Friends For Life
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Friends For Life

Crazy Town has city limits. You can drive past them.

When your gut tells you there’s a better way to help animals, rise to find it.

This week, I got a request to take a cat in from one of the “Big Three” private shelters here in Houston. The plea was heartfelt:

“Please consider taking this one-year-old cat into your program as the staff and volunteers have become very attached to him. He is not a candidate for adoption here,”

and her words exactly…

“because he plays rough and would do better as an only cat.”

If you are affiliated with Friends For Life (or any shelter with a Behavior program), you are scratching your head right now in disbelief. But too many of you are thinking, “Yea, it’s like that here, too.”

This piece is for you.

When I said of course we will take this cat, her response was “Oh thank you, so many people have been rooting for him!” And I believed her.

But it begged the question for me: rooting for him against what?

I understand, “We’re rooting for the cancer to go into remission.” I get that. Or “We are rooting for the Ravens to win.”

But what force is this shelter group rooting to circumvent?

The hard truths.

Their management. The direction that their Executive Director and their board have chosen. A choice entirely in their control.

I had a mentor say to me years ago,

“When you live in Crazy Town long enough, you forget it had city limits. You can drive the hell out.”

So, to you all who are struggling with that nagging (and sometimes screaming) feeling that we can actually save the “unsaveable,” I invite you to join us.

Drive the hell out.

We have staff and volunteers who include ex-staff from other shelters. They finally got to the point that the dissonance was too great to bear.

One staffer shared how they wrestled with tremendous guilt after she followed the rules, as a volunteer dog walker, and reported that a dog she’d walked had coughed.

She came back in to find that he had been killed as a result.

Her comment to me was, “I didn’t know what the better way to do this might be, but I knew there must be a better way.”

You will be received at Friends For Life with joy and with gratitude. You may even choose not to tell us that you have a different experience. We don’t care. We are happy that you are here. We care that the more of you who join this new way of looking at things, the more powerful it becomes.

The bankrupt shelter system, like all bankrupt systems, will either fail or adapt. My experience with shelters is that they adapt. If enough donors, volunteers, adopters, fosters, and other humans say ‘we demand a different way,’ things will change.

They will rise to meet you. But you must rise first.

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We are the Unsheltered. The rebellious. Seeks of hard truths. Believers in second chances. We are the open-minded. We are the loud. We are Friends For Life. Let’s rally the humans. #BeUnsheltered

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Friends For Life

Friends For Life

We’re talking hard truths and life-changing methods. It’s time for the UNshelter. A new kind of shelter that’s not somewhere you go — it’s something you do.

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