About SNIPSA

Our mission is fourfold: to Rescue, Rehabilitate, and ReHome adoptable animals from high kill shelters and the community, and to encourage responsibility within the pet owning population.
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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 depends on a core group of volunteers to foster and rehabilitate animals in their homes. This provides us with the opportunity to learn first hand about the animal’s needs and behavior in order to facilitate an appropriate adoption. SNIPSA was incorporated in 2006 and has re-homed more than 8500 animals.

The majority of the animals we help originate from high kill shelters.San Antonio impounds more than 33,000 animals a year, approximately 100 dogs and cats per day. Most of the animals are adoptable and are destroyed due to lack of shelter space and available homes. Another 50,000 carcasses are picked up on city streets equating to a ton of animals being deposited in our landfills every day. SNIPSA makes weekly trips to area shelters to remove animals whose “time is up”. Many of these animals suffer from heartworm infection, fractures, mange, neglect, and have been used to breed year after year.
SNIPSA provides necessary medical care to get the rescues back on their feet again. This can often be a lengthy process of rehabilitation. We are committed to going the extra mile to ensure an animal’s health.

While we know we can’t adopt our way out of this problem, SNIPSA has set out to address the overpopulation problem in San Antonio too. By offering free spay/neuter services to underserved areas of this city, we’re able to target neighborhoods where we’ll have a definite impact. Several times a year, SNIPSA holds Big Fix clinics. These MASH style operations provide sterilization, vaccinations, and microchipping to over 350 cats and dogs in a single day.

Community centers are transformed into surgical suites, and countless veterinarians, staff, and volunteers come together to change our community. By preventing the birth of additional unwanted litters, we’re not only saving the city taxpayers thousands of dollars, but we’re providing our companion animals with a better life of health and wellness. SNIPSA has provided over 11,500 spay/neuter surgeries to date, and we’re not stopping!

OUR TEAM

COMMITTED TO SERVICE

 Dr. Shannon R. Espy, DVM

Dr. Shannon R. Espy, DVM

Executive Director

Dr. Espy serves as the Executive Director of SNIPSA which was founded in 2006 with the help of her husband and a group of caring individuals committed to creating change for the pets of San Antonio. She received her DVM from Texas A&M University in 1999 and moved to Kentucky where she embarked on her first mobile spay/neuter clinics sterilizing dogs/cats in tobacco warehouses. With a passion for saving the homeless, she returned to Texas with her husband and worked in the private veterinary sector until SNIPSA grew to the organization it is today. She is active in all aspects of the non-profit providing veterinary care for animals in it adoption program and facilitating its Big Fix spay/neuter outreach clinics. Dr. Espy is the mother of four children and houses a variety of injured and sick animals in her home. Having fostered hundreds of animals through the years- her husband doesn’t even ask the names of the animals in the morning knowing they may very well be different by the afternoon. She couldn’t do what she does without the endless support of her family and devoted SNIPSA staff.

Staci Freeman

Staci Freeman

Website & Social Media Coordinator/Photographer

Staci graduated from UTSA with a degree in English, wanting to pursue non-profit work. She has always had a passion for animal rescue and is owned by her two dogs, Bane and Lex Luthor. She loves to go to camping and to the lake with her family, friends and of course her dogs

Sherri Fichter

Sherri Fichter

Adoption/Foster Coordinator

Prior to joining the SNIPSA team, Sherri Recently relocated from Southern California where she owned a successful pet sitting business for over 10 years.  She has always had a passion for animals and feels so fortunate to have the opportunity to have a job doing what she loves!  She has passed this love on to her two children ages 21 and 23, who have both adopted special needs dogs. When she’s not caring for her full house of animal companions – two Great Danes, a 13 year old American Eskimo mix, a Green Wing Macaw, a cat and a brand new puppy from SNIPSA, she enjoys time with family and friends, a good book and hanging out at the river. Sherri is excited to be a part of the SNIPSA team, as she believes in rescue, she believes in compassion, and she believes that every pet deserves a home!

Jen Thygesen

Jen Thygesen

Veterinary Technician

Jen studied Biology at the University of Texas, Austin, where she soon after, met and married her husband, Kevin.  Jen  worked as a veterinary technician in the private setting for 15+ years before taking a “brief” intermission to raise their two tiny humans, Zach and Zoey.  Her passions include her family, pets, and rescuing animals.   When not at work, Jen can most likely be found at a Rodeo, Barrel Race, riding on a hillcountry  trail or helping an animal in need.  She also enjoys traveling abroad or stateside with her family, hiking, whitewater rafting, riding, or just enjoying nature itself.   Jen is thrilled to be  a part of the SNIPSA team and serve the community doing  what she loves.   

Joel Pena

Joel Pena

Photographer

Joel joined SNIPSA in 2014 where he graduated from Incarnate Word with a major in communications art and a concentration in news media. He is a native from San Antonio that attended Madison High School. Although Joel has been interested in the arts from a young age, he didn’t pick up his first camera until college. An avid and eager learner, he quickly mastered its technology and started photographing live music earning an invitation to Texas’ music festival SXSW. He also has directed commercials for well-known companies such as WalMart, Miller Lite, and AARP. Joel is the magic behind our rescue faces capturing their personality and charisma on camera and film. He is also responsible for documenting our Big Fix spay/neuter outreach. SNIPSA loves Joel for his flexibility, taking orders from an office full of females, and solving our many IT problems.

 

OUR BOARD

COMMITTED TO EXCELLENCE

 Dr. Shannon R. Espy, DVM

Dr. Shannon R. Espy, DVM

President

Dr. Espy serves as the Executive Director of SNIPSA which was founded in 2006 with the help of her husband and a group of caring individuals committed to creating change for the pets of San Antonio. She received her DVM from Texas A&M University in 1999 and moved to Kentucky where she embarked on her first mobile spay/neuter clinics sterilizing dogs/cats in tobacco warehouses. With a passion for saving the homeless, she returned to Texas with her husband and worked in the private veterinary sector until SNIPSA grew to the organization it is today. She is active in all aspects of the non-profit providing veterinary care for animals in it adoption program and facilitating its Big Fix spay/neuter outreach clinics. Dr. Espy is the mother of four children and houses a variety of injured and sick animals in her home. Having fostered hundreds of animals through the years- her husband doesn’t even ask the names of the animals in the morning knowing they may very well be different by the afternoon. She couldn’t do what she does without the endless support of her family and devoted SNIPSA staff.

Dr. Benjamin K. Espy, DVM, DACT

Dr. Benjamin K. Espy, DVM, DACT

Vice President

Dr. Espy is an original founder of SNIPSA that received his DVM from Texas A&M University in 1996 and completed a residency in Theriogenology in 2002 from Hagyard Davidson McGee, Lexington, KY – the oldest equine veterinary hospital in the world.  He is now an ambulatory veterinarian in San Antonio and the surrounding area specializing in sports medicine and equine reproduction. He is also licensed to practice acupuncture and uses this form of alternative therapy to compliment traditional western medicine. Dr. Espy is active on many professional boards and currently serves as an animal care consultant for the PRCA, an editor for the Horse Magazine, reviews journal articles for the Educational Programs Committee, and serves on the Ethics and Grievance Committee for the Texas State Board. He has been the head veterinarian for San Antonio’s Stock Show and Rodeo for the past 18 years. When not crawling underneath horses, Dr. Espy assists SNIPSA performing countless surgeries at their Big Fix clinics, helping with various medical procedures for wayward animals, and supports his wife of 23 years and their four children.

 Amy Venticinque, MM

Amy Venticinque, MM

Secretary

Amy graduated from University of Maryland and received her Masters in Music from Rice University. She is a violinist with the San Antonio Symphony where she has worked for more than twelve years. When not performing, she teaches private lessons to developing young musicians. Amy is very involved in improving the life of feral cats and has spent countless hours trapping, sterilizing, and educating the general public about their care.  She is a reliable, hard-working, and go-to kind of person. Amy has been a valuable asset to the SNIPSA team – manning the cat surgery area at our Big Fix clinics, trapping and transporting countless feline patients, recovering these same feral cats in her home until they could safely be returned, and participating in numerous weekend adoption events.

Dr. Sarah Israel, DVM, DACVS

Dr. Sarah Israel, DVM, DACVS

Board Member

Dr. Israel is a native Texan that received her DVM from Texas A&M University in 2005 and completed her residency in small animal surgery at Texas A&M University in 2009. Dr. Israel’s passion for veterinary medicine was fostered as a young child where she grew up with a variety of animals including goats, chickens, horses, dogs, and everything in between. She works at South Texas Veterinary Specialists and has performed numerous orthopedic and live-saving surgical procedures for SNIPSA rescues. She married her veterinary “sweetheart” and is the mother of two young children. Dr, Israel is a faithful surgeon at our Big Fix clinics and a practical sounding board for our organization.

Allen Cazort

Allen Cazort

Board Member

Allen is a native of San Antonio that graduated from Southwestern University. He comes from a family with a long history of non-profit involvement. Allen has a thirst for exploring the larger world where he lived and worked in Japan for several years following college. He now resides in Texas and works summers in California as a travel agent for the national parks. Allen is a huge help at the SNIPSA office- running errands, working long hours at our Big Fix clinics, and checking on SNIPSA staff regularly.

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