Twyla’s Friends match lost dogs with homes

Jazzy loves people and is very good at playing catch with the Frisbee. He is always smiling and loves to be petted. He likes playing with his friends, although many of his friends have moved away.Jazzy is a black bull terrier/spaniel mix born in May 2000 and is looking for a good home. Jazzy often gets overlooked because he is not a popular breed, and sometimes families would rather adopt a smaller dog or a brown or multi-colored dog.Many dogs like Jazzy deserve a home too. At Twyla’s Friends, there are over 50 dogs that have been rescued, have had their medical needs attended to and have had the necessary shots and heartworm treatments. These dogs sleep in kennels, local veterinary clinics or in foster homes each night. Some of these dogs have been searching for a new home for over a year.Twyla’s Friends is a non-profit, no-kill animal adoption organization founded 13 years ago in Kingwood. The organization picks up lost or abandoned animals and either helps find their owner or looks for a permanent home for them. Twyla’s Friends helps about 250 dogs a year find permanent homes.Before placing a dog up for adoption, Twyla’s Friends holds the dog for seven days and notifies prospective owners In Kingwood. The organization helps return over 200 dogs to their owners each year.”We put up fliers in grocery stores, put up signs at stop lights and contact all local vets,” Diane Young, founder, said.Young said the fliers do not usually have a photo of the dog because the organization wants to ensure the dogs go to the correct home.”We might tell them we have found a large dog,” she said. “But they have to give us a physical description that matches the dog before we will return him.”Kingwood does not have an animal shelter, because the community does not allot funds for the purpose of animal sheltering.Since Twyla’s Friends is a non-profit organization, it relies on donations and fund-raisers. However, it costs about $350 for each dog to have its medical needs and vaccinations. Twyla’s Friends spends about $150,000 a year on all of the dogs.Young said a shelter would cost about $100,000 per year to maintain.”A shelter cannot be run with volunteers alone,” Young said. “The shelter allows limited capacity, and then we would have to turn away dogs or kill them.”The organization sells customized dog collars as a fundraiser. The custom collars are adjustable and come in different colors or holiday patterns. A large collar is a $10 donation and the smaller collars are a $7 donation. Young said the shelter raises over $8,000 a year with the collar donations.Twyla’s Friends cannot take pets that already have owners. Young said it is more difficult for the organization to help 50 dogs find a good home than it is for one owner to re-home one dog. The organization lacks the volunteers, money, time, facilities and foster homes to help find a new home for the owned pets. Twyla’s Friends began while Young was working for another animal adoption organization and decided she could do a better job.”I had to get away from there because the animals were not a priority,” she said. “I knew I could organize a place that would really help.”In order to help owners re-home their dogs, Twyla’s Friends offers some assistance on their Web site at’s Friends is looking for volunteers to foster dogs permanently. If the dogs are kept in a foster home, the foster family must take the dog to adoption day on Saturday. The organization meets at the United Methodist Church parking lot at Woodland Hills Drive and Crystal Springs in Kingwood from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Twyla’s Friends will assist the volunteers and help them promote their foster dog. Each dog up for adoption is placed on the Web site, with a description, a picture and other useful information. Twyla’s Friends has several breeds, ages and colors of dogs.In order to adopt a dog, Twyla’s Friends requires a minimum $95 donation. The donation is not to cover the cost of medical needs but to help the organization to continue its efforts. Each adoption is done on an individual basis, and the organization will not adopt a dog to just anyone.”Twyla’s Friends works hard to make a good ‘match’ between a family and our puppies and grown dogs. If we seem overly protective of them and too nosy about you, it’s because we care,” the Web site says.Twyla’s Friends has about 20 volunteers. There are many opportunities for those who want to help in different ways. Volunteers can assist at the pet adoption days, foster dogs, use the pet sitting service, donate items for garage sales, purchase a custom collar or help with the “Buddy Program.”Kroger can also donate one percent of all purchases if you designate Twyla’s Friends as the organization you would like to help.If you would like more information about adopting a dog, volunteer opportunities or more information about Twyla’s Friends, visit its Web site.

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