Savannah's Paw Tracks

Autobiography of a Former Shelter Cat

Archive for the tag “SNIP”

Here a SNIP, There a SNIP, Everywhere a SNIP SNIP!


If you and your community are not gettin’ it goin’ with some SNIP SNIP, then you might want to have a look at this post. Anyone new to my bloggy may not know about how proud I am of my Mom L and Dad P for their volunteering four times a year for our county’s SNIP CLINIC—Spay, Neuter Impact Program. This is an all volunteer clinic, including DVMs (vet docs) RVTs (licensed vet techs), full catered food service by many of our volunteers who also take up stations during the clinic. Our county animal services department allows SNIP to utilize parts of their shelter including the surgery, on four Sundays a year when the shelter is closed. SNIP brings in all its own medical supplies and some medical equipment as well as supplies for the bathrooms and such! All done through generous donations from these very same volunteers and others in our county. Oh and did I mention that most of the DVMs and RVTs come from outside our county, from all parts of the San Francisco Bay Area?

This spay/neuter clinic is exclusive for community cats brought in by either private citizens or cat rescue groups who do TNR (trap, neuter, return). The cost of spay/neuter is $15USD and all the cats get a good physical check up while they are sedated, including but not limited to: vaccinations, wound cleaning, mani/pedi if needed for health, ear mite treatment, flea treatment, antibiotics if the cat has an infected wound, pain medication to help them recover. All cats are recovered to a fully awake status onsite at the clinic and then their caretakers pick them up and take them back for complete recovery at their homes before returning them back to their community homes or cat colonies.

The cats and their caretakers/transporters arrive and present themselves to one of two admission stations. They all have reservations so SNIP can plan ahead for staffing and supplies, etc. Mom L does the admission for the cat rescue groups. They check in with their cats in traps waiting to be processed.

Each cat trap, with cat inside, is lifted onto the admission check in table where one person identifies the cats color/breed and the other person writes it down on the cat’s “toe tag” which will remain attached to the cat’s trap, or the cat itself once sedated. The trap is tagged with a number, the cat’s trap cover has the same number attached and that “toe tag” is never separated from any cat during the whole process. This enables SNIP to ensure that each cat is returned to its very own trap after surgery and then returned to its caretaker.

Oh hey, did I tell you about what happens to the cat’s trap while they are prepped for surgery and then go through surgery??? That trap gets all cleaned up! The cats are returned to sanitized traps, with fresh paper for them to recover. They are also placed on warmers after surgery to ensure they don’t get cold. Not bad, right?

Dad P serves in the morning as an Admit Transporter meaning he transports the newly admitted cat to the area where it will receive its sedation injection.

The male cats don’t take much time for these experienced Vets to neuter them—like maybe 3-5 minutes!! So most of the vets spend their time in the surgery doing female cat spays. This past SNIP Clinic saw approximately eighty four cats come through and many of the females were already pregnant. So begins my county’s “kitten season”. When kittens are aborted the community cat population can be actively diminished by literally hundreds of cats. An average cat has 1-8 kittens per litter and 2-3 litters per year. During her productive life, one female cat could have more than 100 kittens. A single pair of cats and their kittens can produce as many as 420,000 kittens in just 7 years. Now you do the math and figure how many cats will be added to a community cat population if one female is allowed to birth her kittens and then all her kittens, not neutered and not spayed , start to reproduce within six months or less from their own birth.

So many of the community cats Mom L and Dad P see every SNIP Clinic are beautiful cats. So unfortunate they did not have the care they deserved early in life such as spay/neuter and proper vaccinations.

Let me introduce you to some of the cats Mom L was able to capture during the April 2017 SNIP Clinic. You can read the captions I added if you simply hover your “mousie” over each photo. Hope you enjoy my added captions.

This last clinic saw a large number of Siamese.

One sweet, not completely feral, ladycat caught Mom L’s eye.

So many community cats, so few humans who care enough to simply ask for the resources that are available in communities across the USA—many low cost or now cost—




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You guessed it. January saw the first SNIP (Spay Neuter Impact Program) Cat Clinic of 2017 and Mom L and Dad P were there! I report on every SNIP clinic they volunteer in and I am so proud of calling them my Mom and Dad! You can take a peek at  Mom L’s first clinic here. We made it our Blog For The Change 4 Animals post in July 2014.

Mom L works the early morning admission shift at the table where the rescue groups bring in the cats they have trapped for this clinic. There is another admission table where the general public can bring in cats they have trapped on their property or in their neighborhoods.  All cats must be brought inside their traps, no cats in cat carriers are allowed in. This is one way to insure that SNIP is truly providing service to reducing the community cat population.

Rescue organization admission line

Rescue organization admission line

Here are just a few of the gorgeous cats who crossed Mom L’s check in table in January.

A hesitant patient

A hesitant patient

A blue eyed tabby!

A blue eyed tabby!

Snow shoe Siamese, look at her paws

Snow shoe Siamese, look at her paws

Mr Tabby weighed in at 13 pounds

Mr Tabby weighed in at 13 pounds

The volunteers and Vets and Registered Vet Techs all work like a fine oiled can of cat tuna. They can swiftly move to fill in if someone is absent and switch stations through out the day, going where there is most need.

Prep area and surgery

Prep area and surgery

Down time between getting patients ready for surgery. Do you see that blue chair in the foreground of my photo? That is where Mom L goes after doing admission check in. She helps capture data from each cat’s surgery including meds etc. from their cage tag to SNIP records.


All in all a very successful SNIP Cat Clinic where ninety community cats were spayed, neutered, treated for worms, fleas, vaccinated and where they received attention for wounds, even for bad fur mats on the long coated cats!

This youngster was the last cat Mom L admitted for the day.

Thank you for helping me

Thank you for helping me


#mommakatsserach #foreverhomeneeded

#mommakatsserach #foreverhomeneeded



Paw It Forward: Spay, Neuter Impact Program (SNIP)

We forgot that today was B4TC ( Blog For The Change: Be The Change For Animals) And so Mom L and I dedicate this blog post to this very important global blog event.


I pawticipate

I pawticipate


Many of you know that Mom L volunteers once a quarter at a clinic called SNIP (Spay, Neuter Impact Program). This last Sunday is the first one she has been able to do since she had knee replacement surgery. Yes, Mom L does now have not only one, but two, bionic knees!

And no, this does make her any faster in delivering treats and meals…just sayin’…

pizap Ms Savvy Do

I asked Mom L to take you through her experience this time because she did something she had not done before and loved it.  Take it away Mom!

Mom L:

Thank you Nana. I appreciate you letting me share my experience with your readers.

The SNIP clinic is run by an all volunteer organization and funded through donations and some grants. The vets, vet techs and the ‘staff chef’ and all others are volunteer people who want to make a difference in the numbers of stray, feral cats in predominately our east county. I so enjoy the time I spend here. This time I could only manage a half day; 7:30 AM – 12:30 PM. I had to take a two hour nap when I got home!

Let me tell you why.

I started with being on the intake table for all the rescue organizations who trap the cats to bring them to this low cost clinic. We spayed and neutered 109 cats Sunday and about 60 of those came through my intake table. I write on their trap tag their assigned tag number which will follow them throughout the whole process and I also note their color/breed. I work with a woman who is expert at identifying the color and breed.

This all requires standing for about 2 1/2 hours straight! But I get to see so many beautiful feral cats; even the large Tom cats with cuts and scrapes from so many fights are wonderful to see up close. Although, I always keep my fingers well outside the traps as those Toms and even females who were born feral can be very agitated.

collage 01 done

We have a wonderful woman who brings in this fabulous spread of food and snacks to keep everyone fueled. I did not get a photo this time, but her lunch always has vegan, vegetarian and gluten free selections!

After admission was gearing down, I was sent to do ‘transport’ of the cat from the weigh station to the operation prep area. In the photos below, you can see the area where the cats receive their anesthetic injection. It is loaded with 3 types. There is a DVM present who always gives the injection while a volunteer rattles a pen or something on the trap to get the cat’s attention. As they are feral, they usually back against the back of the trap and ZZAP!!! they have their anesthetic.

Then they are lifted when asleep to the scale, weighed, get a pretty thorough examine by skilled volunteers who look for flea conditions, dental needs, wounds etc. They receive a pain med shot at this time to help them through recovery.

Then it was time for ME to do my new assignment. I got to scruff them with one hand, then scoop their butts with the other to hold them somewhat away from my body as I carry them about 50 feet down a hall to the surgery prep area.

Let me tell you, a cat weighing 7-14 pounds, while asleep, is very dead weight! I must have carried about 30 cats over about 2 hours.

collage 02 done

I had a very fulfilling day. We had one beautiful Tom I fell in love with; he was a lovely dark brown tabby with polydactyl front paws. I hated to think of him being released back to his colony.

And that is the crux of this work. Can you believe we have so many cats who look like these??? (hover to view captions)

Most of the cats Sunday, and every clinic, have luxurious coats which tell they get fed and have some safety. I cannot describe the joy of knowing that I was one of the few humans who may ever touch these cats. Each and every one of them is special. Each and every one of them need humans to help them survive with some resemblance of care and love. Even the beat up Toms tugged at my heart wishing they had never needed to know such a life.

If you have never volunteered at a local rescue during a spay, neuter clinic…I highly recommend it. It is an honor to be able to do something for these feral, stray cats who are only in this type of life due to humans.

During the time the cats are out of their traps, the trap is lovingly cleaned with fresh paper and disinfected. They also receive flea treatment, vaccinations and even a quick dental extraction etc if needed.

And then they are released back to the same place where they were originally trapped. Please send positive energy and healing purrs for all our ferals.

Thank you for reading until the end, Mom Linda

This is our Blog 4 The Change: Be The Change For Animals.

I pawticipate

I pawticipate


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