News & Events
 
SNAPtales, the newsletter of the Spay-Neuter Assistance Prog
 
In This Issue February 1, 2013
- 49,124 -
The number of dogs
and cats helped by
your gifts in 2012.
 

SNAP has sterilized over
425,000

dogs and cats since being
founded in 1993.
 
SNAP Celebrates World Spay Day 2013
Houston, Pasadena, and San Antonio Clinics Schedule Free Spay-Neuter Events
  
SNAP has Spay Day events in Houston, Pasadena, and San Anton
SNAP clinics in Houston, Pasadena, and San Antonio are celebrating World Spay Day 2013 with a series of FREE spay-neuter events! World Spay Day falls on Tuesday, February 26, 2013. These events are open to the general public. No qualifying is required!

There is a strict limit of two animals per household! Adult animals should not be fed after 10 p.m. the night before surgery. Animals less than six months of age may be given half their normal amount of food on the morning of surgery. (There is no restriction on water.) All cats must arrive in a carrier, and all dogs must arrive on a leash. See below for location-specific details.

Houston Spay-Neuter and Animal Wellness Clinic
1801 Durham Dr., Suite 1
Houston, TX 77007

The Houston stationary clinic in Houston will be providing FREE spay-neuter surgery for 30 cats and 30 dogs. An appointment is required. Appointment requests may be made through the clinic's online appointment request system or by calling 713-862-8001.

If your animal does not have a current rabies certificate, he or she will be vaccinated against rabies as required by state law at a cost of $15 for cats and $10 for dogs.

Please see the Houston Spay-Neuter and Animal Wellness Clinic webpage for additional information about how the clinic operates and what to expect and links to pre-and-post-surgery instructions.

Houston Mobile Clinic
612 Canino Rd.
Houston, TX 77076

The Houston mobile clinic will be providing FREE spay-neuter surgery for 80-85 MALE cats. The mobile clinic will be located at the Harris County PHES Veterinary Public Health facility at 612 Canino Rd., Houston, TX 77076.

If your animal does not have a current rabies certificate, he or she will be vaccinated against rabies for FREE thanks to a generous donation of vaccine by Merial.

An appointment is required. Appointment requests may be made by calling 713-418-1804.

Please see the Houston mobile clinic webpage for additional information about how the clinic operates, what to expect, and links to pre- and post-surgery instructions. (But remember, no qualifying is required for this event, and it is by appointment only. The lottery system will not be used.)

Pasadena Spay-Neuter and Animal Wellness Clinic
913 Shaw Blvd.
Pasadena, Texas 77506

The Pasadena stationary clinic will be providing FREE spay-neuter surgery for 20 cats and 20 dogs. An appointment is required. Appointment requests may be made through the clinic's online appointment request system or by calling 713-343-1700.

If your animal does not have a current rabies certificate, he or she will be vaccinated against rabies as required by state law at a cost of $15 for cats and $10 for dogs.

Please see the Pasadena Spay-Neuter and Animal Wellness Clinic webpage for additional information about how the clinic operates, what to expect, and links to pre- and post-surgery instructions.

San Antonio Spay-Neuter and Animal Wellness Clinic
6758 Ingram Rd.
San Antonio, Texas 78238

The San Antonio stationary clinic will be providing FREE spay-neuter surgery for 16 pit bull dogs. An appointment is required. This event is expected to fill up very quickly. Appointments will be made by phone only. Please call 210-673-7722 to request an appointment.

Your animal will also receive a free rabies vaccination if he or she does not have a current rabies certificate. Pain medication will also be provided for free.

Please see the San Antonio Spay-Neuter and Animal Wellness Clinic webpage for additional information about how the clinic operates, what to expect ,and links to pre- and post-surgery instructions.

The Houston and Pasadena Spay Day events are being made possible by a generous gift from the estate of Frances Freeman and done in her memory. The San Antonio event is being made possible by funding from Pit Bull Rescue Central. SNAP is deeply grateful to both of these funders for their generous support.
 
Support Team SNAP for AIDS Walk Houston

Help Raise Funds for Animal Aid Program by Walking or Supporting a Walker
 
Click here to join the SNAP team for AIDS Walk Houston 2013!
SNAP has been chosen as a benefiting agency of AIDS Walk Houston 2013. That means some of the funds raised by the walk may come back to SNAP, but there is a catch. Team SNAP has to raise $5,000 for the event before we will see a nickel come back The money will go to help fund the SNAP Animal Aid Program. Can you strap on your walking shoes and sign up a few sponsors? If not, can you sponsor someone who is already walking? The animals served by AAP need you to join the team!

AIDS Walk Houston is a short five kilometer (3.1 mile) jaunt through Houston’s scenic streets, so it's easy on the feet and good for the heart in more ways than one. It takes place on Sunday, March 10, 2013. The walk starts in Hermann Park Square in front of Houston City Hall in downtown Houston. Check-in begins at 8:00 a.m., the opening ceremonies are at 9:00 a.m., and the step off is at 10:00 a.m.

To join the team or support another walk, visit the Team SNAP webpage. There you can click on the "Join This Team" button if you would like to walk, or click on the name of someone already on the team if you would like to support her or him. Whether you choose to walk or sponsor, you will be helping SNAP reach its goal. If we succeed, the money raised will help SNAP provide free spay-neuter and free and reduced-cost wellness services for the animals of those living with HIV/AIDS through the Animal Aid Program.
The SNAP team needs your support, so please sign up or contribute today! Your gift may make you eligible for a tax-deduction on your 2013 taxes.

SNAP is immensely grateful to AIDS Foundation Houston for its longtime support of SNAP and the Animal Aid Program!
 
The Animals Need You at Bayou City!
You Are the Key to Success for the Largest Annual SNAP Volunteer Fundraiser
 
Uncle SNAP wants YOU for the Bayou City Art Festival!

Animals born unwanted are dying in Houston-area shelters every day, but you can help reduce the toll by volunteering for SNAP at the Bayou City Art Festival. The spring festival takes place Friday, March 22-Sunday, March 24, 2013.

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

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

The satisfaction of knowing you are helping animals is priceless, but that’s not all you get for your trouble. You will also receive free admittance to the festival on the day of your shift. Shifts are about four hours long, so you will have plenty of time before or after your shift to see the festival. Tickets are normally $15 per person, so your efforts will save you money and save some animals from facing a short and unhappy life.

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

Bayou City Art Festival Shifts

Friday, March 22
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 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.

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

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

 
San Antonio ACS Awards SNAP $150,255 Grant
City Funding to Provide Free Spay-Neuter for Animals in Eight Zip Codes
 
ASC grant will fund spay-neuter services for both dogs and c
SNAP is excited to announce that San Antonio’s department of Animal Care Services (ACS) is providing a $150,255 grant that will fund FREE spay-neuter surgery for dogs and cats living in eight area zip codes. Clients residing in these zip codes can schedule an appointment for free surgery at the San Antonio stationary clinic for up to eight animals residing in their homes.

Animals that do not have a current rabies vaccination will be vaccinated against the disease as required by state law for a fee of $10. All animals are anesthetized and given pain medication at the time of surgery. Additional pain medication will be available for dogs for $10. Additional vaccination, heartworm testing and preventative, and other wellness services are also available at regular rates. The zip codes eligible under the program are 78202, 78203, 78204, 78207, 78221, 78227, 78242, 78252.

The grant will cover spay-neuter surgery for 2,835 dogs and cats during the ACS fiscal year, which runs Oct. 1, 2012-Sept. 30, 2013. These sterilizations will reduce the number of unwanted animals born in San Antonio by the tens of thousands and thereby reduce the number of animals turned in to shelters and abandoned on the streets. SNAP is grateful to ACS and the city of San Antonio for its generous financial support.
 
Mayor Isbell Cuts Ribbon Clinic Launching Pasadena Clinic
Generous Supporters Attend Grand Opening of SNAP Facility They Helped Build
 
 
Pasadena Mayor Johnny Isbell cuts ribbon to officially open the new SNAP Pasadena clinic
Pasadena Mayor Johnny Isbell (center) cuts the ribbon on the New SNAP clinic in Pasadena, Texas, while SNAP Executive Director James R. Weedon, D.V.M. and contributors to the project look on.
The opening of the SNAP Pasadena Spay-Neuter and Animal Wellness Clinic, which occurred in mid-November, was commemorated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and grand opening celebration on January 10, 2013. Pasadena Major Johnny Isbell was present to cut the ribbon. The event was televised on the Pasadena Channel and is available for viewing on Youtube. Numerous supporters of the project were on hand to help inaugurate the facility and were recognized for their work to help make the facility a reality. Present were members of the South East Harris County Alliance for Animals (SEHCAA), representatives of the Pasadena Animal Control and Adoption Facility, officials and personnel from other Pasadena city government offices, and community organizations and individuals who helped raise funds and public awareness critical to the success of the project. SNAP Executive Director James R. Weedon, D.V.M., who oversaw the fundraising and design efforts, was also recognized at the event.

The grand opening celebration afforded guests the opportunity to tour the new facility. Drinks and light hors d’oeurves were provided for refreshment. The new clinic is located at 913 Shaw Blvd. (one block north of highway 225 and one block west of Pasadena Blvd.).

SNAP is grateful to all who of the wonderful individuals, companies, and organizations that contributed to help SNAP design, build, stock, and staff the clinic.
SNAP Pasadena Spay-Neuter and Animal Wellness Clinic Donors
 
The City of Pasadena, Texas
PetSmart Charities
Dr. William Folger (in memory of Frank C. Folger Jr.)
Humane Society of the United States
David Smith
Pasadena Mayor Johnny Isbell
Dr. James R. and Mrs. Judy Weedon
Michele Becker
Nell Ann Beckman-Turk
Jim and Pam Harris
Gary and Terry Sidwell
Wayne D. Holt
D. Melillo M.D.
Meador Staffing Services
Pasadena Rotary Foundation
JPMorgan Chase Foundation
Amy L. & Stephen P. Cote
Gaylynn Ratliff
Jane Phillips Society
M. Beth Alford
Teleworld Staffing Inc.
Darla Haygood
Magnolia Café and Bakery, Pasadena
Lloyd & Beatrix Spires
Casa Olé, Pasadena
Charles McDowell
Lou Ann Nolan
Susan Anderson
Houston & Patricia Hamilton
Janet L. Taylor
Alisa Ledbetter
Dana Graham
Jack & Lynda Graham
Marsha Powell
Vicki Lackey
Texas Land & Cattle Steak House
Pets & People Alliance
Bosa Donuts
No Name BBQ
WookieBooks
Pasadena Animal Control & Adoption Shelter
Pep Boys, Pasadena
Jennifer Banks
Donna Orner
Diana Beste
Shelly Fuller
Wendy Lenze
Vickie Booth
Karina Lohman
Gloria Candelaria
Capt R.M. Bratcher
Courtney Robertson
David C. Simpson
Diane Schenck
Jacqueline Susce
John L. Nelson
Lynn Irvine
Rita Sewell
Robert Speer
Sandra Smyrl
Shelly Hicks
Kim Kankel
Terri A. Thompson
Rosela Mckee
Barbara Sitzman
Bullritos, Pasadena
Debbie L. Jenkins
Karen A Hoffman
Natalia Guzman
Suzan Patterson
Earlean Woods
Elizabeth L. Trevino
Karen Lee Lester-Aucoin
Monica Ritchie
Pasadena South Rotary Club
Beverly J. Helms
Billy & Avery Joplin
Cindy Russell
Courtney Hearon
Denise Elvir-Myer
Janice H. Wheeler
Kelli D. Brandt
Lucinda A Gamsby
Michelle Boswell
Samantha York
Chelsea N. Wells
Aracely Aguapo
Deborah Watson
Gina Castaneda Flores
Ruth Alexandria
 
Wine, Whiskers, & Woofs becomes Paws for Wine
Sonoma Wine Bar Renames and Reschedules Wine Tasting Event
 
 
Wine, Whiskers, and Woofs has become Wine for Paws!
The Wine, Whiskers, & Woofs event has undergone a number of changes since we announced in last month’s issue of SNAPtales. To wit: it has been renamed, rescheduled, repriced, and relocated! It is now called Paws for Wine and will take place on Saturday, February, 2, 2013. It will take place at the Houston Heights location Sonoma Retail Wine Bar & Restaurant from 4-7 p.m., and a portion of the proceeds will be handed over to SNAP. You will get to sip and swirl 30 wines and beers with food pairings at this event. Pup Squad will also be in attendance with a few adorable doggies who need homes, so if you have been thinking about adding a new canine friend to your home, this might be the perfect opportunity.

Tickets are now just $50 per person in advance or $60 per person at the door. Sonoma Wine Bar is handling all ticket sales, so please call them at 713-864-9463 to order your tickets today! Sonoma Heights is located at 801 Studewood St., Houston, TX, 77007.

SNAP is grateful to Sonoma for its generosity in holding this wonderful fundraiser for SNAP. We hope to see you all at Paws for Wine!
 
Talbot Large Dog Day Tradition Expanded
Harris Family Remembers Beloved Dog with Spay-Neuter Days in Houston, Pasadena
 
 
Talbot - one of Pam Harris' dogs
Talbot Large Dog Day memorializes the Harris family's beloved dog, Talbot. The event will provide half-price surgery for dogs weighing 40 lbs. or more (or for puppies that will grow to be that large).
SNAP clinics in Houston and Pasadena, Texas, will be holding special half-price spay-neuter events funded by longtime SNAP supporters Pam and Jim Harris. These events honor the memory of the Harrises late beloved dog, Talbot. This will be the fourth "Talbot Big Dog Day" made possible by the family, and it is the first time the event has been expanded to include a second clinic.

The events will be held on Thursday, February 14, 2013--Valentine’s Day and are open to the general public. Each location will provide half-priced surgery for dogs weighing 40 pounds or more (or for puppies that will grow to be that large). The number of animals that can be accommodated is strictly limited, and an appointment is required.

Appointments may be requested via the online request system for the clinic closest to you. (Please use the Houston appointment request system to request an appointment at the Houston clinic and the Pasadena appointment request system to request an appointment at the Pasadena clinic. Appointments may also be scheduled by calling the clinics. The Houston clinic number is 713-862-8001. The Pasadena Clinic number is 713-343-1700. You are encouraged to request your appointment as soon as possible.

SNAP is deeply grateful to the Harrises for once again providing generous financial support to help the large dogs of Houston and Pasadena and for their many years of ongoing support.
 
A Banner Year for SNAP Programs
SNAP Helps a Record Number of Animals  in 2012 through Programs You Made Possible
 
 
Your support enabled SNAP to sterilize 49,124 animals in 201
The Houston Mobile Clinic Program provided 5,855 spay-neuter surgeries for dogs and cats in 2012. Every animal sterilized reduces the number that end up dying in shelters and on our streets.
SNAP spay-neuter and animal programs had a banner year in 2012. Our wonderful supporters--that’s you--enabled us to help a total of 49,124 dogs and cats through these programs. This is a record high, and with the opening of a new Pasadena clinic in November, the total should only increase in 2013. A breakdown of the animals helped by each program follows.

Three separate zip-code based programs were underway during 2012--all devoted to sterilizing community cats. The term "community cats" refers to feral cats, stray cats, and free-roaming cats. The three programs have resulted in thousands of animals being sterilized during the year. The goal of such programs it to employ Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) methods within areas known to have high community cat populations to see whether such an approach might produce a sustained downward trend in the total number of cats within the area. One of the three programs was conducted in the Houston area. PetSmart Charities provided a grant that funded a program focused on the 77011 zip code.  The program concluded late in the year after 1,841 felines were spayed and neutered. The other two programs focused on the San Antonio area. One of the two is concluded. The one that has ended was funded by joint grant from the Summerlee Foundation and the Leonard X. Bosack & Bette M. Kruger Charitable Foundation. It covered the cost of surgery for 170 animals in the 78228 zip code. The ongoing San Antonio area program is funded by a grant from Best Friends Animal Society. This program has SNAP teamed up with SpaySA to focus on a whopping 14 zip codes. The zip codes addressed by the program are 78201, 78207, 78210, 78213, 78221, 78223, 78227, 78228, 78229, 78237, 78242, 78245, 78250, and 78251. Many hundreds of animals will be spayed and neutered under this program before it draws to a close.

The San Antonio mobile clinic started a new program involving visits to the city of Laredo, Texas, in 2012, thanks to funding from the Laredo City Council. Logistical support for these visits has been provided by the Laredo Animal Protective Society and Gateway Gatos. The program began in May and will last for 12 months. Hundreds of animals have been sterilized already under the program, and many more will be before current funding is exhausted. The San Antonio mobile clinic also made visits to Natalia, Texas, and Devine, Texas, in 2012. These events were made possible by funding from Castroville Nip and Tuck.

The SNAP Animal Aid Program (AAP), which provides free and reduced cost services to dogs and cats living with persons affected by HIV/AIDS, also had a very successful year. Services were provided to the animals of more than 100 program clients through the program in 2012. The AAP is funded through a number of sources including AIDS Foundation Houston, Broadway Cares, and LGBT community fundraisers such as the Barks and Burlesque event that took place in July and the annual Miss Purrrfect pageant. Barks and Burlesque was produced by Miss Gia Elektra-Dion, and the Miss Purrrfect pageant was produced by Spin Sisters Productions.

Last but certainly not least, each of the individual SNAP clinics performed numerous surgeries. The Houston Spay-Neuter and Animal Wellness Clinic at 1801 Durham Dr., Suite 1, sterilized 13,961 four-footed friends and provided wellness services for 12,626. The Houston mobile clinic was responsible for spaying and neutering 5,855 animals. The San Antonio Spay-Neuter and Animal Wellness Clinic did its share as well by performing 9,098 surgeries and providing wellness services for 4,106 dogs and cats. The San Antonio mobile clinic brought free spay-neuter procedures to 2,951 animals. The brand-spanking new Pasadena clinic, which just opened in mid-November, had already fixed 441 of our furry pals and provided wellness services for 113 by the time 2012 drew to a close.

All of these efforts combined to produce the record 2012 total mentioned at the beginning of this article, and all indications are that 2013 will see that number increase again. Our newly added capacity to serve the animals of Pasadena and Southeast Harris county should make that increase quite substantial. All of this has been accomplished thanks to one common factor: our donors. It is you who bring spay-neuter to SNAP clients through your generous support, and it is you who prevent the needless deaths of hundreds of thousands of animals a year as a result. You have every right to be proud of this accomplishment, and we at SNAP are sincerely grateful for all you do.
 
 
Upcoming SNAP Events
 
Saturday, February 2, 2013 - Houston, TX
  Paws for Wine (Formerly Wine, Whiskers, & Woofs)
The Houston Heights location of Sonoma is hosting this wine tasting event benefiting SNAP.
Thursday, February 14, 2013 - Houston and Pasadena, TX
  Talbot Large Dog Day
The Harris family funds a half-price surgery day for dogs weighing 40 lbs. or more.
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - All Locations
  SNAP Celebrates Spay Day
Check out FREE spay-neuter opportunities at our Houston, Pasadena, and San Antonio clinics.
Sunday, March 10, 2013 - Houston, TX
  AIDS Walk Houston 2013
Sign up to walk with the SNAP team or sponsor a walker to help the SNAP Animal Aid Program.
Thursday, March 22-24, 2013 - Houston, TX
  Bayou City Art Festival
The festival returns, and those lovable doggies and kitties need you to volunteer.

Hedda HoundHedda Hound Banner

Hello Darlings!

You are probably already aware that dogs are genetically descended from gray wolves. While the immense diversity of dog breeds make it easy to see how dogs have varied from wolves physically, have you ever wondered how they differ mentally? Shelton, a self-described shelter mutt from Shevano Park, has.

Dear Hedda,

Sharon, a human family member of mine, has told me that I should never feel bad about being a shelter mutt. She says that all dogs, pure bred or otherwise, are ultimately descended from wolves. I am perfectly happy in this knowledge, and I have no shame indeed about being a shelter mutt. I have to say, however, that I certainly don’t look much like a wolf. Still, there are enough physical similarities that I can accept what Sharon tells me. It causes me to wonder though, if dogs and wolves can be so different physically, how might we be different intellectually?

Sign me,
Just wondering

Dear Wonderdog,

You raise an interesting question. Do the differences between dogs and wolves simply boil down to physical appearance? I think you probably realize that the answer to that question is "no."  While dogs are inclined to look upon humans as beloved companions, wolves are somewhat more likely to look upon humans as a threat or perhaps even dinner. While it isn’t unheard of for wolves to become socialized to humans, they remain wild animals. Recent research carried out by Adam Miklosi of Eötvös University in Hungary, as reported in an article on FoxNews.com, bears this out.

Miklosi conducted an experiment that consisted of having a (human) researcher place an object in the first of two boxes while a wolf, a dog, or a human infant watched. The test subject was then encouraged to retrieve the object. After this had been done several times, the researcher would place the object in the second box--again in full view of the subject--but continue to urge the subject to look for the object in the first box. Dogs and infants typically followed the researcher’s cue and looked in the first box. Wolves, on the other hand, were much more likely to go directly to the second box. This suggests that the dogs and the infants were taking into account the cues provided by a researcher to influence their decision making process. Wolves were more likely to rely on the evidence provided by their own eyes.

These results could be interpreted, as pointed out in the aforementioned article, to mean that dogs (and perhaps babies) are less intelligent than wolves. Instead, they reveal the adaptation of each creature to the environment in which it predominately lives. Like babies--dogs are heavily dependent on humans for survival. Their behavior in the study was thus oriented towards maintaining the favor of the human researcher. Wolves are not predisposed to see humans as necessary to their survival, so they ignored the cues of the researcher and employed their own senses and intellectual abilities to locate the desired object. Dogs are thus differentiated from wolves by their adaptation for human socialization. Each animal is thus optimally adapted to the respective environment in which it evolved.

So yes, Shelton, you have much to be proud of as a descendant of wolves, but you can also be proud of that which distinguishes you from wolves. You are brilliantly adapted to a loving life with a human family. 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:

    Best Friends Animal Society, $11,800
    George and Mary Josephine Foundation, $5,000
    Keith and Mattie Stevenson Foundation, $5,000
    Amy Shelton McNutt Charitable Trust, $4,000
    Bob & Vivian Smith Foundation, $1,030
    J. Harry Tappan and Winnie C. Tappan Perpetual Charitable Trust, $500
 
Does Your Employer Match?
Double the Donation Website Lists Major Employers That Make Matching Gifts
  
Your gift can go twice as far if your employer matches!
Does your employer match your charitable donations to nonprofit agencies like SNAP? Many large corporations have programs that will match your donations with corporate dollars, effectively increasing the value of your contributions. The great thing about these programs is that it doesn’t cost you a penny more than you already planned to give. Other companies have volunteer grant programs that make grants based on volunteer hours their employees donate. How do you know if your company has a matching gift program? One way is to ask your human resources department. Another option is to check the Double the Donation website where you will find a list of large employers in major cities that have matching gift programs. The same website also has a webpage of companies that have volunteer grant programs. Why not maximize the amount of good your contributions can do for our lovable four-footed friends by finding out if your employer stands behind your support of SNAP?
 
Ashleey Houston Crowned Miss Purrrfect 2013
LGBT Community Pageant Raises $300 for SNAP Animal Aid Program
  
Ashleey Houston was adored by the crowd and judges alike.
Ashleey Houston acknowledges the appreciation of a fan during the evening gown judging. Houston went on to win the competition thus becoming Miss Purrrfect 2013.
The stars aligned purrfectly for entertainer Ashleey Houston and the animals on Sunday, January 27. It was on that date when Houston emerged as the winner of the Miss Purrrfect 2013 pageant--a benefit that raised $300 for the SNAP Animal Aid program. The event included evaluations in four areas: a tribal-themed creative presentation, an evening gown competition, an on-stage question-and-answer session, and a talent competition. Miss Houston will serve as Miss Purrrfect for a year during which time she will represent SNAP at other LGBT community events.

Miss Purrrfect was hosted by Miss Gay Texas America Kara Dion and Kourtney Paige Van Wales. The evening featured--in addition to the pagent events--stellar performances by Miss Dion, Miss Van Wales, former Miss Texas Continental Janet Fierce Andrews, former Miss Texas Continental Roxanne Collins, Miss Black Texas America Plus 2011-2012 Deyjah Opulent Mirage, outgoing Miss Purrrfect Raven St. James, Stephanie Vaun, and Miss Purrrfect co-promoters Taurina Loren and Gia Elektra-Dion. Special guest Jenna Skyy of Dallas also performed. Miss Skyy is a former Miss Texas FFI, a former Miss Texas America, and a cult film star.

Miss Purrrfect 2013 was held at F Bar, which is located at 202 Tuam St. in Houston, TX.

SNAP is deeply grateful to Miss Gia Elektra-Dion and Miss Taurina Loren of Spin Sisters Productions for producing Miss Purrrfect, to Miss Kara Dion and Miss Kourtney Paige Van Wales for hosting the event, Miss Jenna Skyy for lending her abundant talents to the event, F Bar, and to all of the other entertainers and contestants who worked so hard to make the night a success for the animals.
 
Madame AstroCat[object Object]
 
Dear Readers,

One of the most wonderful thing about cats is that we never bite. Okay, that isn’t entirely accurate. We do bite on occasion, but if we do it’s only the lightest of love nips. Okay, that isn’t entirely accurate either. Sometimes when we are scared or in pain or mistake your hand for the paw of an aggressor, we can bite pretty hard. We can occasionally bite so hard, in fact, that an immediate visit to your doctor or emergency clinic is in order. A bite may be just a nip, but it can be a genuinely dangerous injury as well. How do you tell the difference, and what are the risks? Find out in this month’s top ten list of things you may not know about cat bites:

10. Cats bite! - First, let’s dispel the myth that cats bite because they are mean or evil. Cats bite when they are afraid, agitated, or in pain. They may also bite when they are happy! Bites that occur under the former circumstances may sometimes cause a dangerous wound. Bites that occur under the latter circumstances rarely do.

9. It’s a matter of degree. - It’s really all a matter of degree. A light nip that barely breaks the skin is highly unlikely to require professional medical attention and typically doesn’t even require a bandage. Deep bites should be thought of as puncture wounds, and puncture wounds always require immediate medical attention.

8. What are the odds? - It’s true that not every cat bite will ultimately cause a severe infection. What are the odds that any give bite will? It’s about a 50-50 chance. If you get badly bitten, and you are trying to decide whether to go to the doctor, think of it as a coin toss. Heads you win; tails you spend days in the hospital and run up tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills. To borrow a phrase from movie detective "Dirty Harry" Callahan: "Are you feeling lucky, punk?"

7. How many days in the hospital? - Washington Post writer Marie Joyce recently received a severe bite while trying to separate a pair of fighting cats. After trying unsuccessfully to treat herself for a couple of days, she went to the emergency room expecting to be given antibiotics and sent home. Instead she spent four days in the hospital. Los Angeles Times columnist David Lazarus was also recently bitten. He required surgery and spent six days in the hospital. (It has been a bad couple of months for newspaper writers apparently.)

6. Did you say tens of thousands of dollars? - If this surprises you, you obviously haven’t had much experience with the U.S. healthcare system lately. The total bill to treat the aforementioned Ms. Joyce totaled over $15,000. She got off light. The aforementioned Mr. Lazarus required surgery to clean out a resulting bone infection, a complication which brought the total bill to over $55,000. Fortunately both of them had good insurance, but you can still bet they met their maximum out-of-pocket expenses for the year.

5. It’s the critters! - It isn’t the critter that bites you that you need to be worried about, it’s the critters that get left behind. There are a number of germs that may live in a cat’s mouth that may be hazardous. One called Pasteurella multocida routinely causes the most severe infections. That’s not to say you won’t get sick from streptococcus or staphylococcus, but if you do, you can’t necessarily blame the cat. These two bugs live on your own skin and simply take advantage of the passing feline fang to catch a ride into your innards.

4. What about the three-second rule? - Forget it. Even if you managed to splash hydrogen peroxide into a puncture wound within three seconds, you’re unlikely to kill all of the bacteria that have entered through that wound. The three-second rule is simply a myth. Microbes can attach themselves to your own cells almost instantaneously. A puncture wound may also give these invaders direct access to your blood stream where they are quickly carried away from the wound site.

3. Aren’t scratches just as dangerous? - Rarely. A scratch from a cat’s claw is much less likely than a bite to cause severe illness. "Cat-scratch fever" (Inoculation lymphoreticulosis) is certainly a real concern, but it rarely results in serious illness in otherwise healthy persons. Most patients typically recover within a month--usually without treatment. Those with compromised immune systems are more likely to experience complications or illnesses of extended duration.

2. Time to trade in Fluffy on a dog? - Not so fast, biped. A recent CDC study revealed that cats were responsible for about 13 percent of visits to New York City hospitals for animal bites annually. What animal is most often responsible for bites requiring medical attention? Here’s a hint: There aren’t that many ferrets or parrots in New York City.

1. What is the best cure? - Do you really have to ask? It’s an ounce of prevention! If you are not familiar with a cat, don’t attempt to pet or otherwise handle her. If your own cat is locked in an ultimate fighting throwdown with another cat, don’t try to end the squabble by grabbing him. Cats in such circumstances tend to bite first and ask question later. So how do you separate two cats that are fighting? A few squirts from a spray bottle full of tap water are usually effective while allowing you to keep a safe distance.

Quote of the Month
  
“We long for an affection altogether ignorant of our faults.  Heaven has accorded this to us in the uncritical canine attachment." ~ George Eliot
 

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