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Photo courtesy of Houston SPCA

Have you always dreamed of having a super-smart and trainable pup who loves playing fetch and running around the backyard?

Then Andrea is the dog for you. This one-year-old pointer mix is full of life and love, and is ready to find a family with as much energy as her.

Andrea already had a bad ear infection when she was rescued by the Houston SPCA, and that caused her to become deaf — but don't think for a moment that it's slowed her down one bit.

Photo courtesy of Houston SPCA

This girl loves a big backyard.

As she's eager to please, Andrea has already learned "sit" and "shake" through hand signals (and plenty of treats).

Since she's only a year old and still learning to navigate this new quiet world of hers, Andrea would thrive best in a home with older children.

Thanks to Texans punter Cameron Johnston and his wife, Tia, who are sponsoring Andrea, her adoption fees are completely covered.

That includes Andrea's microchip, spay surgery, up-to-date vaccinations, a free sample bag of Hill’s Pet Nutrition, and a free post-exam from any VCA Animal Hospital.

You can meet Andrea and see her in action in the play yard by stopping by the Houston SPCA, which is open every day from 11 am-6 pm.

Photo courtesy of Houston SPCA

UHD Gators lend a helping paw to Houston SPCA by volunteering for MLK Day

Serving Others

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once stated, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'"

University of Houston-Downtown students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community partners answered on January 14 by volunteering at the Houston SPCA for the MLK National Day of Service.

More than 50 GatorServe volunteers spent the day walking dogs and providing animal care for cats, cleaning windows, building wildlife release cages, and more.

Their areas of service included the Adoption Center, Equine and Farm Animal Center, and Wildlife Center. The event was sponsored by UHD’s Center for Community Engagement & Service Learning.

“I learned that it takes a lot to care for an animal and helping with something small can make a huge difference in someone's life,” stated one Gator. “I plan to apply this to my everyday life by going out of my way to help someone.”

This year’s GatorServe reached record attendance for the Spring Day of Service event, representing the largest group of volunteers at the new Houston SPCA facility to date.

The broad representation included: 44 undergraduate students, five graduate students, eight staff members, five faculty members, five alumni (many of the students and faculty members are also UHD alums!), and 20 community partners.

Another GatorServe volunteer commented, “I will apply what I learned as a result of volunteering at the Houston SPCA by being more kind and patient.”

Service to others is a hallmark of the University of Houston-Downtown, and GatorServe completes projects in service to its neighbors for two National Days of Service, in remembrance of 9/11 and to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr.

You can explore volunteering opportunities at the Houston SPCA and plenty of ways to donate here.

Photo courtesy of Houston SPCA

Lab mix Bella has plenty of 'puppy love' to give at the Houston SPCA

Adoptable Dog

At only a year and a half, sweet Bella has found herself at the Houston SPCA because her owner can no longer care for her.

But that's good news for you, since Bella still has years of love to give to the right family.

This 64-pound Lab mix is looking for a fit fam that loves to go on walks, or even just an adventurous person who understands the importance of scouting for sticks to bring home and play with.

Bella can be a bit shy at first, but we encourage you to come meet her and see that sweetheart personality pop out after a few pats and skritches. You'll also be rewarded with her big grin.

Bella's adoption fee is only $55, and includes her microchip, spay surgery, up-to-date vaccinations, a free sample bag of Hill’s Science Diet, and a free post-exam from any VCA Animal Hospital.

You can meet Bella and see her in action in the play yard by stopping by the Houston SPCA, which is open every day from 11 am-6 pm.

Photo courtesy of Houston SPCA

Pelicans and other water birds receive life-saving care at Houston SPCA after December freeze

Save the Birds

Following December's late freeze, Houston SPCA’s Wildlife Center of Texas has been taking in ill or injured juvenile brown pelicans and other water birds to nurture back to health.

The birds' injuries have included mild frostbite, emaciation, and parasites. When pelicans have to dive deeper into frigid waters during the winter months when food is scarce, it can cause frostbite.

Currently, several pelicans are on antibiotics and eating anchovies as well as smelt, while others are receiving pain medication and tube feedings due to injuries sustained in the wild.

Even though it's warmed up a bit, residents should continue to keep an eye out for native wildlife that may be ill, injured, or orphaned.

If any are spotted, bring them to the Wildlife Center as soon as possible. More information on what to do with injured wildlife can be found at HoustonSPCA.org.

The Houston SPCA’s Wildlife Center of Texas is one of the nation’s largest wildlife rehabilitation centers. They care for more than 12,000 ill, orphaned, and injured wild animals annually.

Follow @WildlifeCenterofTexas for the latest updates on all things wild. To support wildlife in need, visit here.

Photo courtesy of Houston SPCA

Water birds, like this black-crowned night heron, are also being treated.

Photo courtesy of Sea Life San Antonio Aquarium

'Scuba Claus' takes a dive to greet visitors at Sea Life San Antonio Aquarium

Move over, merfolk

Sliding down the chimney is so 18th century. While North Pole Santa is busy preparing for the big day the traditional way, Scuba Claus and some of the elves are making waves at Sea Life San Antonio Aquarium.

This aquarium invites visitors into a clear underwater tunnel in a tank with a 20-foot depth, allowing for an extra-immersive experience. Scuba divers regularly enter for cleaning, alongside mermaids, whose more leisurely underwater time is spent interacting with guests through the glass in iridescent costumes.

Scuba Claus, who wears his beard and red suit in all conditions, even when scuba goggles are involved, has a deceptive amount of holiday business to take care of, so he’ll only be at the aquarium on December 17, 18, and 24 at 1 pm.

There’s plenty of other special attractions during the holiday season, including holiday lights along the tanks; an interactive, themed tank decorating experience; and letter-writing to Sharky, who will swim them up to the North Pole.

A day at the Sea Life aquarium isn’t complete without a visit to the touch-friendly rock pool (the only place it’s fun to touch something “sticky” underwater) and a visit with the five types of stingray, and an exploration of the seahorse nursery. There are also jellyfish, sea turtles, and six-foot eels, alongside the many fish, both fresh and saltwater.

Visitors are welcome to wander the aquarium on their own, or check for feeding and demonstration schedules at visitsealife.com. The Ocean Tunnel, where Scuba Claus will appear, is acceptable to any ticket holder (starting at $19.99 for locals).

Photo courtesy of Houston SPCA

An outdoorsy family is on Emma the playful shepherd mix's wish list

Adoptable Pet

Love the outdoors? So does Emma, a two-year-old shepherd mix who's currently available for adoption at the Houston SPCA.

Photo courtesy of Houston SPCA

Need a running buddy?

This playful, affectionate lady uses her manners while inside, but her true personality shines when she heads outdoors.

A yard and a ball is all she needs to keep herself entertained, but Emma would also love a family that prioritizes long walks, visits to the dog park — she definitely plays well with other dogs — and plenty of fresh air.

This 39-pound lady is terrific on a leash and even better as your constant companion, soaking up any and all attention and affection that comes her way.

Emma's adoption fee is only $55, and includes her microchip, spay surgery, up-to-date vaccinations, a free sample bag of Hill’s Pet Nutrition, and a free post-exam from any VCA Animal Hospital.

You can meet Emma and see her in action in the play yard by stopping by the Houston SPCA, which is open every day from 11 am-6 pm.

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'80s heartthrob Bryan Adams heads to Houston with Jett-setting rock icon for 2023 tour stop

Summer of '23

Canadian singer/songwriter Bryan Adams, who's been entertaining audiences on stage and screen for four decades, is coming to the Houston area — and he's bringing along a very special guest. Adams is teaming up with rock 'n' roll icons Joan Jett and the Blackhearts for his "So Happy It Hurts Tour," stopping at Sugar Land's Smart Financial Centre on June 28.

The U.S. tour kicks off on June 6 in Baltimore, Maryland, and ends August 3 with a show in Seattle. He'll visit just two Texas cities - Fort Worth and Sugar Land, outside Houston, for a show at Smart Financial Centre on June 28.Fort Worth on June 29, 2023.

Adams is touring in support of his 15th studio album, So Happy It Hurts, which was released March 11, 2022 via BMG. The album is nominated for Best Rock Performance at the upcoming 2023 Grammy awards, taking place Sunday, February 5.

Adams also is riding the wave as the lyricist for Pretty Woman – The Musical, the Broadway musical based on the famed Julia Roberts-Richard Gere rom-com. The touring musical draw huge crowds when it recently stopped in Houston for a limited run.

Barrier-breaking rock 'n' roll badass Joan Jett is known for Top 40 hits such as "I Love Rock 'N' Roll," "I Hate Myself For Loving You," and "Crimson and Clover." Joan Jett and the Blackhearts toured last year with Def Leppard, Motley Crue, and Poison. Bad Reputation, a 2018 documentary about Jett's life, is now streaming.

Tickets for the "So Happy It Hurts Tour" go on sale at 12 pm Friday, February 3 via ticketmaster.com.

Beyoncé adds second Houston date to highly anticipated world tour due to massive surge in ticket demand

back-to-back bey

Houston Beyoncé fans, rejoice: Queen Bey has added another show to her just-announced Renaissance World Tour.

As CultureMap previously reported, Beyoncé is returning to her hometown in a show originally planned for September 23 at NRG Stadium. Now, due to surge in ticket demand, a second show at NRG has been added for the following day on September 24.

This comes as tour organizers have added seven new dates to the North American leg of the tour, based on Beyhive buzz.

According to LiveNation, fan demand for Beyoncé's Renaissance World Tour now exceeds the number of available tickets by more than 800 percent, based on current registration numbers in the Group A cities.

Even with these added dates, LiveNation expects a majority of interested fans "will not be able to get tickets because demand drastically exceeds supply," per a press announcement.

Beyhive fans who miss the second Houston show can try to catch Bey in Dallas two days prior to the Houston show, where she'll play AT&T Stadium on September 21.

Ticketing for the world tour dates go on sale Monday, February 6. BeyHive members will enjoy an exclusive presale, while other fans can register now with Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan technology here. Those interested can score tickets, schedules, and more information at beyonce.livenation.com and tour.beyonce.com.

Note to jet-setting Houstonians: The queen kicks off her world tour on May 10 in Stockholm, Sweden at the Friends Arena. She'll dot Europe with big stadium shows through June 27, where she'll play Warsaw, Poland.

Her North American tour starts July 8 in Canada, where she'll play Toronto's Rogers Centre. Beyoncé will trek the U.S. through the summer and into September; her Dallas and Houston shows are the sole Texas performances.

In a bit of a head scratcher, the Houston native will end her tour in New Orleans (Caesars Superdome) on September 27.

The world tour comes as Beyoncé is awash in Grammy glow: in November, she was nominated for nine Grammy Awards, tying her with her husband (neé Shawn Corey Carter) for the most nominations in Grammy history. Critics and fans have lauded Renaissance, her first solo work since the wildly popular and deeply personal 2016 effort, Lemonade — even through its minor controversy.

Here is the entire world tour schedule:

Europe

May 10, 2023 – Stockholm, SE – Friends Arena

May 14, 2023 – Brussels, BE – King Baudouin Stadium

May 17, 2023 – Cardiff, UK – Cardiff Principality Stadium

May 20, 2023 – Edinburgh, UK – BT Murray Field Stadium

May 23, 2023 – Sunderland, UK – Stadium of Light

May 26, 2023 – Paris, FR – Stade de France

May 29, 2023 – London, UK – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

May 30, 2023 – London, UK – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

June 08, 2023 – Barcelona, ES – Olympic Stadium

June 11, 2023 – Marseille, FR – Orange Velodrome

June 15, 2023 – Cologne, DE – Rhein Energie Stadion

June 17, 2023 – Amsterdam, NL – Johan Crujff Arena

June 21, 2023 – Hamburg, DE – Volksparkstadion

June 24, 2023 – Frankfurt, DE – Deutsche Bank Park

June 27, 2023 – Warsaw, PL – PGE Narodowy

North America

July 8, 2023 – Toronto, ON – Rogers Centre

July 12, 2023 – Philadelphia, PA – Lincoln Financial Field

July 15, 2023 – Nashville, TN – Nissan Stadium

July 17, 2023 – Louisville, KY – L&N Federal Credit Union Stadium

July 20, 2023 – Minneapolis, MN – Huntington Bank Stadium

July 22, 2023 – Chicago, IL – Soldier Field Stadium

July 26, 2023 – Detroit, MI – Ford Field

July 29, 2023 – East Rutherford, NJ – MetLife Stadium

Aug. 01, 2023 – Boston, MA – Gillette Stadium

Aug. 03, 2023 – Pittsburgh, PA – Acrisure Stadium

Aug. 05, 2023 – Washington, DC – FedEx Field

Aug. 09, 2023 – Charlotte, NC – Bank of America Stadium

Aug. 11, 2023 – Atlanta, GA – Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Aug. 16, 2023 – Tampa, FL – Raymond James Stadium

Aug. 18, 2023 – Miami, FL – Hard Rock Stadium

Aug. 21, 2023 – St. Louis, MO – Dome at America's Center

Aug. 24, 2023 – Phoenix, AZ – State Farm Stadium

Aug. 26, 2023 – Las Vegas, NV – Allegiant Stadium

Aug. 30, 2023 – San Francisco, CA – Levi’s Stadium

Sept. 02, 2023 – Inglewood, CA – SoFi Stadium

Sept. 11, 2023 – Vancouver, BC – BC Place

Sept. 13, 2023 – Seattle, WA – Lumen Field

Sept. 18, 2023 – Kansas City, MO – Arrowhead Stadium

Sept. 21, 2023 – Dallas – AT&T Stadium

Sept. 23, 2023 – Houston – NRG Stadium

Sept. 24, 2023 – Houston – NRG Stadium

Sept. 27, 2023 – New Orleans – Caesars Superdome

As always, Beyoncé will create activations, programs, and giveaways via BeyGOOD, the foundation she created in 2013.

Haute Houston boutiques gear up for Galentine's Day with great gifts for the besties

IT'S ABOUT BESTIES, Y'ALL

Valentine's day is around the corner, but this year, forget the fancy restaurants, red roses, and heels. Instead, gather a gang of fun and powerful women, and throw on a comfy set to celebrate Galentine's Day on February 13.

What is Galentine's Day? It is a fictional holiday created by Leslie Knope of Parks and Recreation in 2010. In the Galentine's Day episode, Leslie gathered a group of her besties for a waffle brunch. "Every February 13, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast style," she explains. "Ladies celebrating ladies."

Since then, Galentine's Day has become a great excuse to throw a party and shower the girl gang with gifts and affection. We've crafted a list of unique items available locally that are worthy of any Galentine's Day celebration.

Kendra Scott

Spread the love this Galentines with these Lips Gold Stud Earrings from Kendra Scott. Made from Bright Pink Kyocera Opal, add these studs as a bold statement to a plain outfit, or pair them with other hoops for a stylish ear stack.

Add a pop to any outfit with these Lip Stud earrings. Photo by Kendra Scott

St. Bernard

Snuggle up with your best friend in these Ugg's Women's Terri Pants from S. Bernard. This cozy knit is distinguishably soft and made with 70% recycled polyester fibers. In addition, the relaxed fit makes these pants perfect for wearing out and about or lounging at home. These pants are sure to be your new go-to.


These UGG lounge pants are perfect for lounging.Photo courtesy of saintbernard.com

Elizabeth Anthony

Made from 14k gold and pavé diamond, pair this adjustable heart charm necklace with anything. Stack it with your favorite everyday jewelry or wear it on its own; this necklace is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.


The girl gang will love this stunning heart necklace from Elizabeth Anthony. Photo courtesy of elizabethanthonyhouston.com

Switch2Pure

Unwind and treat your friends to a Self Care Bundle. Found at Switch 2 Pure in River Oaks, this kit is the perfect gift to indulge and enjoy with the girls. The kit includes 7 of the latest and greatest self-care products at a value of $202 for only $142.


Self care takes on a whole new meaning with a set from Switch2Pure. Photo by Switch2Pure

Ann Mashburn

Cozy meets chic with this Pajama Short Set from Ann Mashburn. These pajamas are made from fine Italian poplin, making them a worthwhile investment. The top features a sophisticated look with a rounded collar and buttoned-up front. There will be no need to get out of your PJs to look stylish for the Galentine photo ops with the girls. This PJ set has you covered.

Cozy meets chic with this Pajama Short Set from Ann MashburnPhoto courtesy of shopmashburn.com

The Monogram Shop

Great for an everyday look, this Heart Charm Stretch Set will withstand whatever your busy life throws at you. Durable yet chic, these bracelets are guaranteed to stay their shiny gold color. The bracelet features 14k gold fill beads on an extra-strength stretch cord. Wear this lovely set for a night on the town with the girls or just another day in the office.


This bracelet features 14k gold fill beads on an extra-strength stretch cord. Photo courtesy of The Monogram Shop

Tootsies

Elevate your friend's wardrobe with this Loeffler Randal clutch. The Rayne Pleated Bow Clutch is found at Tootsie and features the signature Loeffler Randal knotted bow and a gold chain strap. Wear it as a clutch or crossbody -- either way, this item will surely add a special touch to any outfit.

Loeffler Randal does it again with a beautiful clutch that pairs well with everything. Photo courtesy of tootsies.com

Outdoor Voices

Get active this Galentines with these eye-catching Outdoor Voices Leggings. Available locally and online, these leggings are a must-have item for those wishing to fulfill New Year's resolutions of getting fit in 2023.

Leggings for keeping those 2023 New Year's resolutions. Photo courtesy of Outdoor Voices

Jentry Kelley

Spoil your girlfriends with this stunning, rosy pink blush from Jentry Kelley. This blush is available online and at local stores and will add a cheerful pop of color to everyday makeup. This blush will pair beautifully with a bright pink, violet, or plum lip.

Add a cheerful pop of color to everyday makeup.Photo courtesy of jentrykelley.com