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In November 2009, when the Friendswood Animal Advocates (FAA) was first founded, our mission was to provide the community and City of Friendswood with information about the need to plan and build a new animal shelter.  In December 2011, our efforts were rewarded as the new facility opened to the public.  FAA provided medical treatment for all animals in need at Friendswood Animal Control (FAC) and played a significant role in the implementation of best practice polices at FAC.  We continued supporting FAC for 5.5 years by working with the City and the community to make our town a safe place for animals. Due to new management and new policies instituted at FAC, we no longer had similar goals and therefore redirected our resources in February 2015. We found a new need in our community to help animals by keeping them healthy and by uniting them with their families.  Our work with the community continues and also extends to support several area rescue organizations.  Our advocacy efforts are aimed at municipal leaders and policymakers as we seek to raise the standard of what is possible for companion animals in Friendswood.


FAA Board members are Pet CPR & First Aid trained(*).

2021 Board Members
Karen Van Auken(*)
Joe Matranga
Betsy Fleming
Bob Selig
Melanie Reyes(*)

FAA Bylaws

Karen Van Auken - President

A founding member of Friendswood Animal Advocates, Karen has been a dog lover since childhood. She developed a fondness for cats while a volunteer at animal control and enjoys fostering abandoned kittens, knowing that because of FAA they will be spayed/neutered, vaccinated and microchipped before going to loving “forever homes”.

Joe Matranga - 1st Vice President


I have always had a passion for animals and working with FAA has given me the opportunity to help them in so many ways. From helping get animals adopted and raising money for their veterinary care to helping in vaccination and spay/neuter clinics.  Both of our dogs at home are rescues.

Betsy Fleming - 2nd Vice President

Betsy has always had cats in her life and has always strived to give them the best life possible. Betsy became a proud member of the Friendswood Animal Advocates in 2011 and is a 25+year resident of Friendswood. She especially enjoys the camaraderie of FAA as they work to improve the lives of the animals in Friendswood and the surrounding area. In her spare time, she works on the ISS Program and still enjoys going to work every day. She is also a volunteer usher at the Hobby Center and Alley theater. 

Bob Selig - Treasurer


Bob Selig, Treasurer, has over 30 years of financial management and tax reporting.  He is wonderfully married to Susan Steadman-Selig, also an FAA member, and they have two dogs and two cats, all rescues. 

Cathy Barido - Secretary/Curator


Growing up, Cathy never had a pet to call her own.  It wasn’t until 1997 that Cathy rescued her very first dog, Taz, who was such a joy. Then a few years later, Cathy rescued her second pet, Hunter, who was also a wonderful dog. They have since passed away. After working at job for 30 years, in which Cathy never had a sense of fulfillment and after being laid off, Cathy decided to volunteer at the local animal control.  Cathy instantly felt a sense of satisfaction after her very first day of volunteering and Cathy looked forward to arriving each day to volunteer her help with all the animals.  Cathy is also very proud to be part of the wonderful Friendswood Animal Advocates organization.  Her husband and she have adopted Iggy and Cleo into their home.  They became foster failures, but are so happy that they are in their lives..

Rudy Trahan - Parliamentarian


Tasked with riding parliamentary herd over the FAA Feline Colony and Canine Pack members can sometimes be a challenge, but Rudy is up to it.  If a situation becomes unruly, Rudy will call on his bud Henry (aka Ace) for backup.

Friendswood Animal Advocates
P.O. Box 722, Friendswood, TX 77549
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