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.
The best way to teach children compassion is to lead by example by being consistently compassionate in every aspect of the program from boardroom to backrooms of the shelter. Through this consistency, we can encourage children to widen the circle of beings to whom they extend their compassion. When shelters walk our talk, we create a kinder and less violent future for all of us.
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.