About Us

Learn more about us and our mission.

Friends of Rescue Animals (FRAs) is a 501(c)(3) all volunteer non-profit organization founded in 2004. 

Our mission is to provide resources, programs and education to promote adoption and care of homeless pets in our community.


FRAs’ vision is a world where every companion animal has a safe and loving forever home.

The organization was founded as “Friends of the Rowlett Animal Shelter”, and it started with 4 volunteers who wanted to support the Rowlett Animal Shelter.  These volunteers sponsored one or two pets per month and reduced their adoption fees in an effort to increase adoptions for the Shelter. 

After the devastation of the December 2015 tornado, we distributed supplies directly to pet owners through the generosity of businesses, other non-profit organizations, and citizens both near and far, with our volunteers even going into the disaster areas with supplies.

Our organization has grown to 400+ volunteers, and with this growth, we now support both the Rowlett and Garland animal shelters and operate our own cat rescue program. Our DBA Friends of Rescue Animals reflects the expansion of our impact over the last 20 years. In part due to our efforts, both shelters have an average live release rate that exceeds the 90% benchmark to be considered “no-kill”, which is difficult for a city shelter in Texas. 

In 2016, FRAs began a cat rescue program where cats were able to be adopted from PetSmart in Rockwall. Cats are vaccinated, spayed or neutered and microchipped prior to adoption. Currently, FRAs has cats for adoption at PetSmart in Rockwall and Rowlett, adopting out 375 cats in our fiscal year 2023! 

FRAs became the liason for the City of Rowlett’s Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR) Program in 2019.  TNR is the safe, humane way to manage the outdoor cat population.  Colony Managers (anyone caring for outdoor cats) can receive vouchers for vaccinations & spay/neuter surgery as well as borrow humane traps.  

In 2020, FRAs officially began assisting the Garland Animal Shelter & Adoption Center by marketing their pets in need, assisting with emergency care and sponsoring one dog each month for heartworm treatment. We now manage the volunteer program and help more pets in need of emergency care & heartworm treatments.

FRAs has not only grown in volunteers, but we have expanded our scope to meet the needs of animals in our community. Learning from leaders in the animal welfare community like Austin Pets Alive! and Best Friends, we share best practices and influence policies for success at the shelters we support.

Meet the Team

Deana Seigler, President

Deana has lived in Texas over 30 years, and she recently retired from Raytheon Technologies where she was a Senior Director of Software Engineering. She first became involved with FRAs in 2014 where she started as a volunteer at the Rowlett Animal Shelter. Her husband, Frank, became a foster fail on the very first one, a Beagle named Minnie. Since then she has fostered over 700 animals, most of which have been cats since her husband falls in love with any dog that comes home. She enjoys fostering kittens, especially the bottle babies or nursing mamas or any cat that is orange (her kryptonite).

She was a FRAs Board Member in 2015 and has been a Board Member in two other rescue organizations. Once she retired, she decided her passion was on the local community and she returned to FRAs. She has completed the Animal Behavior College Dog Trainer certification and the Feline Right at Home Behavior Modification program for cats.   In 2023, she obtained a Nonprofit Management Certificate from Arizona State University.


Sherial Millsap, Vice President

Sherial’s move from Colorado to Texas with her two sons in 1980 was a significant turning point in her life, providing her with a sense of stability after a childhood of frequent relocations due to her military parents. Having called Texas home for the past 43 years, she has found a place where she can settle down. Sherial recently retired form the Telecommunications Industry in January 2021, allowing her to embark on new endeavors. 

Throughout her life, Sherial has always had a deep love for animals, and her home has always been filled with a variety of pets including German Shepherds, Rabbits, and Lizards. It was through a Facebook post by Archangel Animal Network that she discovered Friends of Rescue Animals (FRAs), an organization that aligns with her passion for animals. Since then, Sherial has actively engaged with FRAs and found the experience to be both exciting and fulfilling.

Looking ahead, Sherial eagerly anticipates future opportunities to contribute her skills and passion to FRAs. She is committed to making a positive impact and is enthusiastic about the possibilities that lie ahead in her journey with the organization.

Mary Ward , Treasurer

Mary was born and raised in Southern California and moved to Texas in March 2021 with her husband John and senior cat Cuvee.   Cats were always in the house and she grew up with an awesome rescue named Clyde that was in the family for 15 years   She was introduced to FRAs by a friend who needed help with days old kittens that were found in the snow.  Hearing her story made a strong impression and introduced Mary to what a great organization FRAs is.   Fostering was a good choice after Cuvee passed away in April 2021 since she was not ready to make a permanent decision to adopt.  Mary became foster fail with the second set of kittens in December 2021 – Cosmo (brown tabby) and Pepper (black).   She started volunteering  at the Rockwall Petsmart after the foster fail and has a really hard time leaving the cats each week and not bringing any home.  Mary stepped into the role of Treasurer in September 2022.  Mary loves all animals but cats, any size – domestic or wild just have an extra special place in her heart.  

Sue Rabinowitz, Secretary

Sue was raised in New York, but escaped to Dallas, Texas as soon as she could in 1978! Making the journey to Texas with her husband, daughter, GSD ‘Santana’, Double yellow head parrot, ‘Happy’, and Parakeet, ‘Little Boy’, made for an interesting and memorable, 20+ hour car ride to make ‘home’ in Texas.

Sue’s love affair with dogs began with their GSD ‘Santana’. Over the years, the home was always filled with ‘rescue’ dogs, and birds. There’s always a pool of ‘Grand-dogs’ for her to love on, close by.

Having served 40+ years as Senior Accounting manager for a nationwide auto parts wholesaler, it was time for retirement in Jan 2021. Retirement during height of pandemic, coupled with the loss of their rescue Yorkie ‘Orphan Annie’ to illness; made Friends of Rowlett Animals a good fit for volunteering time. There is SO much to do at FRAs, and interests expanded to help with FUNdraising, Microchip Clinics, Pooch Plunge, and anywhere else help is needed.

Cyndi Acker, Member at Large

Cyndi is a Texas native with a long career in consumer marketing and a deep-seated passion for animals. Over the years, she has honed her skills in communication, research, and strategy, all of which she now leverages in her role at FRAs researching and crafting grant requests.

Beyond her professional contributions, Cyndi’s personal commitment to animal welfare shines through in her extensive experience as a cat and dog foster for over two decades. Her home has been and continues to be a sanctuary for furry friends.  Cyndi currently has three cats of her own and can’t remember a time when her family home wasn’t filled with beloved cats and dogs.

Driven by her unwavering dedication to making a difference in the lives of animals in need, Cyndi is thrilled to play a part in advancing the FRAs goals of ensuring the well-being of countless cats and dogs in the Rowlett and Garland area.