News & Events
SNAPtales, the newsletter of the Spay-Neuter Assistance Prog
In This Issue June 1, 2013
- 18,613 -
The number of dogs
and cats helped by
your gifts between
Jan. 1 and Apr. 30,

SNAP has sterilized over

dogs and cats since being
founded in 1993.
Houston Gets a New Mobile Clinic!
Angel Donor Funds Cost of Vehicle, Your Compassionate Gifts Will Fund Operations
Photo of the new Houston mobile clinic.
The new Houston mobile clinic will enter service in June, 2013. The rolling spay-neuter clinic was made possible by a gift from a generous "angel" donor.
SNAP is thrilled to announce the delivery of a new mobile clinic for Houston! The clinic was made possible by an angel investor who covered the entire cost of the new unit. The vehicle will replace the existing Houston mobile clinic which entered service in early 2005. That unit could accommodate 22-24 animals per day (depending on the size of the animals). The new clinic will enable us to spay and neuter up to 30 animals per day. The new vehicle was built by La Boit Specialty Vehicles Inc. of Gahanna, Ohio. The same company also built the previous mobile clinic. In addition to more cage space, the new unit also has an oxygen generator. This will eliminate the need to have bottles of compressed oxygen resupplied on a regular basis--though bottles will be onboard as a backup measure. The new unit will enter service in the month of June.

While the new unit is completely paid for, day-to-day operations are still dependent on your kind donations. A single day’s operation requires anesthetics, pain medications, rabies vaccine, a professional staff, fuel, and numerous other costly items. Donate today to help a dog or a cat get the surgery he or she needs to avoid giving birth to unwanted offspring. Animals born unwanted often end up abandoned to fend for themselves or turned in at shelters where they face death if not adopted in a few short days. You can make the difference for an animal through your caring gifts.

SNAP is immensely grateful to the angel donor whose amazing generosity made the new SNAP clinic possible and to all of you who support clinic operations through your donations. Every animal we help is thanks to you!
Shampooch Brings Fresh Doggy Goodness

Dog Wash Benefiting Spay-Neuter Takes Place at Houston Area Whole Foods Markets
Shampooch 2013 event flyer.
Shampooch is back! Once again SNAP is teaming up with Whole Foods Market, Pet Paradise, Rosie & Friends Bath and Skincare for the Natural Dog, Frenchie’s Kitchen Dog Food, Seriously Mabel Greetings, and our wonderful volunteers to hold our annual dog wash benefit for SNAP.  Shampooch raises funds for SNAP spay-neuter programs so you get fresh doggy goodness while helping some other lovable dog or cat gets the surgery that will keep him or her from bringing unwanted offspring into the world. Bring your dog by to be washed! A $10 per dog donation is suggested. Shampooch takes place on Saturday, June 8, 2013, at all seven Houston-area locations of Whole Foods Market. (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 both safe and fun. Frenchie's Kitchen Dog Food will provide some of their yummy treats as a post-bath reward for your pup. Seriously Mabel Greetings will be on hand at some locations selling canine-oriented greeting cards with a portion of the proceeds going to SNAP.

If you would like to help wash the dogs, it’s not too late to volunteer for this event! We still need people for the Woodway, Wilcrest, and Sugarland locations. To volunteer, please send email to or call Xavier Torres at 713-862-2863 no later than 2 p.m. on Friday, June 7, 2013.

Participating Whole Foods Markets are listed below:

    2955 Kirby Drive
    Houston, TX 77098

    4004 Bellaire Boulevard
    Houston, TX 77025

    701 Waugh Drive
    Houston, TX 77019
    (713) 284-1260

    6401 Woodway Drive
    Houston, TX 77057

    11145 Westheimer Rd.
    Houston, TX 77042

    15900 Southwest Freeway
    Sugar Land, TX 77478

    6601 S. Fry Rd.
    Katy Texas 77494

SNAP is grateful to Whole Foods, Pet Paradise, Frenchie's Kitchen Dog Food, Rosie & Friends, and Seriously Mabel Greetings for their contributions to this event and to our volunteers for bringing their mad dog washing skills to bear for the good of the animals. We hope to see you all (and your pooches) there!
Strut Your Mutt to Fight Animal Overpopulation
Dog Walkathon Makes Helping another Animal a Walk in the Park
Join the SNAP pack at Strut Your Mutt on Sept. 21, 2013!
Do you wish every dog and cat had a loving home? Now you and your dog can help make that dream come true. Just join the SNAP Pack in Best Friends Animal Society’s First Annual Houston Strut Your Mutt walkathon. Taking part is easy! First, register for the walkathon as a member of the SNAP pack. Second, ask your friends and family members to sponsor your participation. Third, show up at T.C. Jester Park on Saturday, September 21, 2013, for a short and pleasant stroll. The walk will be followed by a festival that includes pet contests, photos, treats for the dogs, refreshments, and more. TC Jester Park is located at 4201 West T.C. Jester Blvd., Houston, TX 77018.

Don’t live in Houston or don’t have a dog? You can still participate! Just sign up for the virtual walkathon, join the SNAP Pack, and recruit some sponsors. The only difference is on the day of the walk. If you have a dog, you can go for a walk in your own town on your own time. If you don’t have a dog--or just prefer not to walk for the event--you don’t have to. It is a virtual walkathon after all. Either way, you will still raise funds to prevent the birth of unwanted animals.

To sign up, visit the event website, tick the box to "Join a Dog Pack (existing team)," and then select Spay-Neuter Assistance Program from the drop-down menu. (Both of these controls appear after you tick the appropriate box in the "Participant Type" section of the registration page.) Do that and SNAP will receive every penny you raise including your registration fee (minus minimal transaction fees). The registration fee is $30 for adults or $50 for couples. Children 12 and under can participate for free. Virtual walkers pay only $10. Adults participating in the Houston event will receive a Best Friends Strut Your Mutt t-shirt to commemorate the day. (Children can also get a t-shirt for a $20 registration fee.) Virtual walkers are not eligible for a shirt. Register today and prepare to get your walkies on!

SNAP benefits from this event because it is a No More Homeless Pets Network partner. If SNAP gets more team members than any other Houston-area partner, Best Friends will cut us a check for an additional $1,000, so to sign up today and help us win extra bucks for spay-neuter.

The No More Homeless Pets Network was set up by Best Friends Animal Society to provide support for local organizations that perform rescue, adoption, and/or spay-neuter to help reduce the number of homeless animals. Last year’s Strut Your Mutt event raised more than $875,000 for participating agencies nationwide.
City of Pasadena Offers Free Spay-Neuter
City Issues Vouchers to Low-Income Residents for Free Surgery at SNAP Clinic
Flyer for City of Pasadena spay-neuter voucher program.
The city of Pasadena, Texas, is offering low-income residents free spaying and neutering for their dogs and cats for a limited time. This offer is good for qualifying Pasadena, Texas, residents only. Taking advantage of the offer requires applying for a voucher and providing proof that you meet the financial qualifications, which can be found on a flyer issued by the city. This flyer can be downloaded from the SNAP website. Upon completing an application, you must return it to City of Pasadena Animal Control and Adoption (not to SNAP) at 5150 Burke Rd., Pasadena, Texas, 77504.

Each voucher entitles the resident to have one animal spayed or neutered at the SNAP Pasadena Spay-Neuter and Animal Wellness Clinic. The SNAP clinic is located at 913 Shaw, Pasadena, Texas, 77506. See the flyer for full instructions. Questions regarding the voucher program should be directed to the city at 281-991-0602.

This generous offer means that--while the program lasts--cost is not a barrier for Pasadena residents who want to have their animals spayed and neutered. Remember, however, that this is a limited time offer. Apply for a voucher today!
Harris Family Donates a Day for Lytle
Event Sees 23 Animals Spayed and Neutered on San Antonio Mobile Unit
Photo of San Antonio mobile clinic at Lytle, Texas
The San Antonio mobile clinic conducted a spay-neuter day at the city of Lytle's Animal Control facility. The event was funded by the Pam and Jim Harris family.
The Pam and Jim Harris family has sponsored another spay-neuter day for the town of Lytle, Texas, and we are happy to report that 23 animals were spayed and neutered as a result. The San Antonio mobile clinic was used to conduct the event at the Lytle Animal Control facility on Wednesday, May 22, 2013. Among the patients receiving surgery and a free rabies vaccination were eight female dogs, seven male dogs, eight female cats and five male cats. Lytle is located approximately 25 miles southwest of San Antonio, Texas.

The Harris family has funded numerous spay-neuter days in the past including several in the town of Lytle. Pam Harris is also a former member of the SNAP board of directors. We are deeply grateful to the family for their remarkable history of support and for their heartfelt love of animals.
Upcoming SNAP Events
Saturday, June 8, 2013 - Houston, TX
Get Rover as clean as a whistle at this annual dog wash benefit for spay-neuter
Saturday, September 21, 2013 - Houston, TX
  Strut Your Mutt
Come strut your mutt with SNAP, and helping animals will be a walk in the park! Details to come.

Hedda HoundHedda Hound Banner

Hello Darlings!

This month’s column is for the boys. I am referring to male canines, of course, not male humans. (You might be relieved when you get a little further into this.) Specifically, I am talking about sterilization surgery. This operation is known as neutering, and it involves removing a dog’s testicles. (See there?)  All kidding aside, it’s an important step in helping prevent the birth of unwanted puppies. We’re not going to talk about the surgery itself. Instead we will attempt to dispel a bit of confusion that sometimes occurs after the surgery has taken place. This month’s letter from Conway, a Collie-mix from Conroe, describes the source of the confusion.

Dear Hedda,

A few days ago, my human pal Mike took me to SNAP to have me neutered. I don’t really remember much about it, but everything seemed to go just fine. The thing is, today Mike looked at me "back there" and became a little unhappy. He said it didn’t look like I had been neutered at all. Everything, according to him, was still there. He’s on the phone with the vet right now to find out what’s going on, but I thought I would dash off a note to you as well. Can you explain why I would appear to be fully intact if I was supposedly neutered. And if I was neutered, is the appearance of my, um... male bits anything to worry about?

Sign me,
Gone Nuts in Conroe

Dear Gone Nuts,

Don’t be confused. You are most assuredly neutered. Why does it appear otherwise? There are a few possible reasons. The first is that your scrotum--the fleshy sac that held your testicles--is swollen from the surgery. It occurs sometimes and usually isn’t anything to worry about if it isn’t excessive. Licking the incision site or engaging in too much physical activity right after surgery can cause it or worsen it, so Mike should make sure you’re not doing either of those things. There is something called an e-collar that can prevent you from licking if you just can’t control yourself. (Some people call it the "cone of shame." I call it the "cone of courage.") Mike can get one for you at SNAP or at most pet stores. Another possibility is that a blood clot has developed in the scrotum. This also is not usually a big deal. Such clots typically dissolve within a few days.

What does constitute cause for concern? Mike should take note if the site of the incision (which is just ahead of the scrotum--not actually on it) is bleeding, seeping, warm, or red; if the testicles seem firm and excessively swollen; or if swelling does not subside within a few days. Bleeding or seeping can indicate inflammation. Warmth, redness, and swelling may indicate the presence of an infection. Excessive swelling and firmness may indicate internal bleeding within the scrotum. These are all serious issues, so Mike should contact SNAP immediately if any of them are observed. If it is after hours, go ahead and call the emergency number.

Complications from neuter surgery are rare, but it can save you some worry if you know what constitutes a problem and what doesn’t. Tell ‘em Hedda said so!

Some of the information in this month’s column comes from the article: Was My Dog Really Neutered? (

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
    San Antonio Area Foundation, $98,700
    PetSmart Charities, $89,900
Finding Future Veterinary Professionals
Students at San Antonio’s Neal Elementary School Learn about Veterinary Careers
Photo of Dr. Turner speaking to pupils at Neal Elementary.
SNAP Veterinarian Naomi Turner, recently visited with students at Neal Elementary School in San Antonio. She was there to discuss careers in veterinary medicine as part of the school's Career Week event.
Students at Neal Elementary School got a first-hand look at the veterinary profession during a recent Career Week event attended by SNAP San Antonio Veterinarian Naomi Turner. Dr. Turner explained why dogs and cats need to go to the vet and why SNAP urges having them spayed or neutered by five months of age. She reports that the youngsters were sharp, grasping the value of this advice quicker than many adults. Nadia, who is Dr. Turner’s dog, was along for the day, and Dr. Turner allowed a few volunteers to "be the veterinarian." This involved donning a white lab coat and examining Nadia using a stethoscope, an otoscope, and a flea comb. Dr. Turner also stressed the importance of staying in school and studying hard for those wishing to become animal doctors and nurses. She closed each class with a question and answer session and sent the students home with a few SNAP goodies and a San Antonio mobile clinic schedule. The mobile clinic will be at the HEB at 300 W. Olmos (near Neal Elementary) on June 17, 2013. Dr. Turner talked to one first-grade class, five second-grade classes, and a special education class--approximately 100 students in total--during the event.

There is a huge need for qualified veterinarians who understand the importance of spay-neuter in solving the problem of animal overpopulation. Some of the students at Neal Elementary have just taken one giant step in the direction of meeting that need. Neal Elementary School is a public school in north-central San Antonio.
Madame AstroCat[object Object]
Dear Readers,

Summer is here, and that means it’s vacation time! Well, it’s vacation time for humans anyway. Sadly, there are precious few lodgings where cats are welcome. Dogs are well out ahead of us on acceptance. (Clearly a consciousness raising campaign is in order to rectify the situation!) Still, humans who love cats can find a number of destinations that will allow them to indulge their interest in our noble breed. Recently the CNN Travel+Leisure section covered some of these places. This month’s top ten list gives you my take on their list of cat-lover vacation destinations!

10. Moscow Cats Theatre - Moscow is, of course, the capital of Russia and home to a number of fascinating museums and historical sites. None are more delightful to the cat fancier than the Moscow Cats Theater. The theater company includes approximately 120 cats as well as founder Yrui Kuklachev and his son Dmitri. These talented cats perform in a variety of acts that demonstrate their amazing intelligence and physical prowess. The popularity of the theater means they are often away on tour, so be sure to check their schedule (click the "Poster" link on the company's website) before your visit.

9. De Poezenboot - While it may sound like "Puss n’ Boots," De Poezenboot, is actually Dutch for "The Catboat." If you think cats and boats are an unlikely pairing, you’re right. That hasn’t stopped De Pozenboot from becoming the Netherlands’ only floating cat sanctuary. The boat, located on one of the city's canals, has been afloat and helping abandoned cats since 1966. You are welcome to come lend a hand! Ever wanted to try a stint as a sailor (who spends all day cleaning cat boxes and cages)? Okay, so it’s not glamorous, but the cats will love you for your efforts. De Poezenboot is located in Amsterdam, so if you’re travels take you to the Dutch metropolis, be sure to drop in and pay a visit.

8. Hello Kitty Theme Park - If a journey to the "Land of the Rising Sun" appeals to you, be sure to check out the Hello Kitty Theme Park (or "Sanrio Puroland") in Tama New Town, Tokyo, Japan. It’s an entire world of rides, shows, attractions, and restaurants based on the popular Hello Kitty entertainment and merchandising empire. It is quite an empire. Sanrio, the parent company that created Hello Kitty, generated $5 billion in sales off of the franchise in 2010. If you are a fan of their adorable feline character (whose name is actually "Kitty White"), you can immerse yourself in her world at Sanrio Puroland.

7. Cat Cafés of Tokyo - Perhaps you love cats but are not a fan of Hello Kitty? No problem, Tokyo offers literally hundreds of other places to experience the joys of feline companionship. They are called nekocafe (cat cafés), but are essentially coffee shops with cats. These refuges from the busy world welcome you to soothe your nerves with a refreshing beverage and visit with the shop feline(s). You needn’t worry about being able to find one either. There are guide maps to show you where they are!

6. Kuching Cat Museum, Malaysia - The Kuching Cat Museum is, not surprisingly, in the city of Kuching. What you may find surprising is that the word kuching means "cat city." The feline species is considered good luck in Malaysia, which might help explain this cat-centric focus. To give you an idea of the atmosphere, the museum has a commanding hilltop view of the city, and you enter it through the mouth of a giant cat’s head. The museum’s website also has a plethora of interesting information about cats, but be forewarned that it (currently) contains a few disturbing images of cats that have been hit by cars. The purpose is not to shock the viewer but rather to speculate on the species of the animals in question.

5. Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary - You can be forgiven for assuming the Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary is in Argentina. It’s not. It is in Rome, Italy, and you are welcome to volunteer to help care for the 300-plus (otherwise homeless) feline residents who call the sanctuary home. The site was home to the ancient Romans as well. It is best known as the location where Julius Caesar was stabbed to death by his rival Brutus in 44 B.C. As a volunteer, you might get to feed the kitties, or you might get to clean up after them. You can’t win them all, right?

4. The Supreme Show - What list of cat-lovers’ vacations would be complete without mention of the world’s most famous cat show? The Supreme Show of the Governing Council of Cat Fancy is the largest cat show in the U.K. It takes place in the city of Birmingham, England, and the next one is on November 23, 2013. There is a breed competition, of course, as well as an enormous market where every manner of cat product can be found. If you would like to indulge your interest in cats to the ultimate degree, you won’t find a better place to do it than The Supreme Show.

3. Kattenstoet Cat Festival - Considering a trip to Europe this year? You might want to put it off for a couple of years so you can catch the next Kattenstoet Cat Festival on May 10, 2015. This festival, held every three years on the second Sunday in May, commemorates a beastly practice from the town’s medieval past. It seems that once a year, a jester would climb the belfry of the town’s market hall and throw live cats to their deaths. How medieval! The exact reason this was done is uncertain, though it was possibly linked to a belief in witchcraft. Thankfully, it was banned altogether in 1817. Today the tradition of the festival offers tribute to the felines who were so cavalierly sacrificed. It features a parade in which participants appear in cat, mouse, or witch costumes. Others don period dress to represent the town’s past residents.

2. Dominique and His Flying House Cats - If you’ve got a hankering for tropical climes, you can’t do better than the island paradise of Key West, Florida. While you’re there, you have to take in the Sunset Celebration--a festival that takes place on the docks along Mallory Square every evening as the sun sets. On the Westin Pier, which is adjacent to Mallory Square, you will encounter Dominique and His Flying House Cats. Dominque is animal trainer Dominique LeFort, and he and his trained cats will perform for your entertainment.

1. Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum - Speaking of Key West, Ernest Hemingway loved the place so much that he built a grand house there. He spent years penning some of his most famous works in the house, and for company he had a polydactyl cat named Snowball. Today the house is a museum devoted to Hemingway, and dozens of Snowball’s descendents still wander the grounds. What is a polydactyl cat? It’s a cat with more than the standard number of toes. Most cats have five toes on their front feet and four toes on their back feet. Many of the cats at the Hemingway house have six toes on their front feet, and some have five on their back feet. The cats are cared for by the veterinarian employed by the museum.

Quote of the Month
"It is impossible to keep a straight face in the presence of one or more kittens." ~ Cynthia E. Varnado

No-Birth is the First Step to No-Kill
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