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SNAPtales, the newsletter of the Spay-Neuter Assistance Prog
 
In This Issue March 1, 2013
- 4,530 -
The number of dogs
and cats helped by
your gifts between
Jan. 1 and Jan. 31,
2012.
 

SNAP has sterilized over
425,000

dogs and cats since being
founded in 1993.
 
Volunteer for a Warm Fuzzy
Work the Bayou City Art Festival to Help Our Fuzzy Friends
  
Uncle SNAP wants YOU for the Bayou City Art Festival!

Do you love wrapping your arms around a warm fuzzy animal? Volunteer for SNAP at the Bayou City Art Festival, and you will get the warm fuzzy feeling of knowing you have prevented the unnecessary suffering and death of dogs and cats whose only crime was being born unwanted. The spring festival takes place in Houston’s Memorial Park, Friday, March 22-Sunday, March 24, 2013.

The job is easy and fun. Here’s how it works: You will work in a beverage booth with other volunteers selling icy beverages to thirsty festival guests. Each booth will have a booth captain who can help if you’re not sure what to do. You will be given a festival t-shirt to wear during your shift. (Many people just pull it over the shirt they’re already wearing.) It’s yours to keep afterwards.

How does this help the animals? A portion of the proceeds from the drinks you sell, and all of the tips collected at the beverage booths, are donated to fund SNAP spay-neuter programs. These programs prevent unwanted animals from being born in the first place. Animals that aren’t born don’t get abandoned on the streets or dropped off at shelters. It’s that simple, but we rely on your compassion, your kind efforts, and your friendly face to make it happen. Please volunteer today by sending email to volunteer@snapus.org or calling 713-862-3863, x210.

The satisfaction of knowing you are helping our fuzzy friends is great, and a free t-shirt is nice, but you will also receive free admittance to the festival on the day of your shift. Shifts are about four hours long, so that leaves plenty of time before or after your shift to see the festival. Tickets are $15 per adult.

The beverage booths serve alcoholic beverages, so you must be at least 18 years of age to volunteer. Here is a listing of the shifts that are available.

Bayou City Art Festival Shifts

Friday, March 22
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. (Shift full)
1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
2:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Saturday, March 23
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. (Shift full)
1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
2:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Sunday, March 24
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. (Shift full)
1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
2:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Please remember to tell us your t-shirt size and what shift you would like to work when you contact us to volunteer. The most desirable shifts go first, so the sooner you volunteer, the better your chance of getting the shift you prefer.

Your caring and helpful assistance transforms this event into a chance to save some of our warm fuzzy friends from a decidedly unhappy fate. Please volunteer today by emailing volunteer@snapus.org or calling 713-862-3863 x210.

 
Team SNAP Readies for AIDS Walk

It’s Not Too Late to Join Walk Benefiting SNAP Animal Aid Program
 
Click here to join the SNAP team for AIDS Walk Houston 2013!
It isn’t too late to join Team SNAP--or to support someone already walking on the team--for AIDS Walk Houston. The walk is sponsored by AIDS Foundation Houston, which has made SNAP a benefiting agency of the event. That means some of the money raised will come back to help fund the SNAP Animal Aid Program. This program provides free spay-neuter and reduced-cost wellness services for the animals of those living with HIV/AIDS. The animals served by AAP need you to join the team!

AIDS Walk Houston is a short and pleasant five kilometer (3.1 mile) jaunt through Houston’s scenic streets. It is easy on the feet and good for the heart in more ways than one. It takes place on Sunday, March 10, 2013. The walk starts in Hermann Park Square in front of Houston City Hall in downtown Houston. Check-in begins at 8:00 a.m., the opening ceremonies are at 9:00 a.m., and the step off is at 10:00 a.m.

To join the team or support another walk, visit the Team SNAP webpage. There you can click on the "Join This Team" button if you would like to walk, or click on the name of someone already on the team if you would like to support her or him. Whether you choose to walk or sponsor, you will be helping SNAP reach its goal.

The animals served by the Animal Aid Program need your support, so please sign up or contribute today! Your gift may make you eligible for a tax-deduction on your 2013 taxes.
SNAP would like to thank AIDS Foundation Houston for its generous support of SNAP and the Animal Aid Program!
 
Meet Celebs at Steele Red Carpet Party
Star-Studded Benefit for SNAP Features Actor Wes Brown and Other Entertainers
 
See the stars at the Steele Red Carpet Party, April 19, 2013

Meet some of the fastest rising stars from the television, film, and music industries at the Steele Red Carpet Party benefit for SNAP. The event is being thrown as a benefit for SNAP by Star Motor Cars, a Houston dealer for Mercedes Benz, Volvo, Lotus, Aston Martin, and Maybach automobiles. Star has assembled a stellar list of special guests!

The guest of honor will be Wes Brown who plays Julian Bowers on the  NBC series "Deception." Other entertainers attending include Pam Green, who plays Ali in "American Reunion" (the latest installment of the "American Pie" movie franchise), Tara Brivic--reality show actor from the TLC series "Totally T-Boz," child actor Grant Goodman--who plays the president's son in the film "G.I. Joe II," Patrick Sane--who has had a recurring role on the AMC series "Breaking Bad," Brian Thornton--who recently appeared on the TNT series "Dallas" as Detective Miles Danko and has a role in "Sin City II-A Dame to Kill", actress Brie Eley--who has a recurring role on the ABC series Grey's Anatomy, child actress Eryn L. Davis and actor Matthew Wagner--both of whom will be appearing in a spoof of "The Hunger Games" called "The Starving Games," Joe Grisafi--who plays serial killer Wayne Corl in the independent film "In a Madman’s World," Dr. Danger--the star of a new show debuting in mid-2013, Brian Angel--a rhythm and blues singer discovered by Sean (P. Diddy) Combs who appeared on the MTV program "Made," and Allen Duhon--an up-and-coming country singer. The Masters of Ceremonies will be entertainment reporter Ruben Dominguez of Fox 26 News and Dave Morales of 104 KRBE-FM. The host and co-host for the party are Karen Steele and Dustin Price, respectively.

Tickets for this fabulous soiree are just $125 per person. The evening will conclude with a patron’s after party at a John Daughtery Realtors luxury home, which is $200 per person. Beverages are being provided by Faust Distributing and Cru Wine Bar. The party takes place on Friday, April 19, 2013, starting at 7 p.m. Star Motor Cars is located at 7000 Old Katy Rd in Houston, Texas 77024. Updates will be available at www.steeleredcarpet.com.

The Host Committee for this event includes Dr. Penelope and Mr. Lester Marks, Erica Gillum, Kelly Amen, Sir Mark Haukohl, Tama Lundquist, Tena Faust, James Phelan, Catherine Anspon, Anna Kaplan, and Kristen Bredenhoft.

SNAP is immensely grateful to Star Motor Cars, John Daughtery Realtors, Cru Wine Bar, Faust Distributing, Ruben Dominguez, Dave Morales, Karen Steele, Dustin Price, and all of the talented celebrities who are coming together to create this wonderful benefit for SNAP!

 
Paws for Wine Raises $3,000
Sonoma Wine Bar Benefited SNAP with February Tasting Event
 
SNAP supporters enjoy wine, beer, and nibbles at Paws for Wi
SNAP supporters enjoy wine, beer, and nibbles at Paws for Wine. The the Sonoma wine bar event raised $3,000 for SNAP spay-neuter programs.
SNAP now has $3,000 in additional funding to use for spay-neuter thanks to the Paws for Wine event sponsored by Sonoma Retail Wine Bar & Restaurant on February 2. Guests paid $50 each to enjoy 30 wines and beers with light nibbles at the event. It was held at the Sonoma Heights location at 801 Studewood St., Houston, Texas 77007.

The great folks from Pup Squad were also on hand with some of their devastatingly cute adoptable doggies. The goal was not so much to send attendees home with an animal as to seed their hearts and minds with the idea of perhaps adopting in the near future. If you have been thinking about adding a new canine friend to your home, be sure to call Pup Squad.

The Paws for Wine was an awesome and festive success both for the attendees and for the animals that will be sterilized as a result. SNAP is sincerely grateful to Sonoma for its support of our mission.
 
Clinics Sterilized 174 Animals on Spay Day
Hardworking Staff and Volunteers Performed Surgery on Both Dogs and Cats
 
 
One of the pit bulls sterilized at SNAP San Antonio on Spay
Dr. William Folger and Colleen Hodges aboard the SNAP mobile
Top: One of the many pit bulls sterilized at SNAP San Antonio on Spay Day 2013. Bottom: Dr. William Folger and a student intern who worked with him as a vet tech for the day aboard the  Houston mobile clinic.
SNAP observed World Spay Day on Tuesday, February 26, 2013, by spaying and neutering 174 animals. This was the agency's 18th year of participation in the event, which is sponsored by the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International. Different SNAP clinics marked the day in different ways. Our Houston and Pasadena clinics sterilized a total of 161 dogs and cats while our San Antonio clinic added 13 more animals to the total.

The Houston Spay-Neuter and Animal Wellness Clinic on Durham Dr. in Houston spayed 13 female cats and neutered 15 male cats for a total of 28 cats. It also spayed 16 female dogs and neutered 10 male dogs for a total of 26 dogs. The combined total was 54 animals.

The Houston mobile clinic limited its work to neutering male cats to commemorate the occasion. They saw 68 before the day was out. This was all accomplished by a single dedicated veterinarian, William Folger, D.V.M., who volunteered his services for the day. Colleen Hodges, Education/PR Coordinator at HCPHES Veterinary Public Health, coordinated appointments and client check in at the event. SNAP is grateful to them both for their generous efforts.

It wasn't only the mobile clinic staff who went above and beyond on this day. One handicapped woman brought her cats to the event in a carrier aboard Metro city buses. Her carrier was damaged along the way and was falling apart by the time she arrived. Fortunately, someone else at the event had an extra temporary cardboard crates and gave her one to make her trip home a little easier. A mobile clinic staff member also volunteered to drive her back to her bus stop, so she would not have to walk.

The Pasadena Spay-Neuter and Animal Wellness Clinic spayed eight female cats and neutered nine male cats for a total of 17. It also spayed 11 female dogs and neutered 11 male dogs for a total of 22. That's 39 animals sterilized for the day.

The San Antonio Spay-Neuter and Animal Wellness Clinic limited its attention to spaying and neutering pit bull and pit bull mix dogs. The staff's accomplishment for the day was to remove 6 males and 7 females--a total of 13 animals--from the breeding population.

Spaying and neutering 174 dogs and cats in a single day puts another dent in the number of animals producing unwanted offspring in the Houston, Pasadena, and San Antonio areas. SNAP Spay Day events in Houston and Pasadena were funded by a generous gift from the estate of Frances Freeman and were conducted in her memory. 
The pit bull day in San Antonio was funded by a generous grant from Pit Bull Rescue Central. We also received a separate donation from Mr. Michael L. Cox and (as joint donors) his cats in support of Spay Day. SNAP is grateful to all of these funders and to the volunteers and staff members who worked so hard to make the day a success.
 
Kendra Gives Back Party
Event Offers Wine, Cheese, Shopping, and 20 Percent of Sales Going to SNAP
 
 
Kendra Scott gives back with a special sale benefiting SNAP.

National jewelry retailer Kendra Scott is giving back to the animals by hosting a Kendra Gives Back Party benefiting SNAP on April 4, 2013. This event designed to be a fun shopping excursion where you will enjoy wine and cheese while you browse. When you check out, 20 percent of your total purchase will be donated to SNAP.

The Kendra Gives Back Party runs  5-7 p.m. at the Kendra Scott Houston store located in Rice Village. The address is 2411 Times Blvd., Suite 120, Houston, Texas 77005.

SNAP is sincerely grateful to Kendra Scott for supporting the SNAP mission to prevent the suffering and death of dogs and cats due to overpopulation and preventable diseases, especially in low-income areas.

 
Petco Funds TNR at Allen Parkway Village
$15,000 Grant Funds Six Mobile Clinic Visits Aimed at Sterilizing 300 Community Cats
 
 
Petco Foundation grant will help sterilize community cats.
A $15,000 grant from the Petco Foundation will fund six Houston mobile clinic visits to Allen Parkway Village to spay and neuter community cats living in the complex.
SNAP is excited to announce that it has been awarded a $15,000 grant from the Petco Foundation to fund a community cat Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) project in Houston’s Allen Parkway Village. TNR is the process of capturing community cats, sterilizing them, and then returning them to the area in which they were caught. Community cats include stray cats, feral cats, and other free-roaming cats.

Allen Parkway Village is a low-income housing development close to downtown Houston that has had high visibility within the past five years or so because of the controversy surrounding a decision to renovate it or tear it down to build a high-rise business development. Ultimately the Section 8 Housing development was rebuilt and looks very nice now. However, it has a problem with community cats that number about 300, according to residents who feed them but do not claim them.
At the behest of a resident named Elizabeth Stein, former SNAP Program Outreach Manager Susan Lamb,--and later Houston mobile clinic staffer Judy Barnett--visited the subsidized housing project. A civic association meeting was called on the property, and there was enormous support shown for a project to ameliorate the situation. Residents have expressed a willingness to trap the cats to stabilize the population. SNAP will provide the training and the traps, spay-neuter the animals, and the residents will keep them overnight to ensure that they recover successfully. Ms. Stein agreed to oversee the overnight recovery process.

The Petco grant will provide for 6 trips of the Houston mobile clinic with the expectation of trapping and sterilizing 50 cats per trip in an effort to get all 300 cats spayed and neutered.
Studies indicate that TNR is the most effective way of reducing the homeless feline population. The Petco grant is important because it enables SNAP to provide sterilization surgery for homeless animals that would otherwise breed indiscriminately. The first trip will take place on April 11, 2013.

The Petco Foundation has served as a voice for companion animals across the country since 1999. Today, with more than 8,000 local animal-welfare partners across the country, the foundation donates approximately $15 million a year to make a difference in the lives of millions of animals. The organization is funded through donations raised during fundraisers conducted in Petco's more than 1,200 stores across the country, as well as from Petco associates, vendors, and corporate contributions. Money raised helps fund animal-welfare organizations, spay and neuter efforts, animal-assisted therapy programs, and humane education. The majority of the funds raised remain in the communities where they were raised, and the Petco Foundation is also involved in many national animal-welfare efforts. In 2012, the Petco Foundation surpassed $100 million in funds raised for companion animals since the organization was created. To learn more, visit www.petcofoundation.org.

SNAP is deeply grateful to the Petco Foundation for funding this important work to help the community cats of Allen Parkway Village. We would also like to thank and commend Ms. Stein and the other residents of the complex for stepping up to make this project possible.
 
Fifteen Attend ManadaK-9 Training Class
Two-Day Event Trained Dogs and Their Guardians to Understand One Another
 
 
A student gets pointers from Dr. Arriaga at the ManadaK-9 cl
Dr. Eduardo Arriaga gives a student pointers for handling her dog at the ManadaK-9 training class held recently in the ACS facility in San Antonio.
Fifteen eager students attended the ManadaK-9 training class at the San Antonio Animal Care Services facility in San Antonio on Saturday, February 23-Sunday, February 24, 2013. Students spent the first day of the two-day event learning canine behavioral and communication theory. The next day they brought their dogs along for hands-on application of what they had learned. Attendees felt the class was helpful. One gentleman referred to it as a "great opportunity to learn about dogs... " and said, "I will be trying out things I have learned today and hopefully my dog will behave better soon." The class was conducted by Dr. Eduardo Martinez Arriaga of ManadaK-9 and benefited SNAP spay-neuter programs.

SNAP is grateful to Dr. Arriaga and ManadaK-9 for supporting SNAP through this educational event for San Antonio dog lovers.

 
Visit SNAP at the San Antonio Pet Expo
Learn More about SNAP or Just Say "Hello" While You Enjoy the Expo
 
 
Visit the SNAP booth at the 2013 San Antonio Pet Expo!
The 2013 San Antonio Pet Expo is coming up on Saturday, March 30, 2013, and SNAP will be there! We hope you will all come by and visit our booth to learn more about spay-neuter and the programs SNAP offers to help keep your furry friends healthy and happy. The expo will feature an appearance by Ashley Brooks, one of the stars of "The Pit Boss" on Animal Planet; agility demonstrations; other entertainers; and an adoption event. See the event website for complete details.

The San Antonio Pet Expo takes place 10 a.m.-6p.m. at the San Antonio Event Center located at 8111 Meadow Leaf Drive, San Antonio, Texas. We hope to see you there!
 
 
Upcoming SNAP Events
 
Saturday, March 2, 2013 - San Antonio, TX
  Bark in the Park FREE Mobile Clinic Day
Talk About It campaign funds this mobile day at casting pond parking lot at Woodlawn Lake Park.
Sunday, March 10, 2013 - Houston, TX
  AIDS Walk Houston 2013
It’s not too late to sign up or sponsor a walker! AFH event benefits the Animal Aid Program.
Friday-Sunday, March 22-24, 2013 - Houston, TX
  Bayou City Art Festival
Get a warm fuzzy from helping our warm fuzzy friends. Volunteer for the festival!
Saturday, March 30, 2013 - San Antonio, TX
  San Antonio Pet Expo
Come visit the SNAP booth at the San Antonio Pet Expo!!
Thursday, April 4, 2013 - Houston, TX
  Kendra Gives Back Party
National jewelry retailer Kendra Scott benefits SNAP with party and sale at Rice Village store.
Friday, April 19, 2013 - Houston, TX
  Steele Red Carpet Party
Meet "Deception" actor Wes Brown and other stars at this Star Motor Cars benefit for SNAP.

Hedda HoundHedda Hound Banner

Hello Darlings!

If you have never encountered the affliction known as mange, count yourself lucky. It appears to be a terrible skin rash, but the reality is even worse. It is not an easy thing to get rid of either. To learn more, read this month's letter from Thurston, a Terrier mix from Thousand Oaks.

Dear Hedda,

I have to tell you that I dearly love my human family, but I have always thought their willingness to foster rescue puppies a bit eccentric. Why would they want to have another canine in the house besides moi--and particularly one of such lowly beginnings. Well, when their latest furry charge turned out to have some affliction of the skin, I was just mortified. The beast was losing patches of fur from all over his face and legs. Imagine my horror when a veterinarian diagnosed it to be mange! Well, I wanted them to get rid of this horrid little stray, and I tried to tell them so, but humans don't seem to understand much. They have, at least, confined the wretched creature to another room, and I am led to believe the condition is curable. I always thought it was a sign low moral standards myself, but it's a new world, and I suppose the old ways have been thrown over in favor of free love and all that.

Hedda, I hesitate to ask, but what sort of vile practices lead a dog to acquire such a shameful condition. Is it indeed curable, and how long does it take? One certainly hopes it goes quickly, for the sooner this little denizen of the street is out of my home the better.

Sign me,
Aghast with Horror

Dear Horror,

Shame on you! Bad dog! Mange is a dreadful disease, but it is certainly no fault of the animal who has it. It is, quite to the contrary, the fault of the animals that are behind it: parasitic mites. Yes, mange is not just a skin rash; it is actually an infestation of the skin or hair follicles by tiny spider-like creatures.

There are two kinds of mange. Sarcoptic mange affects the skin and is caused by the Sarcoptes mite. Demodetic mange affects the hair follicles and is caused by the Demodex mite. Sarcoptic mange is spread through simple physical contact with another dog--such as when two homeless dogs curl up together for warmth on a chilly winter night. (This is why your family confined the foster animal to a separate room.) Demodetic mange is not transmitted through contact but is instead hereditary. That's right. Animals are literally born with Demodex mites already embedded in their hair follicles. A healthy canine immune system is normally able to keep the infestation in check, but it can become active in dogs that are weakened by other diseases or advanced age.

You are lucky, Thurston. If a veterinarian has told your human family that the foster pup can be cured, that means the animal has sarcoptic mange. It can be treated with antiparasitic medication and antihistamines (to reduce itching and inflammation). Demodetic mange cannot be cured; however, it is also not contagious except between a mother dog and her nursing offspring. There is no treatment for demodetic mange except through improving the afflicted animal's immune system. You are also lucky because you live with a compassionate family who cares enough to take in poor homeless doggies until they can find a forever home. Perhaps some of their compassion will rub off on you. You would be a better creature for it. 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 Tapeats Fund, $30,000 (three-year grant, $10,000 per year)
    Petco Foundation, $15,000
    Albert and Ethel Herzstein Charitable Foundation, $5,000
 
Talbot Large Dog Day Sterilizes 53
Harris Family Remembers Beloved Dog with Spay-Neuter Day in Houston/Pasadena
  
Talbot - one of Pam Harris' dogs
Talbot Large Dog Day remembers the Harris family's beloved dog Talbot. The family's generosity and compassion helped spay and neuter 53 large dogs at this year's event.
Talbot Large Dog Day, a spay-neuter event funded by the Pam and Jim Harris family, resulted in 53 canines being spayed and neutered at the SNAP stationary clinics in Houston and Pasadena, Texas. The event, which took place on Thursday, February 14, 2013, offered a 50 percent reduction in the cost of the surgery and was open to the general public. The Houston clinic spayed 15 females and neutered 17 males for a total of 32 dogs. The Pasadena clinic spayed 13 females and neutered eight males for a total of 21 dogs. That's 53 large dogs in total! "Large dogs" in this case refers to those weighing 40 lbs. or more. Each clinic also had a few community cats brought in, and the Pasadena clinic spayed and neutered five animals (three dogs and two cats) from the Pasadena Animal Control & Adoption (PACA) facility. While the Talbot Day funding did not subsidize the community cat or PACA animal surgeries, those additional animals brought the day’s grand total to 64 animals sterilized. The result will be hundreds if not thousands fewer unwanted animals born in the future.

Talbot Large Dog Day was funded by the Harris family in memory of their dog Talbot. SNAP is deeply grateful to the Harrises for their ongoing financial support, their belief in the SNAP mission, and their particular interest in helping large dogs.
 
A Grand Stand for Animals
Schlenker Girls Raise $1,000 for Spay-Neuter with Lemonade Stand
  
Mia and Skylar Schlenker at their lemonade stand.
Mia and Skylar Schlenker at the lemonade stand where they raised $1,000 for SNAP.

Diane Caplan’s success in winning last year’s Verizon/Modern Luxury "4G for Charity" contest has gotten a belated bump in the form of a direct donation of $1,000 from Ms. Jill Schlenker. Ms. Schlenker's daughters, Mia and Skylar, sold lemonade and collected donations at their very own lemonade stand on a beach near their home in California to contribute to Ms. Caplan’s efforts. The Schlenkers are friends of Ms. Caplan, and the girls were inspired by Diane's efforts to help the animals.

Clearly these young ladies have a bright future in fundraising! It is wonderful to see them following  Ms. Caplan’s amazing example of hard work and dedication to making the world a better place for our furry friends. SNAP offers its gratitude to Mia, Skylar, their mother Jill, and once again to Diane Caplan for caring about the animals of the world and demonstrating it through their efforts on behalf of SNAP.

 
Madame AstroCat[object Object]
 
Dear Readers,

Most humans care about animals, but sometimes you hear shocking tales of children and young people who mistreat them. Since such stories get a lot of press, I thought we should see the other side of the coin. My research has revealed numerous stories of kids who took it upon themselves to step up to help and protect animals in danger. This month's top ten list is sure to warm your heart as it introduces you to Madame Astrocat's top ten young animal heroes.

10. Sarah, Chloe, and Zachary Otterbeck - When Sarah and Zachary of Huntington, MA, discovered that two dogs had been abandoned near their home, they immediately set about rescuing them. Enlisting the help of their father and their sister Chloe, they took in the filthy and emaciated dogs for the night and got them into a kennel the next day. To pay for the animals' veterinary expenses and upkeep, they started a fundraising campaign through Facebook, Craigslist, and their schools. They visited the dogs daily until one was adopted by a family in Maine. The Otterbecks then decided to adopt the other. Good show!

9. Mia and Skylar Schlenker - A quick search of the Internet reveals that many youngsters raise money and gather material supplies to support animal welfare organizations. Typically, however, they are helping agencies in their immediate neighborhood. Mia and Skylar Schlenker (who are also profiled in a separate article in this issue) looked beyond borders when they set up their lemonade stand and raised $1,000 for SNAP. That's a reflection of both heart and vision.

8. Stevie Nelson - When his two black Labradors went missing, five-year-old Stevie Nelson was despondent. Despite extraordinary efforts to find the animals, they were never recovered. Instead of wallowing in his own grief, young Stevie decided to focus his attention on helping other animals that needed homes. He turned his sixth birthday into a fundraiser for a local animal shelter with the goal of raising $6,000. He not only surpassed that goal, but he ultimately raised over $28,000 to help the shelter build a new facility. What a fitting tribute to his two lost doggies.

7. Emma and Olivia Taylor - Collectively known as the LemonAid Girls, these two young ladies have taken the lemonade stand model of fundraising to a new level. Not content for a one-shot campaign, they have supported SNAP through nearly nonstop fundraising efforts since 2009. They have raised many thousands of dollars in the process and can personally claim responsibility for having prevented the births of many thousands of unwanted animals.

6. Garrett Matzell - Garrett Matzell is a 12-year-old race car driver, and he's good. He is a Quarter Midget Car champion. What makes him special in Madame Astrocat's eyes is that he is also a major supporter of the Wanderer's Rest Humane Association animal shelter. Garrett donates funds raised by his own foundation--the GMR (Garrett Matzell Racing) Foundation--and the proceeds from sales of GMR merchandise to fund spay-neuter. He says his goal is to become a NASCAR driver by the age of 17. I think he'll make it.

5. Kyle Watkinson - When a kitten named Diesel got stuck at the top of a 60 foot spruce tree, neither the local fire department nor a local animal protection society were up to the task of rescuing him. They said it was too risky. The kitten remained stuck for a week, growing weaker by the day. Kyle heard about the kitten, and even though he didn't know the kitten's family, he volunteered to climb the tree. Thanks to his amazing bravery, Diesel is alive and well today.

4. Brandon Williams - When 11-year old Brandon Williams noticed his neighbor's house was on fire, his first thought was for the safety of a mother dog and four puppies living inside. Before his mother could stop him, he bolted into the house, emerged with the puppies, and then went back and rescued the mother. The home's owner rewarded Brandon by giving him one of the puppies. When talk show host Ellen DeGeneres heard about the story, she had the boy and his mother on her program and gave him a year's supply of dog food for his new pup, a 5-day trip to Disney World, and a $10,000 college scholarship.

3. The English Schoolboys - No one knows who tied a kitten in a leaky basket and set her adrift on a canal in Leeds, England. Whoever it was, he or she didn't count on the compassion of two schoolboys who saw the basket floating by. The boys, who are not identified in news stories about the incident, went straight into the canal and rescued the poor petite feline. The boys' parents contacted the local humane association, which took the animal into safekeeping until she can be adopted. Boys, whoever you are, know that cats everywhere are grateful.

2. Jamarea Mills - It takes a great deal of courage for a child to confront someone who is abusing an animal, and even more so when the perpetrator is older and wielding a knife. Nine-year-old Jamarea Mills and his brother were playing with a stray kitten when a 12-year-old child happened along and began brutally beating the animal. Jamarea told the older boy to stop, but he refused and pulled out a knife, threatening to cut the kitten. Jamarea decided enough was enough and struck out, knocking the knife from the other boy's hand. The kitten was already badly injured but received veterinary attention and will recover. The 12-year-old faces charges of animal cruelty.

1. Tommy P. Monahan - When his family's house caught on fire, nine-year-old Tommy Monahan couldn't think of his own safety without first thinking of his dog Sophie and his pet lizard. Rather than running out of the house, Tommy ran upstairs to save the animals. Unfortunately he became trapped and was overcome by fumes. His father got a ladder and tried to break out an upstairs window, but he didn't have a sufficiently heavy implement to break the glass. Firefighters entered the house soon thereafter, but they found Tommy in cardiac arrest. He was revived briefly at the hospital but passed away shortly thereafter. Both Sophie and the lizard perished as well. The ASPCA has created the "Tommy P. Monahan" Kid of the Year award in memory of this gallant animal hero.

Quote of the Month
  
Cats were put into the world to disprove the dogma that all things were created to serve man." ~ Paul Gray
 

No-Birth is the First Step to No-Kill
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SNAP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency that depends on your donations to accomplish its mission.
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