BARC Aims to “Empty the Shelters” through Free Weekend Pet Adoptions

As shelters across the country continue to face overcrowding, BARC Houston, the City of Houston’s Animal Shelter and Adoption Center and BISSELL Pet Foundation aim to “Empty the Shelters” by sponsoring reduced adoption fees through May 15. BARC is excited to announce that the shelter will also be offering free pet adoptions on select days as part of this year’s campaign:

  • Saturday, May 7
  • Sunday, May 8
  • Friday, May 13
  • Saturday, May 14
  • Sunday, May 15

BARC will offer $10 adoption fees for all pets on the remaining days of the campaign (May 10-12). To meet our adoptable pets, stop by BARC’s Adoption Center at 3300 Carr St. from 12 – 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday or visit to see our adoptable pets.

“Our shelter population remains high, and daily pet intake continues to remain high as well. To build on the success of the campaign’s initial launch, we are completely waiving adoption fees on select days,” said Greg Damianoff, Director of BARC Animal Shelter & Adoptions. “We are excited to work with Bissell Pet Foundation once again to get as many pets as possible adopted into their forever homes. We are grateful for this partnership that allows us to reduce and completely waive adoption prices for interested Houston adopters.”

“Empty the Shelters,” BISSELL Pet Foundation’s largest program, began in 2016 as an effort to encourage more families to adopt a pet into their home. More than 83,000 pets have found adoptive homes through this reduced-fee adoption event. Since its inception, this lifesaving event has expanded to organizations in 45 states and Canada, partnering with a total of 443 animal welfare organizations. In the winter 2021 Empty the Shelters Campaign, BARC adopted out a total of 238 pets – 86 cats and 152 dogs.

“Shelters across the country are over capacity, and highly adoptable pets are at risk as we face one of the largest crises in recent years,” said Cathy Bissell, Founder of BISSELL Pet Foundation. “BISSELL Pet Foundation is calling on people to visit their community shelters during ‘Empty the Shelters’ to save a life through adoption. Without you, there is no tomorrow for these deserving pets.”

BISSELL Pet Foundation and BARC Houston urge families to do their research about the pet they are interested in adopting, as well as adoption requirements. For more information on adopting or donating to “Empty the Shelters,” visit as well as

About BARC

BARC, the City of Houston’s Animal Shelter and Adoption Center, takes in more than 25,000 animals annually regardless of behavior, breed, or medical condition. BARC works each day to improve Houstonians’ and their pets’ health and safety by pioneering programs such as low-cost and no-cost spay/neuter services, mobile adoptions, transfer/rescue partnerships, and community outreach.
Through these programs and with community partners’ support, BARC’s live release rate has continued to improve and reached a historic high of 95.9% in the fiscal year 2021.

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