Mission Statement & Vision

We save animals’ lives. We find creative ways to do it and are passionate about success at it. Animals are our primary clients and everything we do is based on what is in their best interest individually or as a group.

Our Vision

We envision a community in which no animal will be killed for want of a loving home. Shelters accept their rightful responsibility as guardians and protectors of animals and we, as a society, accept no less from them.

Shelters will lead by example to promote a larger and more compassionate vision of the way companion animals are valued beginning with refusing to kill them.

Citizens and shelters will partner in saving animal lives and work together to ever-expand the network of rescues, fosters, volunteers and donors making life an option for animals.

Shelters will make humane education and seeking homes for animals a priority. It is time to move past the format of simply managing animal populations by killing. From board room to kennel, shelters will live up to their duty to be transformative beacons illuminating a future of kinship with all life.

Contact Information

Main Shelter line: 713-863-9835

Fax: 713-239-8127

Mailing Address: 
Friends For Life 
P.O. Box 70575 
Houston, Texas 77270

Please use our online enrollment form if you have an animal you would like to bring in.

We can only enroll animals in our adoption program via an online form that enables us to efficiently access all the information about the animal, your situation and the kind of help that you may need. We will unfortunately not be able to process any requests for enrollment in our adoption program that are not submitted via this form.

Please do not email us requests to enroll an animal.
For other issues, please use this email:

Email: info@adoptfriends4life.org

Shelter Location & Hours

Friends For Life No Kill Shelter
Don Sanders Adoption Center
107 E. 22nd Street
Houston, TX 77008

Adoption Hours:
Tuesdays - Saturdays: 12–6pm
Sundays: 12-5pm
Closed Mondays

Petsmart Offsite Cat Adoption Center
2902 S. Shepherd
Houston, TX 77098

Adoption Hours:
Tuesdays - Fridays: 5-7pm
Saturdays & Sundays: 12-5pm
Closed Mondays

Board of Directors:

Don Sanders, President
Patricia Larson, Treasurer
Marilyn Garber
Carolyn Levy
Margo Kendrick
Stephanie Kennedy, DVM
Brooke Summers-Perry
Salise Shuttlesworth JD, Executive Director


Operations Manager
Marilyn Oliver
Adoption Manager
Sara Arola
Facilities Manager
Sean Fanti
Volunteer Manager
Ura Nahar
Wellness Manager
Erin Stewart, RVT



We believe that one cannot overestimate the positive impact of having an animal in the family. Our goal is to make just the right human/animal match each time and get that forever fit. We take great care to listen to adopters to discern just what kind of animal they seek. We gather information on the individual personalities of each of our animals so we are better able to make that match. Our trained adoption counselors shepherd each adoption along and follow up with each adopter. Animals adopted through us are truly friends for life. We offer lifelong support to our adopters and if necessary, we always accept a FFL animal back into the program if an adoption does not work out as we hope. In 2010, we introduced the Mobile Adoption Vehicle ( MAV), a state of the art 26 foot adoption display/transport vehicle that can house 28 animals in air conditioned comfort. We are “takin’ it to the street” and bringing animals to events all over Houston. Watch for us at Astros games, Discovery Green and come run a lap with one of our dogs at our Running 4 Home at Memorial Park event!

Rescue and Rehabilitation

“Every Animal Matters” is not just our shelter slogan, it sums up our philosophy. We routinely accept, rehabilitate, medically treat and adopt into loving homes, animals on whom other groups have given up. Each animal has the right to be treated and evaluated as an individual and have decisions made on their behalf based on his/her best interest. Friends For Life accepts animals of all breeds, all ages and in all health situations. 75% of the animals adopted into homes through Friends For Life would be classified as “unadoptable” by other area shelters. Reasons other shelters would have ended their lives include: weighing less than 2 lbs, being over 7 years old, being injured, having treatable medical conditions like mange, upper respiratory or just being a member of certain breeds. “Adoptable” is what we, as a community, say it is. We have the power to redefine adoptable right now. Friends For Life redefines “adoptable” every day through a No Kill vision that affords compassion and second chances. In addition to our local efforts, we have traveled to Louisiana and Mississippi where our rescue teams treated hundred of animals free of charge in Friends For Life mobile veterinary clinics.

Thinking Outside the Shelter

We provide a unique Thinking Outside the Shelter program to offer support to owners so that they may keep their animals in their homes and out of the shelter system altogether. This program was introduced in 2008 and has kept thousands of animals out of the shelter system and in homes. Keeping animals in good homes is a priority in building a No Kill community. Friends For Life counselors provide advice on behavior, training and other concerns to help frustrated animal guardians change a difficult situation to make an animal a positive family member. During these trying economic times, people who have never before needed help find themselves relying on this program as the only thing that stands between them and losing their animal. We offer an animal food and supply bank to provide assistance to these people who find themselves in temporarily difficult circumstances. Often a little help for the animal’s guardian will prevent an animal from ending up in a shelter.

Shelters will make humane education and seeking homes for animals a priority. It is time to move past the format of simply managing animal populations by killing. From board room to kennel, shelters will live up to their duty to be transformative beacons illuminating a future of kinship with all life.

About Us

We are the fastest growing No Kill animal adoption and rescue organization in Houston, dedicated to offering No Kill solutions to the animals of Houston and the people who want to help them. Our programs include rescue, rehabilitation, adoption, humane education and animal food/supply support. We are a dynamic non-profit made up of people of all backgrounds and professions including veterinarians, lawyers, business people, architects, physicians, educators and trained shelter staff committed to offering Houston a real alternative to shelters that kill homeless animals.

When There Was No Hope, We Found Homes.

Our goal is to create programs that make life an option for both owner surrendered and homeless animals. Our programs have evolved as we have made it a priority to listen to ways that you, our community, tell us we may be helpful to you. For example, the Pet Retention program was born of taking the time to learn that sometimes, keeping a pet is a matter of a training issue we can help address, a need for information on dealing with allergies or searching for pet-friendly rentals. Sometimes it is a need for assistance with food/supplies during a tough time. Taking an animal to a shelter (any shelter) is a permanent solution to what may be a temporary problem. 

Watch the short videos below to learn more about us: