SNAP offers assistance to pet owners with HIV

The San Antonio Spay-Neuter & Animal Wellness Clinic is offering free and discounted services to pet owners with HIV/AIDS. (Photo: SNAP US)

A program from the local branch of the Spay-Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP) is offering free and low-cost veterinary services to San Antonio residents living with HIV/AIDS.

The program, dubbed the Animal Aid Program, provides free spay-neuter surgery, free wellness exams, and at-cost wellness services and products for the pets of low-income persons with HIV/AIDS.

Program organizers say that many individuals who struggle with HIV/AIDS are faced with high medical bills and are often financially challenged. It is a situation that forces some to make a choice between maintaining their health or keeping their pets.

Through the program, qualified clients can receive the discounted SNAP services for up to two pets at their clinic at 6758 Ingram Rd.

Clients in the program will get free spay/neuters (required) and pay nothing for office visits. Vaccinations and other services are discounted 40 percent.

To qualify clients must be either receiving benefits from a “recognized” HIV service provider or present proof of current enrollment in one of several assistance programs like food stamps, Medicaid or VA disability. Use this link to get a complete list qualifying requirements.

SNAP AAP program manager Gil Lizalde points out why the program is so important: “There have been numerous studies done that have shown that animal companions help people living with illness, whether it be HIV/AIDS or any other kind of chronic illness. It helps them to lead healthier, happier lives.”

Anyone interested in enrolling or donating to the Animal Aid Program should inquire by contacting Rolando Gonzalez, Jr., the San Antonio Spay-Neuter & Animal Wellness Clinic’s development coordinator, at [email protected].

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