A year of leaning forward.
Thank you for having our back.
The pandemic pushed many Houston pet owners to the brink.
We held free vet clinics and pet food banks.
In March 2020, we mobilized to offer Houston’s first and only free drive-thru vet clinic. The need continues to be massive. More than 2,000 animals later, we will keep offering this free, community-supporting service as long as we can assemble the resources to do it.
Above: Dr. Roberto Trevino—one of three clinic volunteer vets and a Friends For Life Board Member—administers vaccinations for a Houston family’s cat at one of our Drive-Thru Clinic + Pet Food Bank days. Our Adoption Manager, Pam Newton, steps out of her usual role to assist at the clinic as a cat handler. All services were provided free of charge to the family.
animals seen for free
at our vet clinics
lbs. of free pet food
distributed from our
Pet Food Bank
“In a year when venues struggled, Sawyer Yards and White Oak Music Hall donated their spaces for us to hold our free vet clinics. Our volunteer vets donated their time. Our food bank was filled by our supporters. The tribe paid forward all the good will to our community.”
Salise ShuttlesworthFriends For Life Founder × Executive Director
“My daughter and I are waiters, so our income has been all but eliminated. It was nothing short of a godsend that I heard about Friends For Life. I left there not feeling ashamed or embarrassed for needing charity but with tears of gratitude at their sincere kindness.”
Clinic attendeeAugust 2020
How you can help:
- Help someone in need pay their vet bills.
- Donate to help us continue Houston’s only free clinic.
The year brought more animals in serious medical condition.
We helped them beat the odds.
in surgical expenses
wellness team hours
“In addition to major surgical cases, this year we treated dozens of animals for conditions like diabetes, chronic gingivitis, hypothyroidism, dry eye, allergies, megacolon, urethral obstruction, heartworm disease and cystitis.”
Angie TopperWellness Lead
Many animals arrived with emotional scars.
Our behavior team helped them find confidence.
When an animal arrives at a shelter, something in their life has gone wrong. And now they’re entering an unknown, often scary situation. All of us – tail or no tail – want essentially the same thing: to feel safe and loved. We know that an emotionally stable animal is a much more easily adopted animal. We also know that unwanted pet behavior is a major reason people relinquish their animals.
Above: Olivia, Behavior Tech + Animal Care Specialist, takes Piper on a field trip to the bayou. Field trips provide enrichment, which helps our boarding dogs manage their stressors.
Our groundbreaking Fraidy Cat Program helps fearful shelter cats find homes. Our team’s expertise has been recognized in the peer-reviewed Winter 2020 IAABC Journal.
Above: Muffin, a graduate of our Fraidy Cat Program, with her foster mom.
part of our
cats and dogs
How you can help:
Our adoptions grew this year.
We were most proud to find homes for some of our “longshot” animals.
“Someone else would have taken one look at the broken leg of an 8-month old kitten and not have put in the time and money he needed to get well, and he would be dead. They would have seen a scaredy cat and thought that there’s no way he could be rehabilitated into a lap-cat.
But you guys did. You saw the potential, and I am grateful to know that there are hearts like yours in the world, who make safe places for the most vulnerable.”
“Mikey has been such a joy!! I just love that boy. You might know, we are going to Friends For Life’s training classes on Sundays. You guys are so great. We are enjoying the classes. He’s laying at my feet at I write this.”
“Yasmin, who now goes by Yazzy, is doing great! She has brought so much love, joy, and laughter into our home. She enjoys belly rubs, rolling around on the living room rug, and playing Tag and Hide-and-Seek with cat sisters Buffy and Livy.
I am so grateful to Friends For Life for taking such exceptional care of Yazzy until she found her forever home with us. As a small token of appreciation for all you did for Yazzy and continue to do for other cats and dogs, I am now volunteering at the cattery a few times a month. It’s been a purrfect experience all the way around. ”
senior animals adopted
FIV+ and FeLV+
pets with chronic
medical needs adopted
How you can help:
- Become a Friends For Life foster
- Adopt a Friends For Life animal
- Share any of our adoptable animals with your friends and family
In 2020, we all felt imbalance and financial uncertainty.
Still, YOU stepped up in many wonderful ways.
In a year when artists struggled, many still volunteered for our art fundraisers. In a year when more animals came to the shelter, we welcomed a record number of fosters. In a year when retail slowed down, we got financial help from many Houston small businesses. In a year of financial anxiety, you continued providing us with donations from our wishlist.
We felt the love and so did the animals!
in our Awkward Pet
purchased from our
Ready to get involved in 2021?
We recognized long ago that the primary power for improving animals’ lives lies beyond shelter walls.