News & Events


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

   Tails of Three Cities Winners Coming Soon
   Help Diane Win One for the Animals!
   Four More Stars from Charity Navigator
   Pasadena Book Drive Benefits Clinic Project
   Strut Your Mutt in September
   You Can Help When You Shop Kroger

Upcoming SNAP Events
   A Dog's Life by Hedda Hound
   New SNAP Grants

   SA Community Cats: 71 Down, 99 to Go
   Barks & Burlesque Raised $467 for SNAP
   Fabulous Felines by Madame Astrocat
   Quote of the Month

- 24,869 -
The number of dogs and cats
helped by your gifts between
Jan. 1 and June 30, 2012.

SNAP has sterilized over

dogs and cats since being
founded in 1993.

Tails of Three Cities Winners Coming Soon
Winners of Online Contest Will See Artwork of Furry Friends on SNAP T-shirts
Tails of Three Cities winners to be announced soon!

Voting in the Tails of Three Cities t-shirt contest came to an end at 10 pm this past Thursday. The winners will be announced on or about Friday, August 10, 2012. There are cat and dog winners in each of three cities: Houston, Pasadena, and San Antonio for a total of six winners. The winning photos will be turned into gorgeous artwork by Houston artist April Murphy and then printed on new SNAP t-shirts! The t-shirts will then go on sale on the SNAP website.

Winners receive a t-shirt featuring their dog or cat, of course, as well as a print of the artwork, and a SNAP gift bag. Artwork of each winner will also be displayed at the SNAP clinics, on the SNAP website, on SNAP social media pages, and in next month’s issue of SNAPtales.

Even if you didn’t win, each vote cast represents a dollar that will fund SNAP spay-neuter programs that reduce the number of unwanted dogs and cats being born. Unwanted animals are often dumped in the streets or dropped off at shelters. Either way, they face the likelihood of an early death. Your votes have helped prevent animals from being born only to suffer and die, so in that sense we are all winners.
Tails of Three Cities was sponsored by AEM Gallery and Office Effects Inc. SNAP is grateful to both of them and to all who entered and voted.

To learn more about SNAP and the fight against animal overpopulation, visit the SNAP website or visit our Facebook page or our Twitter profile.

Help Diane Win One for the Animals!

Momentum’s Diane Caplan Faces Tough Competition in Effort to Win $4,000 for SNAP
Diane Caplan is out to win, but she needs your help!
Diane Caplan needs your votes to win in the Verizon/Modern Luxury "4G for Charity" contest. She has selected SNAP as her charity, so a win means $4,000 for spay-neuter! Click on her photo to vote!

Diane Caplan needs your help. Last month we told you about her effort to win $4,000 for spay-neuter by earning your votes while blogging and posting to social media from a Samsung Galaxy tablet via the Verizon 4GLTE network. She has done an amazing job and has led for most of the contest. Now, however, she faces a formidable opponent in the form of a radio disc jockey named Madd Hatta. The two have been trading the lead back and forth over the last few days of July. Will you help Diane be in the lead when the contest ends?

Caplan is one of four local competitors in the "4G for Charity: The Power Is in Your Hands" contest, and whoever wins will bring home $4,000 for the charity of his or her choice. Caplan, who is a longtime advocate for animals, chose SNAP. She is up against three other Houston-area celebrities, including Hatta, Chef Phillippe Schmit, and football player Owen Daniels.

Voting is free, easy, and gets you entered for great prizes including a Samsung Galaxy tablet of your own. Regardless of whether you win, the animals will win if enough SNAP supporters visit the contest website every day and vote for Diane.

Ms. Caplan is the ecommerce and marketing director for the Momentum Jaguar, Volvo, Porsche dealership and the Porsche/Audi West dealership in Houston. She and Momentum are also great supporters of SNAP. The contest is sponsored by Verizon and Modern Living.

To vote, visit Diane’s page on the contest website and click on the "Vote" button at the bottom of her profile. After you vote, please share information about the contest with everyone you know so they can vote for Diane too. You will be helping her fight animal overpopulation in the process!
You can follow Diane’s blogging about the contest on the following social media pages:
  Twitter: @dicaplanhouston

SNAP is immensely grateful to Ms. Caplan for making us her chosen beneficiary for the contest and for the amazing support that she and Momentum provide for the animals.

Four More Stars from Charity Navigator
Nonprofit Rating Agency Bestows Top Honor on SNAP Second Year Running
SNAP has been rated a Four-Star Charity by Charity Navigator

We are excited to announce that Charity Navigator has bestowed its top honor, a four-star rating, on SNAP for the second year in a row. This is doubly exciting news given that the nonprofit rating agency revised its rating system for this year’s selection process. The SNAP rating page can be viewed on the agency’s website.

President and Chief Executive Officer of Charity Navigator notified SNAP Executive Director James R. Weedon, DVM, of the award in a letter dated July 1, 2012. Mr. Berger noted in the letter that "receiving four out of a possible four stars indicates that [the] organization adheres to good governance and other best practices that minimize the chance of unethical activities and consistently executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way. Only 17% of the charities we rate have received at least 2 consecutive 4-star evaluations, indicating that SNAP outperforms most other charities in America."

Charity Navigator is a highly respected nonprofit rating agency that Berger says has been profiled in Forbes, Business Week, and Kiplinger’s Financial Magazine, among others. SNAP is very grateful to Charity Navigator for this recognition as it brings reassurance to our supporters that SNAP is a trustworthy steward of their contributions.

Pasadena Book Drive Benefits Clinic Project
Proceeds from Upcoming WookieBooks Book Drive to Benefit Fund for New Clinic
WookieBooks pays SNAP for YOUR used books!

SNAP is on the verge of launching its third book drive with WookieBooks, and this time all of the money raised is going to help fund a new SNAP clinic that will serve Pasadena and the greater Southeast Harris County area. Everyone who donates books will also be entered into a drawing to receive a $50 Amazon gift card provided by WookieBooks!

If you have old books to get rid of and want to help, bring them to the Pasadena Animal Control & Adoption facility at 5150 Burke Rd. in Pasadena on Saturday, August 11, 2012, between 10 am and 2 pm. All books collected will be sold online by WookieBooks, and a percentage of the proceeds will be returned to SNAP.

We are looking for:

    Hardbacks and paperbacks of all genres--the more the better
    Textbooks--preferably no more than five years old and with ISBN numbers
    Certification study guides
    Technical, medical, and law texts
    DVDs in original cases (no bootlegs or burned copies)--obscure titles welcome!
    CDs and Movies on VHS tape (again, no bootlegs or burned copies, please)

Please do not donate:

    Damaged (warped, water-damaged, moldy, etc.) books
    Academic journals
    Literary Criticisms
    Encyclopedias (World Book, Britannica etc.)
    Magazines or Periodicals (including National Geographic)
    Reader’s Digest Condensed Books
    Activity Books
    Harlequin Romance Novels

WookieBooks is a for-profit company that focuses on raising funds for nonprofits. Previous SNAP book drives conducted by the company have been very successful. The company recently reported that SNAP will be receiving $68.75 for sales in the month of June from our two previous book drives. The kind folks at WookieBooks like to point out that while some rescue animals and others rescue books, they rescue both.

Strut Your Mutt in September
Your Participation in Virtual Dog Walk Will Help Prevent Homeless Animals
Strut Your Mutt with SNAP to raise money for spay-neuter!

Strut Your Mutt, sponsored by Best Friends Animal Society, is hands down the easiest way to help prevent dogs and cats from being born unwanted. All you have to do is sign up for the event and then walk your dog on Saturday, September 22, 2012. Wait, it’s even easier than that. Don’t have a dog or can’t get out for extended "walkies" that day? You don’t have to! Strut Your Mutt will give you credit for taking a virtual dog walk!

Best Friends Animal Society created Strut Your Mutt to raise money for animal welfare agencies. It will be an actual walk in certain cities, but in cities without a walk, you can participate without leaving the comfort of your sofa! Just sign up as part of the SNAP Pack, and then ask your friends and family to support you. If you prefer, you can support someone else in the SNAP pack.

To register or support another walker, visit the SNAP pack page on the Strut Your Mutt website. There you will find links that will enable you to join the pack or support a current pack member. Current pack members’ names are 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. If you walk for the SNAP Pack, please take a moment to post a photo of you and your dog "walking" for the cause on the SNAP Facebook page. Please "Like" the SNAP page if you have not already done so while you are there.

Last year’s strut raised $700,000 for participating nonprofits, and the goal this year is $1 million! Every dollar raised by the SNAP pack will go to our spay-neuter programs that help prevent animals from being born unwanted. Spay-neuter is the single most effective way to reduce the number of animals that end up in shelters, so every "mile" you walk will help!.

You Can Help When You Shop Kroger
Supporting SNAP through the Kroger Neighbor-to-Neighbor Program Costs You Nothing
Kroger logo

We would like to remind all of you who shop at Kroger that you can benefit SNAP spay-neuter programs at no cost to yourself every time you shop. To do so, all you have to do is to enroll in the Kroger Neighbor-to-Neighbor program. The grocery firm will begin tracking all of the money you spend when you shop in its stores. When the program year ends (in April 2013), the total dollars spent by every shopper who selected SNAP as his or her beneficiary is compared to the total spent by those who selected other nonprofits. SNAP then receives an equivalent percentage of a $1 million fund that Kroger has set aside for the program. If that sounds complicated, just remember, the more you shop at Kroger, the more money Kroger gives SNAP to use for spaying and neutering animals.

It’s really simple to participate, and it costs you nothing. All you have to do is get a Kroger Plus Shopper's Card (which is free) and designate SNAP as your nonprofit of choice. How do you do that? Simply take a copy of the customer enrollment letter with you the next time you shop. Hand it to the cashier when you check out, and he or she will scan it. That’s all there is to it!

The 2011 Kroger Neighbor-to-Neighbor program brought in $1,699.44 for SNAP. That will spay and neuter a lot of dogs and cats, but we can do much better if we all join in to help. Please enroll (or re-enroll) in the program today, and make SNAP your designated beneficiary. Thanks to all of you who have already done so!

Upcoming SNAP Events
Saturday, August 4, 2012 - San Antonio, TX
  San Antonio Pet Expo
Visit our booth to participate in a raffle and get dog training tips. See SNAP onstage at 3:15 pm.
Saturday, August 11, 2012 - Pasadena, TX
  WookieBooks Book Drive for Pasadena/SE Harris County Clinic Project
Bring your old (but undamaged books) from 10 am to 2 pm to help raise money for a new clinic!
Saturday, September 1, 2012 - The Woodlands, TX
  Wonder Pet Expo
SNAP needs volunteers to staff our booth at this expo event at the Legend Sports Complex.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - Natalia, TX
  San Antonio Mobile Clinic Visits Natalia, TX
One of several Medina Co. dates funded by Castroville Nip & Tuck. Details in September issue.
Saturday, September 22, 2012 - All locations
  Strut Your Mutt
Join this virtual dog walk and you can raise money for SNAP without leaving your easy chair.

Hedda HoundHedda Hound Banner

Hello Darlings!

Last month we heard from Leo the Labrador who related a frightening story about him and his brother, Lance. The two dogs found and played with a bat that turned out to be rabid. Unfortunately, we are getting reports of more such incidents this year. It would seem that rabies is on the rise, particularly in and around Houston, Texas. Leo’s letter amply illustrated the danger last month. This month, instead of sharing a similar letter, I have decided to relate information from an alert sent out to area veterinarians by the Veterinary Public Health Division of Harris County Public Health & Environmental Sciences.

The alert reveals that five rabid bats have been found in unincorporated areas of Harris County since the first of the year. The animals were found in the following zip codes:

  77389 - North-Northwest Harris County (Creekside Park area)
  77073 - North Harris County (Westfield area)
  77015 - East Harris County (Cloverleaf area)
  77346 - Northeast Harris County (Atascocita area)--Two rabid bats found

A horse was also found to be rabid in the 77484 zip code (Waller area) in May of this year.

While your zip code may not be among those that have reported rabid animals, remember that bats and other animals know nothing of borders. You are urged to assume that any unknown animal you or your dogs or cats come across outdoors may be infected with rabies. You should not handle strange animals with your bare hands--even if they are dead. Do not allow your furry friends to have any physical contact with such animals. You should immediately report any contact between yourself or your animals and a bat to Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services - Veterinary Public Health Division by calling 281-999-3191.

You should also make sure that your furry friends are current on their rabies vaccinations. A vaccination does not guarantee that your animal will not become infected if he or she comes into contact with a rabid animal; however, it does make it much less likely. The SNAP clinic at 1801 Durham Dr., Suite 1 (facing the eastbound I-10 feeder) offers rabies vaccinations on a walk-in basis. No appointment is required.

When it comes to rabies, the admonition "better safe than sorry" has never been truer. 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:

    Mary M. Digs Foundation, $19,100
    Charles Jago Elder Foundation, $1,000

SA Community Cats: 71 Fixed, 99 to Go
Funding from Summerlee and Bosack & Kruger Remains for Animals in 78228 Zip Code
Community cats include ferals, strays, and free-roaming anim

Two generous nonprofit foundations recently joined forces to provide SNAP with grant funding for a program to sterilize 170 community cats from the 78228 zip code in San Antonio. The program, which was reported on in the May issue of SNAPtales, has resulted in 71 animals being spayed or neutered so far. Sufficient funds remain to sterilize another 99 animals. The Summerlee Foundation and the Leonard X. Bosack & Bette M. Kruger Charitable Foundation teamed up to make the funds available to help assess the strategic value of focusing Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) in geographical areas known to have the largest numbers of homeless cats.

If you live within the target zip code and perform TNR in the area--or know of stray, feral, or other free-roaming cats in 78228--you are encouraged to bring them in for sterilization. They will also be vaccinated against rabies at no additional cost.

Note that this is one of two such programs in which SNAP is participating. We are also working with other San Antonio spay-neuter organizations on a community cat TNR program funded by Best Friends Animal Society that covers 14 San Antonio-area zip codes. Please see the July 2012 issue of SNAPtales for a list of qualifying zip codes and complete information about that program.

To participate in this program, you must bring the cat(s) to the SNAP clinic at 6758 Ingram Rd. in San Antonio for surgery. Cats will be accepted from residents of the 78228 zip code or from trappers identifying where cats were trapped within the zip code. All cats will have the tips of their left ears 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.

TNR has been shown to be the most effective way available to reduce populations of free-roaming cats. The practice involves capturing the animals, sterilizing them, and then returning them to the same area where they were trapped. This study seeks to leverage the effectiveness of TNR by focusing such efforts on those geographical areas known to have the highest populations of community cats. The zip code chosen for this study matches this description.

SNAP is sincerely grateful to the The Summerlee Foundation and to the Bosack & Kruger Charitable Foundation for providing the funding for this important program.

Barks & Burlesque Raised $467 for SNAP
LGBT Community Entertainers Work Hard for the Money
Tarina belts one out for the animals at Barks & Burlesqu
Tarina belts one out for the dogs and cats at the Barks & Burlesque fundraiser. The event raised $467 for SNAP spay-neuter programs.

A bevy of boisterous and beautiful entertainers, led by the inimitable Miss Gia Elektra, raised $467 for SNAP spay and neuter programs in July. The money was earned during the Barks & Burlesque show, an LGBT community fundraiser presented by Miss Elektra. Miss Lana Blake hosted the show and was by turns both adorable and audacious. Among the other performers who entertained the guests were Electra, Steffany Vaun, Tarina, Nikkita Elektra, Lexi Wade, Padme Down, and 2012 Miss Gay Pride Houston Ashleey Houston. The performer Cobain made a special appearance as well. All of them worked hard to earn the appreciation of the crowd--appreciation that was expressed in the form of dollars donated to help animals.

The event was held on Friday, July 6, 2012, at Tony’s Corner Pocket at 817 W. Dallas St. in Houston. SNAP is deeply grateful to Miss Gia Elektra, Miss Lana Blake, Tony’s Corner Pocket, and all of the entertainers who worked so hard to make the show a fiercely fun fundraiser that will help reduce the number of dogs and cats born unwanted.

Madame AstroCat[object Object]

Dear Readers,

Let’s try a little feline free association. What word pops into your head when I say "cat carrier?" If you are like many cats I know, it’s the word "RUN!" Why? Perhaps it’s because the cat carrier often evokes the specter of a trip to the veterinary clinic. Going to the vet can be scary, even though the doctor’s goal is to help us. The carrier need not be a source of stress, however, if our human friends will just take a few simple steps to break down the ominous association it holds for us. Jennifer Coates, DMV, covered several ways of doing this in her Fully Vetted blog on July 19, 2012. I have expanded upon her ideas a bit to create this month’s list of the top ten ways to de-mystify the cat carrier:

10. Leave It Out - If the carrier is stored in the garage, we only see it when scary things are about to happen. If instead you leave it out in an area we frequent, we get used to seeing it. Some of the fear it induces is because of our lack of familiarity with it. Give us a chance to get to know the thing.

9. Make It Comfy - Do you want to ride to the doctor’s office in a hard plastic box? The idea isn’t very appealing to us either. Put a nice fluffy towel in the bottom of the carrier so we have someplace relaxing to lay while we are in transit. A spare kitty bed works even better; especially if it smells like us because we have spent time lounging on it.

8. Make It Familiar - Another way to make the carrier less intimidating is to make it smell inviting. Keeping it in the house where it will pick up familiar smells is a start. Who knows, we might even rub up against it imparting some of our own scent to it. There are also a number of sprays designed to exert a calming effect over frazzled kitties. You might want to try several to see which one works best for your cat.

7) Make It a Treat - I love treats and so do most of my furry friends. We even consider them a special reward if they aren’t doled out too frequently. We might even be willing to walk into a cat carrier if that’s the only way we could get one. Don’t do it just when you want to take us to the vet. Do it all the time; otherwise, we will become wise to your wily ways.

6) Change It Up - Remember what I just said about treats? Make sure you don’t get us in a pattern by giving them to us at the same time every day. If we need to go to the vet, it isn’t likely that our appointment will exactly coincide with treat time. If it does not, you will be working against our routine by trying to use a yummy nibble to coax us into the carrier.

5) Close It Up - Getting us inside a carrier is all well and good if we don’t freak out once you close the door. How can you ease our minds about this little hurdle? Try closing the door occasionally while we are inside having our treat. I assure you we will let you know when we want out, and when we want out, let us out--unless we are on our way to the vet.

4) Make It Fun - I have this fuzzy toy at home, and I just love playing with it! I chase that thing everywhere! I would chase it anywhere! Even (gulp) into a carrier! Incorporate the box of doom into playtime by tossing our favorite plaything into it. If we don’t go in after it the first time, don’t worry. Just pull it back out and let the fun continue. Toss it in again the next time we play and the time after that. Eventually we will likely overcome our reluctance to go after it.

3) Turn Us On - Is your cat crazy about catnip? Some cats are, and some cats are not. (It’s a genetic thing.) If your cat is susceptible to the charms of this particular herb, toss a sachet full of it into the carrier. Who knows, you might just find your furbaby rolling around inside without even being asked.

2) Take Us Out - Once we are completely comfortable with being inside the carrier, even with the door closed, take us for a ride in the car. Start with a really short trip--maybe just a few blocks. Gradually increase the distance until we are up to doing a few miles at a time. Once we get back home, let us out right away, return the box to its usual spot, and don’t make a big deal of it.

1) Keep Your Cool - Eventually, of course, one of our little trips in the carrier will take us to the vet. If you have done your job well, the only part that will seem stressful to us is when we are carried into the vet’s office and examined. Even then you can help us keep our cool by keeping your own. We pick up on your moods more than you might realize. If you can be comforting and reassuring rather than fearful or stressed out, it will make everything easier for us, and we will be eternally grateful.

Quote of the Month
"A good dog is one of the best things of all to be." ~ Dean Koontz, The Darkest Evening of the Year

No-Birth is the First Step to No-Kill


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