Santa Paula Times

SPARC: Success hounds benefit for S.N.I.P spay/neuter services

November 29, 2013
Santa Paula News

By Peggy Kelly 

Santa Paula Times 

Success hounded the first S.N.I.P. fundraiser held by Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center (SPARC) November 15 at historic Glen Tavern Inn where guests bid on silent auction items, visited with SPARC success stories and donated to the cause to ensure that each pet born is a pet wanted.

The S.N.I.P. (Spay Neuter Initiative Program) was created to help snip away at pet over-population so that only dogs and cats that are wanted and loved are brought into the world. 

The purpose of the Glen Tavern fundraiser was to kick off the S.N.I.P. campaign to raise $50,000 to furnish a surgical suite on site at SPARC-Ventura County’s first no-kill animal shelter-705 E. Santa Barbara Street. 

Having a surgical suite will allow SPARC to perform spay and neuter procedures as well as common surgeries on SPARC animals and eliminate the need to use outside veterinarians. SPARC has a full-time vet but no on-site medical facility. It is now costing the nonprofit SPARC between $8,000 and $10,000 each month in fees to outside pet health service providers.

Once SPARC acquires the portable equipment to do the job, they’ll have their in-house vet do the procedures for animals brought in as strays not claimed by owners that are adopted out. In addition, SPARC will offer spay and neuter service at a low-cost to community animal owners. 

SPARC Board President Diane Rowley said she was thrilled at the turnout at the November 15 S.N.I.P. fundraiser and grateful for the support of Opollo Winery and Rosanna and Tom Jennett, owners of The Glen Tavern Inn. 

“The Jennett’s have been incredibly generous, sponsored the whole event,” said Rowley, who was cuddling Spot, a SPARC success story. 

Spot was getting plenty of attention with dozens of guests asking to hold him.

Only weighing about three-and-a-half pounds Rowley said it is not expected Spot, when fully grown, will tip the scales at about 5 pounds.

The black and white Spot was busy giving kisses and breathing contented sighs during the fundraiser.... the runt of an abandoned litter of very young puppies brought to SPARC Spot initially had serious health problems that made his survival unlikely. But the SPARC community responded with donations that ensured he received the care he needed to be the star of the S.N.I.P. fundraiser.

Martha and City Councilman Jim Tovias were bidding on silent auction items and noting their support of SPARC as well as their love of their rescue dogs, including one that will eat only from a spoon. 

Martha Tovias bid on a signed photo of John Travolta that she was hoping to win “As a gift,” she said with a laugh.

Police Chief Steve McLean was also on hand to show his support for SPARC, which opened in June 2012, as well as the S.N.I.P. program to reduce the overpopulation of unwanted animals.

SPARC supporters are proud of the no-kill success rate with 99.5 percent of all animals taken in by SPARC finding new “furever” homes, going into foster care or being sent to specific breed shelters for adoption. SPARC has even exported popular California dog breeds to other states where they are rare for adoption.

Only a scant few animals with severe injuries or illnesses that “are beyond hope,” are humanely euthanized after consulting between SPARC officials and veterinarians.

SPARC supporters and animal lovers are urged to take part in the national Autumn Shelter Challenge that started October 28.

People can vote by following links on the SPARC Facebook page or by visiting and only entering Santa Paula’s ZIP Code, 93060. Once you enter the ZIP Code you will be able to vote.... and vote everyday! 

For more information about SPARC visit or email