   It’s Wiener Dog Day in San Antonio!
   Upcoming SNAP Events
   A Dog's Life by Hedda Hound
   New SNAP Grants
   Shampooch Raises Nearly $1,800
Fabulous Felines by Madame Astrocat
   Quote of the Month

- 20,647 -
The number of dogs and cats
helped by your gifts between
Jan. 1 and May 31, 2011

SNAP has sterilized over

dogs and cats since being
founded in 1993.

Tails of Two Cities Winners Announced
Contest Winners Model for New SNAP T-Shirts, Receive Prize Packages
Meet the 2011 Tails of Two Cities Contest Grand Prize Winner

SNAP is excited to announce the winners of the Tails of Two Cities t-shirt contest. (Winners were first announced on the SNAP Facebook page on Tuesday, June 7, 2011.) Dog category winners were Dougie (Houston), entered by Teresa Osborn; Beckham (San Antonio), entered by Linné Girouard; and Chewba (Judge’s Choice), entered by Angelita Rodrigues. Cat category winners were Boo (Houston), entered by Kim Carter; CC (San Antonio), entered by Loretta Leonard; and Kitten Town (Judge’s Choice), entered by Christina Fojas.

Dog category runners up were Olivia (Houston), entered by Kate Smargiasso; Chula (Houston), entered by Mel Hammonds; King (San Antonio), entered by Abigail Power; and Max (San Antonio), entered by Jeanine Capeheart.

Cat category runners up were Kamelia (Houston), entered by Sarah Guerrero; Little Girl (Houston), entered by Barbara Gilbreath; Clyde II (San Antonio), entered by Pat Gonzales; and Tori (San Antonio), entered by Cassie Boatwright.

Each category winner will be photographed as the model for a new SNAP t-shirt. Winners also receive a grand prize package including two tickets to the 2012 Collars for a Cause Celebration, a one-year subscription to Life+Dog magazine, and a WONDERDOG New York collar for the dogs or an appropriately feline-oriented gift for the cats. They will also be featured in a photo displayed at SNAP clinics and in stories appearing on the SNAP website, in SNAPtales, and on Houston Dog Blog.

The ten runners-up receive gift packages that include a SNAP gift bag, a $25 gift certificate for wellness services at a SNAP clinic, and a featured story on the SNAP website and the SNAP Facebook page.

The contest raised roughly $7,000 after expenses. These funds will be used to continue SNAP spay-neuter programs that seek to prevent the suffering and death of dogs and cats due to overpopulation and preventable diseases, especially in low-income areas. If you entered your cat or dog in the contest or voted for those entered by others, please know that SNAP is deeply grateful to you for helping to make this contest and our mission a success! We are also grateful to the wonderful sponsors who made the contest possible. These include Houston Dog Blog, LIFE+DOG Magazine, Merial, Natural Pawz, Office Effects, Inc., and WONDERDOG New York!

SNAP Goes Back to Zihuatanejo
Fourth Annual Mobile Clinic Trip Results in 223 Surgeries
A happy client heads home with her just sterilized pup in Zihuatanejo.
A happy client heads home with her just sterilized pup in Zihuatanejo.

On May 15, 2011, SNAP Veterinarian Erica Johnson, D.V.M., and Veterinary Technician DeWayne Compton left from Houston for a weeklong spay-neuter clinic at Sociedad Protectora de Animales de Zihuatanejo (SPAZ) in Zihuatanejo, Mexico. This is the fourth annual clinic SNAP has conducted in the city. Between Monday, May 16, and Friday, May 20, the SNAP crew, working in concert with SPAZ personnel, spayed or neutered 233 dogs and cats. This included 70 female dogs, 18 male dogs, 96 female cats, and 49 male cats. This means there will be hundreds if not thousands fewer unwanted animals born in Zihuatanejo in the years to come.

There was a secondary purpose for this trip besides just spaying and neutering as many animals as possible. Seven veterinarians from Zihuatanejo and the surrounding area (as far away as Toluca, Mexico) came to observe Dr. Johnson and DeWayne practicing high-volume surgery techniques. Some of them also participated by sterilizing some of the cats under Dr. Johnson's supervision. Dr. Johnson personally sterilized all the dogs. This experience will enable the participating veterinarians to increase the number of high-quality spay-neuter operations performed in their respective locations in the future.

Natalia Krebs, the head of the SPAZ host team, organized a team of volunteers to help throughout the week. Sixteen volunteers gave of their time and energy to help make the clinic a success. Accommodations were also graciously donated for the SNAP team thanks to the SPAZ team.

One minor challenge arose during the trip, but it was quickly overcome. During Mr. Compton’s flight connection in Mexico City, his SNAP supply bag was confiscated by Mexican customs officials.  Despite having a letter in Spanish explaining that the supplies were for a veterinary mission, customs agents were unwilling to allow him to keep the surgery instrument packs necessary for the operations. Fortunately SPAZ was able to supply surgery packs, so the success of the trip was not hindered.

SNAP is pleased to be able to continue this ongoing program to help the animals of Mexico, both through spay-neuter surgery and through the training of Mexican veterinarians to spread the practice of high-volume, high-quality spay-neuter throughout the country.

Do You Love Animals Year Round?
Spayed Club Members Provide Ongoing Support for SNAP Spay-Neuter Programs
Show your love for animals year round. Join the Spayed Club!
Animal photography courtesy of Brett Chisholm Photography.

Does your passion for helping animals continue year round? Of course it does, so why not join the SNAP Spayed Club? The Spayed Club is a sustaining gift program that supports our free mobile clinics in Houston and San Antonio. Members commit to donate a set amount each month. When you join the Spayed Club, it is not the amount of your gift that matters nearly as much as it is the ongoing commitment. The more generous your gift, the more we can do for the animals, but even $5 a month will help reduce the number of unwanted animals born. As a Spayed Club member, you help keep our overhead costs low, therefore creating an even greater impact with your gift. All of our donors are important to our fight against animal overpopulation, but Spayed Club members are truly the backbone of our support system.

Are you committed to preventing the needless suffering and death of animals? If you are, please consider joining the SNAP Spayed Club. You may make your monthly donation by mailing in a check, or you may have it automatically charged to your Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express card. Spayed Club members receive an exclusive newsletter with stories of how their gifts are helping those less fortunate do the right thing by having their dogs and cats spayed and neutered. Spayed Club members also receive a free upgrade to VIP tickets at the annual SNAP Collars for a Cause celebration, and free SNAP t-shirt, and are recognized periodically at SNAP events.

If you believe in a future with no homeless animals, please join the Spayed Club today.

Kroger’s Shopper Program Benefits SNAP
Neighbor-to-Neighbor Program Re-Enrollment Underway
Kroger logo

Do you shop at Kroger? If you do, you can help SNAP earn funds to support our spay-neuter programs every time you shop, and it won’t cost you one penny more than you already spend. Just join the Kroger Neighbor-to-Neighbor program and designate SNAP as your nonprofit of choice. It’s easy to do. Just print the SNAP Neighbor-to-Neighbor Program enrollment letter and take it into your local Kroger store. There you may hand it and your Kroger Plus Card to the cashier, and ask him or her to enroll you. Alternatively, you may scan your Kroger Plus Card followed the the bar code on the letter in the self-service checkout. (A Kroger Plus Card takes only a minute to get if you don’t already have one, and it entitles you to discounts on your shopping purchases.)

Once you have enrolled, Kroger will begin tracking how much you spend each time you shop. When the program year ends in May of 2012, the company will add up all of the dollars spent by every shopper who selected SNAP as his or her beneficiary and compare that total with the total dollars spent by those who selected other nonprofits. SNAP will then receive an equivalent percentage of a $1 million fund that Kroger has set aside for the program.

How much do our dogs and cats stand to benefit from this program? The year that just ended brought in $1,715. That’s almost enough to cover a mobile clinic day. SNAP is grateful to you who have benefited SNAP through the Neighbor-to-Neighbor program in the past, and we hope you will chose to do so in the future. Remember, just because you were enrolled in support of SNAP last year doesn’t mean your purchases continue to benefit SNAP this year. You have to re-enroll. If you have not participated in this program in the past, please know that next year’s total could be much higher if you decide to help. Please enroll today!

Harris Family Funds Spay-Neuter Events
Houston and San Antonio Each Benefit from Support of Long-Time Donors
A kitten awaits surgery at the Harris free spay-neuter day.
A kitten awaits surgery at the free spay-neuter day in San Antonio. The day was funded by the Pam and Jim Harris family. Photograph courtesy of Ryan Rice.

Thanks to the Harris family of Houston, Friday, June 24, 2011, was a great day for the dogs and cats of San Antonio, and Thursday, July 14, 2011, will be a similarly great day for the dogs and cats of Houston. SNAP spayed and neutered 50 animals in San Antonio for free on that day thanks to the Harrises’ financial support, and the plan is to do the same in Houston. The San Antonio event was open to the general public and required an appointment. The Houston event is strictly for animals living in qualifying low-income households, and the mobile clinic’s existing lottery system will be used to determine the order in which clients will line up to qualify. Please see the Houston mobile clinic web page for information on qualifying and complete details on what to expect and how to prepare your animal for surgery.

These special spay-neuter events are being sponsored by longtime SNAP supporters Pam and Jim Harris. SNAP would like to express its sincere appreciation to the Harrises for their ongoing support of the SNAP mission. We could not succeed without wonderful donors like you!

It’s Wiener Dog Day in San Antonio!
SNAP Clinic Sterilizes 100 Dachshunds for Free to Commemorate Independence Day
It's Wiener Dog Day in San Antonio!

Today is the third annual SNAP Wiener Dog Day in San Antonio, the day when SNAP celebrates Independence Day by spaying or neutering 100 Dachshunds for FREE! Wiener Dog Day has become a tradition at the SNAP San Antonio clinic. Unfortunately, it is too late to get into today’s event. It is already fully booked and underway, but keep your eyes open for future wiener dog days and other special SNAP spay-neuter events.

SNAP is able to hold this event year after year thanks to financial support from San Antonio Animal Care Services (ACS). SNAP wishes to extend its sincere gratitude to ACS for its ongoing support.

Upcoming SNAP Events
Friday, July 1, 2011 – San Antonio, TX
  SNAP Wiener Dog Day!
SNAP San Antonio fixes 100 wiener dogs today. Event is FULL. Thanks to ACS for funding it!
Saturday, July 23, 2011 – San Antonio, TX
  San Antonio Pet Expo
Drop by the SNAP booth. Animals (leashed with proof of vaccinations) are welcome!
Monday, July 25, 2011 – San Antonio, TX
  Free Spay-Neuter at Arbolitos Nursery, 6714 S. Flores St.
Open to everyone! Clients will be selected by lottery. SNAP celebrates Spay-Neuter Week!
Tuesday, July 26, 2011 – San Antonio, TX
  Free Cat Day at H-E-B Military at Pleasanton
Open to everyone! Clients will be selected by lottery. SNAP celebrates Spay-Neuter Week!
Wednesday, July 27, 2011 – San Antonio, TX
  Spay-Neuter Day at St. Mary's Univ. Center for Legal and Social Justice
Qualifying only! SNAP celebrates Spay-Neuter Week!  Watch our events calendar for details.
Thursday, July 28, 2011 – San Antonio, TX
  Free Cat Day at SNAP Spay-Neuter and Animal Wellness Clinic
Open to everyone, but an appointment is required! SNAP celebrates Spay-Neuter Week!

Hedda HoundHedda Hound Banner

Hello Darlings!

We all know that rabies is a nasty business, but it is exceedingly rare, right? Wrong. A number of dogs have been infected in Harris County just this year. Read this month’s letter from Holloman, a hound dog from Hockley, to learn the alarming facts.

Dear Hedda,

I am writing to tell you about something scary that happened up here near Hockley earlier this year. A bunch of us up here like to go out skunkin’ in the woods on the edge of the subdivision where we live. (Skunkin’ is when we all go out looking for skunks. They’re a lot of fun to play with.) Anyway, several of us were smelling skunk one night, and we were about to go after him. Just then, another friend came trotting up and told us to hold off. He told us that a whole bunch of dogs in the area had recently been bitten by one or more rabid skunks and had to be put down.

Hedda, did you realize that there were still animals around here that carry rabies? We sure didn’t. Would you let all the humans know so they can be sure to get their dogs vaccinated? If those dogs up here near Hockley had been vaccinated, they might still be around.

Sign me
Horrified in Hockley

Dear Horrified,

What your friend heard is sadly true. Eleven dogs have been bitten by rabid skunks in northwest Harris County since the first of the year. Dr. Michael A. White of Veterinary Public Health at Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services reports that two skunks from the area have tested positive for rabies. All 11 dogs in question are believed to have been bitten by these two animals. No humans, thankfully, were exposed to the deadly disease. According to Dr. White, "These recent events emphasize the need for the veterinary community to continually remind the public of the dangers of contact with wild animals, the potential for exposure of our domestic animals to rabies, and the
importance of keeping pets and livestock currently vaccinated."

Being vaccinated against rabies is not an absolute guarantee that you will not contract the disease if exposed, but it makes it far less likely. Vaccinations are not effective in 100 percent of the animals (or humans) who receive them.  If a dog (or cat) is suspected of having been exposed to the disease, Texas state law requires that the animal be placed in isolated confinement for observation. The period of confinement may be up to 45 days for vaccinated animals and up to 90 days for unvaccinated animals. Booster vaccinations may be given during this period of confinement. If it is determined that the animal has contracted rabies, he or she will be humanely killed. If not, the animal will be released to his or her family after payment of all associated expenses. (See Title 25, Part 1, Chapter 169, Subchapter A Rule §169.30 of the Texas Administrative Code.)

The risk posed by rabies is clearly illustrated by the plight of the 11 dogs exposed in Harris County earlier this year. A rabies vaccination is a quick and inexpensive way of improving your animal’s chances of continuing a happy, healthy life if he or she has been exposed. Should every dog (and cat) be vaccinated against rabies? It’s a no-brainer! Tell ‘em Hedda said so!

New SNAP Grants
A Monthly Review of New SNAP Grants


SNAP would like to express its appreciation to the following foundations, charitable trusts, and corporations for their recent grant awards to SNAP:

    Houston PetSet, $5,000
    Charles Jago Elder Foundation, $1,000
    BP Fabric of America, $300
    Irene C. Charity Trust, $6,000

Shampooch Raises Nearly $1,800
Ninety-Six Dogs Washed at Event Sponsored by Whole Foods Markets and Pet Paradise
One of the many adorable dogs washed at Shampooch. 
One of the many adorable dogs who got their bath on at Shampooch! The event raised nearly $1,800 in support of SNAP spay-neuter programs.

Did you bring your dog to Shampooch, the dog wash fundraiser sponsored by Whole Foods Market and Pet Paradise on June 4th? If you did, you helped raise $1,782 in support of SNAP spay-neuter programs. If you did not, you missed out on a chance to get your four-footed friends fresh and clean for the cost of a donation. Five Houston-area Whole Foods Markets (Kirby, Bellaire, Sugar Land, Woodway, and Wilcrest) hosted the event. They provided tents, plenty of water, earth-friendly hypoallergenic dog shampoo, and light refreshments for SNAP volunteers. The volunteers, which included Pet Paradise staff members, provided the elbow grease and hugs that got all those dogs clean. Last, but certainly not least, Pet Paradise provided towels for drying off all those dogs. It was truly a team effort. Donations were generous and some came from passers-by who weren’t even having their dogs washed. SNAP is grateful to all the people who came by to have their dog(s) washed, everyone who donated, all of our wonderful volunteers, and Whole Foods Markets and Pet Paradise. What a team!

Madame AstroCat[object Object]

Dear Readers,

Spring Are you going to Scarborough Fair? Are you a fan of parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme? No, this is not an homage to Simon and Garfunkel. It is an homage to herbs! Cats don’t share all the same favorites as humans, but did you know that we have favorites of our own? If you are a fan of natural remedies, you may want to investigate the herbs identified in this month’s list of the top ten feline friendly herbs! Please note that while all of the herbs listed may be beneficial for your cat, none should replace a visit to a veterinarian if your animal is seriously ill. Be sure to consult a veterinarian before trying natural remedies on cats with existing medical issues. Immediately discontinue the use of any product that produces undesirable side effects. Think of this list as a starting point as it is beyond the scope of the column to provide detailed instructions for the use of each. Now, on to the list!

10. Couchgrass - Does your kitty have urinary tract issues? Couchgrass might help. It has both anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that may help to relieve the discomfort associated with cystitis and urethritis. Let the healing flow!

9. Rosemary - Before you jump to conclusions, let’s be clear that cats do not like rosemary on their chicken (or any other food). We may not even like the means by which it benefits us. It is, you see, best used to spike our bathwater. A little rosemary in the bath can help repel fleas and other pests for days afterward.

8. Nettle (Urtica) - Nettle is full of things that are good for your cat. What kinds of things? How about protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, magnesium, beta-carotene, and a whole slew of vitamins? Mary Wulff-Tilford suggests adding 100 grams of dried pre-flowering nettle (species: Urtica) to your cat’s food for a happier, healthier purr machine.a

7. Valerian - Do you take valerian to calm your nerves or get to sleep more easily? Don’t expect the same result if you give it to your cat. Let us scarf some down for a decidedly stimulating effect. It’s like kitty caffeine. Is your cat a little too fat and lazy? Valerian might just get him moving!

6. Goldenseal - Some felines like to scrap a bit. If yours does and ends up with scratches and cuts to show for it, you might want to try goldenseal on them. It’s a natural disinfectant. You should also keep your cat vaccinated against feline leukemia (FeLV), feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), rabies, and other diseases that can be passed between cats.

5. Licorice Root - Do allergies or digestive issues bother you? You might want to try a little licorice root. It provides a natural form of cortisone and has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce irritation. It’s even good for a cat with a cold, and most cats think it tastes pretty good!

4. Dandelion Root - Like licorice root, dandelion root contains a natural form of cortisone, so it helps reduce the itching associated with allergies. Create a tincture of the root, or offer your cat a salad of dandelion leaves.

3. Ginko Biloba - The jury is out on whether this herb can improve mental function, but there is no question that it helps improve blood flow in small capillaries. This means that, in appropriate doses, it may improve your cat’s circulation. This can be especially helpful for older cats. 

2. Cat Thyme - "I get no kick from champagne," the song goes, and some cats get no kick from catnip. It’s a genetic thing. If your cat doesn’t go gaga over catnip, try cat thyme. It’s a little on the smelly side, but it has the same effect as catnip for a great many felines who don’t respond to the former.

1. Catnip - Ah... Kitty nirvana, your name is catnip (for most cats). Not all cats respond to it, as noted previously, but for those who do, it is crazy good! It soothes and relaxes the savage beast in us. If you haven’t tried catnip on your cat yet, Madame Astrocat recommends you do so soon!
Some information for this article comes from "Herbs for Cats" on the Holisticat website ( and "Ten Herbs to Improve Your Cat's Health" on the PetMD website (


a Wulff-Tilford, Mary and Tilford, Gregory L. "Top Ten Herbs For Cats." Natural Cat. Chicago: Fancy Publications, 1999.

Quote of the Month
"I think we are drawn to dogs because they are the uninhibited creatures we might be if we weren't certain we knew better.” ~ George Bird Evans

No-Birth is the First Step to No-Kill


Copyright 1999-2010, Spay-Neuter Assistance Program except as noted. All rights reserved. Right to copy is granted subject to the condition that this copyright notice and the name, address, phone number, and website address (URL) of Spay-Neuter Assistance Program, Inc. appear, and that material copied is not resold.



All active news articles