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SNIPSA’s Big Fix

The San Antonio Area Foundation is pleased to welcome as a guest blogger Shannon Espy, DVM, Top Dog at SNIPSA.

SNIPSA is an organization formed by a group of veterinarians and caring individuals dedicated to helping homeless and unwanted animals in San Antonio and the surrounding area. SNIPSA does not have a standing shelter and instead depends on a core of volunteers to foster and rehabilitate animals in their homes.  Dr. Espy, her staff and volunteers work tirelessly to make San Antonio an Animal No Kill by 2012.

Dear Big Fix supporters,

This is a belated thank you from our last event in late January. Life at SNIPSA is busy as always. Well we broke all records performing 224 spays/neuters, 94 of which were female dog spays. Yes that is right, 94 fewer females reproducing on the streets. And if you think about the exponential number of offspring this prevented, we did quite a good deed.

The amazing thing was we were pretty much finished with surgery by late afternoon. The challenge is always finding enough experienced technicians to keep up with the efficiency of the doctors. Each time we learn a little more and tweak things here and there. It is always nice to have new faces- a new veterinarian at discharge to help answer questions and our old-timer military veterinarian was back to work recovery. We trapped a handful of cats and continued to work on a colony throughout the following week.

While blockwalking, we discovered a very sick dog suffering from distemper. She could barely stand and was doing her best to get around in an open field. We left her a can of cat food and returned the following days to check on her. If you remember, this was the day before the Arctic front hit. So knowing she would most likely succumb to the elements, we ventured back out and found her lying on a discarded mattress. She also had a well-loved television tube decorated with graffiti adjacent to her mattress. She weighed all of 25 lbs or so and should have weighed at least 50. Every rib was in plain view. Dr. Neelish was kind enough to take her to his hospital and give her a fighting chance. She is still with us today though we know this is a debilitating disease and her chances of making a full recovery are very slim.

I share this story because this is the very thing we are working diligently to prevent. Just one vaccine would have spared this poor dog. Every Big Fix, there is a new set of circumstances and group of animals we encounter. Many have mange, are pregnant, lived tethered, and just basically get by. We are so busy during the day that it is often difficult to reflect about the good we are doing. But when the dust settles the following day, I am awed by everyone’s compassion and commitment. I know we are doing God’s work serving people who have less than we do. And in blockwalking, we are reminded of that even more.

I want to personally thank each of you that participate in our Big Fix days. You are an integral cog in their success. To date we have sterilized, vaccinated, and microchipped 1442 dogs/cats since May 2009. We plan on going strong this next year.

With appreciation,

Shannon Espy, DVM

If you would like to get involved with our animal no kill efforts, please email Gavin Nichols, Program Officer–Community Initiatives or phone 210.242.4720.

…helping donors achieve their charitable goals for the greater benefit of the community

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