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Houston Unveils New BARC Animal Adoption Facility

Houston officials celebrated the opening of a newly-expanded animal shelter today. It’s part of an ongoing effort to improve care.


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Mayor Parker holds a dog
Houston Mayor Annise Parker unveils the newly-expanded BARC animal shelter in northeast Houston.


The Northeast Houston facility is run by the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care, or BARC. The new intake center can house about 80 dogs.

Mayor Annise Parker says the plan is to expand to house another 130 dogs, a cat kennel and a spay and neuter clinic.

“We built for the future,” Parker says. “This is a really nice space, and our animals deserve it, the volunteers deserve it, and the people who work here deserve it.”

The upgraded facility is BARC’s latest initiative to improve animal care. Since 2009, they’ve worked to increase adoptions and reduce the stray population. The shelter is partnering with nonprofits to provide low-cost spay and neuter services.

Parker says they’ve reached records rates of live releases. That means instead of being put down, the animal is adopted, transferred or returned to its owner.

“We have a different philosophy, we have a different workforce, and we are a new agency,” she says.

The city contributed $6.1 million for construction. An additional $11 million is expected to come from private donations.

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