News & Events


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

   Collars for a Cause Auction Raises $6,285
   Diane Caplan Blogs to Win for Animals
   Shampooch! Tomorrow!
   Strut Your Mutt for SNAP
   SNAP San Antonio Fixes Cats in Laredo
   BBB Recognizes SNAP Fifth Straight Year
   San Antonio Area Foundation Honors SNAP
   Upcoming SNAP Events
   A Dog's Life by Hedda Hound
   New SNAP Grants
   Girl Scout Troop 15338 Helps the Animals
   Fabulous Felines by Madame Astrocat
   Quote of the Month

- 16,632 -
The number of dogs and cats
helped by your gifts between
Jan. 1 and Apr. 30, 2012.

SNAP has sterilized over

dogs and cats since being
founded in 1993.

Collars for a Cause Auction Raises $6,285
Total Event/Auction Proceeds of Over $50,000 Benefit SNAP Spay-Neuter Programs
Click to visit the auction website!

The Collars for a Cause online collar auction raised $6,285, bringing the total for the celebration and the auction to well over $50,000. This sum will provide spay-neuter surgery for many hundreds of cats and dogs, thereby preventing the unwanted births of thousands (if not tens of thousands) more. The auction featured dozens of one-of-a-kind collars created by celebrities, designers, artists, and dignitaries. Collars for a Cause was presented by LIFE+DOG, Momentum Volvo, Pet Paradise Resorts, and Digital Function to raise funds to help SNAP provide free and low-cost services to those in the community that need it the most.

Four inaugural Collars for a Cause designer ambassadors anchored the fundraising drive: artist Ron Burns, actress/comedienne Margaret Cho, actress/singer Jordin Sparks, and designer Elaine Turner. Others who designed collars included from omg!Yahoo’s Kristen Aldridge, Missy Johnson, Broadway stars Orfeh and Andy Karl, television personality Dina Manzo, actress Denise Richards, actress Tori Spelling, and Houston Mayor Annise Parker.

The auction began on Friday, April 13, 2012, and ended on Tuesday, May 15, 2012. It will eventually become a year-round event. You can keep up with the latest news on the auction by "liking" the Collars for a Cause page on Facebook.

SNAP would like to thank LIFE+DOG for organizing and producing this amazing fundraiser. We would also like to thank all of the partners and sponsors whose contributions made the event such a success, all of the event attendees, and everyone who bid on the auction--whether you won or not. Event and auction sponsors included:

   ADD Blacksheep Printing
   Best Friends Animal Sanctuary
   Capital One
   Deogi Dog Daycare, Spa and Resort
   Digital Function
   Ed Gonzales
   Elaine Turner
   Friends of BARC
   Golden Hound
   H.L. Whitingham
   Joe and Jewell Maida
   Kim Hartz Photography
   Laurie, Doug & Becky Vander Ploeg
   Mike and Terrie Lewis
   Momentum Porsche
   Momentum Volvo
   Nothing Bundt Cakes
   Office Effects
   Pet Paradise
   Phyllis Anzalone
   Rascal Rocks
   Rover Oaks Pet Resort
   Scoop le Poop
   Silver Spur CandyMakers
   SNAP Board of Directors
   Sonya Gracia
   Tejas Office Supplies
   Texas Dogs & Cats
   The Overton Law Firm P.C.
   The Upper Hand Salon
   Tito's Handmade Vodka
   U.S. Coins & Jewelry
   Vanover Music Academy
   Wine to the Rescue by Vino Vero
   WonderDog NYC

Diane Caplan Blogs to Win for Animals

Help Momentum Marketer Win $4,000 for SNAP from Verizon and Modern Luxury
Diane Caplan speaking at 2012 Collars for a Cause Celebratio
Diane Caplan speaking at the 2012 Collars for a Cause Celebration in April. The event took place at Momentum Volvo. Caplan is the ecommerce and marketing director for Momentum Jaguar, Volvo, Porsche and Porsche/Audi West.

Diane Caplan, the ecommerce and marketing director for Momentum Jaguar, Volvo, Porsche and Porsche/Audi West in Houston, has selected SNAP to be the beneficiary if she wins a benefit competition sponsored by Verizon and Modern Luxury. The competition involves using the Samsung Galaxy Tablet via the speedy Verizon 4GLTE network for social networking and blogging between July 2, 2012, and late August. Local celebrities in Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, and Miami are pitted against one another to see who can gain the most readers and earn the most votes. The winner receives $4,000 for his or her chosen charity. The Houston operation of the campaign is being sponsored by Houston magazine. The July issue of the magazine will carry a four-page advertorial on the competition. It will also be mentioned as part of an article profiling Ms. Caplan in the July issue of LIFE+DOG magazine.

Caplan will be using the technology for all of her social media activities (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.), but specifically plans to use it to tell followers about the work SNAP does and the importance of spay-neuter in combating animal overpopulation. She will also be talking about her experiences using the Samsung Galaxy Tablet and the Verizon 4GLTE network. Her blog will be an equally interesting place for fans of Diane, fans of SNAP, and anyone interested in hearing about the cool new offerings from Samsung and Verizon! We hope that all of our supporters will sign up to follow her, because each of you who do increases the chance that SNAP will receive $4,000 to be used spaying and neutering our four-footed friends! Check out Diane’s SNAP page on the Momentum website to find out more as the start date approaches.

SNAP is grateful to Diane for making us her chosen beneficiary for the contest, and for all of the wonderful support that she and Momentum Volvo provided during our recent Collars for a Cause Celebration, which was held in the dealership’s beautiful showroom at 10150 SW Fwy in Houston, Texas.

Shampooch! Tomorrow!
Whole Foods Market, Pet Paradise, and SNAP Volunteers Team to Clean Your Dog(s)
Get that dirty dog clean, and support SNAP, at Shampooch!

Everyone in Houston is invited to bring his or her dog(s) out Saturday, June 2, 2012, (that’s tomorrow) for Shampooch! Whole Foods Market, Pet Paradise Resorts, and SNAP volunteers are combining forces to wash your dirty dog(s) for a donation! A $10 per dog donation is suggested. This event raises funds for SNAP spay-neuter programs so your dog gets a clean coat and you get a clear conscience! Shampooch takes place at all Houston-area locations of Whole Foods. (See list below.)

Dogs will be washed with dog and environment-friendly shampoos from Rosie & Friends Bath and Skincare for the Natural Dog so you can rest assured that bath-time will be safe and fun for all involved. Someone from Frenchie's Kitchen Dog Food will be on hand giving away samples of  the shampoo and Rosie & Friends' Lavendar Calming Drops, as well as bandanas and samples of dog food from Frenchie's Kitchen. 

Bringing your dog to Shampooch will help prevent the birth of unwanted animals, and as we always like to say, no birth is the first step to no kill.

If you like to wash dogs, it’s not too late to volunteer for this event if you would like to do so, please send an email to or call Xavier Torres at 713-862-2863 no later than 3 p.m. on Friday, May 31, 2012.

Participating Whole Foods Markets are listed below:

    2955 Kirby Drive, Houston, TX

    4004 Bellaire Boulevard, Houston, TX

    701 Waugh Drive, Houston, TX
    (713) 284-1260

    6401 Woodway Drive, Houston, TX

    11145 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX

    15900 Southwest Freeway, Sugar Land, TX

SNAP is grateful to Whole Foods, Pet Paradise, Frenchie's Kitchen Dog Food, and Rosie & Friends for their contributions to this event.

We hope to see you and your pooch(es) at one of these locations!

Strut Your Mutt for SNAP
Best Friends Animal Society Virtual Dog Walk Lets You Help Real Animals!
Strut Your Mutt with SNAP to raise money for spay-neuter!

You are invited to join the 2012 Strut Your Mutt Dog Walk to help raise funds for spay-neuter. This event is a dog walkathon that raises money for animal welfare agencies. It will be an actual physical walk in certain cities, but you can help without leaving the comfort of your armchair by signing up for the Strut Across America virtual walk. Last year’s strut raised $700,000 for participating nonprofits, and the goal this year is $1 million! The best news is that when you join the SNAP pack (or team), every dollar you raise goes to SNAP to help us reduce the number of animals born unwanted.

The event works like a conventional walkathon, so you can sign up to "walk" and then ask friends and family to support you, or you can just donate through someone else who is participating as part of the SNAP pack. To register or support another walker, visit the SNAP pack page on the Strut Your Mutt website. There you will find a link that will enable you to join the pack. If you prefer to support a current pack member, you will find her or his name listed at the bottom of the page. Just click on the person’s name and you will be taken to his or her page where you can click on the "Support me!" link (near the upper right corner) to make your contribution.

The strut takes place on Saturday, September 22, 2012, so there is plenty of time to join the pack and sign up supporters. We hope you will join us and strut your mutt to help provide spay-neuter surgery for animals living in low-income households. If you do, be sure to post a photo of you you and your dog "walking" for the cause on the SNAP Facebook page (and "like" us if you haven't already)!

Spay-neuter is the single most effective way to reduce the number of animals that end up in shelters, so every "mile" you walk is a smile for some animal who could really use a break!

SNAP San Antonio Fixes Cats in Laredo
Mobile Clinic Sterilizes 84 Felines in Laredo Thanks to Gateway Gatos
SNAP team spayed and neutered 84 cats in Laredo recently.

The SNAP San Antonio mobile clinic team spayed 52 female cats and neutered 32 male cats in Laredo, Texas, during a two-day visit in early May. That’s a total of 84 felines. Birdie Torres, president of Gateway Gatos pointed out that the Laredo shelter euthanizes approximately 30 animals a week, so this visit alone eliminated almost 3 weeks of feline euthanasia cases in the city. The mobile clinic will return in early June for a second visit. The first clinic was made possible thanks to Gateway Gatos, a local feline welfare organization that secured $5,000 in funding for the purpose from the Laredo city council. The event took place in the parking lot of the Big Lots! store located at 2310 Saunders St. The only cost was a $1 registration fee.

The mobile clinic is returning for a second visit on June 4-5, 2012. This trip is being sponsored by the Laredo Animal Protective Society. A total of 100 prospective clients have registered for that event and 87 more were put on a waiting list. Registration is now closed for the event. "Although this is just a small beginning, hopefully it'll give information out to the public to realize how important it is," said Mary Kate Lawler, D.V.M. and SNAP San Antonio chief of staff.

BBB Recognizes SNAP Fifth Straight Year
2012 Winner of Distinction Honor Recognizes Excellence in Programs and Services
SNAP wins the BBB Winner of Distinction Award 5 years runnin

The Houston Better Business Bureau has honored SNAP for the fifth consecutive year by awarding the organization with its 2012 Winner of Distinction award. According to the BBB, the award recognizes--among other qualities--excellence in programs and services. This award is based on the total score given by a group of independent judges.

The BBB states that its judging criteria for the award includes "methods the organization uses to ensure that all marketing, promotional materials, fundraising, and advertisement claims are truthful and accurate; that collaborations and partnerships made by the organization returned value to its community beyond the scope of its charitable mission; and that the organization’s policies and practices assure excellence in programs and services." Three letters of commendation and other requirements are evaluated as well.

SNAP has been recognized by the Houston BBB with four previous Winner of Distinction awards and, in 2009 and 2011, with the Pinnacle award--the commerce organization’s highest honor. The 2012 Winner of Distinction award was presented to SNAP at the BBB Awards for Excellence luncheon at noon on Wednesday, May 2, 2012, at Houston’s InterContinental Hotel.

San Antonio Area Foundation Honors SNAP
Award Recognizes Agency Efforts as "Talk About It" Campaign Participant
Marcy Lynch and Dr. Mary Lawler accept award from Gavin Nich
SNAP staffers Marcy Lynch and Mary Kate Lawler, D.V.M., accepting SAAF "Cut Above the Rest" award from foundation's Gavin Nichols.

The SNAP San Antonio team has received recent recognition from the San Antonio Area Foundation (SAAF). The foundation gave SNAP its "Cut Above the Rest" award for the excellent spay-neuter services it provided to the community under the city’s Talk About It campaign. The award was presented at an appreciation luncheon held by the foundation for participating campaign partners on Wednesday, May 9, 2012.

SAAF has helped fund SNAP spay-neuter programs for many years with generous grants. SNAP is grateful to SAAF for this wonderful honor and for its history of dedicated support to the SNAP mission to prevent the suffering and death of dogs and cats due to overpopulation and preventable diseases, especially in low-income areas.

Upcoming SNAP Events
Saturday, June 2, 2012 - Houston, TX
  Shampooch Dog Wash Benefiting SNAP
A donation gets your dirty dog clean thanks to Pet Paradise Resort and Whole Foods Market.

Hedda HoundHedda Hound Banner

Hello Darlings!

Recently I was having tea (well, water) with a group of dear friends at a local bark park when someone mentioned a news article about dog bites. It seems that mail carriers in Houston are more likely to be bitten than those in any other American city except Los Angeles or San Diego. The news comes from a newly released study from the U.S. Postal Service. I told my friends I just couldn’t believe it. I said to them, "I’m sure none of us would ever even think of such a thing!" It was then that I noticed one of my friends, I’ll call him Chewie, wouldn’t meet my gaze. I ignored it at the time, but imagine my shock when I later received a letter from him ‘fessing up to a potentially disastrous gaffe from his past. He asked that I run it in my column in the hope that it might help some other canine avoid a similarly unfortunate incident:

Dear Hedda,

I am so ashamed to admit this, but I once went after the mail carrier who delivers mail to my human family. Fortunately for all concerned, I didn’t get him... and by "get" I mean bite. Before you judge me too harshly, allow me to explain. I was just a pup at the time--about 8 months old. I was in our fenced yard, and while the mailbox is outside the fence, the carrier had a registered letter that required a signature. This meant he had to come inside the fence and ring the doorbell. I didn’t see him until he was halfway up the sidewalk, and it startled me when I did. Instinct thus kicked in, and I tore across the yard towards him snarling a warning. You have never seen a human run so fast! I thought it was hilarious. Well, I did at the time anyway. He got through the gate just in the nick of time. If he had been half a second slower I would have had a mouth full of his calf.

I was so proud of myself, Hedda. I was convinced that I had protected the family homestead and would be hailed as a hero. This was not to be. Suddenly the front door of the house swung open, and I heard Gladys (that’s not her real name, but that’s what I’ll call her) yell, "NO, Chewie!" I was shocked. Shocked! Gladys then rushed over to the fence and apologized profusely to the mail carrier. She explained that I had just been adopted and had not yet been "fixed." Despite her reassurances that I would be friendlier after I had been "socialized" and neutered, the mail carrier warned her that our address would be listed as having a dangerous animal if I ever came after him again. This would result in Gladys having to drive to the post office to pick up the mail. He also said that if I bit him, the postal service might have me "removed and destroyed."

Gladys took me to be neutered just a few days later, and I have to say that it calmed me down a bit. I am now no longer likely to bite first and ask questions later.  I will also mention that she spent a lot of time helping me get used to being around people. Now I have a much better sense of who is an innocent visitor and who might present a genuine threat to the household. The mail carrier still watches me like a hawk, but I just lay on the porch and smile. Hopefully one day he will forgive me. I thought it might help if I shared my story with you and your readers. Maybe if they learn from my example it will redeem me in the eyes of the U.S.P.S.

Sign me,
Less Bitey

Dear L.B.,

You were lucky indeed. Our human friends are legally liable for any injury we cause to another human being. Whether we bite a mail carrier or someone who isn’t an employee of the postal service, it’s serious business. It can get you quarantined to for rabies testing. If you are cleared for rabies, you may still be put to death if you are declared to be a "vicious" dog. Your human friend may also get sued by the person who was bitten. (Yes, the mail carrier could have sued Gladys if you had bitten him.) Biting a mail carrier also creates the risk of losing mail delivery to your house for as long as you remain alive.

As bad as the bite statistics for mail carriers are, there is one thing that is worse. The American Veterinary Medical Association reports that indicates that half of all dog bite victims are children. Kids are rambunctious. Many of them don’t know how to act around an unfamiliar canine. They end up startling the dog accidentally, and then instinct kicks end and things go downhill from there.

Neutering you was a wise decision on Gladys' part, and socializing you--helping you to become comfortable around other human beings--was no less important. Most dog bites involve unneutered male dogs. Neutering can reduce aggressive tendencies. That means you will be less likely to have a sudden urge to chomp down on a curious stranger. Socialization makes you less nervous around people you don’t know well, so both factor into reducing the chances you will bite someone without thinking about it long and hard.

Is there ever a situation where it is okay to bite a human? Yes. If a person wearing a ski mask crawls through the kitchen window at 3 a.m., have at it. Growl and bark a lot first though. You want everyone in the house to know what’s going on. Besides, one good growl may turn the intruder around.

If all humans who kept dogs had them sterilized and made sure they were properly socialized, there would be a lot fewer (unjustified) dog bites in the world.
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:

   Kronkosky Charitable Foundation, $50,000

Girl Scout Troop 15338 Helps the Animals
Troop Collects Wish List Items for Houston Spay-Neuter and Animal Wellness Clinic
The girls of GSA Troop 15338 with leader Eva Arnold and frie
Girl Scout Troop 15338 and troop leader Eva Arnold with the supplies they collected for the Houston SNAP clinic.

The Girl Scout Law includes the admonition to "make the world a better place." Recently Troop 15338 did just that by having a donation drive for the SNAP Spay-Neuter and Animal Wellness Clinic in Houston. They went through their neighborhoods and left brown paper bags on their neighbors’ porches. The bags included a note from the troop explaining that the drive would benefit the dogs and cats of Houston through SNAP. It also specified a date on which the girls would come by to pick up the bags. Included was a copy of the clinic’s wish list--which acted as a check list of the items the girls were collecting. When they returned to retrieve the bags, the girls discovered that the drive had been a great success! Not only did they collect over a dozen bags of supplies, they also received a cash donation of $50 for the clinic.

SNAP is immensely grateful to the wonderful young ladies of Troop 15338 and troop leader Eva Arnold for their efforts on behalf of our furry friends. Their actions will go far in helping us to reduce the number of unwanted dogs and cats being born. SNAP has benefited from the scouts strong character and admirable sense of responsibility, and we are confident that the entire world will benefit as they grow into strong and caring women.

Madame AstroCat[object Object]

Dear Readers,

Summer has arrived. It’s time to play! Actually, we should play year round; it’s just that summer readily puts us in mood to do so. Do you play with your cat(s)? If not, I have one question for you: Don’t you like your cat(s)? Cats need to play, and there is no better playmate for a cat than you! Granted, if you have more than one cat you will often find that they play with each another. That doesn’t mean they wouldn’t enjoy a little recreation with you as well. To them, after all, you are just a very large cat. (Okay, you are a very large cat that walks on its hind legs and makes strange noises with your mouth and... Never mind.) What kind of games do kitties like to play? Funny you should ask, because this month I unveil Madame Astrocat’s Top Ten Games to Play with Your Cat:

10. Laser Chase - This is a simple game, but it requires that you buy a cat laser toy. (We can have plenty of fun without expensive toys--not that a kitty laser toy is terribly expensive.) Anyway, this game involves using the toy to shine a bright dot on the floor, the wall, or some other appropriate surface. You can move the dot around, run it up under furniture, or even make it seem to disappear under a rug or a low piece of furniture by turning it off as soon as the dot reaches the object. It’s simple and most people already know about it, but cats enjoy it so much I just had to include it. Note: Business pointer lasers are very strong and may injure your cat's eyes.  Use only cat toy lasers for this game!

9. Shadow Dancing - This is effectively the inverse of the Laser Chase, and it can be played on any sunny day. How is it played? If you’ve ever made shadow puppets on the wall you’re already halfway there. All you have to do is make enticing shadows on the floor that capture the attention of your cat. Some cats go wild over shadows. Others seem to inherently understand that they aren’t physical objects worth chasing, so this game works best with cats that aren’t, um, terribly smart. There’s nothing wrong with that!

8. Catch - This game comes in various forms, but the basic pattern is that you toss an object in your cat’s direction, and he either catches it or bats it back to you (or towards you at least). The object can be a lightweight ball or cat toy. I don’t have to tell you not to throw a hard heavy object at your cat, right? The game can be played while your cat is sitting, standing, or lying down. If the cat is lying on his side, toss the object towards his stomach and he is likely to clutch at it and claw it with his rear paws. An object tossed closer to the front paws is more likely to be batted back. A standing or sitting cat may bat the object back or pounce on it. It’s a good time in any event.

7. Spider Hand - Have you ever seen a cat play with a spider? Now you can give your cat the same kind of entertainment without the danger of being bitten. Just make your hand into a claw (or spider-like) shape, put it on the floor near your cat, and let your fingers to the walking. Slowly approach your cat. Stop occasionally and lift your middle finger. Move it about a bit as if it’s sniffing at your cat. Note: Protective gloves are recommended!

6. Shopping Spree - This is a game your cat may enjoy without you, but you can make it even more interesting with little effort. It consists of nothing more than leaving a few empty paper grocery bags sitting around. Most cats cannot resist the urge to jump into them. Where do you come in? Try gently scratching at the side of a bag that your cat is inside.

5. Peek-a-boo - Not all cats like to play this game, but the ones who do just love it. First, get your cat’s attention. Next, duck down behind a sofa or a large chair. Pop your head up--just for an instant--at irregular intervals. This type of behavior can be very intriguing to a cat. Once you have the pattern established, wait a little longer before popping your head up. Note: Some cats will launch themselves at your head after a few minutes of this!

4. Chase - This game requires nothing more than your cat and a ball. A ball with a bell or rattle inside only adds to the fun. The game usually goes like this: "See the ball? Get the ball! Get the ball! Who’s got the ball? You got the ball? Get it! Get it! Get the ball! Yea! You got the ball! Good kitty! Good kitty!" Enough said?

3. Jumping Snake - There is no actual snake involved in this game, so it probably won’t surprise you to hear that there is no actual jumping either. There is, however, a nice piece of cotton clothesline about 6 feet long and your hand. Just hold one end of the line in your hand and wiggle the other end anywhere within 3 or 4 feet of your cat. He or she will take care of the rest.

2. Paws n’ Toes - Position your cat on one side of a closed door and yourself on the other. Poke your toes under the door for just an instant. Shortly after you pull them back, you should see a paw poke under the door. If not, try poking your toes under again, but not in the same position. Again, do it quickly. Once your cat pokes his paw under the door, see if you can tap the end of it with your toes before he pulls it back. If he pulls his paw back, poke your toes under the door again. This game can go back and forth quite a while, or until your toes get clawed off.

1. Catnip in a Sock - This is a special game in that it involves, um, drugs. Catnip is really more of an herb than a drug, but the effect on cats is indistinguishable. Most cats are genetically predisposed to be susceptible to its charm, but some are not. If your cat is, you can make a dandy game by filling the toe of an old sock with catnip, tying the sock in a knot to seal the herb inside, and then tossing it to your cat. What starts as a game of catch may quickly give way to you watching your cat roll around on the floor completely enraptured with her new toy. It’s not exactly a game for two, but isn’t it worth it to see your feline friend so happy?

Quote of the Month
"Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring--it was peace." ~ Milan Kundera

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