The Big Fix

Do you have a pet needing spay/neuter services? Our AdoptablesDonate

WHAT’S THE BIG FIX?

SNIPSA launched its Big Fix clinics in May 2009. With more than 100 animals being euthanized every day in San Antonio, we knew there had to be a better way. How could we target the pet-owning population and bring spay/neuter to one’s doorstep? We found that people were generally receptive to doing the “right thing”; we just needed to make it convenient and doable. Providing this service for FREE was also important to remove any barriers that might dissuade a pet owner from having his pet spayed/neutered. The more sterilized pets in our city, the less entering the doors of our shelters. It was simple.

SNIPSA set out to build partners in the community. Partners that included churches and community centers right in the heart of the neighborhoods where the largest number of stray and un-owned animals roamed the streets; the same streets that animal control officers frequented and impounded thousands of unwanted dogs and cats. It was in these zip codes that SNIPSA focused its Big Fix clinics.

Have a Pet Needing Spay/Neuter?

Ready to Volunteer?

HOW DOES IT WORK?
 

In the days leading up to a clinic, SNIPSA volunteers distribute bilingual flyers door-to-door, visiting with residents about the importance of spay/neuter. Volunteers talk to pet owners as they water their lawns, barbeque in their front yards, or watch their kids play. This is our opportunity to interface with residents and offer them free spay/neuter, vaccination, and micro-chipping services. Questions are answered and animals are signed up for surgery. It is this grassroots approach that allows SNIPSA volunteers to target those most in need.

We see first hand the litters born under porches, the dogs living on chains, feral cats hiding in bushes, and others who simply forage for survival. For many, the problem has simply gotten out of hand. What started as a well-meaning individual feeding a stray has resulted in litter after litter of puppies/kittens and an owner feeling completely overwhelmed.

GETTING READY
The day prior to the Big Fix, SNIPSA hauls its trailer full of medical supplies and equipment to the selected location. In a matter of hours, a series of classrooms are transformed into a fully functional surgery and recovery suite. Floors are covered with protective material and over 200 kennels are assembled to hold incoming appointments. Anesthetic machines, surgery lights, and tables are set up to accommodate several veterinarians and all the support staff. This alone takes a day to prepare and soon becomes well worth the work.
THE DAY OF
 

Just after sunrise, people line up with their pets to drop them off for surgery. Paperwork is completed and an assembly of volunteers transfer, weigh, and place all incoming appointments in assigned kennels. It is amazing to watch as pet owners arrive with dogs in bird cages, puppies in laundry baskets, and cats in carboard boxes. We never quite know what to expect and are amazed at the creativity of folks.

The day begins and surgeons start their first surgery by 8am. All animals receive vaccinations, microchips, and pain medication. If we notice fleas, ticks, earmites, and other skin disease, we treat these conditions too, as this is often the animals first and last stop for veterinary care in its lifetime. A core group of nurses and volunteers monitor animals until they have recovered from surgery.

Owners are called and the animals return to their homes. They are afforded a better quality of life and most importantly will no longer be contributing to the pet overpopulation problem. In one day, we sterilize approximately 450 dogs and cats- fairly impressive when you consider the number of births prevented!

 

CLEAN UP
 

Before we know it, 16 hours have passed and its time to start cleaning up. Every kennel is bleached, every piece of equipment reloaded into the trailer, and the facility we once borrowed needs to be restored to its original condition.

We often work late into the night exhausted, yet feeling good about our work for the community. When we return months later to those same neighborhoods, there is a marked reduction in the number of litters born. We can move on to the next streets knowing this is the most effective means to prevent the needless euthanasia of innocent lives.

TO DATE

 

To date we have sterilized over 19,000 dogs and cats in 50 Big Fix clinics. What started as spaying and neutering just over 100 animals at our first Big Fix has evolved into sterilizing up to 489 in one long but amazing event.

It costs roughly $15,000 to host a Big Fix. It is well worth the investment when you consider it costs taxpayers upwards of $350 to impound, house, and ultimately euthanize a single animal at our city shelter. SNIPSA has definitely tapped into a well received yet under-utilized service for animals in our community.

 

FURTHERING OUR CAUSE
 

SNIPSA depends on grants and private donations to host its Big Fix clinics. PetSmart Charities and The San Antonio Area Foundation have been critical in helping SNIPSA purchase medical equipment and necessary supplies for our MASH style operations. However, their support is not inclusive in keeping our Big Fix clinics running.

We appreciate all the support we’ve received from our local community. Your donations are driving the change in San Antonio and helping us continue onward to a No-Kill city.

BIG FIXIN’ 2019

It’s midnight and our feet ached from walking miles through the St. Mary’s Gymnasium – carting dogs and cats from the front door to the surgery tables and back to their owners. Erecting a MASH style surgery clinic in a day’s time only to dismantle it and reload thousands of pounds of equipment into our trailer a day later. Great people, unwavering commitment, and a little help from “above” makes our Big Fix clinics what they are. You can’t describe them…you have to live them. Thank you to St. Mary’s University for opening your doors, to the 150 volunteers that gave their time, and to the incredible veterinarians, technicians, and SNIPSA staff that work tirelessly to save lives. Another 481 dogs and cats spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and microchipped!

Take a peek at our photo gallery to get a bird’s eye view into SNIPSA’s work. Truly an amazing gathering of like minded individuals giving their 100% to save homeless animals!!!!

 

Be the FIX

Holy Moly!! SNIPSA was the FIX with 522 dogs and cats being spayed and neuteredSaturday – our largest Fix in history. The line of pet owners filled two parking lots as patient owners waited their turn to drop off their pets for surgery. Just think of the magnitude such an event has on our homeless animal population. Yes, the events are crazy, exhausting, full of surprises with many moving parts outside of our control.
Yet somehow we manage. We could not have done it without the outpouring of volunteers, veterinarians, army anesthetists, committed staff, and kind-hearted people that pour their hears and manpower into the cause. Please take a moment to check out the photos that provide a small “window” into the day.
 
 
 

 

OTHER LOW COST OPTIONS

There are several low cost spay/neuter and wellness clinics in San Antonio available to help!

The Humane Society

4804 Fredericksburg Rd. (210) 226-7461 sahumane.org

SNAP

6758 Ingram Rd (210) 673-7722 snapus.org

Pet Shotz

210 Tuleta Bldg #3 (210) 735-1004 petshotzinc.com

Animal Defense League

11300 Nacogdoches Rd. (210) 655-1481 adltexas.org

Pin It on Pinterest