Friends For Life
Published in

Friends For Life

An open letter to our fellow humans:

We see you.

We see you.

We know you are worried about so many things right now. Every time you turn on the TV there’s a prediction of more change. More loss. And you wonder how your family will make it through.

We see you.

In these uncertain times, you rally to support your neighbors: dropping off pet food, volunteering your time, opening your homes to yet another foster pet. You scan the horizon to do the most good.

We see you.

We understand how much your animals provide comfort and stability — in times of calm and in times of trouble. During Harvey, we encountered people who — without hesitation — risked their own lives to save their pets.

This time calls for a radical shift in sheltering.

When we began in 2002, we brought the first radical shift in sheltering that Houston had seen in 100 years — a no-kill model. It seems fitting, in this time, that we lead the charge on the second.

This shift embraces that the primary power of what we do now takes place beyond shelter walls.

Because beautiful shelter campuses don’t help the communities who are not within those walls. This shift is reaching outward. It’s meeting people where they are.

We believe in the “radical” idea that shelters must embrace the people every bit as much as we embrace the animals. If it were about rallying the animals, we’d be finished. But, we must rally the humans to succeed.

  • We rally by providing services without judgment.
  • We rally with practical support in crisis — and in calm.
  • We rally by engaging in relationships with people beyond the day they adopt or beyond the day they relinquish.
  • We rally by offering a meaningful way in which people can lift up their neighbors.

As shelters, we must face this truth together: We’ve asked communities for help for years and this is our time to look beyond the walls of our shelters and pay that help forward.

Friends For Life will be here.

We are going to offer our drive-thru, free vet clinics as long as we can assemble the resources to do it. Each week, we place huge orders of vaccinations, flea preventative, heartworm preventative, dewormer, test kits, and medical supplies. Over the weekend clinics, we give them all away. If you are fortunate enough to have resources, we need your help. If you are not, we are here for you. Rally with us.

As neighbors, we must realize that the Unsheltered way of interacting means remembering that we are permanently, gloriously, imperfectly connected. Humans, animals and the environment we share are all part of the tapestry. Pulling a thread can create a “rip” in a living room a world away. All of us want essentially the same things — to be safe, useful, loved and loving. It means we share our food, our skills… and yes, our toilet paper.

As humans, we recognize that living Unsheltered means that none of us will be okay until we embrace one simple, basic truth. A truth Friends For Life has known for years — Every Animal Matters.

This is Unsheltered.

We are Friends For Life. Let’s rally the humans.

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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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