Friends For Life's Plan to Fix Houston

Free spay/neuter in low-income neighborhoods

Together we can Fix Houston.

Through our Fix Houston initiative, we are bringing free spay/neuter/wellness to cats in low-income neighborhoods.

In the summer of 2013, Friends For Life started a unique collaboration with the City of Houston, called the Healthy Pets Healthy Streets Initiative. The first of its kind, this public/private partnership provides free spay/neuter and vaccinations to the animals of low-income residents in various Houston Council Districts with some of the lowest income and highest owner relinquishment rates.We have been overjoyed to see the great turnout from residents at our neighborhood events, some of whom walked for miles with their pets to be at the staging area at 5 a.m. on surgery days. 

This is the only partnership of its kind in Houston shelter history. We underwrite all cat surgeries as our part of the partnership and the City of Houston underwrites all dogs. When shelters (even ones that do not agree on everything) sit down together and actively look for common ground and ways to work together, lives get saved. 

Why have there been shelters in Houston since 1924 and this kind of partnership with the City never happened until we undertook it 2013? We think that's a valid question. What we can tell you is that we believe this is part of what you should expect shelters to do as partners in the community. 

So far, Fix Houston cat project has prevented, by conservative estimates, over 13,000 cat births and potentially thousands of cats coming into (and likely not out of) the shelter system. We believe that this kind of proactive commitment to get services to the community before the animals even come into the shelter system is a cornerstone in moving Houston toward the No Kill city it can and will become. 

"I am especially proud of the first-ever public/private partnership in which Friends For Life and BARC have joined forces to offer free spay/neuter and wellness services. Since the beginning of the program in July 2013, hundreds of surgeries have been performed. Houston is a progressive city and these progressive animal welfare programs are a part of that."             ------  Mayor Annise Parker

A glance by the numbers:

  • Total surgeries: 634
  • Complete cat colonies stabilized: 94
  • In-progress colonies: 22
  • Number of births prevented: (even the most conservative formula) 13,000
  • 10 free surgery days so far in Houston neighborhoods--with a surgery day happening every month in 2015!

Are you already helping street cats? Fix Houston is here to help YOU!

In addition to participating in Healthy Pets Healthy Streets in which we go to council districts in need alongside the City, Fix Houston conducts our own program to provide free spay/neuter and rabies vaccination services to all free-roaming community cats in targeted areas. The theory behind targeting clearly defined areas until we reach a goal is that it is a scientific fact that if area cat population is 70-90% spayed /neutered the colony will "stabilize." That means it will cease to grow. The attrition rate among outside cats will outweigh the spayed/neutered colony's ability to reproduce enough to expand. The result: the colony will cease to grow and will ultimately disappear.

No matter where you live, we can loan you a live trap for free, help you feed your ferals through our animal food bank and connect you with low cost (sometimes free) spay neuter services. Consider us your source for the scoop on all things community cat! fixhouston@adoptfriends4life.org

77009, this is your time! 

Currently, Fix Houston is working to stabilize the free-roaming cat population in the area code 77009.

Fix Houston will safely and humanely trap the cats, spay/neuter, vaccinate, ear-tip and return them to where they were trapped at no cost to you! 

Live in 009? Currently feeding feral cats? Know someone who does? Know some 009 cats who need help? Please use our form to send us a request.

If you're interested in trap-neuter-return (TNR) services for any outdoor/free-roaming cats, please use our form to send us a request.

We plan to continue to expand this life-saving effort throughout the city.

How can YOU help this amazing program grow and offer even more free surgeries?

You can underwrite a single surgery, underwrite a whole surgery day or make a donation in any amount. Every donation helps! Questions about underwriting multiple surgeries or even a whole day? Contact us at director@adoptfriends4life.org!

This forward-thinking program is getting ahead of the waves of animals that are coming into shelters by providing opportunities to pet owners who may not have money or transportation to have their pet altered.

This is the future. 

And it is No Kill.