News & Events
SNAPtales, the newsletter of the Spay-Neuter Assistance Prog
In This Issue
April 1, 2015
- 9,524 -
 The number of dogs
and cats helped by
your gifts between
Jan. 1 and Feb. 28, 2014
SNAP has sterilized over
dogs and cats since being
founded in 1993
Something Big Is Coming
Save the Date for The Big Give S.A. It’s A Cause as Big as Texas!

Something BIG is coming!
Save the date for May 5, 2015! On that day we are asking all supporters of the Spay-Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP) to come together for 24 hours of giving during The Big Give S.A. While this mammoth fundraising event is focused on San Antonio, keeping animals out of shelters and giving them the best possible chance for a long and healthy life makes this a cause as big as Texas! Consider it an opportunity to make a real impact as part of the greater family and community that includes all Texans and their animals. All you have to do is to commit to donating to SNAP on May 5th through The Big Give S.A. website. When you do, you will help us become eligible for prize money and matching funds that will increase the value of your gift.

We know that many of you already donate generously to SNAP, and we are grateful to you for your kind support. What do we do with your money? We bring our mobile clinics to low-income neighborhoods to provide spay-neuter surgery and rabies vaccinations for deserving dogs and cats from qualifying homes. And remember, a rabies vaccination doesn’t just protect the animals. It keeps them from passing on this dreaded disease to you and your family as well. Helping animals in this way results in communities that contribute less to animal overpopulation and more to assure that the animals—and those who love them—are all healthier.

SNAP is seeking to increase services in the areas we serve, but it is a huge job, and our resources are limited. We need your kind assistance to bring the SNAP mobile clinic to more neighborhoods where the animals are in desperate need. To that end, please give as generously as you can when The Big Give S.A. rolls around on Tuesday, May 5, 2015.

For more information, please visit The Big Give S.A. FAQ, and watch our social media channels for details as the big day approaches!.

Saving Animals One Community at a Time
PetSmart Charities Films as SNAP Sterilizes 55 Dogs and Cats in Trailer Park Project
SNAP staffers trapped feral cats overnight for sterilization
SNAP staff members carry captured cats to the mobile clinic for sterilization in the early morning hours. Feral cats were trapped overnight as part of a larger spay-neuter effort in the General McMullen Mobile Home Park in San Antonio, Texas.
SNAP sterilized 22 dog and cats on Friday, March 20, 2015, as part of a larger project to help animals in the General McMullen Mobile Home Park in San Antonio. The effort will ultimately include a number of visits to the community with the goal of spaying and neutering as many animals as possible. A second visit took place on Friday, March 27, 2015. Another 33 cats and dogs were sterilized that day, bringing the two-visit total to 55 animals!

The mobile park has 90 mobile homes. It is also home to a large community cat population and numerous dogs. Sadly, many of the latter spend their lives tied up to trees while others roam free. On a more positive note, PetSmart Charities was on-site to film the first visit for a series of short documentaries it is producing about such endeavors.

The project was conceived when Rebecca Rangel, the property manager of the park and a regular SNAP client, approached the organization to express interest in having the mobile clinic come to the development. The park is in the 78237 zip code, which qualifies for free services under a grant from San Antonio Animal Care Services (ACS). Mrs. Rangel did her part by volunteering to get residents to schedule appointments. The community cats, of course, would not be accommodated through this approach, so the SNAP team trapped 12 of them overnight before the first visit, and another 10 were trapped prior to the second visit. A substantial part of the project therefore involves a Trap-Neuter-Return (T-N-R) effort.

The day was not publicized on the regular mobile schedule. SNAP San Antonio is trying a new approach to make the mobile program more impactful by parking in low-income residential neighborhoods, using volunteers to help with scheduling and outreach, and trying to reach 100 percent of the animals that need to be sterilized. We are calling this new strategy the SNAP Community Connection!

In addition to filming the proceedings, PetSmart Charities interviewed Dr. Lawler to obtain additional information about the project. The goal of the video is to illustrate how funds donated to such efforts result in less animal overpopulation and improved lives for the animals that live in our communities. PetSmart Charities envisions “a world in which every pet has a lifelong, loving home.” This is deeply compatible with the SNAP vision of “a world where there are no homeless dogs and cats.” As part of this cooperative effort, PetSmart Charities will be sharing with SNAP the photos and video it took the day of the event. When it does, you can be sure it will turn up in future issues of SNAPtales and our social media channels.

The first visit to the General McMullen Mobile Home Park was a great success, and if it is any indication, the larger project promises to make a hugely positive change in the lives of the animals that live there. SNAP is grateful to ACS for the funding that helped make the event possible and to PetSmart Charities for its support of the event and our efforts to help dogs and cats in the areas we serve.
Team SNAP Raises over $8,400 at AIDS Walk

Surpassing $5,000 Threshold Earns Additional Funding for AAP
SNAP team members at AIDS Walk Houston 2015.
SNAP is elated to announce that our AIDS Walk Houston Team hit and surpassed, its $5,000 goal! This means that SNAP, as a beneficiary of the walk-a-thon, will receive a larger percentage of the funds raised by the event. These funds will go to support the SNAP Animal Aid Program (AAP), which provides free spay-neuter and reduced-cost wellness services for animals living in homes affected by HIV/AIDS.

The walk itself took place on a rainy Sunday in early March, but the wet weather did nothing to impede the fundraising efforts of Team SNAP. AIDS Walk Houston is sponsored by AIDS Foundation Houston (AFH). SNAP is a partner with AFH and is deeply grateful to the agency for making SNAP a beneficiary of the event.

We are also deeply grateful to all who participated and gave in support of the team, and especially to team members Karon Allen, who raised $3,485, and Kate Smargiasso, who raised $2,573. Great job, team!

A Gift and the Power of Commitment
P.E.T. Project Transforms East Aldine; Management District Donates Tent in Thanks

Tent donated by East Aldine Management District
SNAP staff and clients gather beneath tent donated by the East Aldine Management District.
The P.E.T. Project has brought together a number of local animal welfare agencies—including SNAP—to transform the East Aldine area. The East Aldine Management District has been a central player as well, committing a set part of its budget to continue support of the effort. Under the project, the Houston mobile clinic visits the area on a regular basis to provide free spay-neuter and rabies vaccinations to animals of area residents. Recently the management district showed its appreciation for the clinic’s staff by donating a large tent to protect the staff from the elements during morning intake and afternoon pick-up. SNAP team member Judy Barnett said they will put the protection to good use. The East Aldine Management District is the local municipal authority over the East Aldine area.

The P.E.T. Project is spearheaded by the Veterinary Public Health (VPH) division of the Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services (HCPHES). SNAP recently spoke with Janis Jefferson, MPH, who runs the project for HCPHES. She explained that the project is a partnership between the county, SNAP, and a number of other community partners with the goal of creating “a community of pet owners who handle their animals in a manner that protects their neighbors, their animals, and—of course—themselves.” P.E.T. stands for Protect, Educate, and Train. Jefferson noted that VPH “launched this effort in the Aldine Community using existing infrastructure and events along with new services such as free dog training, pit bull training, discounted rabies vaccinations/adoptions and spay/neuter services.”

According to Jefferson, many residents of East Aldine prefer dogs that have a reputation for being dangerous. Not only are these animals valued for their perceived role in home defense, but they also lend “street cred” to those who have them. The project’s educational component has helped those who keep such dogs understand that the greatest respect is due not just to those who have them but to those who have trained and can control them. This knowledge has created a sea change in attitudes and brought order and pride to the neighborhood. The neighborhood is now much safer for both humans and animals as a result.

As part of the P.E.T. Project, SNAP has conducted dozens of spay-neuter days in the East Aldine area over the past few years. Jefferson said that the project has reached over 1,500 residents and made the message of responsible animal ownership available to an entire community.

The success of the P.E.T. Project in East Aldine is an example of how effective a public, private, and nonprofit partnership can be in improving neighborhoods. The P.E.T. Project hopes to build on this success with a nascent expansion to an area in Katy, Texas. SNAP is proud to be part of this partnership and is excited to play a role in its ongoing work to improve the lives of dogs and cats and the communities where they live.

Saving Animals in Ecuador
SNAP Team Participates in Spay-Neuter Campaign in South America

Jennifer Granado and Tonia Floresvega in Ambato, Ecuador.
A veterinary team from SNAP recently participated in a spay-neuter campaign in the city of Ambato, Ecuador, that saw 1,463 animals spayed and neutered over the course of five days. The project brought together 12 veterinarians from the U.S., Canada, England, and Ecuador with nine performing surgery and three acting in supporting roles. Six surgeons conducted surgery at a municipal animal shelter in Ambato. Three surgeons traveled to remote locations around the edges of the city to perform surgery in MASH-style (temporary) clinics. Spay-neuter surgery and a rabies vaccination were provided free for the animals of anyone who showed up for a clinic.

The need for the project sprang from a grim tradition in Ambato where animals were brought to a weekly flea market to be sold as pets. When the market day ended, any animals not sold were dumped into a garbage dumpster and left to die. PAE Ambato works to educate the community and provide spay-neuter services to help end this disturbing cycle.  The Municipal Government of Ambato recently placed a cage at the site of the flea market to give the merchants an alternative to abandoning animals in the dumpster.  Over 200 animals are left in the cage each week. The city collects them and transports them to the Municipal Animal Control Facility.

SNAP provided a team of four staff members for the spay-neuter campaign: Dr. Mary Kate Lawler (surgeon), Tonia Floresvega (veterinary technician), Jennifer Granado (veterinary technician) and Samantha Villa (animal assistant and interpreter).  Jennifer and Tonia worked together as a surgery preparation team to anesthetize animals and prepare them for surgery.  Samantha assisted surgeons with anesthesia, monitored patients on the surgery tables, and moved animals from surgery to the recovery area. Dr. Lawler contributed her services as a surgeon.

The project brought in Ecuadorian veterinary students to assist and gain experience. The veterinarians also exchanged ideas and shared their knowledge with one another.  Various anesthesia protocols and surgical techniques were among the topics explored and evaluated by the doctors.

The event took place between February 22 and March 1, 2015. It was sponsored by the GAD Municipality of Ambato and Protection Animal Ecuador (PAE) Ambato, a nonprofit organization that promotes animal welfare in the city. Dr. Diego Barrera, who heads PAE Ambato, led the project.

The spay-neuter campaign was an unqualified success and received considerable positive coverage by the local news media. SNAP is proud to have played a part in saving the lives of so many innocent animals in the city of Ambato, but we could not have done it without the contributions of our donors. Thank you for your support!

Party with SNAP at Fiesta Pooch Parade
SNAP Booth to Offer Fun, Information, and Awesome Fiesta Pins for Just $10 Each!

Two pups party at the 2014 Pooch Parade!
Two of the pups who partied at the 2014 Fiesta Pooch Parade in San Antonio. SNAP returns to the 2015 event on Saturday, April 25, 2015.
The Fiesta Pooch Parade is just a few weeks away, and SNAP will be there! This will be our second year at the San Antonio event, and we have an all new SNAP Fiesta pin to commemorate the occasion! Be sure to stop by to say hello, and while you are there, you can buy a pin for just $10. We are bringing more than we had last year, but supplies are still limited, so stop by early! The pins are a great way to remember Fiesta and an even better way to show your support for our four-legged friends! The SNAP staff will also be ready to provide you with information about spay-neuter and animal wellness as well as the related products and services SNAP provides. There could be a giveaway item or two as well!

This will be the 17th annual Fiesta Pooch Parade. It is proudly presented by Therapy Animals of San Antonio and is part of the larger Fiesta celebration that runs through the month of April. The event includes a costume contest for your canine friends. (Be sure to see rules and restrictions for bringing your animal posted on the Pooch Parade website.) If your dog has the best costume, he or she could go home with the prize!

The excitement gets underway on Saturday, April 25, 2015. The costume contest starts at 8:15 a.m., and the parade is 9:00-11:00 a.m. The contest and exhibition area take place at The Pool in Alamo Heights, which is located at 250 Viesca St., San Antonio, Texas 78209. The parade departs from there and follows a 2.6 mile route through the park-like community of Alamo Heights.” Dress up your pooch, and stop by to say hello!

Bayou City Pups Raise $3,653 for AAP
MOSH Event Benefitted Spay-Neuter with Auctions, a Raffle, and Drink Specials

Bayou City Pups raised $3653 for SNAP Animal Aid Program!
The Bayou City Pups raised $3,653 at their recent MOSH fundraiser for the SNAP Animal Aid Program. Chip Ware and special guest Sandy "Mama" Reinhardt present a check to SNAP board member Roger Barker and Director of Administration Gil Lizalde.
The Bayou City Pups, a Houston LGBT community organization, recently held a fundraiser that brought in $3,653 for the SNAP Animal Aid Program. The organization sold drinks, held a raffle, and staged wildly successful silent and live auctions to generate the funds. The event was also a send off for organization member Chip “Pup Rok” Ware, who went on to represent Houston at the first-ever Southern Most Puppy Contest March 28 in New Orleans--a competition which he ultimately won. We congratulate Chip on his victory!

Sandy “Mama” Reinhardt was a special guest of the event, and cherry-flavored shots--dubbed Mama’s Cherry Bombs--were sold in her honor. Loyd Powell acted as the auctioneer for the live auction and did a fantastic job of getting top dollar for each item.

The Animal Aid Program provides free spay-neuter, free wellness exams, and a 40 percent discount on wellness services for animals living in homes affected by HIV/AIDS.

MOSH took place at the Ripcord on March 13, 2015. SNAP is deeply grateful to the Bayou City Pups, Sandy "Mama" Reinhardt, Chip Ware, Loyd Powell, everyone who donated the various auction and raffle items, and last but not least the Ripcord for supporting the Animal Aid Program with this fun and hugely successful fundraising event.

Upcoming SNAP Events
Saturday, April 4, 2015 - Houston, TX
  Houston Rockets 3rd Annual Dog Walk
SNAP joins the Rockets annual dog walk at 8 a.m. in support of the Hermann Park Conservancy.
Saturday, April 25, 2015 - San Antonio, TX
  Fiesta Pooch Parade
The SNAP booth will have great Fiesta pins for sale as well as useful information and freebies!
 Tuesday, May 5, 2015 - San Antonio, TX
  The Big Give S.A.
Give to help the animals during The Big Give S.A. It’s a cause as big as Texas!

Hedda HoundHedda Hound Banner
Hello Darlings!

Do you like to eat? I sure do! Sometimes it’s hard not to overeat. I try not to, and I make sure to get lots of exercise just in case. (Hey, I can still fit in that Vera Wang dress that’s in my profile photo!) Did you know some people don’t even know that dogs can be overweight? Read this month’s letter from Pugsley, a pug from Pasadena, to learn more.

Dear Hedda,

I was at the doggie park with Cody, my human dad, the other day when someone asked him if he thought it was time to put me on a diet. Apparently the guy thought I was fat! Cody just laughed at him and pointed out that dogs don’t have to worry about weight—and that all pugs are roly-poly. Can you believe that, Hedda? Someone thinks pugs are fat just because we’re a bit on the cylindrical side. What a laugh… right?

Sign me,
No Doubt (Sorta)

Dear Sorta,

I sense you realize that dogs (and cats) can indeed be overweight and that it can be a serious health issue when they are. It is, in fact, just as serious a matter for a dog as it is for a human. I am totally against fat-shaming, and increasingly medical science is finding that there are genetic and medical issues that make it difficult or impossible for some people (and likely some dogs as well) to be thin. That does not change the fact that excess weight puts you at increased risk for a number of diseases, including cancer. If you can reasonably do something about it, you should.

One thing that pugs in particular have to watch out for is hip dysplasia. According to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, pugs are the second most likely breed to suffer from the disorder. It involves poorly fitting and improperly formed hip joints. Being svelte doesn’t mean you won’t experience hip dysplasia, but being overweight means it will be much more of a problem for you if you do. The malady can eventually lead to arthritis. That’s no picnic by any measure, and added weight can make it harder to deal with as well.

So how much of a problem is canine obesity? An annual report on animal well being, published by the Pet Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) in the U.K., estimates that one in every three dogs in the U.K. is overweight. Obesity patterns in animals tend to mirror obesity patterns in humans, and there are more overweight humans in the U.S. (as a percentage of the overall population) than there are in the U.K., so that does not bode well for dogs in the U.S.

How do you lose weight? It starts with a good diet, portion control, and plenty of exercise. Your human family members should make sure they take you out to walk and run and play on a frequent basis. It’s not just good for you; it’s good for them as well!
How much should you weigh? Have your human parent talk to your veterinarian when you have your next checkup. The vet will know whether you need to lose weight, and if so how much. And when you’re done, remind your human to talk to his or her own physician. You might not be the only one who needs to drop a few pounds. 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, nonprofits, and corporations for their recent grant awards to SNAP:

    Tapeats Fund, $10,000
    Best Friends Animal Society, $4,650
    Castroville Nip & Tuck, $4,600
    Corridor Rescue, $2,750
    Susman Family Foundation, $2,750
    Sidney Stern Memorial Trust, $1,500
T’was a Bonny St. Petrick’s Day

SNAP Outreach Team Shared the Luck at Traders Village in San Antonio
Molly (right) and Lyn with her dog Ruby at Trader's Village.
SNAP Staffers Molly (right) and Lyn--with her dog Ruby--at St. Petrick's Day at Trader's Village in San Antonio, Texas.
About a month ago, SNAP San Antonio Clinic Manager Molly Phillips went to Traders Village, a humongous flea market emporium, on a day off to shop. When she entered the complex, she was given a flyer that said the market was having a “pet event” on Sunday, March 15, 2015, called St. Petrick’s Day! When she got to work the next day, Molly wasted little time calling the folks who run Traders Village to see if they would allow SNAP set up a booth. They did— for free! (They also asked if SNAP would contact any rescue groups we were aware of that might like to adopt out pets at the event. We contacted a dozen. Alas, one actually showed up, but that didn’t stop SNAP from having a bonny St. Petrick’s Day!

The SNAP street team set up a booth and roughly 250 people stopped by to chat! Team members shared information about spay-neuter and wellness, city ordinances (which require animals to be sterilized), and specific SNAP products and services. They also gave out some free goodies! SNAP was lucky that Molly happened to visit Traders Village on just the right day to find out about the upcoming event and that the organizers were willing to let us set up a booth for free. With all that luck, we felt we had to do everything we could to share the luck with everyone who came by!
SNAP Sells NIOSA Shuttle Tix at The Annex
San Antonio Pride Fundraiser Provides Shuttle Service to Night in Old San Antonio
Logo of The Annex
On Tuesday, April 21, 2014, the SNAP team will “own” part of The Annex, a San Antonio area LGBT community bar. No, SNAP isn’t going into the business. Instead, our staff members will temporarily use this piece of real estate to sell tickets for a shuttle bus that will transport patrons of the bar to the Night in Old San Antonio (NIOSA) event. The shuttle bus service is a fundraiser with proceeds going to support the city’s annual LGBT Pride celebration. SNAP is beneficiary of Pride 2015. Anyone who needs a shuttle bus ticket will be able to purchase one on the spot for just $5. It is good for round-trip transit, so you can park at the club and avoid having to find a parking place at the NIOSA event venue. The shuttles will run from 5:30 to 10:00 p.m.

SNAP is grateful to San Antonio Pride for making SNAP, and more importantly the animals we help, a beneficiary of this year’s festivities. We hope to see you all at The Annex as you launch your evening at NIOSA!
Madame AstroCat[object Object]
Dear Readers,

CYou know what a hashtag is, right? In case you don’t, it’s simply a word or phrase preceded by a hash (#) sign. Hashtags are a simple way to add search terms to posts on social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter. #SpayNeuter is an obvious hashtag for what SNAP does. You can even make a hashtag part of the message itself: “#SpayNeuter your four-footed pals,” for example. On Twitter, this has been taken one step further thanks in large part to a Comedy Central television show called @Midnight. Chris Hardwick, the host of the show, introduces a hashtag on each show and challenges viewers to post funny tweets that are inspired by or make use of the hashtag. The game is called Hashtag Wars. Some say it’s just silly. They’re right! Is this a bad thing? I think not! So, what do you think is one of the most common subjects for Hashtag War tweets? Think, people. This is the Internet. It’s cats. Therefore, this month I bring you my top ten Hashtag War tweets involving cats!

10. #SofterActionHeroes - In case you haven’t quite gotten the hang of this yet, Adam Waddle (‏whose Twitter handle is @TheAdamWaddle) comes to your rescue by pointing out that “Sylvester The Cat Stallone” would be a softer action hero.

9. #BudgetBooks - Brianna Oppenheimer (‏@FlutteryourLash) shares her favorite budget book for this hashtag. It’s “The Cat in the Hand-Me-Down Hat.” Are hashtags (and Hashtag Wars) starting to make sense now? Okay, time to graduate. I offer no more explanations, simply my own observations regarding the hashtags to follow.

8. #MyExIn5Words - “Made me a cat lady.” That was easy enough, right? One thing I don’t understand. If your ex made you a cat lady, why are you no longer together? Your ex sounds like a keeper to me! That one was posted by Dean Ward (‏@DeanWardVenice) incidentally.

7. #DogTVShows - “Cat Eye for the Dog Guy” So tweeted CrazyDogTShirts (@CrazyDogTShirts), just proving that even when dog people participate in a dog-oriented hashtag challenge, they can’t resist getting the cats involved!

6. #BeliebItOrNot - “Before Justin Bieber, Grumpy Cat was actually rather happy.” Don’t hate, Beliebers! It’s just a joke. Madame Astrocat loves her some Justin Beiber! Of course, I would not presume to speak for Antic the Fearless (‏@antic5), whose tweet this is.

5. #BeforeTwitterI - “only dreamed of being friends with Grumpy Cat and Fake Yoda.” This tweet by Tony Posnanski ‏(@tonyposnanski) reveals the great thing about Twitter. It enables you to converse one-on-one with fake celebrities! To be fair, some of the celebrity accounts on Twitter are real. The real challenge lies in knowing which are and which are not!

4 #BeforeTwitterI - “live-tweeted major award shows out loud, to my cat and an empty bag of Funyuns.” Cara Tramontano ‏(@theCara) knows that a sad and lonely life is made no less sad and lonely by the Internet… Or is it? Discuss.

3. #5WordDealBreakers - “I removed my cat's claws.” Occasionally a hashtag tweet takes a serious turn—as did this one by MariNaomi (‏@marinaomi). The game isn’t quite so silly now, is it? Hopefully you don’t have to ask how Madame Astrocat feels about declawing. The hashtag is your clue.

2. #IfThe80sNeverStopped - “Garfield would still be America's ‘Grumpy Cat.’” Let’s give the devil (by which I mean Garfield) his due. He was America’s first grumpy cat. One suspects Anna Roisman (‏@ARoseRois) still thinks he’s the best (if one can be the “best” at being grumpy).

1. #RuinAWeddingIn5Words - “My cat gave me away.” I have a problem with your tweet, Mr. Andy McDonald ‏(@iamandymcdonald). Being given away by your cat would #PerfectAWedding no matter how many words it took!

0. #BetterShoppingTactics - “Make gifts from things you find around the house. Cat hair friendship bracelets for all!” Yes, I cheated this month by having 11 items on my 10 best list. Blame Jana T (‏@jhuh77), who really didn’t have to post the best Hashtag War tweet of all time, but she did.

Quote of the Month
"There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face."  ~ Ben Williams
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.


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