News & Events


SNAPtales, the newsletter of the Spay-Neuter Assistance Prog
In This Issue February 1, 2012

   Stars Spelling and Bromstad Creating Collars
   SNAP Marks Spay Day with Free Spay-Neuter
   Spay Day Photo Contest Begins February 1st
   $140K Grant Seeds New SE Harris County Clinic
   Serve it Up for the Animals!
   Summerlee Foundation Helping Community Cats
   Upcoming SNAP Events
   A Dog's Life by Hedda Hound
   New SNAP Grants
   Making Book on Fewer Homeless Animals
   Fabulous Felines by Madame Astrocat
   Quote of the Month

- 48,392 -
The number of dogs and cats
helped by your gifts in 2011.

SNAP has sterilized over

dogs and cats since being
founded in 1993.

Stars Spelling and Bromstad Creating Collars
Tori Spelling and David Bromstad Sign On with Collars for a Cause
Artists and designers will create Collars for a Cause!
Painted by artist Kermit Eisenhut for Collars for a Cause 20
This adorable collar was hand painted by artist Kermit Eisenhut for the Collars for a Cause 2012 collar auction. Photograph courtesy of LIFE+DOG Magazine.

SNAP is excited to announce that actress Tori Spelling and artist/designer David Bromstad have signed on to create collars for the Collars for a Cause auction. Spelling achieved early success with her portrayal of Donna Martin on Beverly Hills, 90210. She went on to roles in television and independent film, including her own reality series about opening a bed and breakfast with husband Dean. Most recently, Spelling developed a wedding planning process that has become the basis of spin-off series Tori & Dean: sTORIbook Weddings. The series premiered April 6, 2011. Spelling is a major animal lover and has shared her home with dogs, cats, a pig, a chicken, and a goat! David Bromstad was the winner of the first season of the HGTV Design Star reality program and has gone on to host his own show, Color Splash, on the network. His trademark is creating an original piece of artwork to accent the décor he designs for the subjects of the show. David and his partner have two French bulldogs to whom they are famously devoted.

Other celebrities, designers, and artists creating collars include Margaret Cho, Jordan Sparks, Brea Grant, Kate Mansi, Dina Manzo, Kym Johnson, Missy Johnson, Kristen Aldridge, Shorty "Pit Boss" Ross, Dr. Patrick Mahaney, Shirley Ryan, Elaine Turner, Ron Burns, Kermit Eisenhut, Scott Boyd, Sheila Cloudt, Dominique Sachse, Edward Sanchez, Erica and Cindi Rose, Leo Jaimes, Kathy Bartlett, Lindsay Love, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, and those lovable LemonAid Girls!

Collars for a Cause includes both an auction and a celebration. The auction features custom collars and leads created by celebrities, artists, and designers. The celebration is an event designed to bring together those who care about the plight of homeless animals so we can support our common cause and enjoy the company of one another. All SNAP supporters are invited to participate in the auction and to attend the celebration. The celebration is scheduled for Friday, April 13, 2012, and will take place at the Momentum Volvo dealership at 10150 Southwest Freeway, Houston, TX 77074.

The Collars for a Cause auction will take place online in a few weeks, but you will be able to bid at the celebration as well. You can visit the auction website at to see some of the collars from last year’s auction and find out more.

The Collars for a Cause auction and celebration both raise funds to support the SNAP mission, which is to prevent the suffering and death of dogs and cats due to overpopulation and preventable diseases, especially in low-income areas. We hope you will participate by purchasing a collar or by attending the event or both! If you are an artist, designer, or celebrity and would like to participate by creating a collar, please download the collar donation form from the Collars for a Cause web site. Contact Laura Welch via email ( or by calling 713-862-3863 for more information.

The celebration also includes a traditional silent auction that is separate from the collar auction. If you would like to donate goods or services for the silent auction, please download our silent auction donation form.

Sponsors as of press time include include LIFE+DOG Magazine, Digital Function, Momentum Volvo, Pet Paradise, Tito's Vodka, and Office Effects. If you or your company would like to sponsor this important and exciting event, please download our sponsorship form. SNAP is grateful to all of these organizations for helping make the Collars for a Cause celebration and auction a reality!

Note: All downloadable forms are in PDF format. Adobe Reader is required to view or print them.

SNAP Marks Spay Day with Free Spay-Neuter Events
Find the Free SNAP Event that Fits Your Household Best
SNAP is offering free spay-neuter to mark Spay Day 2012!

SNAP clinics in Houston and San Antonio will be holding free spay-neuter events to celebrate Spay Day, which falls on Tuesday, February 28, 2012. The Houston Mobile Clinic is offering free neutering for male cats (only). The Houston Spay-Neuter and Animal Wellness Clinic is offering free spaying for female cats (only). The San Antonio Spay-Neuter and Animal Wellness Clinic is offering free spaying for female cats and dogs. All of these events are open to the general public. No qualifying is necessary, but please note that there is a strict two animal maximum at each event, and an appointment is required.

The Houston Mobile Clinic is repeating its annual Neuter Scooter event for male cats only. The clinic will be stationed at the HCPHES Veterinary Public Health facility at 612 Canino Rd. (between Airline Dr. and the Hardy Toll Rd) in Houston. There are a total of 60 appointments available. If you do not bring a current rabies certificate for your animal, he or she will be vaccinated against rabies as required by state law at a cost of $10. To make an appointment, please call 713-418-1804. (The lottery system normally used on the mobile clinic will NOT be used for this event.) See the Houston Mobile Clinic web page for additional details and links to pre- and post-surgery instructions.

The Houston Spay-Neuter and Animal Wellness Clinic is observing Spay Day by spaying female cats only. The clinic is located at 1801 Durham Dr., Suite 1, in Houston. There are a total of 60 appointments for this event as well, but at press time all 60 have been reserved. If you do not bring a current rabies certificate for your animal, he or she will be vaccinated against rabies as required by state law at a cost of $10. See the clinic web page for additional details and links to pre- and post-surgery instructions.

The San Antonio Spay-Neuter and Animal Wellness Clinic is observing Spay Day by spaying female cats and dogs only. The clinic is located at 6758 Ingram Rd. (facing the 410 feeder in the Ingram Square Shopping Center) in San Antonio, Texas. There are 40 appointments available for dogs and 60 appointments available for cats for a total of 100 animals. If you do not bring a current rabies certificate for your animal, he or she will be vaccinated against rabies as required by state law at a cost of $10. To make an appointment, please call 210-673-7722. See the clinic web page for additional details and links to pre- and post-surgery instructions. This Spay Day event is funded by a generous gift from an anonymous donor.

World Spay Day is an annual campaign by the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International that shines a spotlight on spay-neuter as a proven effective means of saving animals' lives. Hundreds of World Spay Day events will take place in the United States and dozens of countries around the world.

Founded as Spay Day USA in 1995 by the Doris Day Animal League and Doris Day Animal Foundation, the program grew to include participants in 46 countries in 2011. Events observing the day include low- and no-cost spay-neuter clinics for low-income families, fundraisers to benefit spay-neuter programs, and educational efforts for animal guardians about the importance of spaying or neutering their cats and dogs.

Spay Day Photo Contest Kicks Off February 1st
Your Furry Friends Could Win Great Prizes and Raise Money for Spay-Neuter!
Maloney - One of many adorable entries benefiting SNAP!
Maloney was one of many adorable contest entries benefiting SNAP in the 2011 contest!

Do you have the most adorable and photogenic dog or cat on the planet? You can prove it to the world, win great prizes, and help raise money for SNAP spay-neuter programs by entering him or her (or them) in the World Spay Day Pet Photo Contest! The contest, which commemorates Spay-Neuter Awareness Month, begins today, Wednesday, February 1, and runs through Wednesday, February 29, 2012.

The World Spay Day Pet Photo Contest is an online photo contest designed to give people an opportunity to show off their animals and win prizes, to raise awareness of the importance of spay/neuter, and to raise critical funding for spay/neuter services and promotion. It's easy and fun to enter, and when you do, you can help raise money for SNAP! Just choose SNAP as the organization you wish to benefit from the votes your animals’ photo receives. To find SNAP on the list of organizations, select Texas from the list of states, then scroll down until you see TX - Houston - Spay-Neuter Assistance Program, Inc. (SNAP). Each vote costs $1, and every cent is donated to the nonprofit organization you choose.

Once you have entered, vote for your animal, and make sure to ask your friends and family to vote for him or her as well. The photo that gets the most votes will win fabulous prizes for the person who entered it. Even if your photograph doesn’t win, your votes will still earn money that will help SNAP prevent the birth of unwanted dogs and cats. How cool is that?

$140K Grant Seeds New SE Harris County Clinic
PetSmart Charities Equipment Grant Challenges Community to Fund Construction
Help SNAP create a new clinic for Southeast Harris County.

The animals of Pasadena and Southeast Harris County, Texas, may soon have a new spay-neuter and animal wellness clinic. Seed funding for this project is coming, in part, from a $140,000 equipment grant from PetSmart Charities. The City of Pasadena, Texas, is also making an important contribution to the clinic by granting SNAP a ten-year lease on city-owned retail space at just $10 per year and making needed improvements to the building.

These generous contributions have the facility off to a good start, but an additional $235,000 is required before the clinic can become a reality. SNAP has teamed up with the South-East Harris County Animal Alliance (SEHCAA) in an effort to raise the required funds. The first event will be a briefing on the new clinic for prospective donors on Thursday, February 16, 2012. A number of additional events and fundraisers are planned.

The need for a reduced-cost spay-neuter clinic is great. Pasadena and the surrounding area have a population of 412,215, and 62,942 (15.27 percent) of those persons live below the poverty line. The community is home to approximately 125,000 domestic cats, 68,700 community (feral, stray, or free-roaming) cats, and 103,000 dogs. Shelters in the area took in 19,737 animals in 2010 and killed 12,264 (62 percent) of them. Some of the incorporated areas in the vicinity do not have their own animal control, so they use BARC or the Harris County shelter. The numbers reported here therefore understate the scope of the problem.

Eight shelters in the southeast Harris County area have already pledged to use the clinic, including those in Pasadena, Deer Park, Baytown, LaPorte, South Houston, Jacinto City, Nassau Bay, and Seabrook. The clinic would also provide an affordable solution for residents who want to have their animals spayed or neutered but cannot afford the procedure at a full-service veterinary clinic.

If you are interested in contributing to the development of the new clinic, please call Laura Welch at 713-862-3863, x204, or contact her via email at

Serve it Up for the Animals!
You Can Save Innocent Lives by Volunteering at the Bayou City Art Festival
Help the animals. Volunteer for SNAP at the art festival.

Animals born unwanted are dying in Houston-area shelters every day, but you can help reduce the toll by volunteering for SNAP at the Bayou City Art Festival. The spring festival takes place Friday, March 23-Sunday, March 25, 2012.

The job is easy and fun. Here’s how it works: Volunteers will spend a few hours selling icy beverages to thirsty festival guests. You will work in a beverage booth with other volunteers. Each booth will have a booth captain who can help if you’re not sure what to do. You will be given a festival t-shirt to wear during your shift, and it’s yours to keep afterwards. (We ask that you wear it during your shift as well. Many people just pull it over the shirt they’re already wearing.)

How does this help the animals? A portion of the proceeds from the drinks you sell, and all of the tips collected at the beverage booths, are donated to fund SNAP spay-neuter programs. If you can’t imagine this adds up to much, think again. SNAP brings in tens of thousands of dollars a year thanks to our participation in this event, but it isn’t going to happen unless you are willing to help.

The satisfaction of knowing you are helping animals is priceless, but that’s not all you get for your trouble. You will also receive free admittance to the festival on the day of your shift. Shifts are about four hours long, so you will have plenty of time before or after your shift to see the festival. Tickets are normally $12 per person, so your efforts will save you money and save some animals from facing a short and unhappy life.

The beverage booths serve alcoholic beverages, so you must be at least 18 years of age to volunteer. Here is a listing of the shifts that are available.

Bayou City Art Festival Shifts

Friday, March 23
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
2:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Saturday, March 24
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
2:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Sunday, March 25
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
2:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Please volunteer today by contacting our Volunteer Team by email ( or by phone at 713-862-3863, x206 to sign up.

Summerlee Foundation Helping Community Cats
Grant Provides Free Surgery for Free Roaming Cats in 78228 Zipcode
A Summerlee Foundation grant enables SNAP to fix 100 community cats for free.

SNAP has sterilized a total of 24 so-called community cats in the 78228 zip code in San Antonio area under a Summerlee Foundation grant that provides free surgery for the animals. Fifteen female cats have been spayed and 9 male cats have been neutered. While this will reduce the number of future births by the hundreds or even thousands, the program seeks to make a much greater dent in the local community cat population.

Sufficient grant funds remain to cover the cost of sterilizing an additional 76 cats, so those who perform Trap-Neuter-Return in the area are encouraged to bring animals in for spay-neuter surgery. Rabies vaccinations (which are required by state law if you cannot provide a rabies certificate to prove the animal is already vaccinated) are also available for cats sterilized under the program for $5.

You must bring the cat(s) to the SNAP clinic at 6758 Ingram Rd. in San Antonio. Cats will be accepted from residents of the zip code or trappers identifying where cats were trapped within the zip code. All cats will have the tip of their left ear trimmed to indicate that they have been sterilized. There are no exceptions to this rule. Appointments are preferred, but SNAP will accept cats in live traps without an appointment. Call 210-673-7722 or email to set up an appointment or for more information.

SNAP would like to express its sincere appreciation to The Summerlee Foundation for generously funding this program to help address the problem of free roaming cats in the 78228 zip code.

Upcoming SNAP Events
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - Houston and San Antonio, TX
  SNAP Celebrates Spay Day in San Antonio and Houston
SNAP clinics in Houston and San Antonio are fixing animals for FREE to celebrate Spay Day!
Friday, March 23-Sunday, March 25, 2012 - Houston, TX
  Bayou City Art Festival
The honor of your assistance is requested! Volunteer today to raise money for spay-neuter!
Friday, April 13, 2012 - Houston, TX
  Collars for a Cause Celebration
Save the date for the "be there" event of the year, and don’t forget the auction!

Hedda HoundHedda Hound Banner

Hello Darlings!

It hasn’t been the coldest winter, has it? Still, warmer weather is just around the corner, and with it comes more chances to get out in the sunshine, roll in the green grass, and get bitten by fleas and ticks! Yes, unfortunately the joys of spring come with a few dangers as well. An itchy bite is one thing, but did you know that these critters can cause serious diseases as well? Read this month’s letter from Arlo, an Akita mix from Adams Hills, to find out why protecting your canine friends is so important.

Dear Hedda,

I just wanted to write in to ask you to remind everyone how important it is to get flea and tick preventative for your dogs (and cats too). My human friend, Keith, is usually very good about keeping me protected, but last spring they sort of didn’t get around to it as quickly as usual. Unfortunately, during this lapse in protection, I got bitten by some really vicious fleas, and before I knew it, I was starting to itch. This was no a regular itch though. This was like a million fleas were biting me all at once! I broke out in a rash, and couldn’t stop scratching! Keith took me to the vet’s office. He told them that I was suffering from Flea Allergy Dermatitis. Apparently I’m extra sensitive to flea saliva. (Ewww!)  Anyway, it turns out that a lot of dogs are, and for them getting bitten by a flea is way worse than it is for other dogs. The vet was able to treat it, and it finally went away, but it wasn’t any fun. Please warn folks about this, Hedda. I wouldn’t wish the itchies I had on anyone. It’s a lot easier and less miserable to protect your furry friends from fleas and ticks before they strike!

Sign me,

Itchy McScratch-Scratch-Scratch-Scratch-Scratch

Dear McScratch,

Flea Allergy Dermatitis can be torture indeed, but there are other and even worse maladies that can be contracted from fleas and ticks. Ticks can carry Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Fleas can cause icky tapeworms and, if enough bite you, they can cause anemia. Did you know you can die from anemia? Well, you can. And while veterinarians see more animals affected by flea and tick-borne diseases in the warmer months, they’re around when it’s cold too. Fewer animals get sick then simply because they are less likely to be spending time outside where they can come into contact with the little beasties.

The saddest thing about a flea-infested dog (or cat) is that it is completely unnecessary. There are flea and tick preventatives that can make us absolutely unappetizing to the vile creatures, and they’re safe when used according to label directions. Readers, do you keep your four-footed friends protected from fleas and ticks? If you don’t, you should. SNAP clinics can help, and you don’t even need an appointment to take your animal(s) in. Just check our clinic web pages for the wellness hours at the SNAP clinic near you. No animal should suffer from the irritation and preventable diseases that come with flea and tick bites. 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:

    ASPCA, $10,000

Making Book on Fewer Homeless Animals
Second WookieBooks Book Drive a Huge Success, Amazon Card Winner Announced
Volunteers load up books collected during October book drive
Volunteers load up books collected during the October book drive. Photograph courtesy of LIFE+DOG Magazine.

The second WookieBooks book drive benefiting SNAP ended on Saturday, January 28, and was a huge success. Thousands of books were donated at SNAP clinics in Houston and San Antonio and at three Pet Paradise locations in Houston. A percentage of the proceeds from the sale of the books will be donated back to SNAP. WookieBooks also chose one lucky donor to receive a $50 gift card from Gloria Green of San Antonio was the winner.

While the count is preliminary, it appears to have brought in roughly as many books as the first book drive back in October. That drive generated $600 in funds for SNAP spay-neuter programs, so the January drive should yield a similar total. That’s enough money to sterilize between 6 and 12 animals (depending on their size, gender, and species). The result will be dozens if not hundreds fewer kittens and puppies born in the years to come.

WookieBooks is a for-profit social enterprise that harnesses the power of e-commerce by collecting and selling used books and media items online to support literacy and animal rescue initiatives, all the while saving hundreds of thousands of these items from the landfill. According to its website, the people at WookieBooks "strongly feel that books and media items possess knowledge that should live on, long after they have lived with you."

SNAP is grateful to Pet Paradise for helping collect books and to the staff of WookieBooks for their hard work to make both of the book drives they have conducted for us a success. We also commend WookieBooks for the generous business model they have adopted.

Madame AstroCat[object Object]

Dear Readers,

Madame Astrocat hopes that you have had all of your furry feline friends spayed and neutered. Whether you have or haven’t, knowledge is power, so this month I have decided to tell you all the important things to know about estrus. That’s the scientific term that refers to the feline "heat" cycle--the period when a female cat can get pregnant. Knowing more will enable those who have not had their kitties fixed to understand why it is important and when it is best to have it done. It will enable those who have had their kitties sterilized to know why it’s such a good thing they did! Here, then, are the top ten most important things you need to know about estrus:

10. Bodacious - The feline estrus cycle has five separate and distinct stages. Who knew? There are: proestrus, estrus, interestrus, metestrus, and anestrus. No, I’m not kidding! We will learn more about each stage in some of the items that follow.

9. Proestrus - During this stage of estrus, female cats emit a scent that makes them irresistible to male cats, but we females don’t seem to realize it because we are in no mood to get jiggy with a male! (Some of the boys refer to this as the "Cruel Joke Stage.") Fortunately for them, it only lasts a day or two.

8. Estrus - This is the time when females cats are ready, willing, and able to do the wild thing. Speaking of wild, our behavior during estrus may make you think we are possessed. Wailing, rolling around on the ground, and presenting our, um... naughty bits to males is not unusual. Unfortunately, we may also accidentally leave bloody spots on the floor or your lovely sofa during this one-two week period. Sorry!

7. Interestrus - One might expect us to be interested during interestrus, but that’s not quite how it works. The "inter" in this case is more like an intermission. It’s a break in estrus that occurs if we do not mate. It typically lasts two or three weeks. Then--during warm weather in particular--it’s back to estrus! Woo-hoo! (You are welcome to your own opinion about that, of course.)

6. Metestrus - If we do mate during estrus, we still get a little intermission. It lasts about 30-40 days if we’re not pregnant. If we are pregnant, it lasts about 60-64 days, and it is called gestation. Then it’s kitten time! Unfortunately, shelter time often follows soon on the heels of kitten time. (This is not a woo-hoo moment for anyone involved.)

5. Anestrus - This is the time between the babymaking stages of the estrus cycle. This is the time when our hormones are not in an uproar, and we seem like the cats you fell in love with when you picked us out and took us home. If only it could last forever! It does not last forever. It lasts two-three months. (It may last a bit longer during cold weather.)

4. Precocious - No, this isn’t another stage. Anestrus was the last one. What I mean is that female cats are precocious from a reproductive point of view. Our first estrus cycle can begin as early as four months of age. Typically it is more likely to occur between 6 months and 12 months. The point is, if you want to avoid seeing the five stages of estrus up close and personal, you might want to think about getting us spayed between the ages of four and six months.

3. Dangerous - A six-month old cat is not physically full grown; consequently it can be dangerous for us to become pregnant at or before that age. Complications are more likely, both for us and for our kittens. If you have a cat this young, and she goes into estrus, it is critical that you prevent her from becoming pregnant.

2. Preposterous - Given what you now know about the feline estrus cycle, isn’t it preposterous that some people think they should allow their cats to have "just one litter" before being spayed? But wait, there’s more! Female cats that are sterilized prior to the beginning of their first estrus cycle are less likely to suffer from a variety of reproductive system diseases when they get older.

1. Serious - Remember when we were talking about Anestrus--the stage when we act like normal lovable cats--and we said, "If only it could last forever?" It can! Spaying ends estrus cycle, and it is a happy solution indeed. It is a serious solution as well. Female cats who are spayed live longer lives, statistically speaking, than those who are not. How crazy do you have to be not have your girl kitties fixed?

Some information for this article comes from:

Quote of the Month
"People that hate cats will come back as mice in their next life." ~ Faith Resnick

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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