“Start by doing what is necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” — St. Francis of Assisi
Sunday, Carmelita woke up before it was light. The chemo made her feel exhausted and nauseous. She wanted to stay in bed. She looked at the little dog sleeping next to her who had been with her through so much. He needed vet care and food. But the cancer had drained all her resources. It felt hopeless.
She heard on the news that Friends For Life was holding a free vet clinic and pet food bank at their shelter. “It starts at 10AM,” the newscaster said. She was in her car lined up before 8AM, the chemo port covered by a large bandage on her arm and her small dog in the passenger seat beside her.
When the Friends For Life staff came by her car to fill out the form, she wept with gratitude. And so did we. In a city that is so huge, there was literally one option for her to get help. We are here because of Carmelita.
Friends For Life has had a food bank open to the public for more than a decade. That part isn’t new. Sunday, we added a free vet clinic.
Because shelters have another curve to flatten. Rumbling beneath the surface of the COVID-19 crisis is the crushing wave of animals coming into shelters because their family cannot afford their care. Bubbling up amidst vet clinic closures is a puppy/kitten season filled with unvaccinated animals that are fodder for a distemper and parvo outbreak like we have never seen. That impacts all of us; not just pet owners.
You never expect to be there—and then you are. You consider giving your pet away so that they can be fed and healthy. You consider going through that heartbreak, for them. That is love.
It’s always a lose-lose-lose situation, though. The animal loses their family, the strain on shelters increases, and the decision is emotionally devastating for the family. We talk to people every week facing this. We have seen the pain in their eyes.
We’re not into losing. We’re not into HOUSTON losing. So, we mobilized.
Thousands of pounds of pet food
Feline combo tests
1000 doses of flea preventative
1000 doses of heartworm preventative
Quarts of dewormer
NOW is the time to help. We don’t have the deep pockets of the shelters that have been around for more than a century. But what we DO have is a fierce belief that, when this is all said and done, the only thing that will matter is how we treated each other. NOW is the time to give.
We’ll keep doing this until we run out of supplies. If you want to support that, here are a few ways you can help:
▪️Spread the word. If you know someone who is struggling and could use the help, tell them we are doing this. And help them sign up if they don’t have access to the internet.
▪️Donate. There are things that we simply have to buy to do this—vaccines, tests, meds. We can stretch your $10 to pay it forward to so many in the community. friends4life.org/donate
▪️Partner. If you’re a company (or individual) that wants to help with in-kind donations or a sponsorship, reach out to us. email@example.com
▪️Bring in pet food. We ran out of stock Sunday in our food bank and need to refill it. You can drop pet food off at the shelter, or send some our way online. Our wishlist includes the items we most frequently distribute from the food bank. Any size, brand, or type. (As puppy/kitten season arrives, we could use a lot more from that wishlist, too.) friends4life.org/wishlist
▪️Be a helper. The world needs more of it right now. ‘Every man for himself’ simply will not work. We HAVE to be there for each other, and for our community.
▪️Sit in gratitude. As you’re sitting at home, do it in gratitude. It will change the world.