Animals Get Love at Pets Fur People


Cats enjoy the Pets Fur People facilities but need forever homes.

Photo by Justine Meccio.

Gazing out the floor-to-ceiling windows at the lovely green lawn, a lucky cat might think they were in a private home. Instead, she’s sitting in a sunroom of the cattery at Pets Fur People, a branch organization of the Tyler Humane Society. 

The accommodations would make any cat feel so lucky to be there that it probably would not want to leave. For felines, the facility offers two adjoining rooms, each with cozy nooks, and lots of places to sit and soak up the sun. 

Pets Fur People’s executive director, Gayle Helms, said the organization wants to make the stay of any animal in their care as comfortable as possible. But the stay is meant to be temporary, just until the dog or cat finds the perfect forever home. 

It hasn’t always been that way, but in 2008 Pets Fur People decided to become a selective, no-kill facility. That huge humanitarian step cost them more than $200,000 in annual funding from the City of Tyler and Smith County. Now they are funded solely through donations. 

The animal adoption fee of $150 for a dog and $130 for a cat is very reasonable, considering that it includes spaying or neutering, a microchip implant, all vaccinations (including rabies), specialized testing, and 30 days of free pet health insurance. Also, an adopted pet gets boarding at a reduced rate if needed at a later date. 

While walking through the facility, Helms calls most of the dogs by name, stopping to pet many, and even put her face to the door of one kennel for a friendly nose-to-nose greeting with one small dog. The animals are truly her passion. 

She and the nine employees at Pets Fur People are also passionate about giving back to the community. After learning that many Meals on Wheels recipients were feeding part of their meals to their dogs and cats, they began repackaging donated dog and cat food for Meals on Wheels to deliver.

A new on-site dog park also serves the community. Pets Fur People volunteers built the park using donated materials. It is the largest free dog park in Tyler. 

Located at 1823 CR 386 in Tyler, Pets Fur People opens for adoptions each Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed for lunch from 1 to 2 p.m.). Details and photos of adoptable animals are available on their website,  

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