Start each day with LOVE
Start each day with LOVE!
Every morning at 7:15, the SNAP clinics open the doors, and the our team members begin the morning intake process for the patients arriving for surgery. During the span of around two hours, SNAP team members work with pet parents to admit between 30 and 60 animals. The process includes checking the medical history of the pet; discussing the upcoming surgery and additional services available; and getting the patient’s paperwork, identification label, and accommodation for the day all coordinated (just like when humans are admitted to the hospital). The SNAP lobby is typically full to the bursting point because each pet often comes with two or more human companions.
As I look around the lobby each day, I reflect on the LOVE that has filled our clinics. I smile as I witness the human-animal bond in action every day. Animals—like people—each have a unique personality. Some of the patients are exuberant, bouncing around and trying to get the attention of everyone in the room. Some wait patiently but accept attention when it comes their way. Some are completely overwhelmed or terrified, clinging to their human or hiding under a chair or deep in the carrier.
The human-animal bond extends beyond the immediate pet family. The bond can be seen as SNAP team members begin to work with the pets and their humans. Team members smile and laugh as they introduce themselves to the patient, and there is warmth and kindness whether a pet is giving kisses or hissing and acting aloof. Throughout this process, the veterinary surgeon is performing pre-surgical exams on each patient and assisting team members with answers to the pet parents’ questions. My exams are one of my favorite parts of the day, because this is my time to bond and feel love from my patients. I get lots of kisses and give lots of reassurance. I enjoy speaking with each patient and sneak in selfies with them when time permits!
As we enter February, the month typically associated with LOVE, I am reminded that the human-animal bond is the ultimate love story. This bond is reciprocal LOVE, a love where both the human and animal benefit mentally and emotionally. I hope you will join us in February for our #HeartsSaveLives campaign where you’ll be able to honor your loved ones (person or pet) with a tribute. Your support enables SNAP to continue in the quest to end needless death due to companion animal overpopulation, while nurturing the rich and rewarding human-animal bond.
Dr. Mary Kate Lawler, Executive Director and Surgeon
Spay-Neuter Assistance Program