Furry Friendzy: a unique story about a unique animal rehabilitation center


Neeley (left) plays with Runcle (right) at the Blessing of the Animals. (Samantha Knapp/Staff Reporter)

By Noelle Siwek, Staff Writer

The founder of Furry Friendzy, a rehabilitation center for dogs and other wildlife, visited TCU this week and described how her journey in animal rescue began with a Rottweiler named Thor. 

Pylar Pinkston, the founder, grew up around animals who served a function. It was only when she got a dog in her senior year of high school that sparked her love for animals. 

“The 12-year bond was the most incredible experience I had ever had,” Pinkston said.

After her first dog passed, she got a Rottweiler that developed brain cancer. She traveled across the country to look for a cure but wasn’t successful. Although she was devastated, the journey allowed her to reach and touch a lot of people. 

“Everything has a place in your life,” Pinkston said. 

Once she lost this dog, she began her journey of adopting dogs. First it was one, then five and eventually 20. 

“You learn it’s not that hard,” she said. “Either you have the knack for it or you don’t.” 

Pinkston wanted to only work with Rottweilers at first because they are a big dog breed. 

“Big dog breeds are the least likely to get adopted, people always want the small ones that look like puppies forever,” she said.  

So, Furry Friendzy began as a rehabilitation center for Rottweilers. 

Next, came the possums. 

“The wildlife began with possums when the dogs were bringing them into the house,” Pinkston said. 

Pinkston described how one day she reached down to grab what she thought was a hairball but turned out to be a little possum. Over and over again that same day possums were brought in by the dogs, so they expanded their niche to possums. Her and her husband knew there was a need for someone to host these possums so they expanded their home to wildlife. 

Next, came the beavers. 

The following couple of months she got a phone call from a local wildlife organization that said they had beavers who needed adoption. Pinkston said yes. 

“It starts with one,” she said. “A love in your heart, whatever you may have experienced as a child.” 

Pinkston grew up in an environment where animals served her family. Today, she has a desire to serve the animals and give back. 

SuperFrog meets a dog during the 2011 Blessing of the Animals. Photo: Carolyn Cruz (courtesy of TCU Magazine).

Next came the horses. 

Furry Friendzy now hosts 40 miniature horses that are trained for therapy. Pinkston said Furry Friendzy is an organization looking to give back to the community in any way they can. They take the horses to nursing homes, hospitals and schools. Pinkston shared a story about a time when they took one of their horses to an ICU. 

A patient had been unresponsive during their time in the ICU but when the horse came up to them, they lifted their hand, responding for the first time. 

Pinkston has a heart for the rehabilitation of animals. She also sees the strength at which they can be used to affect humans. 

TCU now offers a minor that works with this human to animal relationship. The HARE minor at TCU explores how animals help people and how people help animals. 

“Humans’ ideas about animals affect their lives,” Lucy Berry, the president of FrogPACK, said. 

FrogPACK is a student-run organization that advocates for “critter kindness at TCU.” There are many different opportunities to work directly with or fundraise for animal organizations.