HOUSTON (KIAH) — As May’s Mental Health Awareness month continues, Best Friends Animal Society of Houston wants to encourage the community to help save dogs and cats on the street, find homes and help your own mental health.

According to a report from Help Guide, Studies have shown that:

  • Pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets.
  • People with pets have lower blood pressure in stressful situations than those without pets. One study even found that when people with borderline hypertension adopted dogs from a shelter, their blood pressure declined significantly within five months.
  • Playing with a dog, cat, or other pet can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax.

CW39’s Sharron Melton talks with Justine Gonzalez with Best Friends Animal Society. He shares how Houston has a large, pet population that’s homeless and on the streets. He wants to encourage more adoptions and fostering of animals in the area.