News & Events
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In This Issue October 1, 2011

   Meet Collars for a Cause Ambassador Jordin Sparks!
   SNAP Needs Art Festival Volunteers
   Charity Navigator Rates SNAP Four Stars
   WookieBooks Sponsors Book Drive
   TODAY ONLY: Treats from Menchies Benefit SNAP
   Saturday in the Park...
   San Antonio Chihuahua Day Reloaded
Roc the Roc: Jewelry by Manuel Lara
Upcoming SNAP Events
   A Dog's Life by Hedda Hound
   New SNAP Grants
   Grand Birthday Fundraiser Raises a Grand
   Fabulous Felines by Madame Astrocat
   Quote of the Month

- 33,661 -
The number of dogs and cats
helped by your gifts between
Jan. 1 and Aug. 31, 2011.

SNAP has sterilized over

dogs and cats since being
founded in 1993.

Meet Collars for a Cause Ambassador Jordin Sparks!
Kickoff Event Rescheduled, Call for Collars Goes Out
LIFE+DOG highlights Collars for a Cause Ambassador Jordin Sp
Celebrities, artists and designers create Collars for a Cause!

SNAP is thrilled to announce that Grammy-nominated singer Jordin Sparks has signed on to be an official ambassador for Collars for a Cause! We also want to let everyone know that the kickoff event originally scheduled for Wednesday, October 5, 2011, has been rescheduled to Wednesday, November 16, 2011. Finally, the Call for Collars is LIVE, so all talented artists, designers, and celebrities are invited to sign up to produce a collar for the 2012 fundraising auction.

According to her web site, Sparks was "the then youngest-ever winner of American Idol" at the age of seventeen. She has released two albums in the four years since then with her debut album going platinum. Three singles off of that album reached the top five, and one of them, "No Air," is both the highest selling single by any American Idol contestant and #27 on Billboard Magazine’s Top 40 Biggest Duets of All Time. Sparks saw her first number one single with a song off of her second album. She recently completed her first headlining tour and joined the cast of The Heights on Broadway in August.

Sparks loves dogs, a fact which led to her being featured in the current issue of LIFE+DOG Magazine and agreeing to become an ambassador for Collars for a Cause. Regarding her support for SNAP, Jordin said, "It breaks my heart to see people wanting to best provide for their animal companion and not having the financial resources to do so. Organizations like SNAP not only help these animal lovers by going out in their community and providing free and low-cost services, but they also serve as a great example to other groups and cities of how we can all help each other help the animals." SNAP is very grateful to Sparks for helping bring attention to the problem of animal overpopulation and the role that spay-neuter plays in addressing it.

In other developments, the Collars for a Cause kickoff party for the 2012 campaign has been rescheduled to Wednesday, November 16, 2011, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. The event will take place at Momentum Porsche located at 10155 Southwest Freeway in Houston (on the south side of the freeway). This festive event will launch the 2012 fundraiser, and it’s sure to be great fun. Please RSVP to We hope to see you all there!

Finally, we are excited to announce that the Call for Collars has begun. Registration materials and collar instructions are available to any artist, designer, or celebrity who would like to design a collar for the event. Please contact Laura Welch at or at 713-862-3863 to register or for more information.

Collars for a Cause is a joint effort between SNAP and the wonderful folks at LIFE+DOG Magazine. The goal is to raise awareness and much-needed funds to help SNAP combat animal overpopulation. SNAP does this by providing free and reduced-cost services to those in the community who could not otherwise afford to spay and neuter their beloved dogs and cats. SNAP urges everyone to spay and neuter their animals and hopes you will support our efforts to help the animals of those in low-income households.

SNAP Needs Art Festival Volunteers
Bayou City Art Festival Is Biggest SNAP Volunteer Fundraiser
SNAP needs YOU to volunteer for the Bayou City Art Festival!

The Bayou City Art Festival is almost here, and SNAP needs your help to make our biggest volunteer fundraiser a success once again. It has become a tradition for SNAP volunteers to staff the festival’s beverage booths. You will work hard serving icy beverages to thirsty attendees. In return SNAP will receive all of the tips collected and a percentage of the beverage sales receipts. It adds up to tens of thousands of dollars at each festival, and SNAP uses those dollars to spay and neuter dogs and cats living in low-income households. Just a few hours of your time and energy pay off in countless innocent lives saved, so please contact our volunteer coordinator to volunteer today!

The festival takes place on Saturday, October 8, and Sunday, October 9, in downtown Houston around the Hermann Square reflecting pool in front of City Hall. It runs from 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. on both days. Volunteers can sign up for one or more shifts. Volunteers must be 18 or above because alcoholic beverages are served. Please note that no drinking of alcoholic beverages is allowed during your shift.

(NOTE: Early shifts are full both days.)

Saturday, October 8, 2011
1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Sunday, October 9, 2011
1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

To volunteer, please email our volunteer coordinator at or call Monday - Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. at 713-862-3863 x206. Be ready to tell us which shift(s) you would like to work. Each volunteer receives a festival t-shirt and is asked to wear it during his or her shift. You also receive FREE admission to the festival (a $12 value) on the day of your shift.

Your efforts will help prevent the suffering and death of dogs and cats due to overpopulation and preventable diseases. Please sign up today!

Charity Navigator Rates SNAP Four Stars
Top Rating Comes from Respected Nonprofit Evaluator
SNAP has been rated a Four-Star Charity by Charity Navigator

SNAP is proud to announce that Charity Navigator has awarded SNAP a four-star rating, its highest rating. Charity Navigator is a 501(c)(3) agency that "works to guide intelligent giving." The organization evaluates the financial health of over five thousand charities and makes the information available to the public free of charge. Its goal is "to advance a more efficient and responsive philanthropic marketplace, in which givers and the charities they support work in tandem to overcome our nation's most persistent challenges." The agency rates charities based on two general criteria: Financial Health and Accountability & Transparency.

You can see the SNAP rating, including a breakdown of how we scored on specific criteria, and find out more about how SNAP was evaluated by visiting the Charity Navigator web site. We hope that our supporters will be reassured by this recognition that SNAP is worthy of your donations, your volunteer hours, and your trust. Everyone at SNAP is truly passionate about helping animals, and we know that you are, too. Together we are making a difference.

WookieBooks Sponsors Book Drive
Your Old Books Can Help SNAP Turn the Page on Animal Overpopulation!
WookieBooks pays SNAP 30 percent for YOUR used books!

Do you have old books sitting on the shelf that you need to get rid of? Most of us do, but we also know that selling them to used bookstores rarely profits us very much. What if you could turn those aging tomes into funds to support spay-neuter surgeries for animals living in low-income households? Thanks to Houston-based WookieBooks, now you can!

All you have to do is drop off your used books in good condition at the SNAP Spay-Neuter and Animal Wellness Clinic in Houston or San Antonio from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 29, 2011. The Houston Clinic is at 1801 Durham Dr., Suite 1. The San Antonio Clinic is at 6758 Ingram Rd. (facing the 410 feeder) in San Antonio. WookieBooks will then resell those books and donate 30 percent of the gross proceeds to SNAP!

WookieBooks accepts hardbacks and paperbacks of all genres. They also accept textbooks (preferably no more than five years old and with ISBN numbers); certification study guides; technical, medical, and law texts; pre-recorded VHS tapes (preferably in new condition); and DVDs and CDs (in original cases with all artwork--no burned copies). When it comes to fiction, DVDs, and CDs, they especially like obscure titles! WookieBooks asks that you do not donate damaged (warped or moldy) books, academic journals, literary criticism, encyclopedias, magazines, periodicals, condensed books, activity books, or Harlequin romances.

SNAP is grateful to WookieBooks for helping the animals in our communities to turn the page on the overpopulation problem. Every book you turn in brings us that much closer to a world where there are no homeless dogs and cats.

TODAY ONLY - Treats from Menchies Benefit SNAP
Houston Heights Frozen Yogurt Shop Donates 20 Percent of Each Purchase
Drop into Menchies TODAY for a cool treat and help the anima

Reducing the number of homeless animals is rarely as tasty as it is TODAY at Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt shop in the Houston Heights. Today, October 1, 2011, from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., Menchies at 512 W. 19th Street will donate 20 percent of the cost of your yummy frozen yogurt confection to SNAP when you hand them a copy of this flyer! Is that cool or what?

Menchies is a clever new concept in frozen yogurt. They have a rotating selection of eclectic flavors and every topping under the sun. Toppings include everything from fresh, locally grown fruits to classic rainbow sprinkles and hot fudge. Mix up as many flavors and toppings as you want, because you don’t pay for each one separately. At Menchie’s, you pay by weight, so you can have as much or as little of anything you want. It’s simple as can be, and it’s all terrifically tasty! Today it’s even more tasty than usual because, when you mix it up with Menchies Frozen Yogurt and SNAP, you can help put the freeze on animal overpopulation!
 Don't forget to take the flyer along with you!

Saturday in the Park...
"Montrose Area Fall Fête" Promises a Fun Day in Cherryhurst Park
Join SNAP at the "Montrose Area Fall Fête!"

Bryan Beene Realtor invites SNAP supporters to Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate’s "Montrose Area Fall Fête" in Houston’s dog-friendly Cherryhurst Park. The event will feature free food, bottled water, and a number of fun and interesting booths. SNAP will be there selling raffle tickets for gift baskets -- one for a dog and one for a cat and, of course, information about SNAP programs and services. Brian Beene Realtor’s own booth will be giving away fashionable reusable grocery bags and offering tips on creative ways to recycle. The talented folks from Theater Under The Stars (T.U.T.S.) will be giving away tickets to upcoming performances. Robert Levy Insurance Solutions will be giving away gift cards to local restaurants. Those wonderful LemonAid Girls will be there too, selling their refreshing drinks to raise money for SNAP. Last, but certainly not least, Sunny 99.1 will be providing the music and is bringing its "Fun & Games Crew" and plenty of Sunny merchandise to give away. That’s quite a haul in freebies and prizes. It all makes for a spectacular way to spend a Saturday in the park!

Admission to the event is free and dogs (leashed and vaccinated) are welcome. The event takes place on Saturday, October 15, 2011, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Cherryhurst Park is located at 1700 Missouri St. in Houston’s Montrose neighborhood. Please RSVP via Facebook by searching for "Montrose Area Fall Fete." SNAP thanks Bryan Beene Realtor for organizing this event, and we hope to see you there!

San Antonio Chihuahua Day Reloaded
Seventy-Eight Animals Sterilized on SNAP Clinic’s 3rd Annual Chihuahua Day
One of the Chihuahuas spayed-neutered on 2011 Chihuahua Day
One of the 47 Chihuahuas spayed and neutered at SNAP San Antonio's third annual Chihuahua Day. The event commemorated Mexican Independence Day and was funded by ACS.

The SNAP San Antonio Spay-Neuter and Animal Wellness Clinic sterilized a total of 78 animals during its third annual Chihuahua Day. The spay-neuter event was held on Friday, September 16, 2011, and commemorated Mexican Independence Day. It was open to the general public (no qualifying required). This year the clinic fixed not only Chihuahuas but los gatos (cats) as well.

A total of 47 Chihuahuas were sterilized: 26 females and 21 males. A total of 31 cats were also sterilized: 18 female and 13 male. This means there are 78 fewer animals contributing to animal overpopulation in the San Antonio area, which correlates to hundreds fewer unwanted puppies and kittens being born.

This event was made possible by funding from San Antonio Animal Care Services (ACS). SNAP is grateful to ACS for its continuing and generous support of our spay-neuter programs. 

 Manuel Lara donates a percentage of sales to SNAP!
Upcoming SNAP Events
Saturday, October 1, 2011 – Houston, TX
  SNAP Benefit Day at Menchies Frozen Yogurt
Frozen treats mean donations for SNAP when you take this flyer to Menchies. TODAY ONLY!
Saturday, October 8, and Sunday, October 9, 2011 – Houston, TX
  Bayou City Art Festival
Sign up to volunteer today. Your participation will help more animals get spayed and neutered.
Saturday, October 15, 2011 – Houston, TX
  Montrose Area Fall Fête
Visit the SNAP booth at this celebration of autumn. Sponsored by Bryan Beene Realtors.
Saturday, October 29, 2011 – Houston and San Antonio, TX
  WookieBooks Book Drive Benefiting SNAP
Donate used books at our clinics between 2 and 4 p.m. SNAP makes 30 percent on their resale!
Wednesday, November 16, 2011 – Houston, TX
  RESCHEDULED - Collars for a Cause Kickoff Party
Don’t miss this p’awesome kickoff party for the 2012 Collars for a Cause fundraiser!

Hedda HoundHedda Hound Banner

Hello Darlings!

It’s finally autumn, and the heat of summer is slowly giving way to more pleasant temperatures. The holidays will be upon us before you know it. Indeed, Halloween is just a few weeks away! Halloween can be fun and scary, but sometimes for dogs (and cats), it’s just scary. This month’s letter from Spartacus, a Spaniel mix from Spring Branch, will reveal some of the reasons why.

Dear Hedda,

It’s almost Halloween again, and it has me pretty stressed. I am only 18 months old, so last year was my first time to survive this particular holiday. Survive is an apt description of what it was like, too. I was lying on the front porch about 6:30 that fateful evening when some very strange looking people came walking up the sidewalk. I didn’t know who these people were, but they were short and really scary looking. They were so scary that I jumped up and growled at them. One of them started swinging a broomstick at me, so I jumped off the porch intending to run around behind them. Before I could do that, I encountered another group of scary characters coming up the sidewalk. One of them screamed as I approached, so I ran off in another direction. No matter how much I ran, I kept seeing more and more of these freaky people, so I just kept moving, hoping to get away from them. I must have been running for hours. Eventually I stopped seeing much of anyone, but by that time I was totally lost. I spent two days wandering around before a nice lady put me in her SUV and said she would help me get home. To make a long story short, she succeeded. I was so happy to see my family again! I didn’t think I would ever find my way home. Hedda, please tell other dogs about the frightening folks that come out on Halloween so they will know to hide that night. I wish someone had told me!

Sign me,
Spooked in Spring Branch

Dear Spooked,

Halloween can be a very stressful night for dogs and for our feline pals as well. A lot of small humans wander around in groups wearing strange looking get-ups. Most of them mean no harm, but a few do, so you can’t be too careful. We really need help to stay safe on this particular holiday, so I have some suggestions for our human friends.

First and foremost, keep your animals indoors on Halloween, and make sure they can’t easily escape the house. We try to obey you when you order us to stop, but when we’re frightened it can be hard to think straight. Instinct takes over, and our instinct may tell us to run. It’s best to keep us in a room that puts a closed door between us and the exterior doors of the house. You might even want to think about crating the more skittish among us. Putting us in a fenced back yard may seem sufficient, but cruel or insensitive persons may take untoward pleasure in frightening us and may even try to hurt us. Of course, if we are going to be cooped up inside all evening, we would appreciate it if you would walk us first. Do it early -- before all the scary little people come out to play.

It would also be wise to make sure we are wearing identification tags, and think about having us microchipped. Sometimes we manage to get out even though you have taken what seem to be reasonable precautions. If we do escape, I.D. tags and microchips increase the likelihood that we will make it back home safely.

There is also danger if you have little people of your own who go door-to-door that night. They tend to come home with lots of candy, including chocolate. Make sure they don’t give us any, and make sure that we don’t sneak any while no one is looking. Chocolate is really tasty to dogs... and really deadly. Even candy wrappers, if eaten, can choke us or get stuck in our intestines.

Those decorations can be a hazard, too. Candles should be avoided for obvious reasons, but any decoration with small parts may also present a risk. Like candy wrappers, they can cause choking or intestinal obstructions if ingested.

Finally, if you decide to dress us up for the holiday, make sure you do it safely with costumes that don’t cut off circulation or impair our ability to breathe.

Halloween is almost always fun for humans, but it can sometimes be risky or even deadly for your dogs and cats. Make sure they are protected, and everyone will be the better for it. 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:

    Florence S. Ducey Foundation, $1,805
    BP Fabric of America Fund, $300
    Wal-Mart La Porte, $1,000
    Faye L. and William Cowden Charitable Foundation, $5,000

Grand Birthday Fundraiser Raises a Grand
Kate Smargiasso Birthday Event Raises $1,000 for Spay-Neuter
Kate Smargiasso's birthday fundrasier at Capone's Bar and Ov
A cadre of animal-loving guests mingled at Kate Smargiasso's birthday fundraiser on September 8, 2011. The event raisted $1,000 for SNAP spay-neuter programs.

SNAP Board Member Kate Smargiasso had a grand birthday this year, and she used it to raise a grand for SNAP! She did it by holding a fundraiser in the Hideout Room at Capone’s Bar and Oven in Houston on Thursday, September 8, 2011. The event was packed, but the atmosphere was festive and convivial. Throngs of well wishers filled a huge donation bucket and bid on an array of great silent auction items, including a stay at a Caribbean condo, custom jewelry, fabulous gift baskets, and many other items. The proceeds benefited both SNAP and the Rescue Bank, which provides support for Houston area animal rescue organizations. A good time was had by all, and, as a result, bad times will be avoided by many innocent and lovable animals. SNAP thanks Ms. Smargiasso for generously turning her birthday celebration into a fundraiser to help the animals. Support like that makes Kate and all of our board members a tremendous asset to SNAP! 

Madame AstroCat[object Object]

Dear Readers,

You love us. We know you do. It’s there in the way you talk to us. We can see it in your eyes. We can feel it in your touch. How many ways are there to show your feline friend some love? If you guessed 10, you are probably a long-time reader. (Thanks!) We love you, too, of course, but this column is all about us, so prepare yourself for Madame Astrocat’s list of the Top Ten Ways to Show Your Cat the Love.

10) Recreation - Recreate the days of our kittenhood with a little recreation! Though we may be adult cats, or even elderly cats, we often still enjoy playing. Playing alone can be fun, but it’s much more fun when our human friends play with us! You don’t need to spend a lot of money on fancy toys either. Sometimes I think a wiggled piece of rope just might be the best toy of all! How often should you engage us in such amusement? Daily isn’t too often!

9) Scratch - We loved to be scratched, but that’s not what I’m talking about. We love to scratch too! Well, we are compelled to scratch anyway. Don’t get mad if we scratch the upholstery on your club chairs if you haven’t given us anything else to scratch! There are tons of scratching posts available in stores. There are even instructions for making them out of cardboard out on the Internet. Whether you buy it or build it, stick it over by the club chair.

8) Test - Do you know what a heartworm is? You should. If you wonder why they are called heartworms, the answer is right there in the name. Heartworms are carried by mosquitoes, and they can be life-threatening to both cats and dogs. Get your furry friend tested for them. If she comes up negative (no heartworms), get her started on preventative. If she comes up positive, you need to get her to a full service vet as quickly as possible. An animal can often be saved, but only if you find out early and start treatment right away.

7) Friends - "Well you’ve got to have friends..." So the song goes, and it’s true. The poor kitty who sits at home alone all day gets very lonely. Why not adopt a second cat and give your current kitty some company? Better still, you will be giving the new cat something she truly needs: a home. (Sometimes cats of the same gender do not get along well. You have a better chance of finding a compatible amigo for your feline if the new one is of the opposite gender.)

6) Protection - Fleas and ticks are the bane of the cat’s existence. If your cat goes outdoors, she is sure to encounter one or the other (or both) sooner or later. Even cats that live their entire lives can get fleas because, guess what, fleas don’t need an invitation. They will ride in on your pant leg and, faster than you can say "I’ve got an itch," your cat is covered with them. Modern flea and tick preventative is safe and easy to use. Protect your cat before she gets bitten.

5) Exercise - Cats sleep approximately 20 hours a day. That doesn’t mean we have to sit around on our fuzzy backsides the rest of the time. We already talked about the value of play, but did you know you can also give your cat exercise by taking her for a walk? Many cats are happy to walk around outside on a leash. Just make sure to hook that leash to a collar or harness that fits well so you don’t have to worry about her slipping out of it. Never send kitty outside alone.

4) Grooming - Have you ever watched your cat cough up a fur ball? Lovely, isn’t it? Would you like to see it (and clean it up) less often? What goes down must come up. Brush your cat daily, especially during spring when he is shedding his winter coat. Less fur will go down his throat when he grooms himself, so less will come back up on your sofa. Simple enough, right? There are also hairball control foods and products that may help if brushing doesn’t seem to be enough.

3) Microchip - I have mentioned the value of microchipping many times, but it bears repeating. If your sweet kitty slips out of the house one day, you will have a better chance of getting her back if you have had her microchipped. A microchip is a small computer chip that transmits an ID code. Most veterinarians and shelters have scanners that can detect this code. The code can then be looked up in a database where your contact information is stored. Presto! Your cat comes home.

2) Vaccinations - Diseases come from everywhere. Mosquitoes carry them. Fleas carry them. Other cats carry them. Some are caused by microorganisms that live in the soil. Protect your cat by making sure you keep her vaccinations up to date. A rabies vaccination is required by law, but there are several others that are important to protecting the health of your cat. Visit a SNAP clinic web page to find out more.

1) Spay-Neuter - Do you like the idea of a box full of kittens being dropped off at a shelter? People think kittens always get adopted. In fact they usually do not. Maybe you have always succeeded in giving away all of your kittens, but the people you gave them to might have adopted one from a shelter if not for you. The kittens in the shelter thus miss out on a chance to find a home. They get no love, only an early and needless death. Why would we allow that to happen when we could prevent it? Spay and neuter your animals.

Quote of the Month
"Everything a cat is and does physically is to me beautiful, lovely, stimulating, soothing, attractive and an enchantment.” ~ Paul Gallico, from "An Honourable Cat"

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.



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