CAP's Vision & History

In 1972, a group of concerned Houstonians founded Citizens for Animal Protection (CAP) a non-profit, 501(c)(3), in response to the pervasive problem of thousands of neglected and abused animals in Harris County. The majority of animal shelters, including the city’s program, had few standards for animal care or adoption procedures and were in deplorable condition. These selfless volunteers had a vision of a community that cared for and protected homeless, helpless animals. That vision included pioneering programs such as the creation of the first comprehensive pet adoption screening system, pet facilitated therapy for patients at the VA hospital and the elderly in nursing homes and the first feral cat assistance program in the Houston area.

From rescuing animals with their own cars, caring for them in their own homes and using mobile facilities at shopping centers for adoption centers, the founders raised enough to rent a small shelter space on the Katy Freeway in 1981. Since then, CAP has grown to become a major force in animal care and adoption, with humane education to promote responsible pet ownership and to prevent animal cruelty. In the early 90’s, CAP was able to rent a larger facility at the Katy Freeway location and then moved to its permanent home at I-10/Barker-Clodine.

With an average adoption rate of sixty five percent, CAP has one of the highest rates in the state and three times the national average. The dedication of staff and volunteers translates into more homeless pets being placed in loving homes. CAP has received numerous awards for its shelter operations including the National Humane Award of Excellence from PetsMart Charities and the Exceptional Adoption Placement Program Award from the New York ASPCA. CAP has the distinction of earning a 4-star rating for six consecutive years from CharityNavigator.

One of the most unique characteristics of CAP is its highly active volunteer force. These volunteers work tirelessly to provide support at the shelter and special events, foster care for medically needy animals and financial contributions. Individual donors provide most of CAP’s $3 million annual budget with additional support from foundations and businesses. Our Pet Supply Shop and Thrift Store provide additionally needed funds. No funds are received from United Way or the government.

The CAP Board of Directors recently completed the challenge of building a larger facility and a permanent home for CAP.  The $7.5 million dollar Jane Cizik Center includes a 3.5 acre campus and state-of-the-art 21,000 square foot facility designed by nationally known PBK Architects. Private donations and foundation grants have funded the entire project. The Robert and Jane Cizik Foundation have provided the lead financial gift thus the naming of the facility in her honor.