Spay and Neuter Assistance for Pets Incorporated (SNAP) has announced plans to merge with the Monroe County Friends of Animals (MCFA) this year.

The merger will rename SNAP to Spay Neuter Assistance Program of Monroe County Friends of Animals.

The Monroe County Friends of Animals President Jim Barrett said the SNAP program has been very successful in the past.

“I can remember when I first moved down here to Tennessee there were stray dogs in the road and now it is much better,” said Barrett. “Intake in the shelter 10 years ago was 5,000 animals. Now it’s about half of that, so it is clearly a successful program that we want to continue.”

The program provides an affordable option to help pet owners “fix” their pets.

“This program provides people on limited means the ability to get their pets spayed and neutered,” said Barrett. “That reduces the number of stray and abandoned animals in the community and reduces the number of animals in the shelter, which prevents euthanasia.”

Plans for the merger were made due to the retirement of SNAP President Mike Cleverdon.

“I’m glad we have a solution to allow the program to continue,” said Barrett.

Though the two entities may be merging, Barrett said he believes things will remain the same.

“This is really going to be business as usual,” said Barrett. “We are going to have the same people who were doing the SNAP program for the SNAP 501c ... It’s the same people doing the same program, so it’s going to make the transition smoother.”

Barrett did mention one change that will apply to those who work for SNAP after the merger.

“The only difference really is when someone applies for a grant for the program, they will be doing so in the name of the Monroe County Friends of Animals and not in the name of SNAP,” said Barrett. “Mike put in tons of time on this ... so I think they will need a couple of people to do so (apply for grants).”

Barrett hopes to keep the SNAP program operating the best that he can.

“Hopefully we can make this very important program even better,” said Barrett.

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