Niles nonprofit for pets receives Petco Love grant

Published 9:02 am Wednesday, May 5, 2021

NILES – A Niles-based nonprofit was the recipient of a grant from a national organization that shares a common goal — saving pets’ lives.

The Spay Neuter Assistance Program, better known as SNAP, announced in April the organization received a $3,000 grant from newly named Petco Love to support their work for animals in southwest Michigan.

The grant from Petco Love is for SNAP’s foster cats and dogs to be spayed and neutered prior to adoption. SNAP is a nonprofit organization that assists low-income Michigan residents with the costs associated with spaying and neutering their dogs and cats. The organization also takes in animals in need, spays and neuters them during the foster period, and helps them find new homes.

“[On April 2] Petco Love announces an investment in SNAP of Michigan and hundreds of other organizations as part of our commitment to create a future in which no pet is unnecessarily euthanized,” said Susanne Kogut, president of Petco Love, in a release.

According to the release, Petco Love, formerly the Petco Foundation, is a nonprofit “leading change for pets nationally by harnessing the power of love to make communities and pet families closer, stronger and healthier.”

The organizations share a common goal of helping owners have healthier, happier pets.

Rebecca Garwood

For SNAP, Director Rebecca Garwood said the grant will help the organization help as many pets as possible.

“Usually, we get a grant to help the public [spay and neuter their pets], and in this case, it’s really good because we also need help fixing our foster cats and dogs,” Garwood said.

According to the release, in 2020, SNAP “assisted with the surgical cost of 254 dogs and cats in low-income families. Our rescue group helped 19 dogs and puppies, and 181 cats and kittens.”

Garwood said the numbers are proportional due to how many litters dogs and cats can produce each year. While dogs may have one or two litters per year, cats can have four to five.

Without doing events for the majority of 2020, Garwood said fundraising has been challenging for SNAP, but the needs of the community have also changed.

In lieu of its regular in-person meet and greet events, SNAP still accepts donations through its website.

“We did run out of money last year. We ran out in August, and were back up and running in December,” Garwood said. “When we put the number together at the end of the year, I found out we ran out of money not because we had less money coming in, it was because we were helping more people.”

With the pandemic, and more people staying home, Garwood said more people added a pet to their family.

“Then they realized how much it was to spay a cat,” she said.

SNAP works with five area veterinarians to assist families, as well as help the organization’s foster animals.

“Petco Love’s grant is so important,” Garwood said, in a release. “It helps us to help as many dogs and cats as possible. Over 30,000 dogs and cats are euthanized each year in Michigan. The key to helping as many of these animals in need as possible is having them spayed or neutered at an early age. Petco Love’s grant investment supports our lifesaving work to do that.”

For more information about SNAP, visit