Our Shelter

On June 2, 2012, Houston became home to the only LEED certified No Kill animal shelter in Texas, the Don Sanders Adoption Center.

Why Green?

We chose to build the center to the rigorous LEED green standards because we value not just the lives of the companion animals we serve, but the people and the planet as well.

The environment is healthier for the animals and the people who visit and work here. The footprint we leave on the planet is smaller. Our green building integrates respect for people, animals and the planet in a cohesive way.

In program, construction and design, this is the shelter of the future.

Why do we love our shelter?

Dogs greet visitors 

We consulted with behaviorists on design to get it right down to the last detail. The center was designed to be safe, serene and happy from the animals’ perspective.

Each show kennel has its own air inflow and exhaust vent. Each is sound baffled. Sniff holes and glass doors provide the safest way for dogs to greet visitors.

Walk in the neighborhood

Walks around the neighborhood provide potty breaks and training opportunities in a quiet, comfortable setting.

Enrichment

Animals in every room experience natural light. In addition, our cats have videos, boxes, puzzles, toys and lots of company from volunteers and shelter visitors. As a result, shelter stress is minimized, and cats stay healthier and happier.

Tosca’s Room

We give shy cats time to come out of their shells. In Tosca’s Room, shy cats have windows on two sides so they don’t feel isolated. But visitors to the room are asked to respect the cats’ boundaries and wait for the cats to approach. Cats are given as long as they need to learn to trust humans.

A different shelter vibe

Because it is a serene and happy environment, people choose the shelter as a place to visit with family or sometimes even to just hang out with the animals. In this building, every animal matters.

That sets a tone for the center that is joyful and engaging. People come to adopt their next family member, but others just come to spend some time loving on our cats or dogs.

Some people come to tour the shelter and learn more about No Kill. We even have space to hold lectures by noted animal authors.

Take a look at the pictures below and then plan a visit to come and see it in person. We think you'll agree that this is a shelter unlike any other! Be sure to click on each picture as the thumbnails don't show the entire picture.

Friends For Life No Kill Shelter, 107 E. 22nd Street, Houston, TX

Friends For Life No Kill Shelter, 107 E. 22nd Street, Houston, TX

Friends For Life green No Kill Shelter

Friends For Life green No Kill Shelter

The main lobby at Friends For Life

The main lobby at Friends For Life

Our lobby with visitors during our Grand Opening

Our lobby with visitors during our Grand Opening

Another shot of our lobby with photo mural and TV showing animal videos

Another shot of our lobby with photo mural and TV showing animal videos

The photo mural in our lobby -- be sure to read the text in the center!

The photo mural in our lobby -- be sure to read the text in the center!

Our 'Every Animal Matters' motto is displayed on our lobby wall

Our 'Every Animal Matters' motto is displayed on our lobby wall

From the main lobby, you can see cats enjoying their view from the Senior Cat Room

From the main lobby, you can see cats enjoying their view from the Senior Cat Room

Cats in the Senior Cat room have great views into our main lobby!

Cats in the Senior Cat room have great views into our main lobby!

Senior Cat Room slat wall with custom window boxes looking out into main lobby

Senior Cat Room slat wall with custom window boxes looking out into main lobby

Senior Cat room slat wall with climbers

Senior Cat Room slat wall with climbers

Senior Cat Room with climbers almost to the ceiling!

Senior Cat Room with climbers almost to the ceiling!

Senior Cat Room with visitors

Senior Cat Room with visitors

Cat enjoying custom-built hide-and-seek box

Cat enjoying custom-built hide-and-seek box

Adult Cat Room

Adult Cat Room

Adult Cat Room with windows to staff and volunteer loft work areas

Adult Cat Room with windows to staff and volunteer loft work areas

Adult Cat Room slat wall with climbers

Adult Cat Room slat wall with climbers

Adult Cat Room with visitors

Adult Cat Room with visitors

Cat enjoying the TV shelf in Adult Cat Room

Cat enjoying the TV shelf in Adult Cat Room

Leukemia Cat Room

Leukemia Cat Room

Custom-made hide-and-seek boxes in Leukemia Cat Room

Custom-made hide-and-seek boxes in Leukemia Cat Room

Leukemia Cat Room from the cats' perspective

Leukemia Cat Room from the cats' perspective

Education and Training Room

Education and Training Room

One of the Dog Kennels with volunteer

One of the Dog Kennels with volunteer

Dog Show Room with visitors

Dog Show Room with visitors

Dog Show Room

Dog Show Room

Real Life Dog Room

Real Life Dog Room

Real Life Dog Room being tested by staff dogs (They approve!)

Real Life Dog Room being tested by staff dogs (They approve!)

"Real Life" Dog Room with volunteers and dogs