Frequently Asked Questions
What is Friends For Life?
FFL is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2002. Our goal is to create a no kill community in Houston. We work to accomplish this through rescue, adoption, rehabilitation, providing care to homeless animals and providing resources for individuals and other organizations in the community.
Are you part of a national organization?
No. Friends For Life is a private and independent organization. We work with many other humane organizations, including national groups, but we do not receive funding from them.
How do I adopt a pet?
Our primary goal is to make lifelong matches between a pet and new owner. We do this through sharing information about the pet and its needs as well as you and your needs. Our counselors are here to help you make the right match. Our animal caregivers and fosters are familiar with each and every pet in our program and are excited to share this information with you. After filling out an adoption application, our Adoptions team will schedule an interview with you. Once you’re approved, you will have the opportunity to meet the animals of interest. To be eligible to adopt from Friends For Life, you must be: 1) 21 years of age or older, 2) able to financially afford the cost of a pet, both preventative and emergency treatment, and 3) not have been convicted of animal cruelty. Click here to see our Adoptable Animals.
How much does it cost to adopt?
The adoption fee for all animals is $95.00. We have discounts for veterans/active military, seniors-for-seniors (seniors adopting senior animals), as well as a number of adoption promotions throughout the year.
Where is Friends For Life and what are your hours of operation?
Friends For Life's shelter is located at 107 E 22nd Street, Houston, TX 77008.
We also have cats at the Petsmart Cattery on Shepherd (2902 S Shepherd Dr, Houston, TX 77098) and at El Gato Coffeehouse (508 Pecore St suite a, Houston, TX 77009).
Friends For Life hours of operation are:
- Monday CLOSED
- Tuesday – Saturday 12:00 - 6:00 pm
- Sunday 12:00 - 5:00 pm
PetSmart cattery adoption hours are:
- Monday CLOSED
- Tuesday – Friday 5:00 - 7:00 pm
- Saturday and Sunday 12:00 - 5:00 pm
El Gato Coffeehouse hours are:
- Monday – Friday 12:00 - 6:00 pm
- Saturday 11:00 am - 6:00 pm
- Sunday 12:00 - 5:00 pm
We have a number of mobile adoption events throughout the year featuring both dogs and cats for adoption. Check out our Events to see where we’ll be!
Are all of the animal shelters and rescue groups in Texas part of the Humane Society or SPCA?
No. While we certainly share many of the same goals and work closely together on many projects, these are all individual agencies and groups. For more information on their missions and operations, please contact each of them directly.
Are you truly “no kill”?
YES! We live by our motto “every animal matters.” More than 75% of the animals in our program are considered "unadoptable" at other shelters. We accept animals into our program regardless of age, breed or medical condition. We do not kill animals for space. When animals enter the Friends For Life program, they are with us until they are adopted whether it takes days, months or years. Our goal is to create a no kill community in Houston. To achieve this goal we need the support of the entire community, individuals, businesses and other organizations.
Do you provide animal control services and pick up strays?
No. Animal control services are provided through various government agencies; their primary function is that of public safety. They enforce ordinances with regards to rabies control, leash laws, animal nuisance issues and more. In Harris County, the main impound facility for animals is at the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Control (BARC).
What should I do if I’ve lost an animal?
It is important that you allot some time to systematically pursue a search plan. Here are some suggestions for ways to go about that:
1. Contact your local Animal Protection and shelter agencies immediately.
Note: If giving a report by phone be prepared to give a detailed physical description. It is always best to come view the animals in person and if possible, leave a photograph with the agencies.
City of Houston Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care (BARC)
2700 Evella, Houston, TX - Phone: (713) 229-7300
Open: Daily 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Citizens for Animal Protection
11925 Katy Freeway - Phone: (281) 497-0591
Open: M-F: 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM; Sat. 10:00 am to 5:00 PM; Sun. 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Harris County Rabies and Animal Control
612 Canino - Phone: (281) 999-3191
Open: M-F: 1:00 PM to 5:50 PM; Sat. 11:00 am to 4:00 PM
Houston Humane Society
14700 Almeda Road - Phone: (713) 433-6421
Open: M-Th. 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
F-Sun. 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
2. Place an ad in the lost and found section of the local newspapers.
Houston Chronicle Classifieds: (713) 224-6868.
3. Contact surrounding veterinary clinics
4. Make door to door inquiries in immediate and surrounding neighborhoods.
5. Make flyers using a clear photograph and detailed description of your pet for placement in all locations of inquiry.
6. Update your voicemail to make sure callers hear a message with details about your pet’s situation and your cell phone number. If someone finds your pet, you want them to be able to find you!
7. For a cat, set a humane cat trap. A frightened cat’s instinct is to hide in silence. Traps can be rented from your local animal control agency.
8. Miscellaneous tips for finding your pet:
Most "lost" cats tend to stay in the general vicinity from which they disappeared. It is rare that they would wander out of the immediate neighborhood, unless perhaps, they were recently moved. Be patient and creative in your search.
A "lost" dog will tend to travel into the oncoming wind. This should be your first direction of search.
After you find your pet, report back to all the facilities where you left a report. This reduces existing paperwork and increases the agencies' ability to match other lost pets with their owners. Also, be sure to take down any old flyers or posters in your neighborhood. Spay or neuter your pet. This will help alleviate your pet's desire to roam and has many other benefits.
What should I do if I have found an animal?
First, post the animal and explore the possibility that this is someone’s lost pet. If you are unable to locate the owner, go to our Get Help page.
What animals do you take?
We accept animals from a variety of sources – owner surrenders, strays, pulls from the euthanasia list at other shelters, etc. There is no set “time limit” for any animal’s stay at the shelter – each animal is assessed individually for health, temperament and behavior. Friends For Life is unable to rehome animals who are a danger to themselves or others, or who have serious medical conditions with no treatment options that will give the animal a good quality of life.
FFL wants to be your last resort. First and foremost, through our Thinking Outside The Shelter programs, we often times can provide resources to help address issues with your pet so you will be able to keep them. If you are still unable to keep the pet, please try to place your pet with family, friends or coworkers. You may even call us to see if we have anyone on record looking for your type of pet already. While we have a very successful adoption program, we cannot guarantee immediate placement or immediate entry into our program. If you can possibly reclaim your pet at a future date, then your pet may have taken the place for another pet at the shelter whose owner did not have a choice.
- How do I surrender my pet?
If my situation changes and I am able to reclaim my pet, what is the process?
As the pet is now the legal property of Friends For Life, you will need to fill out an adoption application and go through the adoption process. If it is unaltered, it will need to be spayed or neutered.
Why do I have to have my pet altered if I reclaim it?
All Friends For Life animals are required to be spayed or neutered by the time they are 6 months of age. This helps control pet overpopulation and reduces the number of homeless animals that frequently end up in shelters and are euthanized. It is also Texas state law that all animals leaving a shelter are spayed/neutered or have a spay/neuter contract with a deadline for surgery.
Do you offer veterinary services?
We do not offer a veterinary clinic open to the public. All animals in our program are vaccinated, dewormed and receive flea and heartworm preventatives but we do not offer veterinary services to the public. Cats are tested for Felv and FIV and dogs are tested for heartworms. We may be able to help, however, as part of our Thinking Outside the Shelter Program and have a comprehensive list of low-cost options all around Houston.