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 15,000 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 450 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 18,500 spay/neuter surgeries to date, and we’re not stopping!
COMMITTED TO OUR MISSION
Dr. Shannon R. Espy, DVM
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 its 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.
Operations / Adoptions / Intake Manager
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 cat, and two SNIPSA pups-a Pit Bull Terrier mix and Labrador mix-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, she believes in rescue, compassion, and that every animal deserves a home.
Website & Social Media Coordinator / Photographer
Staci graduated from the University of Texas-San Antonio with a degree in Professional Writing, wanting to pursue non-profit work. She has always had a passion for animal rescue-volunteering with multiple rescues throughout her education which eventually led her to SNIPSA after graduating. When she is not snapping pics of SNIPSA rescues or writing, you’ll find Staci down at the coast on a boat with her husband and their two dogs- Bane and SNIPSA alumnus Lex Luthor. Living out on a ranch, she is also surrounded by an array of horses, cows, and goats. Staci has been with SNIPSA for over 3 years and is dedicated to supporting the mission.
Tami has had a lifelong love of the veterinary field. From 9 years of age, she trained eight guide dogs for the blind and raised market pigs, goats, dairy heifers, and sheep all through high school – Her current menagerie of creatures includes two teenagers, numerous dog and cat fosters, 6 permanent fur babies, a bunny, a cockatiel, and 2 saltwater fish tanks – she’s a lover of all animals…She even met her husband of 22 years at the county fair when he helped her catch a runaway sheep! While traveling the world with her family through 20 years of Navy life, Tami has worked extensively in animal hospitals and bird farms throughout Southern California, Oregon, Southern Spain, and Texas. She attended California Polytechnic University at Pomona studying animal science and holds a bachelor’s degree in healthcare management.
Debbi graduated from Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais IL with degrees in psychology and criminal justice. She has lived in many different states, the most unique being Alaska. She moved to Texas three years ago and has four dogs: a pug named Diggle, and Mable and Dipper, two pit bull terrier rescues, and a SNIPSA foster fail, Penny. Debbi has always had a passion for rescuing and helping animals in need. Through mutual friends and perfect timing, she was brought to SNIPSA where she nows get to live out her passion of helping dogs and cats in San Antonio.
Spay & Neuter Outreach
Christine started working in the veterinary field in 1996 and has had a love of animals her entire life. While raising chickens, goats, pigs, guinea pigs, cats, dogs, and sugar gliders, she also has being raising her 4 children- the oldest being 23 and the youngest at 1 year. As if that wasn’t enough to keep her busy, Christine also fosters the young puppies and kittens that SNIPSA gets in that do not have a mom; she bottle feeds them multiple times a day and keeps them healthy and happy until they are ready to go to their forever home. Christine is an active member in her church and enjoys playing the guitar. She is always the first to greet you with a smiling face and outgoing personality.
Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator
Lexie is originally from Houston and recently moved to San Antonio from North Dakota with her husband. Lexie graduated from Texas State University with a degree in Advertising and a minor in Studio Art & Design. She found her passion working for non-profits after spending several years working in marketing for both large and small-scale companies. Lexie comes from a family of animal rescuers and has a huge heart for all animals, so she feels grateful to have a career that combines her passions for both non-profits and four-legged friends! Lexie has 3 fur babies—2 chubby cats named Pepper & Gatsby, and a Beagle/Chihuahua named Burt. When she’s not working, Lexie enjoys practicing and teaching yoga, baking, snuggling up with a good book, watching all kinds of movies, and exploring the city. Lexie is dedicated to SNIPSA’s mission and is excited to help contribute towards the ultimate goal of making San Antonio a No-Kill city!
Carolynn Ekbaeck has always had a passion for working with animals, especially in rescue and rehabilitation. Carolynn is a native Texan, but lived in Sweden the last 10 years. She comes to us with knowledge and education in dog behavior and training as she worked with dogs there for 7 years as the owner of a dog daycare center and as a dog trainer. In late 2018 she decided to move back to Texas with her family (She just missed the tacos and sun too much!) and worked as a dog trainer. Carolynn has 2 dogs, a German Spitz Klein named Tako that she brought from Sweden, and a German Shepherd/Husky mix named Akira, rescued here in Texas. When she isn’t working with dogs, she enjoys playing computer games and saving up to travel; Japan being her favorite place. Carolynn is happy to join the SNIPSA team and make a larger impact on animal welfare in Texas and the US.
COMMITTED TO EXCELLENCE
Dr. Shannon R. Espy, DVM
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. 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 22 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 26 years and their four children.
Amy Venticinque, MM
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. 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 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.