News & Events
SNAPtales, the newsletter of the Spay-Neuter Assistance Prog
In This Issue
July 1, 2014
- 24,192 -
 The number of dogs
and cats helped by
your gifts between
Jan. 1 and May 31, 2014
SNAP has sterilized over
dogs and cats since being
founded in 1993
More Good Than You Know
Helping One Animal Saves Many When That Help Is Spay-Neuter

This guy has a better life ahead thanks to SNAP donors like
Your donations have helped this guy find a more peaceful life and stopped him from contributing to the problem of animal overpopulation. Please give today so that we can help more animals like him!
Despite the battle scars on his face, the cat pictured at right was a pretty timid customer when recently brought to the SNAP mobile clinic. His guardian, whom we will call Pat, brought the young male kitty to be neutered because he had recently begun fighting other males for territory and mates. (In addition to ending the urge to mate, neutering often reduces a male animal’s aggressive impulses.) Pat could not afford to have the animal sterilized at a full-service clinic but qualified to use the free mobile clinic. A bit of gentle coaxing finally brought this bruiser of a feline out of the box he came in, and he received the surgery that will make his future less violent. More importantly, while this is just one cat, having him sterilized will also prevent him from adding to the number of kittens born in the neighborhood. Your caring gifts allowed SNAP to help this one cat, but they have also saved many more from entering the world unwanted. This is the real power of spay-neuter. Your gift may help only one, but it saves many more in the process. Sterilization is the single most effective way of addressing the problem of animal overpopulation. Please donate today so that we can make a bigger dent in the number of dogs and cats born unwanted.

Together we can create a world where there are no homeless dogs and cats. We believe this is a vision that can be realized, but it will not happen without your help. Please give as generously as you can, and thank you for being a hero for animals!
Bet on Fun at Club Spayed Casino Night
Enjoy an Evening of Las Vegas-Style Gaming to Help the Animals!

Join us for Las Vegas style fun and help animals at Club Spa
An exciting evening of Las Vegas-style gaming awaits when you join us for Club Spayed Casino Night, a fundraiser supporting SNAP spay-neuter programs! Texas Hold ’Em, Blackjack, Roulette, and Craps will all be on tap for your entertainment. There will—of course—be drinks, tasty nibbles, and great music to liven up your casino experience. You will also be eligible to win great prizes, including Houston Astros tickets!

It all takes place on Saturday, August 23, 2014, 6:30–10:30 p.m. at 7155 Old Katy Road, Houston, TX 77024. Purchase your tickets today on our website or by calling 713-862-3863, x205! Advance tickets are $55 per person or $50 per person when you purchase more than one. Tickets will be $65 per person at the door. The dress code for the evening is SNAPpy chic. Please note that while we hope all animal lovers will attend, this is a humans-only event.

SNAP is deeply grateful to the wonderful sponsors who are helping make this event happen. They include the Houston Rockets, the Houston Astros, Pet Paradise Resorts, ExecuTeam Staffing, and Natural Pawz pet stores. Sponsorships are still available! Sponsor packages include tickets, varying levels of recognition, and goodie bags full of fun swag. If you or your company would like to sponsor this event, please contact Laura Welch by calling 713-862-3862 x204 or via email (

Get your tickets today by visiting our online purchase site or by calling 713-862-3863, x205! We look forward to seeing you at Club Spayed!
SNAP Top Rated by Great Nonprofits
Positive Reviews of Program Services Earn Agency Recognition from Rating Organization
SNAP again recognized a top-rated charity by Great Nonprofit
SNAP is pleased to be able to report that it has once again qualified as a top-rated charity by GreatNonprofits. The organization bestows the rating on nonprofit agencies that achieve a threshold level of positive ratings from clients. This recognition earns SNAP the right to display the organization’s 2014 top-rated badge graphic on its website. The badge is also a clickable link to the SNAP page on GreatNonprofits website, where the client reviews that qualified the agency for the rating can be reviewed.

GreatNonprofits is itself a nonprofit that is funded by foundations and individuals with the goal of leveraging the social power of the Internet to enable potential donors to learn more about the nonprofit agencies they feel drawn to support. Its stated mission is “to inspire and inform donors and volunteers, enable nonprofits to show their impact, and promote greater feedback and transparency.” It seeks to be “a place to find trustworthy nonprofits.”

The Spay-Neuter Assistance Program is grateful to GreatNonprofits for this wonderful recognition of our efforts to end the tragedy of animal overpopulation.
Brunches at Local Pour to Benefit SNAP
Upscale Brew Pub Hosts Two Weekend Events to Help Dogs and Cats
Houston's Local Pour hosts two brunches to benefit spay-neut
The Local Pour, an upscale brew pub in Houston’s tony River Oaks district, is hosting two Sunday brunch events to help the dogs and cats that benefit from SNAP spay-neuter programs. You will order off of the restaurant's regular menu, and after you have paid your bill, 20 percent of the total will be donated to SNAP. Local Pour offers craft beers, wine, and “crafted cocktails” in addition to its extensive brunch menu, so there will be something to please every palate.

The events take place on Sunday, July 13, 2014, and Sunday, August 10, 2014, 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Local Pour is located at 1952 West Gray St., Houston, TX 77019. (Look for it right behind Café Ginger.)

SNAP is grateful to the owners and managers of Local Pour for their 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.
SAVE THE DATE for Strut Your Mutt, Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014!
SNAP Sterilizes Samoa Dogs and Cats
San Antonio Staff Teams with Soul Dog Rescue to Fix 290 Animals in American Territory

The SNAP/Soul Dog Rescue crew at work in American Samoa.
SNAP and Soul Dog Rescue sterilized 290 dogs and cats in American Samoa earlier this year. Each animal spayed or neutered prevents many more from being born in the future.
Earlier this year, veterinary teams from SNAP and Soul Dog Rescue conducted a series of spay-neuter clinics in American Samoa that saw 290 dogs and cats get sterilized. The trip was made in cooperation with Soul Dog Rescue (, the Samoan Department of Agriculture, and Alofa Mo Mealoa—a local animal rescue group. American Samoa is a U.S. territory that consists of five islands and two atolls in the Pacific Ocean. Historically it has had inadequate veterinary facilities and a poor history of dealing with animal overpopulation.

The clinics were performed in buildings known as fales—large traditional Samoan houses—in two locations: Tafuna and Leone. The clinic in Tafuna was at a community fale while the other was at a fale owned by a supporter of Alofa Mo Mealoa in Leone.

The SNAP team was comprised of veterinarian Dr. Mary K. Lawler and veterinary technicians Jennifer Granado and Tonia Floresvega. The trio has worked with Soul Dog Rescue on two previous occasions in recent years conducting clinics on Native American reservations in New Mexico. The SNAP team was selected by Soul Dog for the Samoa trip because of its efficiency and ability to complete 50 surgeries a day with a single veterinarian. Soul Dog Rescue sent a team that included one veterinarian, two veterinary technicians, and one additional support staff member. Unfortunately its team’s flight had difficulties, causing the staff to arrive on the island a few days later than scheduled.

Dr. Lawler performed 166 of the surgeries. These procedures resulted in the sterilization of 65 female dogs, 69 male dogs, 13 female cats, and 19 male cats. The remaining 124 surgeries were performed by the Soul Dog Rescue team.

American Samoa Department of Agriculture Veterinarian Dr. Brenda Smith and her team hosted the spay-neuter events and provided the coordination with local communities to publicize the clinics and—where necessary—physically trap and transport animals. Dr. Smith joined the Department of Agriculture six months ago under a two-year contract to start a new spay-neuter program and to have a trained veterinarian available for other aspects of medical care. Previously the role of veterinarian was often filled by unlicensed untrained individuals with negative consequences for many animals.

Alofa Mo Mealoa is a non-profit animal rescue group run by Nick and Mona King and their sons Warren and Landan. Alofa partners with the Department of Agriculture to assist with spay-neuter clinics in the community. It also works to identify and rehome stray and homeless dogs during the clinics.

Shelby Davis of Soul Dog Rescue raised the funds to cover all trip expenses, including the SNAP team’s airfare, lodging, and meals. The organization also provided the majority of the supplies used on the trip.  The SNAP team provided an anesthesia machine, an autoclave, and surgery packs for Dr. Lawler. SNAP is deeply grateful to Soul Dog Rescue for enabling it to participate in this important project and to the American Samoa Department of Agriculture and Alofa Mo Mealoa for the roles they played in making the clinics an amazing success.

Glasses, Towels, Books, and More!
Houston Donation Drive Event to Help SNAP and Houston Eye Associates Foundation
SNAP and HEAF need glasses, books, towels and pet supplies!
Do you have gently used books, pet supplies, towels, and eyeglasses that need a new home? Both the Houston Eye Associates Foundation (HEAF) and the Spay-Neuter Assistance Program can benefit from your donated items. The books will be resold to raise funds for spay-neuter, the pet supplies will be provided to clients of the new SNAP aniMeals program, the towels are needed by various SNAP clinics, and the eyeglasses will be refurbished and provided to needy adults and children who need them--both locally and internationally. (aniMeals is a new service providing food for the animals of those served by Interfaith Ministries’ Meals On Wheels program.)

Please bring your donations to the Houston Eye Associates office building at 7155 Old Katy Road, Houston, 77024, on Sunday, July 20, 2014, between noon and 4 p.m.

Houston Eye Associates will also hold a free 90 minute seminar at 2 p.m. for low-vision patients as part of the event. The presentation will introduce them to iBUG--the iOS Blind Users Group. The goal of the seminar is to showcase various types of iPhone applications that can be utilized for personal and professional use by those who are visually impaired. Registration is required to attend. Please email to register.

The SNAP administrative offices are located in a building owned by Houston Eye Associates, which made partnering for the donation drive a logical step towards helping the beneficiaries of both agencies. SNAP is grateful to Houston Eye Associates for providing the space for the event and for its assistance in coordinating it.

For more information about the event, please call HEAF at 713-558-8740 or SNAP at 713-862-3863.
SNAP Supports Houston Pride
SNAP Staff and Supporters Marched with Mobile Clinic in LGBT Parade
SNAP crew marching with mobile clinic in Houston Pride Parad
SNAP staff and supporters marching with the Houston mobile clinic in the Houston Pride Parade on June 28, 2014.
A cadre of SNAP staff members and supporters walked with the Houston mobile clinic in the 2014 Houston Pride Parade last month. According to the Pride Houston website, the parade seeks to "educate the world on issues important to the LGBT community, commemorate our history and heritage, celebrate our culture and strive for equality." It also commemorates the Stonewall Riots that began the LGBT equality movement in 1969.

SNAP receives a great deal of support from various individuals, businesses, and organizations in the LGBT community. Participating in the parade is a way to recognize and express our appreciation for that support while showing support for LGBT equality in return.

SNAP is grateful to Pride Houston for the opportunity to participate in the parade. The organization is also grateful to all of the wonderful staff members and supporters who turned out to march in this year's parade.

SNAP San Antonio will be participating in the 2014 San Antonio Pride Parade on Saturday, July 5,2014. If you are interested in marching with us, please contact Rolando Gonzalez by calling 210-673-7722 x211 or sending email to If you're in the crowd watching the parade, be sure to give us a shout out when you see the SNAP mobile clinic roll by!
Upcoming SNAP Events
Saturday, July 5, 2014 - Houston, TX
  San Antonio Pride Parade
March with the SNAP mobile clinic to help us show our appreciation for the support of the LGBT community.
Sunday, July 13, 2014 - Houston, TX
  Brunch Benefit for SNAP at Local Pour
Join us for the first of two benefits 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. at Houston's Local Pour.
Sunday, July 20, 2014 - Houston, Texas
  SNAP/HEAF Donation Drive Event
Your gently used glasses, books, towels, and pet supplies benefit SNAP and Houston Eye Associates Foundation.
Sunday, August 10, 2014 - Houston, TX
  Brunch Benefit for SNAP at Local Pour
This is the second of two benefits. Come to one or both! 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 23, 2014 - Houston, TX
  Club Spayed Casino Night
Regardless of your luck at this Las Vegas-style event, you can bet the animals will win!
Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014 - Houston, TX
  Strut Your Mutt
Your dog and you can help raise funds for spay-neuter by participating in this dog strut-a-thon. Details coming soon!

Hedda HoundHedda Hound Banner
Hello Darlings!

Summer takes us to many outdoor recreation spots, and the ocean is a favorite destination for many. The sea is by turns beautiful, soothing, and dramatic. Did you know that it can also be quite dangerous for your canine friends? A number of threats lurk there—and not all of them come in the form of creatures. Certainly jellyfish, sharks, and other denizens pose a risk to dogs that enter the surf, but there is a far more subtle hazard. Read this month’s letter from Gallagher, a Great Dane from Galveston, to learn more.

Dear Hedda,

Living in a seaside town, I often visit the beach with my human friend, Melissa. She usually brings a floaty toy to toss into the surf for me to fetch. I just love romping in the water! Recently we were there, and after a while playing, I got really thirsty. No problem, right? There’s literally water everywhere! I decided to lap up a bit, but as soon as I started, a man started yelling at Melissa and running towards me. I didn’t know what to do, so I ran back to Melissa. This seemed to calm him down. He came over and talked to Melissa and told her that it is dangerous for dogs to drink salt water. I had scarcely drunk a drop, but Melissa took me to our vet to be on the safe side. They kept me there for a little while and did some tests on me, but it turned out I was okay. I sure was glad to get home that day. What’s so bad about a little salt water, Hedda?

Sign me,
A Salty Dog

Dear Salty,

Salt water is indeed dangerous for dogs—and for most other creatures that don’t live in the ocean. You might guess that it can cause a stomach ache, and it can, but it gets much worse than that. Ingesting too much salt can throw off the balance of electrolytes in your blood. This balance is critical to maintaining blood pressure, regulating the exchange of fluids to and from cells, and keeping your central nervous system operating properly. Consuming salt water disrupts this balance. Dr. Justine Lee, writing in Is Salt Water Poisonous to Dogs on the PetMD website (, reveals that it can lead to diarrhea, lethargy, excessive thirst or urination, injury to the kidneys, tremors, seizures, coma, and—if not treated quickly enough—death!
It’s not just salt from seawater that has this effect. Salt from any source, in sufficient quantity, will lead to the same result. Dogs should never be allowed to drink ocean water or eat table scraps containing any substantial quantity of salt. While humans find a bit of salt makes food tastier, too much of it isn’t good for them either.

So the next time your human family takes you to the beach, remind them to bring along plenty of fresh water and a bowl. Trust me, given the choice of fresh water or salt water, you will enjoy the former much more than the latter.
 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:
    The Jacob and Terese Hershey Foundation, $4,000
    Bunnies on the Bayou, $2,000
    Wharton County Stray Pet Outreach Team, $5,000
    Protecting Animals Within San Antonio, $2,300

Volunteers Raise $860 at Shampooch
Annual Dog Wash Was Graciously Sponsored by Whole Foods Market and Pet Paradise
A happy customer gets the spa treatment at Shampooch!
A happy customer gets the spa treatment at Shampooch. The event, which raised $860 for SNAP spay-neuter programs, was sponsored by Whole Foods Market and Pet Paradise Resorts.
SNAP volunteers cleaned up on Saturday, June 21, raising at total of $860 to help animals during the Shampooch dog wash sponsored by Whole Foods Market and Pet Paradise. The event was a real team effort with dozens of hardworking volunteers scrubbing and rinsing and petting dozens of lucky canines that stopped in for pampering. The event took place at four Whole Foods locations in Houston.

Each Whole Foods store provided a tent, a water hose, and non-allergenic shampoo. They also provided tents and bottled water to give our volunteers relief from the hot sun and dog biscuits so each pooch got a treat when bath time was over. Pet Paradise stepped up with eight dozen new towels for each location—which made it a cinch to get those freshly laundered dogs dry. They were also kind enough to allow SNAP to keep the towels at the end of the event. Our clinics go through tons of towels, so this in itself was a great act of support from Pet Paradise.

SNAP is deeply grateful to our wonderful volunteers. Shampooch could not have happened without the generous gift of your time and effort. We are also grateful to Whole Foods Market and Pet Paradise for the critical roles they played in making this fundraiser a success for the animals!
ARMA Board Matches Recent Member Donations
Society for Record and Information Professionals Gives an Additional $600 for Spay-Neuter
ARMA Houston is holding a Wish List donation drive for SNAP!
The board of directors of ARMA Houston was so impressed by its members’ recent donation drive that they voted to match the dollar value of their contributions with a check for $600. The membership held the “Shop for SNAP” drive during the winter to collect items from the SNAP wish list. They ultimately delivered $570 worth of cash and supplies to the Houston Spay-Neuter and Animal Wellness Clinic on Durham Dr. The matching contribution from the Houston board therefore brings total ARMA support for the year to nearly $1,200. “Assisting SNAP in its valuable service to people and pets was a pleasure and an honor,” noted the board in an accompanying statement.

SNAP is deeply grateful to the membership and board of ARMA Houston for its generous support of our programs to provide spay-neuter surgery and rabies vaccinations to dogs and cats in low-income households. The goal, of course, is to reduce the birth of unwanted animals that might otherwise end up homeless and to prevent the spread of a deadly disease.

Shop for SNAP was a project of ARMA Houston’s Community Outreach Initiative, which is dedicated to providing assistance to deserving regional charitable aid organizations. ARMA Houston is a nonprofit professional association for the information and records management industry and is a member chapter of ARMA International. The local chapter has more than 400 members.
Madame AstroCat[object Object]
Dear Readers,

Toxoplasma gondii (a protozoan that causes toxoplasmosis—or “toxic shock”) has been in the news recently, and there is a lot of confusion surrounding it and the risk of contracting it from cats. A recent article “How Your Cat is Making You Crazy” by Kathleen McAuliffe in The Atlantic profiles biologist Jaroslav Flegr. Dr. Flegr has spent years studying the insidious parasite, and he has developed both insights and theories about how it affects us as a result. In the service of public health, your peace of mind, and your cat’s reputation, this month I have decided to distill from Ms. McAuliffe’s article what is worthy of your concern and, perhaps just as importantly, what is not. All of this comes to you by way of my top ten list of things you need to know about Toxoplasma gondii:

10) It’s Common - According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 11 percent of U.S. citizens are infected with Toxoplasma gondii. This is however a much lower rate of infection than found in world at large. The worldwide the infection rate hovers at about 33 percent.

9) Symptoms Vary - Most people with a healthy immune system experience mild symptoms that mimic influenza. Pregnant women and persons with AIDS are at much greater risk. The disease is quite serious for them and can be deadly.

8) That’s Not All - Once the initial symptoms have passed, a latent infection may persist. While it has no obvious symptoms, it may have subtle effects on your habits and personality. How does this happen? Toxoplasma gondii enters your brain and may exert some influence over its neurobiological functions.

7) Men Withdraw - Flegr’s studies have revealed that “compared with uninfected men, males who had the parasite were more introverted, suspicious, oblivious to other people’s opinions of them, and inclined to disregard rules.”

6) Women Get Loud - The opposite is true for women. “Infected women…presented in exactly the opposite way: they were more outgoing, trusting, image-conscious, and rule-abiding than uninfected women.”

5) Both Are Slower - Infected members of both sexes were found to have slightly slower reaction times than those who are not infected. This means they are statistically more likely to be involved in traffic accidents because reaction time matters when you are trying to avoid a wreck.

4) It’s Not the Cat - While those with cats are at risk of infection, it is not transmitted through physical contact with the animal itself. Toxoplasma gondii lurks in a cat’s feces, and infection usually occurs through contact while cleaning your kitty’s litter box. If you are pregnant or have a compromised immune system, wear gloves when you clean up after kitty, and be sure to wash your hands afterwards.

3) There’s Good News (at Last) - Not all cats carry Toxoplasma gondii. In fact, most cats do not. Indoor cats have very little risk of exposure, and even in community cats the infection rate is less than 50 percent. Cats become infected by eating uncooked (or undercooked) meat. Mouse Tartar, anyone? While community cats may eat such things, indoor cats almost never do.

2) It Gets Better - Cats only pass the parasite’s spores in their feces for 1-3 weeks after they are infected, and the spores are incapable of infecting humans until a day or so after they have been excreted. This means if you scoop your litter box daily, the chances of contracting Toxoplasma gondii from your cat are virtually nonexistent. (A study conducted at the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign even concludes that the incidence of infection is “not related to cat ownership.”

1) There’s A Catch - This is always a catch. Even if your cat is free of the creepy little bug, you can still become infected yourself. How can this be? You can get it the same way cats do—by eating uncooked or undercooked meat. So lay off the rare sirloin if you don’t want to be in a car wreck!

Quote of the Month
"The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue." ~ Unknown
No-Birth is the First Step to No-Kill
Copyright 1999-2014, 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.


Bayou City Art Festival


All active news articles