They’re hoping for good news, but they need your help.

Friends of Animal Rescue on SPI has been selected as one of the five finalists for Animal Planet’s Pet Nation Renovation.

In order for a crew from Animal Planet to come and give the shelter a much-needed makeover, your votes are important.

“We need this,” said Sherry Pindard, the director of operations at the shelter. “We work really hard and do a great job with what we have, but our shelter definitely needs to be renovated and updated. That way, we can not only continue helping animals in need, but help more animals in need. They deserve it.”

By going to, you can watch the five videos of the finalists.

The three- to four-minute videos show each of the shelters, which two are from California, one from Michigan and one from Colorado.

Each of them discusses why they are deserving of the renovation.

“I put hours into that video and I am really proud of it,” said Jamie Whetstone, the coordinator of grants and communications at the shelter. “But there are so many shelters that enter this contest and I didn’t think we would actually get picked. It still feels surreal, but I am beyond excited. Friends is an awesome organization and definitely deserves this.”

The shelter found out on March 16 that they had been chosen as one of the top five.

The shelter becomes home to about 600 animals each year, including wildlife, which they nurture back to life.

The shelter can hold about 30 at a time, but has had as many as 68 at once.

The shelter receives very little funding from the city, so it is operated on donations and proceeds from the Rescue ME Resale shop.

Because of that, income is different every year, making it difficult to plan for any renovations.

There is one thing Friends knows for sure, though.

“The animals are our number one priority, always,” Whetstone said.


Step 1: Go to

Step 2: Scroll down the page until you see Friends of Animal Rescue

Step 3: Click inside the “select” circle

Step 4: Click “submit your vote.”

Public voting runs through April 2

About Friends of Animal Rescue

It was formed in 2010 to assist the city of Port Isabel when the city took control of the Isabel Y. Garcia Animal Shelter. After placing the shelter’s 400 animals, Friends refocused efforts toward the animals on South Padre Island.

“We believe there is a home for each and every homeless animal.”


Friends of Animal Rescue

South Padre Island, Texas

Founded in 2010

San Gabriel Valley Humane Society

San Gabriel, California

Founded in 1924

Westminster Adoption Group and Services (Wags)

Westminster, California

Founded in 2011

La Plata County Humane Society

Durango, Colorado

Serving for 45 years

Al-Van Humane Society

South Haven, Michigan

Founded in 1968

By Pamela Cody, Staff writer