Posts Tagged ‘adopt’

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


San Antonio Works Together for Animal No Kill


Here is an uplifting Animals Matter blog by Cathy Rosenthal at the San Antonio Express News.

As much as we beat ourselves and each other up in the local animal welfare community, San Antonio is doing much good work, especially when compared with many other cities.

Animal No KillIn addition to what is in the linked article, I would like to point out that December 2010 was a great month for Live Release at Animal Care Services. ACS had 377 Adoptions and 727 Live Releases. Both of those numbers are the highest monthly totals dating back to July 2008 when I first started tracking these numbers. That is good news! Let’s go out and do even better!

Hopefully, this gives us some validation of the work we are doing and encourages us to go out and make 2011 the best year ever for making San Antonio a No Kill community!

To learn more about what No Kill means and why it is important read this blog by Laura McKieran

Gavin Nichols

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

Good Samaritan Center Pet Fiesta

Talk About It

Celebrate the end of 2010 with your pets, family and friends at the Talk About It! Pet Fiesta on December 11th, at the Good Samaritan Center from 11am-3:00pm.

There will be great pet obedience and training demonstrations, impressive weight pulls, plus food, fun, & games galore! The entire family will enjoy this exciting event, including your pets as they are welcome to attend as long as they are leashed or in a crate.

Bully Breeds Need Love and River City Weight Pull Club will lead all of the fun and informative pet care activities. We hope to see everyone there to support Talk About It! and enjoy the last Pet Fiesta for this year!

Together San Antonio C.A.N. Talk About It! – Care. Adopt. Neuter.

Click Here to Map it!

Mission San Jose Pet Fair

The second annual St. Francis Pet Fair at Mission San Jose Parish will be held on Sunday October 3.

Pet Fair

October 3, 2010

St. Francis of Assisi loved all of God’s creatures and his feast day, which is October 3rd, is traditionally used for blessing of animals. The public is invited to bring their pets to be blessed and have a great time learning about how to Care, Adopt, Neuter.

Last year, 300 people attended and had their animals blessed by the parish priests, saw dog exhibitions by D&D K9 Concepts and the River City Weight Pull Club, information tables by San Antonio Big Dawgs, the San Antonio Feral Cat Coalition, AAPAW, and Alamo City Bully Breeds United.

The San Antonio Big Dawgs led a dog walk with the parishioners and neighbors who brought their dogs with them.

The Animal Care Services (ACS) Mobile Spay/Neuter Clinic was on-site and provided 21 free spay/neuter surgeries. They will be on-site again this year—appointments can be made by calling 210-207-6653.

Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

The San Antonio Area Foundation’s “Talk About It!” campaign welcomes Julie Ruff as a guest blogger. Julie manages, the pets page for the San Antonio Express-News and She is a lover of animals and has volunteered for Animal Care Services and the Helotes Humane Society.

Julie RuffAccording to an article in the San Antonio Express-News, officials estimate that there are 100,000 stray dogs roaming San Antonio streets. And I’m willing to bet almost none of them are spayed or neutered.

Animal Care Services spokeswoman Lisa Norwood said the city’s relatively new facility can hold about 169 to 300 dogs on any given day. That means we would need to have at least 334 more facilities to hold these animals if we somehow managed to round them all up. Of course, that will never happen. Sure, there are nonprofit shelters and rescues around the city also picking up strays and unwanted litters, but it’s not enough. Those 100,000 dogs are procreating. And that’s just the dogs.

We have the opportunity right now to change the course of an epidemic. In 2000, Malcolm Gladwell, a writer at The New Yorker, wrote what would become a bestselling book called “The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference” in which he describes how trends spread exponentially through the population.

“Ideas and products and messages and behaviors spread just like viruses do,” he says. Once an idea sticks, or becomes contagious, small changes can have huge results in a very short amount of time. This is not an especially new idea, but at some point, the book itself reached a “tipping point” and soon everyone was reading it and talking about it.

So how do we tip the scales in San Antonio back in the right direction? An important part of “The Tipping Point” that we have to understand is that it’s not just one small change that tips a trend. It’s several small changes all occurring at the same time that cause dramatic shifts.  Adoptions are rising, and there is a push to spay and neuter more animals. Now there is the new “Talk About It!” campaign spreading these messages in English and Spanish throughout the city.Talk About It!

Local celebrities, such as Manu Ginobili, are getting on board and urging citizens to spay and neuter their pets. We need more people spreading this message because, as Gladwell says, sometimes it’s the messenger and not the message that makes an idea or behavior stick. I’m looking at you, Tony and Eva.

I used to think we’d never reach the 2012 no-kill goal, but there is hope now that if we make enough changes we may reach that tipping point and see dramatic results. We need to increase funding for free and low-cost spay/neuter programs, TNR and Animal Care Services. Let’s continue adopting rather than buying our pets. More foster homes are needed. Keep encouraging your family, friends and neighbors to be responsible. Let’s keep talking about it and acting on it. Let’s make no-kill infectious. Those 100,000 dogs aren’t going away.

Contact Gavin Nichols, Program Officer if you are interesting in helping San Antonio become an animal no kill city.

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

The Joy of Pet Adoption

In July, Animal Care Services saw 259 of their animals adopted and another 212 transferred to rescue groups. They had 590 Live Releases—the second highest month this year!

AAPAW held two adoption events with 142 pets adopted!  July is normally a poor month for adoptions and we have never had an adoptions event in July before this year.

I wanted to share the following video with you of when the Nevada Humane Society had a big dog adopted.  I’m imagining our friends at the San Antonio Humane Society, the Animal Defense League of Texas, the City of San Antonio Animal Care Services, and the rescue and adoption groups of the Alamo Area Partners for Animal Welfare doing this when they get a dog or cat adopted.

When you have a few minutes, enjoy the video.

Gavin Nichols, Program Officer–Community Initiatives

Talk About It! Animal No Kill

The San Antonio Area Foundation welcomes Laura McKieran, DrPH as a guest blogger. Dr. McKieran serves as Community Chair for the Animal No Kill Initiative’s Consortium of Partners. A dedicated advocate, she volunteers her time and talents to improving the humane treatment of companion pets in our community.

San Antonio is marking a halfway point with its Animal No Kill 2012 initiative, with a goal to dramatically decrease number of euthanized cats and dogs due to lack of space at the city’s Animal Care Services (ACS) facilities. We are pleased to note, according to recent ACS figures, there has been great progress!

Since 2004, ACS’ euthanasia numbers dropped almost 70%. Through adoption, transfer to rescuers, or return to owner, ACS saved 6,500 animals in 2009, nearly 30% of intake – up from 8% in 2004. Similarly, San Antonio’s low-cost spay/neuter agencies report about 40,000 surgeries have been performed, up from a low of 7,500 in 2005.

As a community we’re also trying to find the balance between animal care and animal control. Every San Antonian wants to walk their dog, ride a bike, or enjoy their front yard without fear of being chased or mauled by aggressive animals.

To help fulfill this need, ACS set intake priorities so facilities have enough space to house free-roaming and aggressive dogs. However, this step also comes with the understanding that intake rates will rise since many, if not most, of these dogs are not adoptable.

Thanks in part to the San Antonio Area Foundation, many nonprofit organizations dedicated to animal welfare and responsible pet ownership receive funding for important educational and programming needs including spay/neuter surgeries, adoptions, and organizational capacity building. This kind of generous support is vital to immediate and long term sustainability of our goal….but it is not enough.

Responsible pet ownership is the other key to success. Unfortunately, a great number of euthanized animals at ACS are abandoned or lost pets. Permanent, loving homes as well as humane confinement with an appropriate fence, not a chain or tie-out, are important to reaching the Animal No Kill goal. Temporary foster home care is also a priority as well as community wide awareness to spay/neuter pets. If every pet owner committed to these important responsibilities, San Antonio could see a dramatic decrease in controlling unwanted dog and feral cat populations.

There’s no insurmountable obstacle in the way of San Antonio’s Animal No Kill goal. San Antonians with a passion for animals need to talk about it! Share information with your neighbors and encourage them to commit to responsible pet ownership or contribute their time, talent or resources to help make a difference.

Whether through dedicated responsible pet ownership or donations of time, talent, or resources, everyone can contribute to this important initiative. Simply call 211 and ask for “Community Services”. You’ll find a wealth of information on low-cost spay/neuter programs as well as volunteer opportunities in local shelters.

Let’s talk about saving adoptable pets San Antonio! Let’s talk about responsible pet ownership! Let’s talk about how this goal will help make our neighborhoods safer! It’s time to take action. Join us in supporting the Animal No Kill 2012 goal.

For more information, listen to Dr. McKieran’s podcast.