Houston BARC to Empty the Shelters; Extend Adoption Hours to 7 p.m. Every Wednesday, Thursday

To provide Houston-area animal lovers more access to visit and meet adoptable pets, BARC, the City of Houston’s Animal Shelter and Adoption Center, will begin extending adoption hours to 7 p.m. every Wednesday and Thursday starting October 4, 2023. During these extended hours, BARC’s Rescue and Foster office will remain open to allow potential partners more time for animal pick-up as well.

BARC’s adoption center, located at 3300 Carr St., is currently open to the public from noon to 5 p.m. every Tuesday through Sunday. The BARC Houston team will be piloting this extended adoption hour program thanks to the leadership and approval of Mayor Sylvester Turner. To learn more about adopting a shelter pet from BARC, visit houstonbarc.com.

“We have received consistent feedback from both potential adopters as well as foster and rescue partners who mention it is sometimes difficult to visit BARC during the week before the facility closes,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said. “Offering additional hours in the evening will now allow Houstonians with commitments during the day an opportunity to visit the campus and provide pets with better opportunities to find their forever families. I am proud of the team for being proactive and providing the public with even greater access to the facility.”

To further help pets find a live outcome, BARC’s foster and rescue office will also remain open until 7 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays beginning October 4. This will allow anyone with commitments during the day or those traveling from outside the Houston region more valuable time to both meet and pick-up BARC’s animals.

BARC continues to offer regular adoption specials and events to help pets find homes. BARC is proud to partner with BISSELL Pet Foundation, a national animal welfare organization dedicated to ending pet homelessness, for its Fall National “Empty the Shelters.” From Oct. 1 – 15, thanks to the sponsorship of BISSELL Pet Foundation, BARC will be completely waiving adoption fees for all pets. Learn more about ongoing adoption campaigns and specials at https://www.houstontx.gov/barc/adopt_a_pet.html.

BISSELL Pet Foundation’s “Empty the Shelters” event is the largest funded adoption event in the country. With a goal of encouraging more families to choose adoption, this lifesaving effort has helped more than 190,000 pets find loving homes since 2016. As BISSELL Pet Foundation’s largest program, a total of 687 animal welfare organizations in 49 states and Canada have participated throughout the years. During BISSELL Pet Foundation’s “Empty the Shelters” quarterly national events, an average of 1,225 shelter pets are adopted each day.

Live release is a primary objective for the City of Houston’s BARC animal shelter. As a publicly funded shelter, BARC has dual missions – protecting the safety of human beings while seeking positive outcomes for animals. BARC is committed to protecting Houstonians from potentially aggressive and dangerous animals in the community—as evidenced by the 48 percent higher intake of strays and animals collected by Animal Enforcement Officers during calls for service last fiscal year. When the pandemic hit, BARC’s adoption, foster, and rescue numbers dropped dramatically, and they have remained relatively unchanged since.

“The public has made it clear to the city that there is a stray animal crisis within the community that we must address. At this same time, however, our rescue, adoption, and foster numbers are not increasing. As the number of animals we intake annually increases, and the live outcome remains the same, the live release rate has ultimately decreased,” said Greg Damianoff, BARC’s shelter director. “Despite the decrease in outcomes, BARC’s team still achieved an 81% live release rate in Fiscal Year 2023, which is comparable to other major Texas cities. BARC has had consistently higher live release rates during Mayor Turner’s administration than during any administration in the City of Houston’s recorded history.”

To further assist adoptable pets, BARC urges Houstonians to assist the shelter in growing its local foster/rescue network and encourages potential adopters to look first at shelter pets. If you or anyone in your network is interested in partnering with the shelter to share information about adoptable pets or sponsor an event or program, please visit https://www.houstontx.gov/barc/get_involved.html.

About BARC

BARC, the City of Houston’s Animal Shelter and Adoption Center, takes in close to 20,000 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.

Visit www.houstonbarc.com or www.Facebook.com/BARCHouston for more information.