In 1972, a group of concerned Houstonians founded Citizens for Animal Protection (CAP), 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, 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 one of the first feral cat assistance programs in the state,  FCAP, feral cat assistance program. 


From rescuing animals with their own cars, caring for them in their own homes and using mobile facilities at shopping centers for adoptions, 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.


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 having earned a 4-star rating for twelve 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 nearly $4 million annual budget with additional support from foundations and businesses. Our Pet Supply Shop provides additionally needed funds. No funds are received from United Way or the government.


In 2011, CAP Board of Directors 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.


Since moving into our new facility in 2011, CAP has continued to operate at the highest standard of shelter care, but our primary goal remains the same - find more homes for homeless pets. Learn more about what CAP has been up to this past year and the amazing things we have accomplished, read our 2021 State of the Shelter statement published April 2022.