Whether you’re looking to adopt a mini pig, foster a kitten, or give cash to the birds and possums, these Houston-based nonprofits—which double as superheroes for rescues, pets-to-be, wildlife, real-life dog heroes, and more—are a good place to start.

Houston Pets Alive!

The nonprofit spared 3,572 cats and dogs from euthanasia in 2020 and found 3,815 forever homes for cats and dogs, thanks to the contributions of its many supporters. But donations—kitty litter, food, toys—are always needed, at 2800 Antoine Dr, Suite 2854. houstonpetsalive.org 

Friends For Life

The nonprofit that blessed the world with Quilty—the cat who went viral for his ability to open doors (and was adopted)—saved 1,749 dogs and cats from euthanasia between January and July 2020. Reasons to give are myriad: The adoption shelter runs a drive-thru clinic and pet food pantry for Houstonians in need and helps other communities evacuate pets during disasters. friends4life.org

Rescued Pets Movement

Support this organization—which has saved about 60,000 pets from being euthanized at BARC (as of November 2020) by relocating them to no-kill shelters and foster homes—by dining out at Giacomo’s Cibo e Vino, where every dolce di stagione (seasonal dessert) purchased benefits the nonprofit. rescuedpetsmovement.org

Houston SPCA’s Wildlife Center of Texas

The facility, which cares for more than 10,000 wild animals (and more than 260 species) annually, saw a 20-percent uptick in injured, orphaned, and sick animals, thanks to everyone being home and on the lookout for backyard critters during the pandemic—that’s 12,500 animals helped in 2020. So, yeah, they could use some extra love. wildlifecenteroftexas.org

Spring Branch Animal & Bird Sanctuary

Specializing in caring for abandoned, injured, or surrendered birds and parrots, this nonprofit also takes in abandoned puppies and kittens, too, all with the intention of finding these animals new homes. Funds go directly to medical costs. sbabs.org

Mission K9 Rescue

This nonprofit rescues retired military and contract working dogs (a.k.a. heroes), reuniting them with former handlers when possible, and rehabilitates pups with PTSD. missionk9rescue.org

Houston Mini Pig Rescue & Farm Sanctuary

Founder Meagan Se’s down-home nonprofit is geared toward educating the public on mini pigs (hint: they start out tiny but can grow up to 300 pounds and live for 20 years), working to make city ordinances pig friendly, and rescue—find adoptable piggies on the website. Funds go toward helping build a bigger rescue shelter. houstonminipigrescue.org

El Gato Charities

You’re probably familiar with El Gato Coffee House, our city’s first cat café (in the Heights) that houses only adoptable felines. But after Covid-19 slashed business in half in July 2020, founder Renee Reed created El Gato Charities to keep the café going—donations supply El Gato’s cats with food, shelter, and care (and, yes, you can still visit). elgatocoffeehouse.com

Bunny Buddies

Founded in 1996 by local animal shelter volunteers, Bunny Buddies’s mission is to save and improve the lives of local bun-buns. Adoptions are currently on hold because of the pandemic, but fundraising is focused on opening the first-ever rabbit-only shelter in Houston. bunnybuddies.org