friends for life

Things to do in Houston with your dog - February 2018

Already a month into 2018, and I can already tell this year is going to fly by!  I don't know about you, but my calendar is filling up quickly - if you're looking for something fun to do with your dog this month, I've got a few ideas:

samoyed puppy with owner in warm coat

Things to do with your dog in Houston (February 2018):

  • February 3 - Meadowlake's Puppy Bowl.  Teams of puppies will compete for touchdowns and fans can watch on Meadowlake's Facebook and Instagram feeds.  Everyone wins!
  • February 3 - Champagne and Yoga in the Heights.  Dog-friendly yoga class followed by champagne social, benefiting Animal Justice League.
  • February 10 - 2nd Annual PuppyUp Walk in The Woodlands.  A fun walk with your dog, vendors, music, silent auction, and refreshments all to raise money for cancer research both human and canine.
  • February 10 - 5th Annual Best Friends Brunch at Hotel Zaza.  A charity masquerade brunch, pet fashion show, and silent auction benefiting aniMeals on Wheels.
  • February 11 - 20th Annual Krewe of Barkus & Meoux Mardi Gras Parade in Galveston.  Dress your dog in Mardi Gras attire and parade through historic downtown Galveston, benefiting the Galveston Island Humane Society.
  • February 17 - BYOD Houston Dogs & Roses.  Private indoor bring-your-dog Valentine's tea party, benefiting Friends For Life.
  • February 17 - BarkHappy Houston Valentine Pooch Pawty.  Family- and dog-friendly party with lots of games and goodies, benefiting Adore Houston.
  • February 21 - Yappy Hour at Midtown Park.  Check out this newly-opened park in Midtown with a dog park!  Treats, prizes, doga (dog yoga), and more!
  • February 23 - Yappy Hour at Bagby Park in Midtown.  A doggie playdate happy hour with treats, contests, and prizes!
  • February 24 - Portraits For Life fundraiser by yours truly.  This one-day pet portrait event will be held at an indoor studio, benefiting Friends For Life animal shelter.

Things to do with your dog in Houston any day:

Do you have an event to share with your fellow dog-loving Houstonians?  Send me a message, and I'll update the list!


Friends For Life update and a pet portrait event you don't want to miss!

What's Friends For Life Animal Shelter been up to? 

(and don't forget to read to the end for a big announcement!)

Last year I was proud to partner with Friends For Life Animal Shelter and Sanctuary, and we are doing it again!  Before I share the details of the second annual Portraits For Life pet portrait event, let's see what FFL has been up to since the last time we talked

Me: Happy new year!  2017 was an eventful year for Friends For Life, especially with the response efforts after Hurricane Harvey.  What was it like working at the George R Brown shelter?

Salise:  We like to describe it as "changing tires on a car going 100 mph."  After Hurricane Katrina, many people died because they would not leave their pets behind.  Because of that, the PETS Act of 2006 was put into place, which authorizes FEMA to provide rescue, care, and shelter to pets, service animals, and their people.  However, there was no plan on how to accomplish this, and Hurricane Harvey presented the first opportunity to do so.  The City of Houston asked Friends For Life to manage the care of animals brought to the GRB shelter, and our volunteer army stepped up without hesitation.  We completed intake of 671 animals on the first day alone, and 1500 animals received free vet care and supplies during the first week after the storm.

photo credit: FFL Army

photo credit: FFL Army

Me: That is quite an undertaking - how did Friends For Life do it?

Salise:  We have disaster-trained staff and an army of passionate volunteers.  Plus we had motivation and drive to prove to the world that sheltering people with animals during a disaster is not only possible, but the right thing to do to save lives and keep families together.  For us, it wasn't just about providing shelter for these animals.  It was also about providing full care - food, crates, leashes, vet care, and vaccines.  FFL is paving the way for how communities respond to sheltering people and animals during an emergency, and the country is taking note

Me: It's been unseasonably cold this winter, and I can see that Project Warm is still in full effect.

Salise:  Yes, we are busy making warm houses - just this year, over 230 of them have been dispersed around Houston to provide refuge for feral cats.

Harley, adoptable cat at Friends For Life shelter

Harley, adoptable cat at Friends For Life shelter

Me: Friends For Life is still the only no-kill LEED-certified animal shelter in Houston.  Can you give me an update on the Fix Houston and Thinking Outside the Shelter programs?

Salise:  Fix Houston provides free spay/neuter services to cats in low income communities.  Since 2013, FFL has provided 4420 surgeries, which translates to preventing the birth of over 88,420 cats!  And that number continues to grow. 

Thinking Outside the Shelter program continues to prevent animals from entering the shelter system by working with pet owners and removing obstacles to caring for their pets.  The food bank distributes 11 tons of food annually, and continues to offer free counseling, obedience training, and basic vet care to keep animals in their homes.

Callie, recently adopted!!

Callie, recently adopted!!

Me: What exciting things do you have planned for Friends For Life in the next year?

Salise: FFL is celebrating sweet 16 this year!  We also started a new FFL Young Professionals Group made up of Houstonians ages 21-40 who are interested in connecting with other animal-lovers, raising awareness about the no kill movement, volunteering, and fundraising. 

 

To learn more and get involved with Friends For Life, visit the shelter in the Heights or their website for information about adopting a pet, volunteering, or making a donation.

You can find Friends For Life at:

Don Sanders Adoption Center: 107 E. 22nd St.  Houston, TX 77008

website: http://www.friends4life.org

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/friendsforlifehouston

instagram: http://www.instagram.com/friends4lifeorg

twitter: https://twitter.com/Friends4Lifeorg


And now... for the big announcement!

Registration is open for the second annual Portraits For Life event!

Last year, 16 dogs and 1 cat joined me for a special one-day pet portrait event, and together we raised $1000 for Friends For Life!  If you've been thinking about creating a timeless portrait of your pet, now is the time AND you'll be helping other animals in need.  Click the button for more information and to reserve your spot!



BYOD Houston - bringing Houston dogs and dog-lovers together

Today I'd like to introduce you to Michelle Trejo, the person behind BYOD (Bring Your Own Dog) Houston.  We met at Bar Boheme's dog friendly patio , where I also got to meet her dogs Lily and Lylo.  Michelle is one of the most contagiously enthusiastic and upbeat people I have ever met, and I think you'll love her too! 

Michelle with Lily and Lylo

Michelle with Lily and Lylo

Me:  First of all, tell me about your dogs!

Michelle:  I have two shelties, Lily and Lylo.   Lily is three years old, super excitable, and drinks only Ozarka water.  She was the reason I started seeking out dog-friendly establishments and the inspiration behind BYOD.  Lylo is two years old, super chill, and a mama's boy.  We have a tradition of taking an annual photo every New Year's Eve:

photo credit: Michelle Trejo

photo credit: Michelle Trejo

Me:  Tell me a little about how BYOD Houston got started.

Michelle:  My dog Lily and I were regulars at a chill dog-friendly restaurant until one day when the waiter informed us that the restaurant had changed ownership and was no longer dog-friendly.  We were asked to leave.  I then began searching for other places where Lily would be welcome and chronicling our adventures on Instagram, where many other Houstonians followed along and joined in.  One such follower suggested a meet-up event, and I organized the first get-together at Cottonwood in the spring of 2014.  At the time, organizing events, Instagraming, and blogging about dog-friendly places in Houston was a hobby, but soon turned transitioned into BYOD.

Lily at Bar Boheme

Lily at Bar Boheme

Me: So what does BYOD look like today?

Michelle:  Currently BYOD Houston is a membership community that connects dog lovers to Greater Houston's best dog-friendly deals, events, and recreational activities.  The website was launched in October 2017, and members can join for $2.99/month which gives them access to special deals from partner businesses and free admission to BYOD events.  Non-members can also use the site to find dog-friendly parks, trails, campgrounds, and businesses.

Me:  What do people ask you the most about BYOD?

Michelle:  Many people ask if they have to have a dog to participate in BYOD, and the answer is no!  Everyone is welcome, whether you have a dog or not. 

The second most frequent question is whether you have to be a BYOD member to attend the events, and the answer to that is also no!  While members enjoy certain perks (deals and free admission to events), all are welcome.

Lylo at Bar Boheme

Lylo at Bar Boheme

Me: Do you have a background in the dog industry?

Michelle:  No, but I have a passion for helping others and making an impact in the community.  In undergrad, I volunteered with an organization that supported troubled youth, and while earning my masters from Rice, I opened an online jewelry shop where a percentage of the proceeds were donated to different causes.  The customers voted on which organizations would receive the donations, and many were animal rescue groups.  Once I got Lily, I became more interested in promoting responsible dog ownership and making our community more dog friendly.

Me:  What is your favorite thing about BYOD?

Michelle:  My favorite thing is knowing that the BYOD mission is bringing the community together to create experiences for people to share with their dogs.  Occasionally I receive emails from Houston dogs thanking me.  For example, Lucy wrote to tell me about an awesome kayaking and camping trip she experienced at Riva Row Boat House in the Woodlands based off information her parents found on the BYOD website.  That's awesome!

photo credit: Lucy's parents (Instagram @lucylatitis)

photo credit: Lucy's parents (Instagram @lucylatitis)

Me:  What are some of the challenges as you get BYOD Houston off the ground?

Michelle:  While Houston has come a long way, it is still not the most dog-friendly city.  Some laws and old-school ways of thinking have presented challenges in making Houston more accessible to dogs.  I get told "no" a lot.

Me:  Tell me about the BYOD Launch Party that's taking place on Saturday January 6.

Michelle:  The Launch Party is going to be fabulous!  It will be held 8-11pm on January 6 at the Sharespace Studio.  BYOD is rolling out the red carpet for you and your dog - enjoy music, small bites, wine, beer, contests, raffles, and meeting other dog-loving friends.  Local celebrity pooch Griffin from JW Marriott Downtown will be in attendance, and the event will benefit Houston PetSet, a local charity organization supporting animal welfare in the greater Houston area.  Tickets are $10 presale, $15 at the door, and free for BYOD and ClubPet members.  Dogs are welcome, but not required!  Get your tickets here.

Me:  What's in store for BYOD in 2018?

Michelle:  We are planning to organize at least one event each month for dogs and their people to meet and socialize.  New business partners are joining the BYOD membership site all the time, so stay tuned for more fun dog-friendly deals around town!

Michelle with Lily and Lylo

Michelle with Lily and Lylo

Thank you Michelle for sharing with us! To learn more about Happy Dogs, Happy Places and to become a BYOD member, visit the BYOD website.  Hope to see you at the BYOD Launch Party on January 6!

You can find BYOD Houston at:

website: https://byodhouston.com/

facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/byodhouston/

instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/byodhouston/

Want more?  BYOD Houston was also featured on Houston Life and Great Day Houston.

Lily, the inspiration behind BYOD Houston

Lily, the inspiration behind BYOD Houston


Things to do with your dog in Houston - January 2018

Happy New Year!

And brrrrr!  Goodness it is cold outside this morning.  My dogs usually linger in the backyard, but they took care of business and were back inside under the covers in record time. 

What better way to ring in the new year than a fun dog-friendly party?  There are a few this month... enjoy!

bull terrier in midtown houston

Things to do with your dog in Houston (January 2018):

  • January 6 - BYOD Unleashed Pawty at Sharespace Studio.  Enjoy music, food, drinks, red carpet, and raffle prizes with your dog at this indoor venue to celebrate the launch of Houston's newest community for dog lovers, benefiting Houston PetSet.
  • January 6 - Mutts Movement Benefit at 2929 Weslayan outdoor terrace.  Cocktails, light bites, and raffle prizes supporting K-9 Angels Rescue.
  • January 17 - Yappy Hour at Midtown Park.  Check out this newly-opened park in Midtown with a dog park!  Treats, prizes, doga (dog yoga), and more!
  • January 20 - BarkHappy Houston New Year Pawty at Under the Radar Brewery.  Bring your dog and relax on the outdoor patio.  Games, freebies, and more benefiting Adore Houston.
  • January 26 - Yappy Hour at Bagby Park in Midtown.  After you recover from your turkey coma, join your neighbors at a doggie playdate happy hour.  Treats, contests, and prizes!

Things to do with your dog in Houston any day:

Do you have an event to share with your fellow dog-loving Houstonians?  Send me a message, and I'll update the list!


Things to do with your dog in Houston - November 2017

First things first:  Go 'Stros!!

What an exciting World Series!  And I love how Houston is coming together to celebrate this big win!  I didn't go to any of the playoff or WS games, but instead, I curled up on the couch with the puppies to watch the Astros each night.

Now... let's talk about what else is happening around Houston this month...  and get ready, this weekend looks like a lot of fun!

couple walking with big dogs on forest path in fall

Things to do with your dog in Houston (November 2017):

  • November 4 - Bark in the Park in Conroe.  Explore the great outdoors through Grand Central Park's community trails with a fun after-party, benefiting Operation Pets Alive!
  • November 4 - The Bonfire Texas festival Gone to the Dogs! at the Blisswood Bed & Breakfast in Cat Spring.  Good ol' country fun: live music and dancing, BBQ, hay rides, bonfire, and s'mores!  Benefiting All Border Collie Rescue and Fosters of Blisswood.
  • November 4 - DogPop at Steel City Pops & Birds Barbershop in the Heights.  Bring your dog to this fun outdoor pop-up market featuring music, vendors, and food trucks.
  • November 5 - Doggies Who Brunch at Around the Corner.  Brunch with your pampered pooch and meet new dog-loving friends.  Benefiting Friends For Life animal shelter.
  • November 15 - Yappy Hour at Midtown Park.  Check out this newly-opened park in Midtown with a dog park!  Treats, prizes, doga (dog yoga), and more!
  • November 18 - Celebrity Paws Gala 2017 at the Royal Sonesta Hotel.  Get dressed up and join CAP for a night of fun to celebrate Honorees and benefit Houston's homeless pets.
  • November 24 - Yappy Hour at Bagby Park in Midtown.  After you recover from your turkey coma, join your neighbors at a doggie playdate happy hour.  Treats, contests, and prizes!
  • November 24 - Home for the Pawlidayz adoption event at CAP.  Zappos is sponsoring all adoption fees at CAP animal shelter for the three-day weekend.  Give thanks and consider adopting a new member into your family.

Things to do with your dog in Houston any day:

Do you have an event to share with your fellow dog-loving Houstonians?  Send me a message, and I'll update the list!


Dog-friendly activities in Houston - October 2017

Do you have your calendar ready?  October is a huge month for fall festivals, costume contests, and dog-related fundraisers.  Plus as the weather cools down, we'll all be flocking to the dog parks and dog-friendly patios.  Enjoy!

scruffy dog with red and yellow flowers

Things to do with your dog in Houston (October 2017):

  • October 1 - Blessing of the Animals at St. Andrews Episcopal Church in the Heights.  Stay for beer, hot dogs, and live music!
  • October 4 - Wag Tantrum Launch Party at The Owl Bar.  Come out and celebrate a new Houston-based dog food line made from human-grade ingredients.  Proceeds benefit Save-A-Pet non-profit.
  • October 6 - Rebel With a Cause gala at Silver Street Studios.  Dinner, drinks, music, and auction benefiting Friends For Life animal shelter.
  • October 6 - Yappy Hour at Bagby Park in Midtown.  Monthly pet-friendly happy hour with treats and prizes.
  • October 7-8 - PetFest in Old Town Spring.  This outdoor festival features parade, wiener races, costume contests, dog shows, and over 60 exhibitors.
  • October 14 - Strut Your Mutt 5K at Stude Park.  This annual charity walk put on by Best Friends Animal Society helps raise funds for many of Houston's animal rescue organizations, and you get to choose where your money goes.  Also includes a festival, doggie yoga, pet portraits, music and contests.
  • October 21 - BarkHappy Halloween Dog Costume Party at FM Kitchen & Bar.  Benefiting Adore Houston, this party will have dog costume fashion show, raffle prizes, and samples.
  • October 21 - 9th Annual Howl-o-Ween Fest in the Bridgeland neighborhood.  Featuring The Super Collies from America's Got Talent TV show.  Food trucks, shows, adoptable pets, kids' activities, pumpkins, face painting, vendors, and more!
  • October 21 - Mutts & Melodies at Green Street downtown.  Enjoy live music while playing with puppies!  Pup Squad Animal Rescue will host pet adoptions.
  • October 24 - BYOD Houston launch.  Ever had trouble finding information on dog-friendly businesses around town?  If you haven't yet heard about BYOD (bring your own dog), head on over to the website and check it out - you don't want to miss it!
  • October 31 - Boo, Brew & Bridges at Under the Radar Brewery.  Dogs welcome, costumes encouraged, and Pup Squad Animal Rescue will be there!

Things to do with your dog in Houston any day:

Do you have an event to share with your fellow dog-loving Houstonians?  Send me a message, and I'll update the list!


After Hurricane Harvey: How to Help Houston's Animals

a city of 6.7 million people

50+ inches of rain in 4 days

record-breaking floods

To say the last several days have been emotionally draining would be a huge understatement.  So many uncertainties between the hurricane path, wind, rain, tornadoes, flooding, power outages, and most of us asking:

WILL IT EVER STOP RAINING?

The amount of devastation in and around Houston is staggering - it's heartbreaking how many people have been displaced from their homes, or worse, lost everything in the floods.  I'm proud of how quickly our city has stepped up to help one another, and sincerely touched by the dedication of the emergency responders and all the volunteers pouring in.

The sun finally came out late Tuesday, and although it will take weeks for the flood waters to recede and months or even years to cleanup, the sun was such a welcome sight.  Rebuilding Houston will not be a sprint, it's a marathon and you can help.


HOW TO HELP


Donate money

Please consider donating to one of the animal shelters and rescue groups local to Houston, and check if your employer offers a matching fund program because your donation could go even farther!  The following list is only a small fraction of the many selfless rescue organizations around Houston who are already hard at work deploying volunteers and supplies where they are needed. 

Donate supplies

Some of the above organizations are also accepting supply donations, such as food, leashes, crates, blankets, etc.  Please check with the individual organization for most-needed items and drop-off location.  As of today, we still do not have mail service, so supply donations will need to be dropped off locally (only if safe to do so).

Open your home

Lastly, consider fostering (or even adopting!) a pet. 

maltese mix

As a Houstonian, it's been astounding to see the outpouring of love and support from people far and wide.  From the bottom of my heart, thank you for helping.


2017 Portraits For Life Recap

Last month's Portraits For Life fundraising event was a huge success! 

I photographed 16 dogs and 1 cat all in one day, and together we raised $1000 for Friends For Life animal shelter in The Heights.  That's enough to spay/neuter and vaccinate 15 cats, or provide a year's supply of heartworm preventative medicine for 40 dogs. 

A huge thank you to all of you that participated!  Here are a handful of my favorite images:

houston pet portrait fundraiser for friends for life animal shelter

You can also see a short video with more photos from the event here.

If you missed out on this event but want to be the first to know if we do it again, scroll down to the footer and enter your email address.

Portraits For Life registration is open!

Remember a few weeks ago I mentioned I was working on a secret project?  Well, it's no longer a secret!  I'm proud to announce

Portraits For Life

a special one-day pet portrait event benefiting Friends For Life, the only no-kill LEED-certified animal shelter in Houston.  I recently visited with the director of Friends For Life, and their mission and dedication to saving lives is nothing short of incredible!

To get the full details and book your spot, visit the Portraits For Life sign-up page.

And hurry - we expect this event to fill up quickly!

teacup yorkie puppy in houston

Friends For Life: a no-kill shelter where every animal matters

Before the holidays, I sat down with Salise Shuttlesworth and Shannon Lawson from Friends For Life to chat about dogs, cats, their vision for helping others, and building a strong community where every animal matters.  The moment I walked into the adoption center in the Heights, I knew this organization was special.  There is a palpable energy among the staff and volunteers.  And after meeting Salise, it's no surprise why!  She is dedicated to make this world a better place, one animal at a time.  So let’s meet the driving force behind Friends For Life.

Gallery wall in the Friends For Life adoption center lobby

Gallery wall in the Friends For Life adoption center lobby

Me: Before we get started, I noticed several people have come in asking about the plastic tubs in the lobby.  What are they?

Salise: They are warm houses, which provide a refuge for feral cats when the weather turns cold.  Friends For Life has been making these for a few years, and they are in high demand!  We'll be making more this evening.  We ask for $20 donation to cover cost of supplies, but this is not a profit-making project, so if cost is an issue, we can work things out.  Our priority is to provide for the animals who need them.

Me: How can I make my own warm box for animals in my community?

Salise: Start with an 18-gallon Rubbermaid container. Cut one 6” x 7” opening in one of the ends of the container.  The best way to cut through the thick plastic is with a box cutter – you can warm the blade over a candle for easier cutting. Then get some mattress foam (Target, Walmart) and attach the foam on every surface inside the bin with double-sided carpet tape or a hot glue gun. Final touch: pad with hay, which helps retain heat.  When placing the warm houses outside, we recommend not putting food in them, as this may attract other animals besides the feral cats.  A tiny bit of catnip may help entice the cats inside, but is not necessary.  You can also make warm boxes for dogs: use a 50-gallon container and instead of foam, glue old towels to the sides (since dogs may rip the foam).

Warm boxes keep feral cats warm during cold spells

Warm boxes keep feral cats warm during cold spells

Me: Tell me about Friends For Life.  What makes your shelter and rescue program different?

Salise: We are the only no-kill LEED-certified animal shelter in Houston.  Our mission is simple: every animal matters.  Where other shelters define animals as "unadoptable" because they are too old, injured, have a medical condition, or simply because they are a certain breed, the Friends For Life army chooses to stand up and help them.

Me: Friends For Life has two unique programs - can you tell me about Fix Houston?

Salise: Fix Houston offers free spay & neuter services to cats in Houston's low income communities.  Fix Houston is a proactive solution to stop the waves of unwanted pets arriving at shelters.  Since 2013, we have prevented approximately 54,000 births!  Friends For Life has partnered with the city animal shelter BARC, who offers a similar service for dogs through their Healthy Pets Healthy Streets program, and together we block walk - literally going door to door in a systematic way to help all those who need it.

Me: That's fantastic!  How do the communities respond?

Salise: Like many things we do, this program is about building trust.  In the past, there was a perceived fear about working with a shelter, fear that their pet would be harmed or taken away.  I personally attended the first two years of clinic days to reassure pet owners.  And over time, the program has become very popular.  Clinic days are held once a month, and many pet owners line up at 4:30am to get their cat spayed or neutered.  These pet owners truly care about the wellbeing of their pets and neighborhood community cats, but lack the necessary resources.  Ms. Garza is a perfect example - the first time I met her, she brought one cat, and was wary about the whole process.  But over time, she keeps bringing more cats and has become an advocate for Friends For Life, recommending us to friends and neighbors.

Me: Switching gears, tell me more about your Thinking Outside the Shelter program.

Salise: Most shelters focus on dealing with animals once they are brought into the shelter, but ideally we’d like to prevent animals from being brought in in the first place, if possible.  Thinking Outside the Shelter is a program where trained counselors are available to speak to pet owners who are considering surrendering their pet.  Many times, we are able to solve the real problem and the pet is able to stay with their owner rather than enter the shelter.  Sometimes all it takes is a few months’ supply of free food, basic veterinary care, or obedience training, which in the long run is often less expensive than caring for the animal inside the shelter – a win-win!  Last year, Friends For Life gave away 3 tons of free pet food and 500 hours of obedience training.  Our vision is that the shelter should be a safe place where people can turn to for help with their pets.

Me: Is there a particular story that has touched your heart?

Salise: Yes, Tarleton’s story inspires me.  What I love about his story is that there was never any hesitation to do the right thing – it was all about problem solving to save this cat’s life. 

[Ed note: Tarleton was found stuck, or rather half-buried, in a bucket of molten roof tar.  The team worked tirelessly to free him from the bucket, wash the tar away, and tend to his broken leg and burns.  He did need to have his leg amputated, but he healed and was adopted soon after!  You can see Tarleton's full story with pictures on the Friends For Life blog.]

Me: What's your favorite thing about your job?

Salise: There are so many!  Every time I think I know my favorite thing, another cool thing happens and that becomes my new favorite.  Just yesterday, an older lady came into the shelter, tearful, scared, and apologetic.  She had 8 cats at home, had run into hard times, and was worried that she couldn’t afford to feed them.  We were able to help her by providing cat food.  At Friends For Life, to get help, the only thing you have to do is ask for it.  We do not ever income-qualify those who seek help.

Shannon: My favorite moment was when Willow (now known as Bella), a brindle hound mix, was adopted.  She is a sweet, easy-going dog, but for some reason kept getting passed over at adoption events.  All in all, she was in a foster home for over 15 months until she found her forever family.  Goes to show the dedication involved in getting our animals into good homes.

Me: Friends For Life has had many successes.  How do you make saving animals look so easy?

Salise: The truth is that it's not always easy.  But we have a very cohesive team dedicated to a clear and inspiring purpose.  The hardest thing any human will do is allocate resources where the non-recipient may die.  It is a duty that takes an emotional toll.  We stay grounded in one main principle: every animal matters.  Let me tell you about two animals currently in the shelter, both of whom would have been deemed “unadoptable” by traditional shelters:

First is Myrrh.  We pulled her from the City shelter, where she had been brought in with a broken leg.  The shelter amputated the badly broken leg.  She got a pretty nasty infection and Friends For Life took her in.  Now Myrrh is recovering here and receiving antibiotics and hydrotherapy.  This case is a great example of the way that a private shelter and the City can work together to save lives.  I’m really proud that in our program, animals who need extra medical care and time to heal get it.

Myrrh, recovering from surgery at Friends For Life

Myrrh, recovering from surgery at Friends For Life

The second animal is Don, a gentle and happy boy who was born with a rare and painful disease that caused his eyelids to be deformed.  For Don, there were three options: 1) live in agony, 2) euthanasia, or 3) be saved.  The surgery to correct his eyelids is pricey, and many would question whether spending $3000 on one dog is a wise decision.  But at Friends For Life, we are guided by our principle that every animal matters.  Don had his surgery yesterday, and is recovering at the shelter.  You can see more of Don’s story on the Friends For Life blog.

Don, one day after his eye surgery.  (what you can't see here is his wagging tail!)

Don, one day after his eye surgery.  (what you can't see here is his wagging tail!)

So yes, there are many success stories at Friends For Life, but it is not always easy.  There is a lot of hard work that goes on behind the scenes.

Me: What exciting things do you have planned for Friends For Life in the next year?

Salise: We will be building and opening a Friends For Life medical clinic, located next door to the Adoption Center in the Heights.  The clinic will offer full service veterinary care at a reasonable price. 

Me: What tips would you give people who are considering adopting a pet?

Salise: Businesses and organizations that you support are the businesses and organizations that thrive.  I strongly encourage adopting from a no-kill shelter to support the no-kill movement. 

Adoption Center in the Heights

Adoption Center in the Heights

Thank you Salise for sharing with us! To learn more and get involved with Friends For Life, visit the shelter in the Heights or their website for information about adopting a pet or making a donation.

You can find Friends For Life at:

Don Sanders Adoption Center: 107 E. 22nd St.  Houston, TX 77008

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