Feral Coupon Success Story: Solo

We usually feature stories about our Voucher Program for pets on this blog, but did you know the Sacramento Area Animal Coalition (SAAC) runs a Coupon Program for feral cats as well? This month’s story provides an inside look into the life of a feral cat colony caretaker: the perseverance; the dedication; and of course, the cats! Read on:


Solo, a feral kitten, is kept safe in a cat trap before and after spay/neuter surgery. Feral cats cannot be handled by people. The towels on the outside of the cage reduce sensory overload and allow the cat to feel hidden and secure.

This is Solo, one of the 11 kittens born to three different females in the colony in our neighborhood this year. Today she received a health check, vaccinations, and was spayed at Sac Spay & Neuter Clinic with the help of a free spaying coupon from SAAC. Thank you!

We’ve been angling to catch her for a while. She’s 8 months old now, a bit too wild to be socialized. But, earlier in the year we were able to catch three of those 11 kittens, socialize them, and adopt them to a wonderful family who took all three. Unlike Solo, whose mother hid her too well when she was a tiny kitten, her three siblings were successfully fostered into a forever home.

There are still 4 kittens left to catch, and two of the mothers. Solo’s mom was caught and TNR’ed [Trapped, Neutered, and Returned] last month. The other young mother is playing coy. The third mother is a senior. She’s the mom of most of the cats in the colony. She’s wiley . . . but we’re hopeful we can finally catch her.

Thanks for all you do at SAAC!

Have a wonderful New Year!
Christina Bellon, Sacramento

Do you have your own success story using SAAC’s spay and neuter programs? Please send it to contact@sacanimal.org. And don’t forget to include pictures of your dog, your cat—or any of the feral cats you’re helping (and manage to capture a photo of)!

Voucher Success Story: Louie

The Sacramento Area Animal Coalition (SAAC) loves hearing from the people who use our low-cost spay and neuter programs. Whether caring for a dog for the first time or finding room in their hearts and homes for one more cat, the stories they tell reflect the love for and dedication to animals that drives what we do here at SAAC. Read on for another happy tale:

I wanted to extend a very warm thank you for the voucher that you provided my family to help with the neutering of our puppy. My son has been asking me for a K-9 companion for some time now and due to the costs of caring for a pet, I was forced to decline for a very long time.

Despite my financial situation, a Beagle/mix puppy by the name of Louie seemed to find his way into our home and our hearts. Uncertain what to do, I began searching for financial help because I knew that it would devastate my little boy if I couldn’t find a way for Louie to remain a part of our family. I came across your website and filled out the application, submitted the required documents and waited patiently for a response. I was very surprised to find a voucher in our mailbox a short time thereafter. I immediately made the appointment.

I am so grateful for the opportunity that you have given us to be pet owners. I have never been a dog person but having Louie has changed my opinion about K-9s entirely. We love him so much and he certainly loves his humans as well. I’m glad we were able to rescue him from the young man in Davis and provide Louie with a loving forever home.

Julian and Andrea, Citrus Heights

Do you have your own success story using SAAC’s spay and neuter programs? Please send it to contact@sacanimal.org. And don’t forget to include pictures of your dog or cat!

Voucher Success Story: Gotham

The Sacramento Area Animal Coalition (SAAC) loves hearing from the people who use our low-cost spay and neuter programs. From pet lovers to feral cat trappers, the stories they tell are at times heart-warming, inspiring, and always reflective of the love so many of us feel for our animal companions. Read on for another happy tale:

We rescued Gotham from a not-so-healthy or safe environment when he was about eight weeks old. We didn’t really have the means to take in another pet, and we already had a service dog, but we couldn’t let him stay in the bad situation he was in.

I had heard about a lot of programs that help with the spay and neuter of pitbull breeds, but I tried for over a year to get on a list to qualify for one of these. The market is pretty oversaturated and it’s hard to get in, and despite trying over and over again, I never did get through.

As soon as I heard about the SAAC Voucher Program I got online to check it out. It only took me maybe 5 or 10 minutes to fill out the information required and to qualify, and I was promptly sent a notification saying that I would receive my voucher in a few days.

To complicate things, we had just moved into a new house and didn’t know the mail was not being delivered, and my voucher was one of the things to be returned to its sender. A volunteer from the voucher program contacted me to let me know it had been returned, and she actually hand-delivered it to my house the next morning to make sure I received it.

To make things even better, they provide a list of well known veterinarian offices who accept the program with the voucher. Making the appointment was smooth and easy and Gotham gets his procedure done next week. My co-pay is only $15, which is completely reasonable.

Thank you,
Michelle Saucier, Sacramento

Do you have your own success story using SAAC’s spay and neuter programs? Please send it to contact@sacanimal.org. And don’t forget to include pictures of your dog or cat!

Give Where Your Heart Is on the Big Day of Giving 2017!

On Thursday, May 4, the Sacramento Area Animal Coalition (SAAC) is participating in the Big Day of Giving — a 24-hour online giving challenge to raise more than $7 million for nonprofits in the Sacramento region.

SAAC’s goal is to raise $10,000 for our low-cost spay and neuter programs, which prevent thousands of unwanted puppies and kittens from being born and ending up in area shelters.

Please help us reach our Big Day of Giving goal and save animal lives! Here are all the ways you can help:

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Free Cat Spaying AND Neutering! Limited Time Only!

Calling all cats residing in Sacramento County!

What: FREE cat spays and neuters!

When: Limited time only, April 24 through May 5, 2017.

Where: Animal Spay Neuter Clinic on 3839 Bradshaw Road, Sacramento, CA 95827. This is not a SAAC program.

Who Qualifies: Residents of Sacramento County. Animal shelters and rescue groups do not qualify.

How do I make an appointment? Call (916) 368-7314.

Get an Appointment for Spay Day Sacramento 2017

For Immediate Release

January 13, 2017

Schedule Now Open for Low-cost Spay & Neuter  in Sacramento and Yolo Counties

SACRAMENTO, CA – Beginning Saturday, January 14, animal lovers in Sacramento and Yolo Counties can reserve low-cost spay and neuter surgeries for their dogs and cats during Spay Day Sacramento 2017.

WHAT: Spay Day Sacramento is an annual event run by Sacramento Area Animal Coalition (SAAC), an all-volunteer nonprofit committed to eliminating local pet overpopulation. Since 2000, nearly 10,000 dogs and cats have been spayed or neutered through the program.

WHY: Each pet receives a spay or neuter surgery, permanent microchip identification and vital vaccinations. An appointment and proof of income are required. (Limit: two dogs or cats per household)

WHO: Sacramento and Yolo County residents who receive public assistance and/or have an annual household income of $35,000 or less are eligible to participate. Priority is given to pitbulls and Chihuahuas.

HOW MUCH: Just $15 per cat and $20 per dog.

WHERE: Spay and neuter surgeries will be provided at participating veterinary clinics and animal shelters on or around February 26, 2017.

HOW TO APPLY: Fill out our online request form and a volunteer will call you to schedule and appointment. Applying does not guarantee an appointment.



Spay Day Success Story: Dixie

Dixie's two youngest human family members smile beside Dixie, who has a big dog-smile on her face. Spay Day SacramentoDixie sits on grass with family. Spay Day Sacramento

Dixie cuddles with family. Spay Day SacramentoIf you had asked Jesse Sanchez of Woodland about his hopes and plans for 2016, it would not have included a puppy.

Only a few months prior, Mr. Sanchez and his family had adopted Dixie, an adult pit bull, from a rescue group in the Bay Area. Thinking Dixie was already spayed, the rescue sent her home with her new family. “We thought they would spay her, but she hadn’t gone into heat while at the rescue, and she had these scars across her abdomen,” Mr. Sanchez explains. It wasn’t until New Year’s Eve that the family realized something wasn’t quite right:

“She was going like she had to go to the restroom, and you see puppy legs coming out.”

Dixie was pregnant.

More Surprises on Spay Day
Jesse Sanchez holds his dog Dixie after her hours-long surgery on Spay Day Sacramento 2016.

Jesse Sanchez holds his dog Dixie after her hours-long surgery on Spay Day Sacramento 2016.

Mr. Sanchez wasted no time. “We didn’t want that for her. She’s everything to our family. My kids love her, she loves my kids. She’s a good dog.”

He signed her up for an appointment on Spay Day Sacramento, an annual event coordinated by the Sacramento Area Animal Coalition (SAAC) for pet owners in Sacramento and Yolo counties. Through Spay Day Sacramento, families in need can get their pets altered for just $20 per dog and $15 per cat, all thanks to donors and sponsors who make cash contributions, as well as the vet clinics who volunteer to provide the surgeries.

Mr. Sanchez and his family knew that Dixie had been abused by her former owner, but only on Spay Day did it become apparent how much—the scars on her belly weren’t from a botched spay surgery: they were c-section scars. Dixie had been used as a breeder.

Because of all the scar tissue from her previous c-sections, Dixie’s spay surgery at the Sacramento SPCA required three veterinarians. It took two hours—about four times longer than it takes one veterinarian to perform a typical spay.

“Every year on Spay Day the Sacramento SPCA staff alters sixty or more dogs, which takes the entire day,” explains Alexis Raymond, SAAC President. “But they took the extra time to make sure that Dixie was well taken care of and would never have another litter. It shows how committed they are to helping animals and reducing pet overpopulation in our community.”


“Real skin and bones,” Mr. Sanchez recalls how Dixie looked during the adoption process. She had been found abandoned in the middle of nowhere, alone in a drainage canal. Mr. Sanchez and his wife were moved by her story and not intimidated by her appearance. “A lot of people judge her when they look at her until they get to meet her and touch her and pet her,” Mr. Sanchez explains. “She looks mean when you first see her, but she’s the biggest baby.”

Mr. Sanchez acknowledges the reality of taking on a dog with history: “She’s still a little timid, probably from when she was abused. Certain movements we can’t do real fast; she thinks we’re gonna hit her.”

When asked what would have happened without the spay/neuter opportunity from SAAC, Mr. Sanchez resolutely replies, “We would have had to take her and look for other resources to get her spayed.”

“When [my wife and I] saw Dixie’s profile online, we fell in love. We wanted to give her a better life.” And they have. They ensured that she won’t give birth to any more unwanted litters. They kept Malo, her final puppy, and have since watched Dixie blossom in a safe environment. “She always wants my attention,” Mr. Sanchez laughs. “Very playful, real quiet—she listens.” 

Finally, in contrast to the pit bull’s oft-maligned image, they discovered she loves other dogs. Mr. Sanchez describes Dixie’s transformation with true joy and appreciation in his voice: “When she comes around other dogs, she just comes alive, like nothing ever happened.”

One Word

I always ask people to describe their pets in one word. Dixie’s?

“Precious,” Mr. Sanchez replies. “There’s more than one word, but if just one . . . precious.”

Dad, Daughter and Dog. Spay Day Sacramento