News & Events
SNAPtales, the newsletter of the Spay-Neuter Assistance Prog
In This Issue
January 1, 2015
- 51,553 -
 The number of dogs
and cats helped by
your gifts between
Jan. 1 and Nov. 30, 2014
SNAP has sterilized over
dogs and cats since being
founded in 1993
It's Never Too Late to Save a Life
SNAP Volunteer Saved Two Cats; You Saved Them from Unwanted Litters

Larry and Melanie with Sonny and Foxy, homeless cats they sa
Melanie and Larry holding Foxy and Sonny (respectively). DONATE TODAY to help animals like Sonny and Foxy get spay-neuter surgery to prevent unwanted litters of offspring.
While driving to work last June, Larry saw a small furry animal dash across the street, almost getting hit by three other cars. Not sure what it was, he pulled over, got out of his car, and soon established that it was a small tabby cat. Already late to work, Larry didn’t have time to rescue the animal but said a quick prayer: “God, if you’ll keep him safe, I’ll pick him up when I come back.”

Larry returned to the spot when he got off work. After spending 30 minutes looking for the cat, he thought to himself, “This is nuts, you’re never going to find him.” Shortly thereafter, however, he found the creature deep in some weeds behind barbed wire in an empty lot. To Larry’s shock, the poor kitty had dislocated paws and extra toes on his hind legs. It would later be determined that both deformities were congenital. True to his promise, he took the cat back to his San Antonio area home, where he and his wife Melanie named him Sonny.

Surprisingly, Sonny's physiological defects had no visible effect on his mobility. He loves to climb and run around as much as any other cat.

The story does not end there. Larry subsequently spotted a female cat outside the hospital where he works. He watched her for many days, hoping someone would pick her up and take her home. When no one did, Larry enlisted help from a coworker to befriend the feline. She was then taken home and welcomed into the family as a playmate for Sonny. The couple named her Foxy. Today, Sonny and Foxy are inseparable. They sleep together, groom each other, and play to their hearts’ content. These two lovely kittens have become like two peas in a pod. This made it all the more important that they both be sterilized.

Larry and his wife are no strangers to SNAP. While they qualify for free services, they also volunteer to help community cats through Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR). This is the process of capturing stray and community cats, having them spayed or neutered, and returning them to the area where they were caught. It is the most effective way to reduce homeless cat populations. Larry took a TNR class two years ago and has been trapping and coming to SNAP ever since. “We just know that you guys do a good service and you give the cats great care.”

Did you wait too late to donate to receive a tax donation on your 2014 income taxes? There is good news. The most important reason to donate has not changed. When you help one cat or dog get spay-neuter surgery, you save many more from the possibility of ending up homeless or being killed in a shelter. That tax benefit doesn’t really go away either. You just have to wait until next year to claim it. Donate today to help animals like Sonny and Foxy. It’s never too late to save a life.

Squeaker Finds a Home
Community Kitten Becomes Household Fixture Thanks to Dinkins Fund and Volunteers
Sammy Squeaker, saved by the Dinkins Fund Community Cat Fund
Sammy Squeaker, a lucky kitty saved thanks to the Dinkins Fund Community Cat Program, SNAP volunteers, and adopter Chris Lusher. If you would like to help community cats through TNR, contact program coordinator Rebecca Ayres via email or by calling 713-862-3863.
The Dinkins Fund Community Cat Program is off to a joyous start with the sterilization of many cats already and, while it is not strictly part of the program, the adopting of a lucky few. Squeaks is one such success story. The kitten was found by Amy Denton, a volunteer with the program, at her apartment in Westchase. Amy called SNAP program coordinator Rebecca Ayres wondering what to do about the animal. Rebecca in turn called some of the other Dinkins volunteers, and found a couple of students who are experienced kitten foster parents. Their names are Marcella Gonzalez and Josh Andrade.

Josh picked up Squeaks and took care of him for about three weeks so he could be dewormed, vaccinated, and tested for the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV). Meanwhile, SNAP staff networked Squeaks via social media, and a friend of one of our Pasadena veterinary technicians contacted us about him. We put the adopter, Chris Lusher, in contact with Marcella and Josh, and they set up a meeting. Squeaks was a perfect match for Chris. Now Squeaks is getting to know his new home and his new name: Sammy Squeaker! He also spends plenty of time playing with his big-sister kitty, Grace. Once the little guy reaches four pounds, he will be set up with a neuter appointment at the SNAP Pasadena Spay-Neuter and Animal Wellness Clinic.

Sammy Squeaker started life on the streets but landed on his feet thanks to the Dinkins Fund Community Cat Program and some wonderful SNAP volunteers. Note that the program does not seek to find adoptive homes, and SNAP is not an adoption agency--so we cannot accept homeless animals for placement. Sometimes things just work out for the best!

If you are interested in helping Houston area community cats through participation in the program, please consider attending our TNR workshop and becoming part of our volunteer team. You will be trained in TNR methods enabling you to help free-roaming cats in your neighborhood lead healthier lives and avoid giving birth to additional homeless offspring. The next workshop is scheduled for Saturday, January 24, 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m. If you are ready to register for it, you can do so on our website.

Workshops are for both TNR veterans and those new to the practice. In them, you will learn:

    What a feral cat is (versus a stray or other free-roaming cat)
    The basics of Trap-Neuter-Return (with hands-on practice)
    Where to get supplies
    How to advocate for cats
    Tips for caring for outdoor cats
    What SNAP offers

Plus you can network with other trappers in the Houston area! Please contact the program coordinator, Rebecca Ayres, via email or by calling 713-862-3863 today for more information or to volunteer!
Here Comes World Spay Day!
SNAP Planning Spay-Neuter Events to Observe Worldwide Day of Awareness

SNAP is planning special events for World Spay Day 2015.
February is Spay-Neuter Awareness Month, and with it comes the 21st annual World Spay Day! SNAP is busy planning special spay-neuter events to observe the occasion! Tuesday, February 24, 2015, is the big day. Watch the SNAP event calendar and our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages for details as they become available.

World Spay Day is sponsored by the Humane Society of the United States. According to the organization, it “began as Spay Day USA back in 1995. Since that time, the number of cats and dogs sharing U.S. households has increased by as much as 60% while the number euthanized in shelters has decreased from 10 million or more to around 3 million. This is an incredible achievement. But there is still work to be done.

“The Pets for Life program of The HSUS found that, while nearly 80% of owned cats and dogs in the U.S. are spayed or neutered, close to 90% of cats and dogs in under-served communities are not sterilized. Further, up to 98% of community (feral and stray) cats are unsterilized. Raising awareness of the need for affordable and accessible spay/neuter services in under-served communities, and of the need for more TNR programs, can be excellent focal points for World Spay Day actions.”

The HSUS identifies under-served communities and community cats as the greatest areas of need this year. SNAP is already working to help free-roaming cats via our Dinkins Fund Community Cat Program. (See separate article in this issue.)

Take A Step in the Right Direction

Join Team SNAP to Help the Animal Aid Program Benefit from AIDS Walk Houston 2015

Join Team SNAP at AIDS Walk Houston to raise funds for AAP.
AIDS Foundation Houston (AFH) has again selected Spay-Neuter Assistance Program to be a beneficiary of AIDS Walk Houston. Please come be a part of the team and help raise money for SNAP! The monies received will support the Animal AID Program (AAP) which helps provide free and reduced-cost services to dogs and cats living in families affected by HIV and AIDS. SNAP is honored to be a community partner with AFH.

If you have skipped the walk in the past because it started too early in the morning for you, there is good news! This year the walk is on a new schedule with registration beginning at noon, the walk starting at 1:00 p.m., and the post-walk festival getting underway at 2:00 p.m. It all takes place on Sunday, March 8, 2015, at Sam Houston Park at 1100 Bagby St, Houston, TX 77002.

Register to walk with Team SNAP and get your family and friends to support you--or donate directly to Team SNAP or any walker that is participating. Be sure to share your support for the SNAP AAP on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites as well!

AIDS Walk Houston 2015 is produced by AIDS Foundation Houston, Inc., and benefits local AIDS Service Organizations striving to make an impact in the fight against AIDS while providing vital social services to Houstonians living with HIV/AIDS.

SNAP is deeply grateful to AIDS Foundation Houston for its ongoing support for the SNAP AAP and amazing assistance to all persons living with HIV and AIDS.
Dogs in 78227 and 78237 Fixed Free
San Antonio ACS Grant Provides Free Spay-Neuter Surgery for Dogs from Two Zip Codes

Live in 78227 or 78237? Get your dog fixed for free! (Ltd. t
Calling all pup parents living in the 78227 and 78237 zip codes! Thanks to a grant from San Antonio Animal Care Services (ACS), we can sterilize your dogs for free. You have to hurry though; this is a limited time offer! It expires for the 78227 zip code in April and for the 78237 zip code in June. (Those are ACS’s rules, not ours. No haters!)

All you have to do is to set up an appointment and show up with your four-footed friend and proof of residency. Request an appointment via our online appointment request system or by calling 210-673-7722. Hurry! This offer is only good for a few months. It’s time to act if you want to take advantage of it!

Upcoming SNAP Events
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 - Everywhere
  World Spay Day
Event details coming soon on the SNAP event calendar and our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.
Sunday, March 8, 2015 – Houston, TX
  AIDS Walk Houston
Join Team SNAP to raise money for dogs and cats helped by our Animal Aid Program.
Saturday, March 21, 2015 - San Antonio, TX
  San Antonio Pet Expo
SNAP returns to the San Antonio Pet Expo again this year. Stop by the booth and say hello!

Hedda HoundHedda Hound Banner
Hello Darlings!

Dogs love to wag their tails, and everyone knows what it means when they do, right? Of course! It means they’re happy! Not so fast, Bucky. A wagging tail can mean many things, and while it is usually a good sign, it isn’t always, especially if the dog is Cujo. No, I don’t mean the scary movie dog. (Thanks for giving big dogs a bad rep, Mr. Stephen King.) I mean Cujo, the Chihuahua mix from Castle Hills who sent in this month’s letter. Read on to learn more.

Dear Hedda,

I am a fairly happy dog most of the time, except when I’m nervous, and I guess I get nervous a lot. I don’t know why. I don’t drink coffee or anything. I guess it’s just the way I am. Anyway, new people often make me nervous, but somehow they don’t understand that I am feeling wary and come right up and start petting me. I usually calm down pretty quickly, but I am wondering, Hedda, why don’t humans understand?

Sign me,
All Shook Up

Dear Shakey,

A recent article by Joseph Castro, a contributor to the Live Science website, points out that humans aren’t always very good at reading canine body language. More specifically, they tend to think every wag of the tail means a dog is happy. This is a gross overgeneralization that can lead to misunderstandings of just the type you experience. While most tail-wagging does indeed indicate positive emotions, a tail wagged to the left indicates negative emotions—such as nervousness. It is entirely possible you are wagging your tail to the left. Humans, not understanding the subtleties of tail position, could thus be interpreting this to mean you are happy as a clam. (A tail wagged to the right is associated with more positive emotions, and vigorous wagging to both sides indicates excitement.)

Fortunately, recent studies documented in Mr. Castro’s article are helping educate the human world about tail wagging. With your help, Cujo, we will spread the word that there is more than one way to wag a tail. 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:

    Brown Foundation, $50,000
    The Dixie Starnes Wenger Foundation, $10,000

    Bernice Barbour Foundation, $5,000
    George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation, $5,000
    On Shore Foundation, $1,000
    Walmart Foundation, $1,000 (LaPorte Walmart)
    J. Harry Tappan and Winnie Converse Charitable Trust, $500
    Robertson Finley Foundation, $1,000
    Lost Pawses Foundation, $2,000
An Avalanche of Collars and Leashes

We Asked, You Gave, and Many Animals Will Be Helped as a Result!
It's an avalanche of collars and leashes! THANKS!!!
Last month we announced a leash and collar drive, and you responded like champions! Just a few weeks later, each of our clinic drop-off points was heavily laden with new collars and leashes of every size and description. Many of you also brought collars and leashes to our holiday gathering at the Local Pour brew pub on Thursday, December 18.

These items will be given to mobile clinic clients who bring in animals without them. A collar and leash are critical to ensuring the safety of dogs and cats—especially when they are in an unfamiliar setting. Fear can cause an animal to bolt and become lost or run into traffic.

We are grateful to all of you who answered the call to help protect animals in yet another way through your participation in this drive. We would also like to thank everyone who came to our holiday party. It was so good to see you!
Say Hello at the San Antonio Pet Expo
Stop by to Learn about Spay-Neuter, Animal Wellness, SNAP Services, or to Say Howdy!
Stop by and say hello at the 2015 San Antonio Pet Expo!
The SNAP street team will once again trek down to the San Antonio Event Center for the San Antonio Pet Expo, and we hope to see you there! The annual event takes place on Saturday, March 21, 2015, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. SNAP staff will be on hand to answer your questions about animal health, spay-neuter, and SNAP services. If you don’t need to talk about any of those things, stop by and say howdy anyway!

What is there to do at the expo? There are plenty of other exhibitors, prize giveaways, adoption events, free and discounted services, agility demonstrations, obedience demonstrations, author events, live entertainment, and much much more!

Parking is free, and you are welcome to bring your pet on a lead or in a carrier as long as you provide proof that he or she has had all age-appropriate vaccinations. The San Antonio Event Center is located at 8111 Meadow Leaf Drive, San Antonio, TX 78227.
Madame AstroCat[object Object]
Dear Readers,

Happy New Year to you all! Some think 2014 was a bit of a stinker, and I’m not going to argue with them. Let’s get 2015 off to a good start with some important wisdom about how to promote better relations between humans and felines. Yes, this month I present you with the Cat’s Ten Commandments! “Wait,” I hear you saying. Didn’t you present that list just a while back? Yes I did, but this isn’t the same one. This one comes from Karen, a contributor to the Pet Of The Day website. It is a bit more tongue in cheek than the previously published version—but just a bit. I have also reordered it to put what I believe to be the most important commandment at all in the number one position. You had better not be surprised at what it is!

10. Recognition - Acknowledge that I am Cat - no other is above Me. Not even you.

9. Stuff - If you leave it on a counter, it's fair game. Ditto that small trash can. If you treasure that pen, or piece of paper or knickknack - hide it away. After all, I keep my best toys hidden; you should, too. But the spot under the refrigerator is mine; find your own spot.

8. Attention - Pay attention. I am not going to be able to tell you if I am not feeling well, and besides, I don't like showing weakness. I am a cat, the top of the food chain and social order. But if you notice a big change in my behavior, that change may mean a trip to the vets is in order.

7. Toys - I have a mind of my own. Please do not be upset if I like the packaging better than the expensive toy you just bought me--or the bag you brought it home in. Just be grateful I like something.

6. Litter - Did you know my sense of smell is 12 times better than yours? So as much as you hate a smelly litter box, it bothers me 12 times as much! Please help keep it clean, and we'll both be happier.

5. Fur - The fur I shed is my gift to you, so I am with you wherever you go. It is not my fault when you choose garments that do not match my fur color.

4. Teeth - When people visit, remember I have teeth and will defend myself if necessary. If I flee, do not reveal my choice hiding spots.

3. Affection - My affection is mine to dole out, it cannot be forced. Don't try.

2. Respect - Anyone who says I am "just a cat" is not worthy of your time and attention.

1. Spay-Neuter - Please have me spayed or neutered. Remember how hard it was being a hormonal teenager? How'd you like to have to live through that several times a year? I don't want to, and believe me, I will let you know!

Quote of the Month
"Anybody who doesn't know what soap tastes like never washed a dog."  ~ Franklin P. Jones
No-Birth is the First Step to No-Kill
Copyright 1999-2015, 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