Our Organization

HART is a non-profit, 501c3 organization. Donations to the organization are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.  Whether as an adopter, a foster, a volunteer or by helping us financially, we hope you’ll experience being part of Houston Animal Rescue Team -HART!


About Us

Freedom Rides

Besides local rescue and adoption, HART also rescues animals that are transported to humane societies in northern states after vetting. This "Freedom Rides" program allows us to save many more pets than could be adopted locally.


HART and other rescue groups pull dogs and cats at risk for euthanasia from shelters all around Texas, including small rural shelters that may not have a lot of resources. Fosters and rescue sponsors care for the pets, obtain their needed vet services and health certificates, and work with a coordinator to get them on a run. Between everyone's efforts, over 1800 dogs have been saved in the last year.

These northern locales don't share the problem of abandoned pets to nearly the extent that we have in Texas. In fact, many times adopters will be lined up outside, waiting for shelters to open, when they hear that a van is bringing pets up north. Frequently, all the animals delivered to a shelter will be adopted within a week or two.

The "Freedom Rides" are a volunteer effort that don't always meet expenses - but they never fail to fill the heart!

In 2016, Kathryn McCoy, Donna Paparazzo (not pictured), Holly Dool, Kate Howard and Bob Milner joined forces to create the Houston Animal Rescue Team (HART), serving at-risk cats and dogs of all breeds. HART’s founders already run Schnauzer Rescue of Texas (SRT) and Citizens for Animals of Midland/Odessa (CAMO).

HART built shelter facilities on a beautiful 5-acre property in Tomball. HART’s board designed a safe and enriching environment for the abandoned animals that HART rescues.  Volunteers now transport pets on “freedom rides” almost daily from shelters around Texas. 


Since the homeless and abandoned pet population is so large, HART is pursuing several channels to reduce euthanasia in local shelters.  Besides rescues and adoptions, HART will provide advocacy, education and outreach on our website, at community events and in schools to raise awareness about responsible pet ownership, including the importance of spaying and neutering. 

HART sponsors interstate rescue transports, allowing more than 3,000 animals to be welcomed and adopted out quickly by humane societies in northern states.  

Besides those with fosters, HART’s Tomball property currently average 70 animals on-site, under the care of a canine wellness manager.  

If you’d like to help HART, please go to the HELP US page.  HART also welcomes assistance from donors for both capital and operating expenses.  Receiving the IRS determination letter establishing HART as a 501(c)(3) now permits donors’ contributions to be made on a tax-deductible basis. HART is off to a great start and eager to continue providing at-risk cats and dogs with loving forever homes.   








2019 Achievements


Pets helped through HART


Spay/neuter surgeries performed through

HART programs


Adoptions through HART


Animals transferred through our Freedom Rides

To Date Achievements

Notes: HART had to have seven dogs euthanized in 2019. While that number seems high, the truth is that we NEVER euthanize for space or because a animal is not currently adoptable. HART's rescue model includes frequently pulling cats and dogs from local shelters, or accepting strays and owner surrenders, that are seniors, neglected and injured. We strongly believe that all animals deserve to be loved and cared for, and we would never change our model to artificially improve our numbers.

Almost 30 % of HART's pets have had to have major orthopedic or eye surgeries as well as the "basic vetting" of vaccinations, spay/neuter and heartworm testing and treatment. Despite very significant medical effort and expenses, sometimes animals are simply too sick, or too hurt, to recover by the time we get them.


Pets helped through HART


Spay/neuter surgeries performed through

HART programs


Adoptions through HART


Animals transferred through our Freedom Rides