Our Mission

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.

Friends For Life Timeline

Executive Director Salise Shuttlesworth founded Friends For Life to offer a No Kill alternative to the traditionally run shelter facilities in Houston.

  • June 2002: Friends For Life incorporates as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
  • 2002-2004: Key FFL directors and Executive Director research best shelter practices traveling to Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah and consulting with No Kill shelter leaders.
  • 2004: Becomes the PetSmart adoption organization in residence at the Shepherd Drive PetSmart.
  • 2005: Leads post-Katrina rescue missions to New Orleans, Lake Charles and Pass Christian, Mississippi and treated hundreds of animals free of charge in FFL mobile vet clinics.
  • 2008: Becomes the first endowed No Kill shelter in Houston.
  • 2009: Opens a 3,000 square foot No Kill animal shelter in the Houston Heights.
  • June 2010: Nets $700,000 in the most successful Gala in Houston history.
  • August 2010: 26-foot mobile adoption vehicle custom built for FFL debuts.
  • April 2011: Purchases property for completion of new LEED-certified, green No Kill animal shelter.
  • June 2011: Number of adoptions year-to-date more than doubles.
  • September 2011: Sends re-purposed mobile adoption vehicle to provide free veterinary services to victims of Bastrop wildfires.
  • June 2012: The Don Sanders Adoption Center, the only LEED-certified No Kill animal shelter in Texas is opened!
  • March 2013:  FFL creates Fix Houston, the first public/private partnership of its kind with the City of Houston, to bring free spay/neuter surgeries and vaccinations to dogs and cats belonging to residents of underserved parts of Houston.
  • January 2014: FFL acquires property adjacent to the shelter as the future site of a medical clinic whose mission will be to provide affordable, full-service veterinary care, spay/neuter of free-roaming cats and medical treatment for FFL animals.