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We have a no-kill mission to save the lives of homeless cats and dogs abandoned and/or placed in kill shelters, while also providing life-saving programs and services to keep pets and their people together. Through outreach, education and service, we provide cats and dogs with an opportunity to live their full lives. 


"Pursuing No Kill" is our active blog that highlights the work that we do as we continue to live out our no-kill mission to save the lives of homeless pets within our community! 

From Houston's Streets to a Forever Home

Jay Garrett

It’s a Facebook post that is all too common.

You see a photo of a sad-looking dog that had been wandering aimlessly in a neighborhood until one of your online friends takes him in. Now that person is reaching out for help to find the owner or someone who is willing to provide a home for the stray.

Chief in transport to the O'Banion's. 

Chief in transport to the O'Banion's. 

Fortunately for Chief, Amy O’Banion is a boxer lover. So when she saw a plea in early 2016 about the 3-year-old that was picked up while roaming the streets in Houston, she conferred with her husband, Cliff, and the decision to foster was easy.

Amy and Chief.

Amy and Chief.

The O’Banions were volunteers with A Life to Live, and we agreed to enter Chief into our foster program.

Cliff and Chief.

Cliff and Chief.

Through our network of volunteers who open their hearts and homes to help save the lives of pets like Chief, the animals receive shelter, food, water and care until they are adopted.

“He was pretty skinny and had bad skin,” recalled Amy, who lives in Kemah. “We took him to the vet and found out he was heartworm positive, so A Life to Live started him on treatment and got him all the other vet care that he needed.”

Chief at OBanions.jpg

In addition to providing Chief the love that he deserved, they also placed him on a nutritious diet plan to help “fatten him up.”

It wasn’t long before Chief’s forever family appeared. James Young and his wife, Suzanne, who already owned two boxers, stepped up to adopt a third.

One of the first things that the Youngs did was consider a new name, since they previously owned a Chief.

“We tried a few different names, but nothing seemed to fit. The thing we kept saying about him was how he looks like a jumping bean the way he bounces up and down when he’s excited. This somehow mixed with a friend saying he looks like a flash of brown when he runs by you. So we christened him Jumping Jack Flash, or Jack for short,” James explained.

Jack made himself right at home with his new family in Humble, including his fur siblings that the Youngs had also rescued: Violet, an 8-year-old brindle Boxer, and Riggy, a 3-year-old white Boxer.

With Youngs 1.jpg
With Youngs 3.jpg

One of Jack’s favorite games is tug of war with Violet. “We have dozens of ripped-up, stuffing-less toys as proof,” James said.

Jack also enjoys playing tag with Riggy. “Those two have created a race course throughout our house and yard, which has them exhausted by game’s end.”

All of that running and playing lends itself well to Jack’s other favorite pastime, which is lounging on the Youngs’ couch or ottoman. “When he drifts off to sleep, that boy snores so loud that he either runs us out of the room or has us scrambling for earbuds and headphones,” James said.

With no children in their home, the Youngs focus all of their love and attention on their boxers. And although Violet and Riggy have lived there longer, there’s no question that Jack is now an integral member of their family.

James and Suzanne Young with "Jack" on the day they adopted him into the family. 

James and Suzanne Young with "Jack" on the day they adopted him into the family. 

“He fits in so perfectly. It’s as if he’s always been here,” James said. “We couldn’t be happier with this little guy. We’re ever so grateful to A Life to Live for bringing him into our lives.”

Written by David Berkowitz, public relations coordinator.