News & Events


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

   Strut Your Mutt to Reduce the Glut
   Murphy Renders Tails of Three Cities T-Shirts
   Art Festival Tradition Saves Lives
   WookieBooks, Magnolia Cafe Back Pasadena Clinic
   The Honest Kitchen Makes SNAP Charity of Month
   ASPCA Funds San Antonio Spay-Neuter

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

   They Say It’s Your Birthday
   Harrises Provide Help That Is Vital in Lytle
   Fabulous Felines by Madame Astrocat
   Quote of the Month

- 28,977 -
The number of dogs and cats
helped by your gifts between
Jan. 1 and July 31, 2012.

SNAP has sterilized over

dogs and cats since being
founded in 1993.

Strut Your Mutt to Reduce the Glut
Join SNAP in this Virtual Dog Walk to Raise Funds for Spay-Neuter
You can participate in this walk-a-thon without walking a st

Join SNAP for the easiest walk-a-thon in history, and you will help raise funds to reduce the glut of homeless animals that fill our animal shelters. Strut Your Mutt is a virtual walk-a-thon, meaning all you have to do is sign up, gather supporters, and have them send in their donations. No actual walking is required! Of course, if you want to take your mutt for a walk on your own, you are welcome to do so. Mark your calendar for Saturday, September 22, 2012, because that is the day this non-walk-a-thon ends! SNAP has set a goal of raising $10,000 in the Strut Your Mutt virtual walk-a-thon, but we are still over $9,000 from reaching that goal, so we need your help!

Strut Your Mutt is sponsored by Best Friends Animal Society, and in some cities the agency will be holding actual walk-a-thons, but it has created virtual events in the cities where no event is planned. You can support SNAP in the event by signing 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 who is “walking” with the SNAP pack. To do so, visit the SNAP pack page on the Strut Your Mutt website. Near the top of the page is a link to join the pack. Supporting a current pack member is as easy as clicking on his or her name at the bottom of the page.

If you do join 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. If you have not already "liked" the SNAP page, please do so while you are there.

Strut Your Mutt raised $700,000 for participating nonprofits last year. This year Best Friends has set a goal of $1 million! Every dollar raised by the SNAP pack will go to spay-neuter programs that 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! Please join today!

Murphy Renders Tails of Three Cities T-Shirts

Animal Artist Creates Artwork of Winners Who Helped Raise $10,000 for Spay-Neuter
New SNAP t-shirts will feature the amazing art of April Murp

Houston animal artist April Murphy is hard at work immortalizing the winners of the Tails of Three Cities contest winners for use on new SNAP t-shirts. Once Ms. Murphy has completed the renderings, they will be screen printed onto comfy and stylish new shirts that you will be able buy on the SNAP website! While there are only six winners, all who participated can be proud of having helped SNAP raise $10,000 to fund our ongoing spay-neuter programs.

The winners of the contest were announced on the SNAP Facebook Page in early August, but they are listed below in case you missed that announcement:

Dog - Dougie   *   Cat - Meercat

San Antonio
Dog - Suzie  *  Cat - Cannoli


Dog - Tripod  *  Cat – Seither

Each winner of the contest will receive a t-shirt featuring his or her animal, of course, as well as a print of the artwork, and a SNAP gift bag. A print of the artwork for each winner will be displayed at SNAP clinics, on the SNAP website, on SNAP social media pages, and in a future issue of SNAPtales.

SNAP spay-neuter programs reduce the number of dogs and cats that are born unwanted. Unwanted animals are often dumped in the streets or dropped off at shelters. The prospects for such animals are grim, and most meet an early demise. Your participation will help prevent animals from being born only to suffer and die. SNAP is grateful to Ms. Murphy for donating her amazing talents in support of the contest and we are grateful to all entered and voted!

Art Festival Tradition Saves Lives
Your Efforts at Bayou City Art Festival Prevent Countless Needless Deaths
Uncle SNAP wants YOU for the Bayou City Art Festival!

Those of you who volunteer for SNAP at the Bayou City Art Festival each year rightfully deserve to be proud of your service. Your efforts have raised literally hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years. These funds have been used to spay and neuter many thousands of dogs and cats, thus preventing the births of tens of thousands of unwanted kittens and puppies. Your toil has literally saved an immense number of animals from dying alone and terrified in shelters and on our streets.

It should not come as much of a surprise then if we ask you once again to stand up for the animals by volunteering for the fall 2012 Bayou City Art Festival. This wonderful tradition of caring continues on the weekend of Saturday, October 13-Sunday, October 14, 2012. We need hundreds of helping hands to serve icy beverages to thirsty festival attendees. The festival, in return, allows us to keep all tips and hands over a substantial percentage of the sales receipts. Between the spring and fall festivals, SNAP typically nets somewhere in the neighborhood of $40,000 a year thanks to your assistance.

We ask that you commit to work one or more shifts of four to six hours. There are three shifts each day. You are free to spend the rest of that day roaming the festival because admission to the festival is included on the day you volunteer. You will receive a free t-shirt, which we ask that you wear during your shift(s). Please volunteer as early as possible so we can be sure to have your size available.  Here are the shifts for this year’s fall festival:

Saturday, Oct. 13, 2011
10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 14, 2011
10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

To volunteer, send an email message to or call 713-862-3863 Monday through Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. and ask to speak to Xavier Torres. Be ready to tell us which day and shift(s) you would be willing to work and your t-shirt size. Because alcoholic beverages are served, all volunteers must be at least 18.

SNAP is deeply grateful to all of you who have participated in this longstanding tradition to help prevent the needless suffering and death of dogs and cats due to overpopulation and preventable diseases, especially in low-income areas. We look forward to seeing familiar faces again and meeting new volunteers as well. Please volunteer today!

WookieBooks, Magnolia Cafe Back Pasadena Clinic
Effort to Create Reduced-Cost Spay-Neuter Clinic Aided by Book Drive and Benefit
Pasadena clinic gets help from WookieBooks and Magnolia Cafe

The effort to create a reduced-cost SNAP spay-neuter clinic to serve Pasadena and Southeast Harris County received two funding boosts during the month of August. One came in the form of a book drive, the other in the form of a restaurant benefit.

The book drive was the third one conducted for SNAP by WookieBooks, but it was the first for the clinic project. Donors delivered their extra books into the hands of some hardworking SNAP volunteers who came out to help. The drive was—in terms of the number of books collected--just as successful as the previous two drives. Everyone who donated books was entered into a drawing to receive a $50 Amazon gift card provided by WookieBooks. The gift card was won by Jaime Hartsock. The book drive was held at the Pasadena Animal Control & Adoption Shelter on Saturday, August 11, 2012.

WookieBooks is a for-profit company that focuses on raising funds for nonprofits. The books the company collects are sold online with a substantial percentage of the proceeds going to the client charities.

The clinic project also received a funding boost from a benefit held by the Magnolia Café and Bakery. The café circulated a flyer advertising the benefit, and guests who brought in a copy of the flyer had a portion of their check donated to the clinic. Obviously a great many guests brought in copies of the flyer because the event raised $700. The event was held on Friday, August 17, 2012. Magnolia Café and Bakery is located at 5968 Fairmont Pkwy in Pasadena, TX.

SNAP is grateful to Magnolia Café and Bakery, WookieBooks, our book drive volunteers, and everyone who donated in support of these two fundraising events. When the new clinic opens its doors, it will be because you helped make it happen!

The Honest Kitchen Makes SNAP Charity of the Month
Premium Pet Food Maker Donates When You Purchase During September
Order from The Honest Kitchen in September and SNAP gets a c

The Honest Kitchen, a maker of human grade food and treats for dogs and cats, has selected SNAP as its charity of the month for September. This means that every purchase of the company’s animal food products made through its online store between now and September 30, 2012, will generate a contribution to SNAP. The company is donating a percentage of the sale price to help fund SNAP programs to reduce the number of dogs and cats that suffer the tragic consequences of animal overpopulation. To sweeten the offer, The Honest Kitchen is also extending a special discount to SNAP clients and supporters through September 30, 2012. Just enter the code SNAP2012 in the coupon code field when you check out, and you will receive 10 percent off of your online purchases. How cool is that?

Lucy Postins, the founder and president of The Honest Kitchen, began preparing homemade food for her own dog because of her love for food and healthy eating. When she decided to start a company to produce healthy foods for animals, the recipes she had devised for own her dog became the foundation for the products she developed. The Honest Kitchen starts with whole food ingredients and carefully dehydrates them to preserve their nutritional value and tasty goodness.

Check out the company’s extensive line of food and treats at The Honest Kitchen website. You might just find new and healthy products your dog or cat finds irresistible, and if you order during the month of September, your purchases will help SNAP reduce the number of animals born unwanted. That is a win-win scenario!

SNAP is grateful to The Honest Kitchen for its generous support of our mission!.

ASPCA Funds San Antonio Spay-Neuter
National Agency Provides $10,000 for Five Day Mobile Clinic Project
ASPCA gift of $10,000 funds 5 free spay-neuter days in SA!

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has awarded SNAP a $10,000 grant to fund a five day spay-neuter project in the San Antonio area. The project is enabling the SNAP mobile clinic to offer free spay-neuter  to the general public on five Wednesdays beginning on Sept. 5, 2012. (Note that not all of the dates are consecutive.)

No appointment is required to take advantage of this project. A limited number of spaces are available. A lottery system will be used to determine which animals will receive surgery in the event that there are more than the clinic can accommodate. Lottery tickets are distributed from 7:00-7:30 a.m. Selection for the lottery begins at 7:30 a.m. All clients and animals must be present at 7:30 a.m. for a chance to be selected for surgery on that day. Pick-up is the same day at the same location. A pick-up time will be assigned to you during the check in procedure if your animal is chosen for surgery. No animals are kept overnight. There is a strict limit of one animal per family per day.

Dogs and cats must be three months of age or greater on the day they are presented for surgery. Animals that do not have a current rabies vaccination will be given one at the time of surgery as required by state law at no additional cost. Do not feed adult animals after 10:00 p.m. on the night preceding surgery. Please restrain dogs on a leash and bring cats in a reliable cat carrier.

The times and locations for this series of spay-neuter events are as follows:

Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012 – H-E-B Grocery #15 – 910 Kittyhawk Rd.
Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012 – Cortez Library  – 2803 Hunter Blvd.
Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012 – H-E-B Grocery #21 – 3323 Military Dr.
Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012 – Forest Hills Library – 5245 Ingram Rd.
Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012 – Sacred Heart Church – 13466 I-35 South, Von Ormy, TX

SNAP is grateful to the ASPCA for providing the funds for this project and for their generous support of our 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
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - Natalia, TX
  San Antonio Mobile Clinic Visits Natalia, TX
This is one of a series of visits to Medina County locations funded by Castroville Nip and Tuck.
Friday, September 14, 2012 - Houston, TX
  Kate Smargiasso's Birthday FUNdraiser
SNAP board member Kate Smargiasso hosts her second annual birthday benefit for SNAP.
Saturday, September 22, 2012 - All locations
  Strut Your Mutt
It’s a dog walk-a-thon without the walk. Join the SNAP Pack to help animals the easy way.
Saturday, October 13-Sunday, October 14, 2012 - Houston, TX
  Bayou City Art Festival
Support a longstanding tradition by volunteering for SNAP at the bi-annual art festival.

Hedda HoundHedda Hound Banner

Hello Darlings!

Have you been reading about the terrible outbreak of West Nile Virus in the United States this year? A record number of cases had been reported as of late August, and the number of deaths was equally alarming. Texas is among the states hit hardest hit by the mosquito-borne disease. The fact that West Nile is spread by mosquitoes has caused some alarm in the canine community. Sprocket, a Springer Spaniel mix from Spring Branch, expresses it succinctly in this month’s letter:

Hey Hedda,

What’s up with this whole West Nile Virus thing? I know dogs can get heartworms from mosquitoes. Can we get West Nile from them too? Need the 411, Hedda, and I know you will have the answers.

Sign me… um,

Dear Sprocket,

You are a dog of few words. If only my reply could be so brief! The good news—at least for dogs—is that the Centers for Disease Control reports that dogs infected with the disease show no symptoms, so the virus likely does us little harm. Cats infected with West Nile have exhibited mild symptoms including slight fever and lethargy. The agency considers it unlikely that an infected dog or cat could transmit the disease to a human being. Even a dog bite is considered a low-risk event for transmission of West Nile. (This doesn’t mean you should feel free to start biting humans!)

Many species of birds are highly susceptible to the disease according to the CDC, so it is best if our human friends prevent us from investigating (or playing with) any dead bird carcasses we may find. They should also avoid contact with such carcasses themselves. Humans can help decrease the number of mosquito breeding areas by making sure there is no standing water on their property.

The CDC goes on to suggest that any sign of West Nile Virus in birds or other animals be considered a sign to humans that there may be infected mosquitoes in the area. It is important for humans to take precautions against the insects, such as wearing long sleeve shirts and long pants and applying an animal-safe mosquito repellant, especially when going outdoors. Neem oil is generally considered safe for dogs and cats, so long as they are not pregnant. Pregnant humans should seek alternative repellants as well. Finally, do not use neem oil to treat children with fever or viral illnesses.

West Nile Virus is a real threat to our human friends. Fortunately it poses little danger to dogs and cats. Humans should therefore focus on taking simple precautions to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes themselves. Doing so will improve their chances of avoiding this deadly disease. 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:

    Gilmore Foundation, $5,000
    Ryan Newman Foundation, $3,000
    Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, $2,500
    Marcia & Otto Koehler Foundation, $1,500
    David & Betty Sacks Foundation, $1,000

They Say It’s Your Birthday
Board Member Kate Smargiasso Holds Second Annual Birthday FUNdrasier for SNAP
Kate Smargiasso's birthday fundrasier at Capone's Bar and Ov
A good time was had by all and buckets of money were raised for SNAP spay-neuter programs at Kate Smargiasso's birthday FUNdraiser at Capone's Houston Bar and Grill last year.

Kate Smargiasso is having a birthday, and for the second year in a row, she is using it to throw a fundraising party for SNAP. This event, which takes place on Friday, September 14, 2012, will put the fun in fundraising! It will be held at Capone’s Houston Bar and Grill at 4303 Westheimer Rd. (Westheimer at Midlane) in Houston from 5:30-8:00 p.m. There will be raffles and a silent auction, and you will be able to order custom belt buckles from Look at Me Fun Accessories with $25 of each order going to SNAP. There will be an open bar with $1.00 of the cost of each drink purchased also being donated to SNAP by Capone’s. Everyone is invited, but if you can’t attend, you can still donate by visiting the event donation page on the SNAP website.

Kate and her husband, Jason Paul, are both loan officers at AmCap Mortgage, Ltd., and Jason has decided to up the ante for the fundraiser by arranging a special home loan deal. With each new Texas residential loan application for a purchase or refinance submitted before September 28, 2012, he will make a $500 donation to SNAP if the lessee mentions SNAP at the time of the initial application. The loan must, of course, close and be funded. Donations under this offer will be made after closing and funding have been completed. Loans are subject to standard mortgage guidelines and approval. Borrowers must qualify for the mortgage loan. Contact Jason Paul at 713-425-3047 for more information, or go to and click on APPLY NOW to submit an application.You can download a flyer that provides the details of the offer.

If this were not generous enough, Jason is also matching all donations made to the fundraiser by other SNAP board members up to a total of $1,000. That’s going the extra mile in support of spay-neuter! AmCap Mortgage, Ltd., and Home Team of America—a real-estate brokerage firm—are both sponsors of the event.

Ms. Smargiasso is a current member of the SNAP board of directors. SNAP is immensely grateful to Kate and Jason and to AmCap Mortgage, Ltd., Home Team of America, and Capone’s Houston Bar and Grill for their generous support!

Harrises Provide Help That Is Vital in Lytle
Mobile Clinic Sterilizes Thirty-four Animals in Lytle, Texas, Thanks to Harris Family Gift
Good Ole Boy'Girl Day in Lytle, Texas
Clients surround the SNAP mobile clinic during a previous visit to Lytle, Texas.

Thirty-four cats and dogs were spayed and neutered in the little town of Lytle, Texas, recently—thanks to the generosity of the Pam and Jim Harris family. Each animal was also provided a rabies shot, if needed, by Dr. Mary Kate Lawler, chief of staff at the SNAP San Antonio Spay-Neuter and Animal Wellness Clinic. Dr. Lawler reports that the animals “fixed” included 11 female dogs, six male dogs, 16 female cats, and one male cat. Six of the cats and one of the dogs were pregnant females.

The event took place on Wednesday, August 1, 2012, at the City of Lytle Animal Care and Control Facility. It was restricted to residents of Lytle living in the 78052 zip code. Betty Kroeger, volunteer coordinator at the animal shelter, said of the event, “I was amazed at the way so many animals were done safely.  The SNAP staff started at 7 a.m. with intakes and then did not appear out until almost 3 p.m.  It was indeed a pleasure to work with such a wonderful staff.  Even at the end of a very long day, they took the time to love on our animals here.  Truly they are living the work they were intended to do.  Thanks to the generosity of Pam Harris, so many animals’ lives were improved.  We were all pooped at the end of this day but so, so happy.”

Pam Harris is an emeritus SNAP board member, and the Harris family is a longtime supporter of the organization. Indeed, the family has funded previous mobile clinic trips to Lytle. SNAP is deeply grateful to the Harrises for their generous and ongoing contributions.

Madame AstroCat[object Object]

Dear Readers,

Are you ready for some football? A whole heck of a lot of you are around this time of year, so Madame Astrocat thought this would be a good time to explain to you why some cats like football. To clarify, we generally prefer college ball, and when I say we like it, I mean we like curling up on the arm of your chair or sofa to watch it with you. We don’t like playing it. Those pointy-ended footballs are too big and oblong to bat around very easily. Anyway, the reason we like football is because some of the teams’ ferocious feline mascots are just awesome! Don’t get me wrong. Madame Astrocat frowns upon the keeping of live animals for mascots, but most universities are enlightened enough these days to use costumed mascots. Now that we have a game plan, let’s get on to Madame Astrocat’s top ten college football mascots:

10) Shasta – SNAP is headquartered in Houston, Texas, and that makes Shasta—the mascot of the University of Houston—a shoe-in for this list. It also doesn’t hurt that the UH Cougars usually do well on the field. Some years they are downright stupendous! So why does Shasta end up in tenth place? While a costumed Shasta stirs up the fans, the university also keeps a live cougar named Shasta caged on the sidelines. C’mon, UH, give me a reason to move Shasta to the number one spot!

9) Iggy the Lion – Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles may not be a football powerhouse, but its basketball team was ranked fourth in West Coast conference play! Even better, round ball center Patsom Siame just missed a slot in the ESPN top 100. Sure, it's a small school in a tough conference, but they have the hearts of lions. Besides, the name Iggy tickles my whiskers when I say it.

8) Mingus – The Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, has no ordinary cat as its mascot. This college for students of popular musical styles has a “jazz cat” at the helm of its team spirit operation. Mingus is no doubt named in honor of jazz great Charles Mingus, and while looking suspiciously like Sylvester of Looney Tunes fame, he can also be seen sporting a pair of mascot-sized Wayfarer style sunglasses from time to time. That’s one cool cat!

7) Miss Pawla – The University of Southern Alabama mascot is described as a jaguaress, which alone is enough to justify having her on this list. Were that not enough, the mascot’s name would certainly be sufficient to clinch a spot. One presumes the costume is occupied by a female member of the student body, but with a name like Miss Pawla, it could just as easily be a pigskin loving drag queen!

6) Roomie the Lion – You may be wondering why I would choose Roomie the Lion--mascot of Southeastern Louisiana University—over Mike the Tiger of Louisiana State University. It should be obvious. While there is a costumed version of Mike, LSU also brings a live caged animal onto the field. William G.T. Shedd said, “A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.” Likewise, tigers are fun to look at in cages, but that’s not what tigers are for. Southeastern Louisiana University gets the nod for being enlightened. And isn’t enlightenment what universities are for?

5) Boko – Texas State University at San Marcos has a bobcat for a mascot, and Boko is his name-o. Sorry, I could not resist. You have to love the spirit of this small school in central Texas. Even if you are not a fan of its athletics department, you have to respect the fact that the school was ranked among the top 40 western schools academically by U.S. News and World Report. And could there be a cuter name than Boko?

4) Willie the Wildcat – This feline mascot landed on my list by virtue of serving more schools than any other mascot. Willie the Wildcat, you see, lights the fire under students at California State University, Chico University, Northwestern State University, and Kansas State University. This cat gets around so much one wonders whether he has been neutered! Perhaps Madame Astrocat should send a scout to find out.

3) Aubie – Okay, I am sure a lot of you are wondering when I’m going to get back to some of the big names in college football. Is Auburn University big enough for you? When the Auburn Tigers hit the field, the team’s mascot, Aubie, is there to rally the support of the fans in the stands. Yes, the team has been hit hard by some player losses this year, but Auburn is never a team to be underestimated—especially not with a mascot like Aubie!

2) The Tiger – It takes a lot of nerve to call your mascot The Tiger, but 14th ranked Clemson has nerve in spades. (Get it? Spayed?) Anyway, the school’s costumed mascot presents a pretty light-hearted image to have such a no-nonsense moniker. Maybe he can afford to because the Clemson team is such a threat on the field.

1) Kid and Play – The number one spot on my list goes to not one but two mascots. No, it’s not a tie between two different schools. Kid and Play are both lions, and they both represent Texas Southern University. That means double the fun and double the team spirit! Whoever thought up the idea of having two team mascots is a genius because it almost certainly reduces the job of generating enthusiasm among the crowd to child’s play.

Quote of the Month
"Cats, no less liquid than their shadows, offer no angles to the wind. They slip, diminished, neat, through loopholes less than themselves." ~ A. S. J. Tessimond

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