News & Events


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

   Collars for a Cause Celebration Tickets on Sale
   A Crescendo of Celebrity Collar Creation
   Uncle SNAP Wants YOU for the Art Festival!
   Meercat Raises Almost $8,000 for Spay-Neuter
   Help Bring SNAP to SE Harris County
   Free Spay-Neuter in SA District 4
   Upcoming SNAP Events
   A Dog's Life by Hedda Hound
   New SNAP Grants
   Fabulous Felines by Madame Astrocat
   Quote of the Month

- 4,013 -
The number of dogs and cats
helped by your gifts between
Jan. 1 and Jan. 31, 2012.

SNAP has sterilized over

dogs and cats since being
founded in 1993.

Collars for a Cause Celebration Tickets on Sale
Come Enjoy A Festive Evening for All Who Believe in the Power of Spay-Neuter
Artists and designers will create Collars for a Cause!

Tickets for the Collars for a Cause Celebration are now on sale on the SNAP website, and you are invited to attend! This event is a chance for those who love animals and believe that spay-neuter is the best means to address animal overpopulation to come together to share their passion and get to know one another. The celebration benefits SNAP spay-neuter programs, so your night of fun and frolic will help SNAP pursue its mission to prevent the suffering and death of dogs and cats due to overpopulation and preventable diseases, especially in low-income areas.

The evening is sure to be a lot of fun. There will be a deejay playing great music, live entertainment, delectable food, refreshing beverages--including Tito’s Vodka, a fabulous silent auction, fun photo ops, sparkling company, and free valet parking. SNAP sustaining donors and event sponsors will also gain admission to the Spayed Club, an exclusive VIP area with its own bar. Everyone who attends will have an opportunity to view in person the collars created for the Collars for a Cause celebrity and designer collar auction. (See related story.) If you see one you like, you will even be able to bid on it during the event! The Collars for a Cause Celebration takes place from 7-10 p.m. on Friday, April 13, 2012, at Momentum Volvo at 10150 Southwest Fwy in Houston, Texas. Tickets are just $75 per person, and sponsorships are available starting at $500. Get your tickets today by visiting the SNAP web site.

Collars for a Cause sponsors include LIFE+DOG magazine, Digital Function, Merial, Momentum Volvo, Office Effects, Pet Paradise, and Tito’s Vodka. SNAP is grateful to all of these wonderful companies and to everyone who is helping to make the event possible.

A Crescendo of Celebrity Collar Creation
Denise Richards, Tinsley Mortimer, and the Kyjen Company Creating Collars for Auction
Collars created for the previous Collars for a Cause auction
Some of the creative collars created by celebrities and designers for the previous Collars for a Cause auction. You will be able to view and bid on collars created for the 2012 auction beginning in April at

The list of celebrities creating collars for the Collars for a Cause celebrity and designer collar auction continues to grow with the addition of Denise Richards and Tinsley Mortimer. The Kyjen Company, makers of great toys and other products for dogs, is also creating a collar for the event.

Actress and former model Denise Richards has appeared in numerous films, including "Starship Troopers," "Love Actually," "Jolene," and "The World Is Not Enough," where she joined the ranks of those glamorous Bond girls. She has also had a recurring role on the hit television show "Two and a Half Men" and more recently on "Blue Mountain State." Presently she is in filming for the next installment of Tyler Perry’s Madea films, "Madea’s Witness Protection." She is a longtime supporter of Best Friends Animal Society and frequently appears on the organization’s adoption segment on Access Hollywood.

Tinsley Mortimer is a socialite, fashion designer, and television personality. Her clothing line, Riccime by Tinsley Mortimer, is sold in shops in Japan, and her handbags are sold in both Japan and the U.S. She has recently made forays into television, both in front of the camera and behind it. She has appeared as herself on "Gossip Girl" and "America’s Next Top Model," and she wrote, produced, and appeared in the reality series "High Society," which documented the lives of her and her friends.

The Kyjen Company creates dog toys that are designed to "keep dogs active and engaged" as well as other items, including dog beds and travel gear. The company and its products have been featured in a number of magazine articles and will be profiled in an upcoming issue of LIFE+DOG magazine. The company was named in "50 Colorado Companies to Watch" in Colorado Biz magazine in 2011 and received a Pet Business magazine Industry Recognition Award in 2012 for its Invincible line of squeaker toys. The Kyjen Company products are widely available at animal-related businesses nationwide.

The Collars for a Cause auction is a fundraising component of the Collars for a Cause Celebration, which is a joint project of SNAP and LIFE+DOG magazine, and raises much needed funds for SNAP spay-neuter programs that provide free spay-neuter surgery and rabies vaccinations to animals living in qualifying low-income households.

The auction will begin the week of the celebration and will continue through May 15, 2012. (The exact start date is to be determined.) You will be able to see and bid on the collars on the Collars for a Cause website. Be sure to "like" Collars for a Cause on Facebook as well.

Uncle SNAP wants YOU for the Art Festival
Spend a Few Hours, Save a Few Lives on the Weekend of March 23-25
Uncle SNAP wants YOU for the Bayou City Art Festival!
Help the animals. Volunteer for SNAP at the art festival.

You can help prevent the needless suffering and death of animals born unwanted by volunteering for SNAP at the Bayou City Art Festival. Just spend a few hours in a booth selling refreshing beverages to thirsty festival goers, and you will raise much needed funds to support SNAP spay-neuter programs.

How do your efforts help the animals? The festival donates a portion of the proceeds from the drinks you sell--and all of the tips collected--to SNAP. That may not seem like much, but it actually adds up to tens of thousands of dollars a year. The key is getting enough people to volunteer. That’s where you come in!

The job is fun and easy. 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.)

You’ll end your shift feeling great, knowing that you have done your part to help innocent dogs and cats, but that’s not the only perk to this job. You also receive free admittance to the festival on the day of your shift. Shifts are about four hours long, so you have the rest of the day before or after your shift to wander around and enjoy the scene. Tickets are normally $12 per person, so it’s a pretty sweet deal.

The spring festival takes place Friday, March 23-Sunday, March 25, 2012. 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 were still available at press time.

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
(Morning Shift Full)
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.

Meercat Raises Almost $8,000 in Spay Day Photo Contest
SNAP Sterilizes 176 Dogs and Cats on World Spay-Day
Meercat placed 3rd in the 2012 World Spay Day Photo Contest!
Meercat, the adorable felne who came in 3rd place in the World Spay Day photo contest, earning SNAP nearly $8,000 in the process. The total proceeds from all entries benefiting SNAP is approximately $10,000.

Meercat, a beautiful gray kitty, has just placed 3rd in the Spay Day Photo Contest, earning almost $8,000 for SNAP spay-neuter programs in the process. Those funds came in the form of votes, which were made at $1 each. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) sponsored the contest. Clearly Meercat is no mere cat! We will have more about this extraordinary feline in a moment. First, we are also excited to report that a generous grant from Lost Pawses, a Houston-based animal welfare organization--helped us spay and neuter a total of 176 dogs and cats on World Spay Day, which took place on Tuesday, February 28, 2012.

The SNAP Spay-Neuter and Animal Wellness Clinic in Houston sterilized a total of 54 cats, including 50 females and 4 males. The Houston Mobile Clinic sterilized 47 cats, including 46 males and 1 female. The SNAP Spay-Neuter and Animal Wellness Clinic in San Antonio sterilized 41 cats (40 females and 1 male) and 34 female dogs.

Now, back to Meercat. This lovable scamp lives in the home of Melissa Wedding, who tells us that he was adopted from Buster's Friends, a Houston animal rescue organization, back in August.  His story was potentially quite tragic. He had been brought into a veterinary clinic by a man who said he no longer wanted the cat. The clinic was not a shelter and could not take Meercat, so the man abandoned him in the parking lot. The forlorn feline ran underneath the man’s car as he was about to back out, but fortunately one of the clinic staff members saw him and retrieved him before he could be injured. Meercat was then turned over to Buster’s Friends where he found a foster home until Melissa came along and gave him his forever home.

Melissa reports that Meercat is very cuddly, "and if you try to ignore him, he will put his paw on your face and try to bite your eyelashes." She says that he loves to torment her daughter and Katie, the family’s Doberman Pincher. When Meercat gets too "wild," Katie even runs to Melissa to "protect" her from the rambunctious kitty! Meercat also has a penchant for opening the shutters on all the windows in the house, something Melissa finds less endearing on weekend mornings when she would like to sleep in.

When Melissa decided to enter Meercat into the photo contest, she chose to benefit SNAP because "it’s extremely important to spay/neuter all pets....Not only is it healthier for the animals, but it helps to ‘stop the cycle.’" We could not have said it better ourselves.

SNAP is immensely grateful to Melissa and Meercat for their amazing support of our efforts to fight animal overpopulation. We are also grateful to all of the other SNAP supporters who entered their furry friends in the contest. When their votes are included, SNAP should receive approximately $10,000 in total. These funds will enable SNAP to sterilize more than one-hundred additional animals, which will reduce the number born unwanted by many hundreds or even thousands more in the coming years. We are also grateful to the wonderful folks at Lost Pawses who made our Spay Day spay-neuter events such a great success!

Help Bring SNAP to SE Harris County
PetSmart Challenge Grant Requires $175,000 from Community by June 2012
Help SNAP create a new clinic for Southeast Harris County.
Help bring a reduced-cost spay-neuter clinic to Pasadena and southeast Harris County. Click the graphic above to donate today!

SNAP needs your help to raise $175,000 by June of 2012 to meet the terms of a challenge grant from PetSmart Charities that would create a new SNAP clinic to serve southeast Harris County, including Pasadena, Texas. The grant provides $140,000 for equipment for the clinic, but SNAP is responsible for raising an additional $175,000 by June of 2012 to qualify for the funds
The City of Pasadena is a major supporter of the effort and has offered to allow SNAP to rent a 3,285 sq. ft. city-owned retail space for the clinic at just $10/year. Mayor Johnny Isbell of Pasadena personally donated $5,000 towards the project at a presentation on the proposed clinic given by SNAP Executive Director James R. Weedon.

SNAP estimates that an additional $60,000 beyond that will be required to complete construction. Additional donations made on or before the evening of the presentation have brought the current total raised to $24,000. That is a good start, but much more is needed to meet a June deadline for the challenge grant.

If you would like to donate to help make this clinic a reality, please visit the project donation page on our website. Naming sponsorships are available as well. Please contact Laura Welch at 713-862-3863, x204 or via email at to discuss major gifts or sponsorships.

Free Spay-Neuter in SA District 4
Six Agencies to Bring Free Spay-Neuter to Low-Income San Antonio Households
SNAP is participating in San Antonio District 4 Spay/Neuter

SNAP is one of six agencies offering FREE spay-neuter surgery for animals from qualifying low-income households as part of San Antonio District 4’s observation of Spay/Neuter Week. Each of the participating agencies will provide the free services on one day of the six-day event, which runs from March 26-March 31, 2012.

You must present proof of a current rabies vaccination or your animal will be vaccinated as required by state law at a cost of $10. SNAP will be providing services on Monday, March 26, 2012, at the Miller’s Pond Community Center. The center is located at 6175 Old Pearsall Rd.

Qualifying information can be found on the SNAP San Antonio mobile clinic web page. No appointments are being taken for this event. If more animals show up than the clinic can accommodate, a lottery system will be used to determine which animals receive the free services. Dogs must be brought on a leash or in a carrier. Cats must be brought in a carrier.

Other agencies participating in the week-long event include the Animal Defense League of Texas, City of San Antonio Animal Care Services, the Bexar County Humane Society/SPCA, SNIPSA, and SpaySA.

Upcoming SNAP Events
Friday, March 23-Sunday, March 25, 2012 - Houston, TX
  Bayou City Art Festival
Uncle SNAP wants YOU--but the animals NEED YOU--to help raise money for spay-neuter!
Friday, April 13, 2012 - Houston, TX
  Collars for a Cause Celebration
Tickets for this festival annual event are now on sale! Come do good while having fun!

Hedda HoundHedda Hound Banner

Hello Darlings!

We have talked about heartworms before, and it is a serious matter. Heartworms kill many dogs every year, and if you don’t know how to protect your canine friends, you are literally risking their lives every day. Read this month’s letter from Henrietta, a hound-mix from the Houston Heights, to learn more.

Dear Hedda,

I am writing to tell you about a dearly departed friend of mine. Her name was Pebbles, and she was one of the sweetest dogs I have ever known. Pebbles and I used to see each other on the sidewalk, and occasionally we would get to play together in a neighborhood park. Then, one day, Pebbles became sick. I never saw her again. A member of her family told my human friend, David, that Pebbles had come down with something called heartworms. They told David that he should get me checked for heartworms just in case. He did, and it turned out I had them. I was lucky though. Mine were caught in the early stages, and I was cured. It wasn’t a quick easy cure. It seems it never is with heartworms. Now that I am healthy again, David keeps me on heartworm preventative. I feel very lucky for that, but I will always miss Pebbles.

Hedda, please tell people about heartworms so that no more dogs have to die needlessly.

Sign me,
Sad Survivor

Dear Survivor,

Heartworms are a nasty business indeed. They are just what the name says they are: worms that invade the heart. They don’t stop there though; they can also invade the lungs. You might think such an exotic parasite is hard to contract. Unfortunately it is not. Heartworm larvae (called microfilariae) are carried by mosquitoes. Dogs (and cats) can become infected from a single bite! Humans, luckily for them, are not susceptible to heartworms. Upon being introduced into a dog’s bloodstream, they eventually make their way to the heart and lungs, where they grow so large that they seriously impair the functioning of these vital organs.

The real shame is that no animal need suffer the long illness and miserable death that heartworms bring. You, Henrietta dear, know first-hand that heartworms can be treated, but only if they are caught early enough. Testing is available to determine whether an animal is infected. Best of all, prevention is available to safeguard the health of animals that are not infected. The veterinary community takes heartworms seriously enough that they have formed a group called the American Heartworm Society. They have launched a program called Think 12 with the goal of encouraging those who keep dogs and cats to commit to having their animals tested every 12 months and to keep them on heartworm preventative year round. If you would like to learn more about the Think 12 initiative, you can do so on the American Heartworm Association web site.

I would be remiss, of course, if I did not also tell you that heartworm testing and preventative are available at SNAP wellness clinics. Animals that are already heartworm positive (infected), must be taken to a full-service veterinarian for treatment. That old saying, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," is especially true when it comes to heartworms. 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

Madame AstroCat[object Object]

Dear Readers,

Do you like to read? Obviously you do. You’re reading right now! Did you know that cats like to read too? (Some people think cats can’t read, but you are reading a column written by a cat, so you know better, right?) Anyway, being a reader, you might find yourself in a library or bookstore now and then. It may or may not surprise you then to find that many of these venerable repositories of printed knowledge have felines in residence. That’s right, many bookstores and libraries have cats! The Purr ‘n’ Fur web site tells us that there are so many library cats that there was even a Library Cat Society for a while. Given the large number of felines in question, it seems fitting that we focus solely on library cats and leave bookstore cats for a future column. Isn’t it nice to have something to look forward to? Feast your reader’s eyes then upon this, Madame Astrocat’s Top Ten List of Library Cats, culled from the extensive list at Purr ‘n’ Furr:

10. Porter C. Bibliocat - Porter is an orange and white male cat who was adopted by the Anna Porter Public Library in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, in 2009. He ranks among the top library cats because of the good-natured way he allows himself to be restricted to the library’s back room at the request of any patron who suffers from allergies severe enough to be affected by his presence. (Cats can be quite considerate when asked nicely.)

9. Judge Kitty - There were questions about the origin of Judge Kitty. Some said he was the last living offspring of a colony of wild cats. He started life as an outdoor cat but quickly decided the Fairplay Public Library in Fairplay, Colorado, was a nice place to hole up when the weather turned cold. Judge Kitty quickly became a celebrity, appearing on promotional products used to help raise funds for a new library building. Warm weather would lure him back outside at times. Sadly, he was run over by a vehicle on one such excursion in 2009.

8. Thomas - This handsome red tabby was adopted from an animal shelter by the director of the Johnston Public Library in Baxter Springs, Kansas, in 1992. He became quite famous as library cats go. The Library Cat Newsletter ran a story on him as did the National Enquirer. A state library workshop on library cats used Thomas as an example of how the feline breed can enhance the atmosphere and operation of a library.

7. Miss Jennie - Now here is a cat after my own heart. Miss Jennie not only greeted patrons at the Jennie Trent Dew Library in Goldthwaite, Texas; but she also had her own blog and wrote a column for the local newspaper! Alas, the city manager of Goldthwaite was not such a fan of Miss Jennie and had her removed only three years after she secured her position. Fortunately for this most literate cat--and her son, Reggie, who also took up residence at the library--both went to good homes.

6. Browser - Browser is yet another library cat with his own blog. The beautiful solid black cat, like the aforementioned Judge Kitty, is heavily involved in public relations for the Pine River Public Library, where he has been the library cat in residence since 2002. His image is seen around the town of Pine River, Minnesota, promoting the library, and patrons who report having seen him get a free limited-edition Browser trading card. He is also featured on mugs and key rings sold at the library.

5. Max - Max had a hard time making the staff at the Hastings Branch Library in Pasadena, California, understand that he was their library cat. He lived nearby with his family but would find his way into the facility on a regular basis. Once inside, he would visit with patrons and explore the building’s nooks and crannies. Library staffers repeatedly removed him from the premises, but he just kept coming back. Eventually the employees got the message and issued him his own library card. Max knew that persistence is the key to success.

4. Belle - Belle was adopted from the local humane society by the board of the Charles & Ona B Free Memorial Library in Dublin, Virginia, in 2005. She was named Martha when she was born, but became Belle in tribute to Ona Belle Free. Not everyone was happy about Belle’s presence in the library, and some complained. The board of the library held a forum to solicit public opinion, but everyone who spoke or submitted a letter in the matter was in favor of keeping her. Still, the board held an investigation of the complaints. Ultimately a vote was held that favored keeping Belle, thus proving how hard it is to keep an adorable kitty down.

3. Molli - Even the little town of Azle, Texas, had a library cat. Molli was named after the library’s computer system, oddly enough. Molli (the cat) turned out to be a much more valuable asset than some old computer system. He was so valuable, in fact, that she was kidnapped (or "catnapped" as the Purr ‘n’ Furr web site tells us. She was turned in later, however, by a library patron who inadvertently incriminated herself in the kitty’s disappearance. She was forgiven, however, and Molli resumed life at the library until her death in 2007. Today there is a statue of Molli in the town’s new library.

2.  Squeakers - What more appropriate animal to grace the halls of academia than the cat? Squeakers was the first library cat of the Willet Memorial Library at Wesleyan University. She lived at the university from 1985 until she passed away in 2008. She called the library home for the last nine years of her life. Squeakers was known for greeting patrons at the front door, demonstrating for one and all the hospitality of the feline breed. Squeakers was replaced by a male cat named Libris, who will doubtless distinguish himself in equal measure.

1. Dewey - Imagine being the head librarian at a small public library in Iowa and arriving one dreadfully cold morning in the middle of winter to find a tiny kitten near death in the night drop box. This was how Dewey, widely hailed as the world’s most famous library cat, came to find his home at the Spencer Public Library. Nursed back to health, he became the library’s official library cat and was soon the toast of a town, a state, and a nation of cat lovers. Dewey died in 2006 at the ripe old age of 19, so he lived a long life, but can a cat ever live too long?

Quote of the Month
"We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's the best deal man has ever made." ~ M. Acklam

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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