Houston may be the biggest city in the biggest state in the US, but it’s still got plenty of heart. When any of Houston’s pets fall on hard times, there’s no shortage of animal lovers ready to step up to the plate and help out!
Take Friends For Life, for example. A no-kill shelter, Friends For Life is also the fastest-growing shelter in the region. An amazing 75 percent of the animals it adopts out to forever homes are deemed ‘unadoptable’ at other shelters, and it offers a lifetime guarantee on all adoptions. Friends For Life’s Don Sanders Adoption Center is located on East 22nd Street and is open every day except Monday.
Houston Pets Alive! is another no-kill rescue working to save the city’s at-risk pets. With a mission to eliminate the killing of companion animals, this non-profit specializes in saving animals most at risk of euthanasia. These animals are spayed and neutered, microchipped and vaccinated, before being matched with owners that can give them the love, care, and the attention they deserve.
A similar level of commitment can be found at ADORE Houston, an organization with a goal to get stray and abandoned dogs off the streets and out of shelters. ADORE stands for All Dogs Official Rescue Enterprise, and the group provides rescue services, veterinary treatment, foster homes, and a strong adoption program. And like so many other worthy animal rescue groups across America, it’s always seeking more donations and volunteers.
Why should Halloween be limited to just a few hours of trick-or-treating? Why not enjoy a whole day of spooky fun with your furry friend by your side at this paw-some annual festival? Howl-O-Ween Fest, which attracts several-thousand dog lovers to the northwestern suburb of Bridgeland each year, allows you to do exactly that. The centrepiece of the event is the entertainment on the main stage, which includes a host of demonstrations and performances from some truly talented canines. Other highlights include the super-cute doggie fashion show, pumpkin decorating, a farmers’ market, and trick or treating, so make sure to bring the whole family along!
Lace up your sneakers, leash up your dog, and get ready to join forces with heaps of other animal lovers to raise money for the Houston SPCA. iWalk for Animals, held at Memorial Park on the Picnic Loop, features two enjoyable options — a 5K Canine Caper and a 1K Mutt Strut. You can walk or run by yourself or as a team, and well-behaved dogs are welcomed with open paws. There’s plenty more to see and do around the walk as well, with doggy demonstrations, live music, and products from a variety of vendors. However, the most fun is usually had at the variety of pet-friendly contests, so why not see whether your pooch could take home the title of Best Costume, Pet/Owner Lookalike, or even Best Kisser?
If you love dogs and want to raise money for an extraordinary animal rescue group, it’s time to strut your mutt! This annual fundraising event and dog walk is the brainchild of Best Friends Animal Society, with multiple events held around the country. The Houston event takes place in Stude Park and gives participants the chance to raise money for Best Friends or for hundreds of other participating shelters, rescue organizations, and animal welfare groups. Just as important, it’s a fur-tastic way for you and your dog to get some exercise, spend some quality time together, and meet plenty of other animal lovers!
Another great doggy dash for a cause, the annual K-9 Fun Run & Walk raises much-needed funds to benefit Houston Humane Society. A staple on the social calendar for Houston animal lovers, this event has been running for well over three decades and is always a great day out. It’s a laid-back, relaxed, and social way to get some exercise with your furry friend, while there are always heaps of great vendors on hand if you and your pet feel like a little retail therapy.
Is your pooch getting a bit on the nose? Let someone else do the hard work of washing him at this woof-tastic family event, which also raises money for a good cause. Held by Friends of the Phoenix, a non-profit with a mission to give back to the greater Houston area, the April Showers Dog Wash features a dog washing station so you can get your pooch looking, feeling, and smelling like a million bucks! There’s plenty more fun to be had on the day, with pet-friendly vendors, free pet nail clippings, a silent auction, and beer and food specials, so it’s well worth going along — even if your pet isn’t all that fond of baths!