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In This Issue May 1, 2011

   Tails of Two Cities Contest
   Records Set Thanks to You
   Office Effects Acts to Cause an EFFECT
   LIFE+DOG Party Benefits SNAP
   A Super Sale at WONDERDOG New York
   Volunteers Needed for Art Car Ball and Parade
   Upcoming SNAP Events
   A Dog's Life by Hedda Hound
   New SNAP Grants
   A Multitude of Gratitude
   Employee Groups Strive So Animals Can Thrive
   Fabulous Felines by Madame Astrocat
   Quote of the Month

- 8,553 -
The number of dogs and cats
helped by your gifts between
Jan. 1 and Mar. 31, 2011.
 

SNAP has sterilized over
360,000

dogs and cats since being
founded in 1993.

 
Tails of Two Cities Contest
Enter the SNAP T-Shirt Contest and Your Furry Friends Could Become Stars!
 
 
Click to enter or vote!
Click on the graphic above to enter or vote!
Enter your dog or cat in the Tails of Two Cities t-shirt contest, and your furry friend could become a star! Just get your family and friends to visit the contest website and vote for your animal. The animals that earn the most votes will win great grand prize packages and get to model for the next SNAP t-shirt! There will be dog and cat winners from both Houston and San Antonio as well as a Judge's Choice winner. That’s five grand prize winners (and five adorable t-shirt models) in all! There will also be ten runners up.

Please note that the photo submitted will not appear on the t-shirt. A professional photographer will take a new photo of the winning animals to be used in the t-shirt design.

It costs just $10 to enter, but your entry fee earns your animal its first 10 votes. Each additional vote is just $1, with a minimum purchase of 5 votes. Votes may be applied to one entry, or spread over several entries. You also will have the opportunity to submit an additional donation when you upload your animal's picture, which also counts towards your entry's total votes. Then share your Tail of Two Cities photo page through the handy share options you will find there, and ask your friends and family to donate to vote for your furry friend!

You must own the rights to the photo you submit. Photos that have appeared in SNAP publications are eligible, provided they have not been published elsewhere. You may submit one photo per animal. Please do not submit photos that depict more than one animal. No humans are allowed in the photo. The animal in the photo MUST be sterilized. Submissions depicting unsterilized animals will be disqualified. Please see the Official Rules for complete rules and prize package details.

The contest ends at midnight on Tuesday, May 31, 2011. Winners will be posted on the SNAP web site, the SNAP Facebook page, and the SNAP Twitter profile on or about Wednesday, June 8, 2011.

Proceeds from the contest will go to fund SNAP spay-neuter programs to reduce the number of unwanted animals that end up in shelters and on the streets.

To learn more about SNAP and the fight against animal overpopulation, visit our web site. You can also keep up with SNAP by liking us on Facebook or following us on Twitter.

Please send any questions about the contest to info@snapus.org or call 800-762-7762 between 9:00 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday - Friday.

Enter TODAY! The contest ends on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 11:59:59 p.m., and the sooner you enter the more time you have to gather votes to make your beloved pup or kitty the star she or he was born to be!
 
Records Set Thanks to You
Your Gifts Help SNAP Clinics Set New Records in March
 
This happy pup was sterilized thanks in part to your gifts!
This happy pup was recently sterilized aboard the SNAP mobile clinic thanks in part to your gifts.
Rarely a day passes that a mobile clinic client doesn’t tell us how s/he could not afford to protect his or her animals’ health or prevent them from having unwanted offspring if it were not for SNAP, but it is not SNAP who makes this possible. It is you.

What have your donations and volunteer hours to SNAP accomplished lately? They helped SNAP to sterilize and provide wellness services for a record number of animals in the month of March. Our clinics performed 3,186 surgeries in March. That is the largest number of spays and neuters performed by SNAP in a single month since monthly recordkeeping began in 2003. The largest previous single month on record was in October of 2004 when 3,083 surgeries were performed. It is interesting to note that SNAP had more clinics then, so we are now accomplishing more with fewer clinics. When wellness services are included, SNAP treated a total of 4,747 animals in March of 2011. That is a new record for the organization as well, and each SNAP clinic set its own new record that month.

Individual donations do not account for the entire cost of these services, of course. Our services to the general public are performed for a fee (though those fees are at or near cost), and we have contracts and corporate gifts that help. Still, SNAP would not be setting new records if not for you, the donors and volunteers who play such a critical role in supporting our mission to prevent the suffering and death of dogs and cats due to overpopulation, especially in low-income areas. We are grateful to every one of you, but the ones who are truly grateful are the precious dogs and cats who will never face homelessness or early death in a shelter thanks to your gifts.
 
Office Effects Acts to Cause an EFFECT
Office Supply Firm Creates Fundraising Initiative Benefiting SNAP and Others
 
Office Effects charity initiative seeks to Cause an EFFECT!

If you can imagine a fundraising program that would allow businesses to support SNAP and other nonprofits just by doing something they already do, then you would have a pretty good idea what the friendly folks at Office Effects, Inc., have created. Office Effects’ new initiative, Cause an EFFECT, is doing just that and making the world a better place one transaction at a time!

The new, year-long initiative is quite simple in concept.  Office Effects has selected a diverse list of Houston-area nonprofit groups, including SNAP, to serve as EFFECT-ciaries, or beneficiaries of all dollars raised through Cause an EFFECT!  All current and new clients of Office Effects will have the opportunity to become a Ben-EFFECT-or by selecting one of the 12 local groups as their EFFECT-ciary, and with each purchase, a percentage of the total sales will be set aside for the selected group.  Each quarter, Office Effects will tally the donations and cut a check to each charity, providing the organizations with additional funds to use immediately in any way they see fit.

Any company can become a Ben-EFFECT-or by purchasing everyday office supplies, equipment, and promotional materials through Office Effects, Inc. "It is pretty amazing how fast these donations can add up," said Ellen Elam, owner of Office Effects, Inc.  "The more businesses that participate, the more we can all help these valued organizations assist our neighbors in need. Just think, every day when you use your office supplies, you will know that you are helping to end animal overpopulation, help the homeless, provide affordable healthcare, assist Alzheimer's patients, fund literacy programs for youth, and much more!"

Elam’s decision to create the program was based on her awareness that organizations are having a harder time raising funds in today’s uncertain economic climate. She wanted to do something that would benefit local groups and serve as a fundraising tool to enable organizations to reach out to new supporters with a way they can assist by simply purchasing the everyday supplies and materials they need to operate their businesses. "As business owner, I strive to support as many local organizations as possible, but it is not always possible for my company to donate to the many groups in need," said Elam. "I began to think about a program that could take on a life of its own and empower others to help while making it simple and seamless to donate to groups that are so vital to our community.  That’s how Cause an EFFECT was born."

Office Effects is a one stop shop for office supplies, promotional products, printing, and furniture needs.  The company offers more than 30,000 items in its vast catalog.

To become a Ben-EFFECT-or or learn more about the EFFECT-ciaries and how you can help, visit the Office Effects website or call 713-957-4700. It has never been so easy to make a difference and truly Cause an EFFECT for the animals in our community!

 
LIFE+DOG Party Benefits SNAP
Houston Magazine Covers Modern Living with Man’s Best Friend
 
Join SNAP at the LIFE+DOG May Issue Party at Hotel ZaZa!

LIFE+DOG, Houston's hot new magazine  about "Modern Living with Man's Best Friend," holds a monthly party to celebrate the release of its latest issue, and it has made its May issue party a benefit for SNAP! The magazine is joining with Hotel ZaZa and Elaine Turner to produce this festive event. Hotel ZaZa will provide lite bites and select drinks with a cash bar. There is a suggested donation of $10.00 which will go to SNAP to help fund our spay-neuter programs for qualifying low-income households.

It all takes place on Thursday, May 12, from 6:00-8:30 p.m. in the Monarch Room at Hotel ZaZa in Houston’s Museum District. All who wish to attend must RSVP to: rsvp@lifeanddog.com.

SNAP is one of the official philanthropic partners of LIFE+DOG and Elaine Turner. Visit the LIFE+DOG website for more information about this great magazine.

 
A Super Sale at WONDERDOG New York
May Sale by Designer Dog Boutique Benefits SNAP!
 
 
Click to shop at WONDERDOG NYC! Benefits SNAP in May!

That fabulous big apple doggie boutique WONDERDOG New York has just contacted SNAP to let us know that it is having a great sale throughout the month of May and that each item you purchase will generate a donation to SNAP!  The company’s online boutique features dozens of fun and stylish collars, leads, and harnesses that would look adorable on your pup, and during the month of May each purchase can help prevent the birth of unwanted animals.

All you have to do is visit the WONDERDOG New York website, select your purchases from among the irresistible line of products, and supply the coupon code "SNAP" when you check out.  This will flag your order as a SNAP order, and for every item purchased, WONDERDOG New York will donate $5.00 to SNAP to help our spay-neuter programs.  So if you were to purchase two items, perhaps a collar and a lead, SNAP would receive a donation of $10.00. There will be no limit on how many items qualify for this deal. Even if you bought 100 collars, SNAP would still receive a $5.00 donation for each one!

Visit the WONDERDOG New York website today to pick out the canine couture that’s just right for your pup and to help SNAP fight animal overpopulation at the same time!

 
Volunteers Needed for Art Car Ball and Parade
Help Raise Funds for Spay-Neuter at Annual Orange Show Event
 
 
SNAP needs YOU to volunteer for the Art Car Ball and Parade!
If you have ever volunteered for SNAP at the art festival, you know what a fun way it can be to help the animals. Now we need your help again at an event that has an equally high fun quotient! The Orange Show Art Car Parade and Ball will hand over tips and a percentage of sales to SNAP in return for our volunteers serving beverages at the parade and ball.

Dubbed one of Houston’s "wildest parties," the Art Car Ball is a block party/costume party where you can check out food from the mobile food truck battle, hear great local music, and people watch to your heart’s content. What do you have to do? Sell drinks to thirsty party animals! The ball takes place on Friday, May 20, 2011, and volunteers are needed from 6:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. (The ball itself commences at 7:00 p.m.) The ball takes place on Friday, May 20, 2011, with volunteers needed from 6:30 p.m. until midnight.

Since 1987, the Art Car Parade has given Houstonians an artistic, fantastic, fun, and FREE opportunity to see this eclectic side of their city. The parade runs along Allen Parkway from Bagby to Waugh and takes place on Sunday, May 22, 2011. Volunteers are needed from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (The parade itself is from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.). What do you have to do? Sell drinks to thirsty parade-goers!

To volunteer for either the Friday or Sunday shift (or both!), please send an email to volunteer@snapus.org or call 713-862-3863 Monday-Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Questions can be directed to Lesley Wempe at lwempe@snapus.org.
 
Upcoming SNAP Events
 
Thursday, May 12, 2011 - Houston, TX
  LIFE+DOG May Issue Party
Houston-based canine lifestyle magazine benefits SNAP at this festive event at Hotel ZaZa!
Friday, May 20, and Sunday, May 22, 2011 - Houston, TX
  Orange Show Art Car Ball and Parade
SNAP needs your help at these fun and wacky events. Email volunteer@snapus.org to sign up.

Hedda HoundHedda Hound Banner

 
Hello Darlings!

May has brought us warmer weather and with it a lifting of the heavier tone that seems to occupy our winter thoughts. Accordingly I have decided to use this month’s column to answer a letter that, while timely, veers from the more serious topics we normally address. See what Princess, a (puerile) Pekingese from Pin Oak, has on her mind.

Dear Hedda,

My human family has been obsessed over the past few days with the royal wedding that has just taken place in London, England. It’s all Prince William this and Kate Middleton that, but no one has addressed the most important question of all: Will they be getting a dog? Do you know, Hedda, and if you do, do you know what kind? I have heard that Queen Elizabeth has Welsh Corgis, but I was wondering if by chance the royal newlyweds might go for a Pekingese. (I love my current human family, but I would make the sacrifice of leaving it to help round out the royal family and live in a style to which I would like to become accustomed.)

Sign me,
Princess Dog Pondering

Dear Pondering,

Shame on you! Bad dog! Any dog with a loving human family should count herself lucky to have that family and give not a thought to such social climbing. Since you have brought up the topic, I will tell you that there have been some who have called for William and Kate to adopt a dog. There is also precedent for having a Pekingese in royal households, though not that of the British monarchy.

Pekingese were long one of the breeds favored for the palaces of the Chinese imperial dynasties. The Chinese imperial family also kept Shih Tzus, Lhasa Apsos, and Tibetan Spaniels at various times in history.

The British royal house, in addition to Pembroke Welsh Corgis, has been the home to the Maltese breed under the reign of Queen Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots. (One accompanied Mary, Queen of Scots, to the block when she was beheaded.) Queen Victoria reportedly was fond of Border Collies. Pugs have also been residents of British palaces under William and Mary of Orange and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

A number of other breeds have been favored in the households of other European monarchs throughout history, including Dachshunds and Bichon Frises.

Me? I think William and Kate should adopt a shelter mutt. That would send a signal that they recognize the realities of animal overpopulation and care for all animals, not just those of a particular breed. Tell ‘em Hedda said so!

Background information for this article was obtained from: Royal Fever, Modern Dog, http://hosted.verticalresponse.com/209867/d4e91a00a7/1641030625/d7060100c3/, Accessed April 28, 2011.

 
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:

    Corridor Rescue, Inc., $2,500
    Dayton Foundation, $5,000
    Vivian L. Smith Foundation, $25,000

 
A Multitude of Gratitude
Houston Rockets, Bayou City Art Festival, and Starbucks Come Through for Animals!
 
 
Thanks Houston Rockets, Bayou City Art Festival, and Starbuc
The Houston community has been very good to SNAP in the past couple of months, and we want to take a moment to share our good fortune and say thank you to the organizations involved.

Mr. Leslie Alexander and the NBA Houston Rockets made SNAP one of the beneficiaries of their annual Tux & Tennies Charity Gala at Houston’s Toyota Center on March 10, 2011. This star-studded event yielded the stellar sum of $142,000 in support of SNAP’s spay-neuter programs. This incredible gift harkens back to the early days of SNAP when Mr. Alexander funded the first SNAP mobile clinic. He and the Rockets organization have been ongoing supporters of SNAP ever since, and that continuing support has truly made a difference for the animals SNAP serves. We are truly grateful for his ongoing support of the SNAP mission!

The Bayou City Art Festival allowed SNAP once again to provide the volunteer force that powers its beverage booths, and it turned over the tips and a portion of the receipts from sales in return. The preliminary total for these is $18,289 with the possibility of perhaps a bit more to come. Our volunteers also deserve our immense thanks, of course, because they are the ones who do the fun but strenuous work to make those booths operate profitably. Festival manager Kim Stolis and the festival organization have relied on SNAP for many years, and for that they have our ongoing thanks.

Last but not least, the Starbucks store at 5801 Kirby Dr. in Houston held a benefit coffee-tasting event for SNAP on Sunday, April 10, 2011. Customers were offered a free taste of some of Starbucks’ many delicious coffees paired with complimentary foods. A total of over $50 in donations was collected and turned over to SNAP to help us prevent dogs and cats from ending up homeless or in shelters. Thanks to store manager Carlos Villarreal and his hard working staff for standing up for Houston’s animals!
 
Employee Groups Strive So Animals Can Thrive
United Space Alliance and U.S. Bank Groups Give Back

 
USA logo and U.S. Bank logo
Employees at United Space Alliance (USA) and U.S. Bank have recently shown that they care about the animals that live in our communities and are more than ready to demonstrate that concern. Workers at the two companies recently donated a total of $380.00 between them in support of SNAP efforts to fight animal overpopulation.

A group of employees at USA conducted its fifth annual Go Orange for Animals day campaign, which included bake sales, a "Dog House" game, and a donation drive. It amassed a total of $180 through these efforts, and this is the second year in a row that the group has made SNAP the beneficiary of its largess.

Employee Sam T. Huynh of U.S. Bank generated his donation through a slightly different approach. An employee group at U.S. Bank had a weight loss competition with the winner collecting a prize of $200. Mr. Huynh participated in and won that competition and decided to give half of his prize to SNAP. In a very generous gesture, U.S. Bank then decided to match Mr. Huynh’s gift to bring the total donation up to $200.


The generous gifts of Mr. Huynh, U.S. Bank, and the wonderful people from USA will be put to work to help dogs and cats living with those who cannot afford to have their animals spayed or neutered. Many of these people have the desire to do the right thing but simply lack the funds. SNAP is grateful to Mr. Huynh, U.S. Bank, and the employees at USA for coming to the aid of these people and helping to reduce the number of unwanted animals born into the world.
 
Madame AstroCat[object Object]

 
Dear Readers,

How Are cats not absolutely fascinating? If you think not, clearly you do not know much about Felix catus! If you think so, clearly you are anxious to learn more! Either way, this month Madame Astrocat brings you some amazing and little-known facts from 99 Interesting Facts About... Cats on the Random Facts website in her top ten list of feline physical attributes:

10) Prehistoric Cats
- Proailurus, which is Greek for "first cat," is the earliest known ancestor of the kitties you know and love today. This creature lived approximately 30 million years ago. It would be another 18 million years before the group of animals from which domestic cats descended evolved from Proailurus and her descendants. a

9) Domestic Cats - Everyone knows that the Egyptians were the first to domesticate the cat. Well, not everyone knows that. Apparently unaware of it were the ancient inhabitants of the Mediterranean island of Cyprus who, 9,500 years ago, buried a feline alongside someone who apparently loved the animal. This happened 4,000 years or more before cats first started showing up in Egyptian art. b

8) Contraband Cats
- Cats may well have been more common in ancient Egypt than they were in other countries. That is because the pharaohs decreed it a crime punishable by death to smuggle a cat out of the Egypt. Apparently they were rather fond of their felines. The remains of cats did eventually begin showing up in the homes of wealthy residents of Athens and other cities, which seems to indicate that someone, likely Phoenician traders, did eventually manage to transport domesticated cats from Egypt to other lands. b

7) Condemned Cats - Pope Innocent VIII (a misnomer, certainly), believed that cats were evil. Part of his infamous Spanish Inquisition included a campaign to burn cats wherever they were found. This had the effect of drastically reducing the number of cats in Europe. Rats bred out of control as a result. Unfortunately, the rats carried the bubonic plague. This had the effect of drastically reducing the number of Europeans in Europe. b

6) Catalyst Cats - Sir Isaac Newton had a cat named Spithead. While working on a series of experiments that called for a pitch-dark room, he kept having his efforts frustrated by Spithead, who clearly loved Newton and knew how to open the door to come find him. Newton, motivated by this frustration and possessed of a brilliant mind, proceeded to invent the cat flap. c

5) Show Cats - Cats may have been domesticated 4,500 years ago in ancient Egypt or 4,000 years prior to that in Cyprus or some other location. We can’t be entirely sure. What we do know is that it wasn’t until 1872 that the world had its first cat show. It took place in London, England.  Cat shows have become increasingly popular, but I have to ask, why did it take so long to have the first one? d

4) Desecrated Cats
- Among the great archeological finds that revealed the culture of ancient Egypt was one that took place in 1888. A cemetery excavated in that year yielded 300,000 mummified cats. This discovery made clear how much the ancient Egyptians valued cats. In a sure sign of how little modern Egyptians valued cats, the honored dead were unwrapped and sold to English and American farmers for use as fertilizer. c

3) Jet Set Cats - Were cats meant to fly? The lack of wings would suggest not. Surprisingly, a cat named Hamlet has flown nearly 373,000 miles. That’s more than a great many humans fly in an entire lifetime. This record was not accomplished by design. Hamlet was only intended to make a single flight but escaped from his carrier during that flight. Being a cat, he did what cats do in such situations. He hid. It was seven weeks and hundreds of flights later before he was found. e

2) Spy Cats
- Some would argue that dogs are better suited for investigative careers than cats. Ask the Dutch what they think. During the cold war, their embassy in Moscow had two Siamese cats. These cats perplexed Embassy staffers by meowing and clawing at certain walls in the building. They must be hearing mice, the staffers thought. They opened up the walls to locate the mice. They found bugs instead. These were not crawly bugs. These were the kind used to record top secret conversations. The Russians had embedded them in the walls to eavesdrop on the Dutch. The microphones gave off a tone too high pitched for humans to hear. The cats could hear them though. c

1) Space Age Cats
- Do you think that the space race was an endless series of firsts by the U.S. and the U.S.S.R? If you do, you are wrong. The French launched the first cat into space in 1963. Her name was Felicette. She also became popularly known as Astrocat! It was no joyride for Felicette. French scientists implanted electrodes into her brain so they could monitor her neurological state during the mission. Fortunately for our hero, she returned to earth quite alive. b

References

a Clutton-Brock, Juliet. Cat. New York, NY: DK Publishing, Inc., 2004.
b Frith-Macdonald, Candida. Encyclopedia of Cats. New York, NY: Parragon Books Ltd., 2008.
c Piven, Hanoch. 2009, What Cats Are Made Of. New York, NY: Ginee Seo Books.
d Fogle, Bruce. 2006, Cats. New York, NY: Dorling Kindersley Limited., 2006
e Cat World Records. Cat World. July 20, 2010 <http://www.catworld.com/>.


Quote of the Month
  
"If a dog will not come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” ~ Woodrow Wilson
 

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