no kill shelter

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





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!

Houston dog-friendly events for October 2016

October and November are hands down my favorite months of the year!  Cooler weather, fall festivals, college football, pumpkins, lazy Sundays, costumes, and trick-or-treating!  Whether or not you dress your dog up for Halloween, get ready because there are a TON of fun dog-related activities happening this month in Houston!

hunting dog in houston park

Things to do with your dog in Houston (October 2016):

  • October 8 - DogPop.  Neue Creative and Modular Dog present a pop-up event at Raven Tower benefiting local dog rescue.  Bring your dog for DOGA (dog yoga), costume contest, local vendors, and food trucks.
  • October 10 - AAR Golf Tournament in Tomball.  Grab your clubs and your golfing buddies and enjoy a day on the course benefiting Abandoned Animal Rescue.
  • October 14 - Divots for Dogs.  Calling all golfers!  Enjoy a 4-person scramble, lunch, dinner, silent auction, and raffles - proceeds benefit Corridor Rescue.
  • October 14 - BARC on Broadway Ball.  Spectacular evening of cocktails, dinner, live & silent auctions, entertainment, and dancing at the Junior League of Houston, with proceeds benefiting the Houston BARC Foundation.
  • October 14-15 - Barkitecture Houston.  Dog-friendly festival in downtown where local designers, architects, and artists build amazing dog houses, which are auctioned off to support Pup Squad Animal Rescue.
  • October 15 - Strut your Mutt dog walk.  Fundraising festival at Stude Park with games, crafts, costume contest, music, food trucks, and vendors, benefiting Best Friends Animal Society.
  • October 15 - Wine Walk Fundraiser at Spring Street Studios benefiting Houston Boxer Rescue.  Wine tasting, silent auction, photo booth, and live music fun.
  • October 16 - Brews, Sparkle, & Pups.  Celebrate Gulf Coast Cocker Spaniel Rescue's 6th birthday at Irish Cowboy with drinks, food, friends, and raffles.
  • October 18 - Par fore Pets golf tournament at Wildcat Golf Club benefiting the Houston Humane Society.
  • October 19 - Yappy Hour with Grandma Lucy's.  Bring your dog to Krisers in the Heights for a special treat.
  • October 21 - Friends For Life's Written in the Stars Gala.  Enjoy dinner under the stars at the Houston Polo Club with fun activities and live auction.  Proceeds benefit Friends For Life No-Kill Shelter.
  • October 22 - Pugs on the Bayou. Fajita dinner to raise funds for PugHearts rescue.
  • October 23 - Annual Hallowiener put on by Dachshund Rescue of Houston at Rover's Romphouse.
  • October 23 - Barks Buds & Suds pup crawl in Midtown.  Let your dog join in on the pub crawl fun!  Proceeds benefiting the Houston Humane Society.
  • October 26 - K9s4COPS Unleashed.  Gala event with dinner, drinks, silent & live auctions, and rock n' roll music.
  • October 28 - Midtown Houston's Yappy Hour in Bagby Park.  Monthly pet-friendly happy hour features treats, contests, and prizes.
  • October 29 - Halloween Mutt Mixer at Kriser's West U location.  Stop in for goodies and prizes for best costumes!
  • October 29 - Bridgeland's 8th Annual Howl-o-ween Fest.
  • October 29 - Carter's Pet Depot Howloween Fest.  Costume contest, ghostly pictures, treats, goodie bags, and more.

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!