TOO MANY CATS AT THE HOUSTON ANIMAL SHELTER!

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HOUSTON- Eighty-two cats and kittens were taken to BARC Animal Shelter and Adoptions on Tuesday, June 4, bringing the grand total to more than 275 felines at the facility. Of the 82 cats that entered BARC, 29 of them came in from just two homes; 17 were taken in when a woman left them behind after moving to a new location and 12 came from a tenant who learned her cats could not live in her new apartment.

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In an effort to save these cats and kittens, BARC asks Houston’s community to step forward and make a difference in the life of a feline that deserves a second chance by adopting, fostering or making a donation. BARC currently has many cats available for adoption and others that need foster care such as mothers with litters, kittens that are too young for adoption and cats that need medical care before going home with a permanent family.

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“We are doing everything we can to save these cats,” said Taran Hutchins, BARC Adoptions Coordinator. “Our staff and volunteers are working overtime to place them with adopters, rescue groups and fosters, but we need help. We are taking in animals much faster than we can get them out, and the only way we can save them is if members of the community step forward and provide a home for them. Even if it’s temporary.”

In addition to the extreme influx in cats and kittens taken into BARC, 52 dogs and puppies were taken in on Tuesday, June 4. In the last week, BARC has taken in 288 dogs and puppies, and 267 cats and kittens.  

Visit BARC’s website to see hundreds of cats and dogs available for adoption at BARC. Houstonians interested in becoming a foster pet parent at BARC can visit the “Foster a Pet” page at www.HoustonBARC.com to learn more about the program. Note that all fosters must live within Houston’s city limits, must be at least 18 years old and come in person to the shelter to speak with the foster coordinator. Find out more about BARC’s foster requirements on BARC’s website. 

“It’s going to take all of us, as a community, to save the lives of the tens of thousands of animals that come into BARC every year,” said Hutchins. “Adopting, fostering and donating can make a huge and positive impact on the animals that don’t have a place to call home in our city, but that’s only part of it. Responsible pet ownership is critical to reducing the number of homeless animals and increasing pet wellness across the community. Spay and neuter your pets. Get them microchipped. Make sure they’re up to date on the vaccinations and get them licensed. If every pet owner did each of these things, we would see far fewer homeless and sick animals in Houston.”

BARC is an open admission shelter, which means it must accept every animal taken in regardless of breed, condition or temperament. Last year, BARC took in 28,268 animals. Thousands more have already been taken in this year, and thousands more will enter before the end of 2013. With only 550 enclosed spaces for animals, BARC constantly runs at capacity.

“Please think twice before taking an animal into BARC’s facility,” said Hutchins. “We need those that are considering taking an animal to BARC to do everything they can to find alternative places to take them first. Consider taking the animal to a local rescue group or re-homing him or her to a friend, colleague or family member. We should only be a last resort. Visit www.HoustonBARC.com to learn what you can do before turning an animal into our shelter.”

Houstonians interested in volunteering their time and skills to BARC to help save lives should visit www.HoustonBARC.com. BARC is open for adoptions Tuesday-Wednesday and Friday-Sunday noon to 6 p.m. and is located at 3200 Carr Street, Houston, 77026.

The simplest, but most powerful thing you can do to help BARC, and pets throughout our community, is to talk to your friends, neighbors, and family about caring for pets responsibly. To donate to BARC online via the Houston BARC Foundation, click here.