Houston Astros pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. plays with "Candy Corn" the dog, as he and his wife, Kara, walked dogs at the Houston Pets Alive pet rescue and adoption center at 8620 Stella Link Road, Monday, Nov. 20, 2017, in Houston. McCullers is passionate about helping animals in need of adoption. ( Karen Warren / Houston Chronicle )

As cars drove along Stella Link on a crisp, sunny, fall afternoon, Lance McCullers and his wife, Kara, were all grins.
It was mid-morning on a Monday. There was nothing major happening in the empty parking lot of a strip center near NRG Stadium. No crowd of onlookers hoping for an autograph or selfie. No bright orange, newly purchased Astros T-shirts.
Just Lance, Kara, a handful of other volunteers and hundreds of homeless dogs and cats set up in a makeshift shelter.
Since Hurricane Harvey, the population of stray pets in Houston has risen. Organizations like Houston Pets Alive have set up makeshift shelters to handle the load. They have one goal: to keep all these strays from being euthanized.
Lance and Kara are trying to do everything they can to help. The World Series is over, and Lance and his teammates have been on a whirlwind tour of TV appearances and fan engagements. …