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  • The Balanced Voice Team

Ep. 30: Tamron Hall, Tena Faust, & Tama Lundquist | Animal Cruelty

Did you know that animal abuse is often the first sign of family abuse such as domestic violence in the home? Today on The Balanced Voice we are grateful to sit down with THREE incredible women bringing awareness to the intersection between animal abuse and domestic violence.

First, we sit down with the one and only Tamron Hall. She created the Tamron Heart Renate Fund after Domestic Violence tragically claimed her sister, Ranate’s life in 2004. Since creating the fund Tamron has spent much time raising awareness, helping survivors speak out, and raising money for domestic violence victims. We talk about her involvement in Purina’s #purpleleash project.

We then welcome two of our dear friends, Tena Faust and Tama Lundquist, co-founders of Houston PetSet. Tena and Tama work tirelessly #fortheanimals day in and day out. In this conversation, we take a deeper look at animal cruelty in our city. Ultimately we answer this question:

What can we as a community do to prevent and identify potential abuse in the home?

More About Tamron Hall:

"Tamron Hall hosts the nationally syndicated daytime talk show, “Tamron Hall.” From the deeply moving to the purely fun, “Tamron Hall” will be a daily destination for all things topical and a platform for viewers to connect with the people who are shaping our world through meaningful, engaging, and entertaining conversations.... Tamron was part of the NBC News team as a co-host of the third hour of NBC News’ “TODAY” and the anchor of “MSNBC Live with Tamron Hall.” She received the 2015 Edward R. Murrow Award for Reporting: Hard News in Network Television for her segment on domestic violence as part of “TODAY’s” Shine A Light series. "

More about Tena Lundquist Faust:

Tena Lundquist Faust has contributed more than 15 years of work as an animal advocate in Houston.

She worked with various animal welfare groups before and after joining The Board of Houston PetSet in 2007. In 2008, she cofounded the Highland Village Adoption Center and served as a founding member of Houston’s BARC Foundation in 2012. She currently acts as Co-President of Houston PetSet, a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to providing rescue groups and shelters the funding and resources needed to support their work “in the trenches.” She is also a board member of Magpies & Peacocks, served on the 2019 Transition Team for Judge KP George of Fort Bend County, TX and is one of Crime Stoppers of Houston’s Leading Women for Public Safety.

As the Co-President of Houston PetSet, Tena and her twin sister and fellow Co-President, Tama Lundquist, have chaired the organization’s Fierce & Fabulous Soiree seven times, most recently raising $500,000 towards Houston PetSet’s goal of alleviating the suffering, and solving the problem, of animal homelessness in Houston. Since its inception, Houston PetSet has granted more than $2.7 million dollars to animal nonprofits.

When Tena isn’t working to save Houston’s stray dogs and cats, she and her husband, Tyson, spend time with their Hurricane Harvey rescue dog, Finnegan and his new brother, Benjamin. Tena’s passion for animals was sparked by her love of her Westie dog of 17 years, Taz.

More About Tama Lundquist:

Tama began her career in animal advocacy in 2007 when she joined the Houston PetSet Board of Directors, and for the past 8 years she has served as a Co-President alongside her twin sister, Tena Lundquist Faust. Together, they co-founded The Highland Village Adoption Center in 2008, and then went on to serve as a founding members of Houston’s BARC Foundation.

As a full-time, volunteer Co-President of Houston PetSet, Tama has earned prestigious accolades for her work with the organization, including House Resolution 1284 presented by Representative Sarah Davis, a Houston PetSet Proclamation Day presented by Mayor Sylvester Turner, the 2016 Monty’s Task Force Humanitarian Award, the Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce Texas Strong Hero Award, the Citizens for Animal Protection Paws Hall of Fame, the Interfaith Ministries’ Animeals on Wheels Animal Champion and the 2014 Leiv Platou Crime Stoppers Award. As a founding member of the Harris County Animal Cruelty Taskforce, Tama also served on the 2019 Transition Team for Judge KP George of Fort Bend County, TX. Additionally, she is a Crime Stoppers of Houston’s Leading Women for Public Safety.

Tama has also co-chaired Houston PetSet’s largest fundraiser, the Fierce & Fabulous Soiree, for the past 10 years, raising more than 2.5 million dollars to support the nonprofit's many grantee partners working on the front-lines for the animals.

When Tama isn’t working to achieve Houston PetSet’s goal of solving Houston’s homeless animal crisis, she enjoys spending time with her beloved son Harrison “Cole” Owen. Tama and Cole are the proud family members of rescue dogs, including Sparky, a street dog Cole saved and named based on his winning personality, and Sonny Corleone, a brindle Pitbull gunshot wound survivor rescued from Sunnyside.

Instagram: @tamalundquist


Resources & Links:

"The Purple Leash Project began nearly seven years ago when one of our associates read about the difficult decision that many domestic violence survivors with pets were being forced to make. It didn’t seem fair that pets, who may be the only source of unconditional love and support for a victim, weren’t being considered when it came to sheltering survivors. So we decided to help.

Since that time, Purina has helped one of the largest domestic violence shelters in the U.S. on its journey to become a leading voice and shining example of pet-friendly sheltering. We also helped found the PAWS Act Coalition in support of the Pets and Women Safety (PAWS) Act, which helps domestic abuse victims and their pets by advocating for federal resources dedicated to this cause.

Through the Purple Leash Project, together with RedRover and other allies, we continue to advocate for change and serve the needs of survivors and their pets by awarding grants to help domestic violence shelters become pet-friendly, engaging volunteers to help with the transformations and offering support for survivors with pets as new opportunities arise.

Today, our goal is for 25% of U.S. domestic violence shelters to become pet-friendly by the end of 2025. But our long-term goal is to fundamentally change the landscape of domestic violence services for survivors with pets." Read more about the Purple Leash Project here!


Houston PetSet's mission is to "end homelessness and suffering of companion animals and elevate their status in society. We envision a world where companion animals do not suffer and are valued by society...Through funding from individuals, corporate sponsors and with the cooperation of local governments, we believe the problem of animal homelessness is solvable. Through our Partnerships, Research, Events and Grants, we are already helping tens of thousands of homeless pets avoid being killed every year by placing them in new, loving homes. With your help, we can increase awareness of the problem, encourage our elected officials to get more involved, and most of all, raise the funds needed to protect the animals and solve the problem." Read more about Houston PetSet here!

Instagram: @houstonpetset

Twitter: @HoustonPetSet

Give Our Pets A Hand (GOPAH) provides Greater Houston pet owners and animal lovers with information needed to help pets live healthier and happier lives.

Find information and resources to help your pets or other companion animals in the community. Learn about the area’s many animal welfare nonprofits, and discover how you can get involved in supporting their efforts to help animals in need. Visit!


Thank you for following along with The Balanced Voice. The views expressed in each episode are those of the podcast guest and do not necessarily represent the views of The Balanced Voice or Crime Stoppers of Houston.

Thank you to our Episode 30 Sponsors, Brigitte and Bashar Kalai, Hallie Vanderhider, Sippi and Ajay Khurana, and Deep Water Productions.


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