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Houston’s BARC Trying To Push Live Release Rate To 90 Percent

Partnership with rescue groups has helped the shelter bring down the number of euthanizations.

 

Annise Parker holding puppy
Mayor Annise Parker is challenging BARC to reach a 90 percent live release rate in November.

Only a few years ago, the portion of dogs and cats that left BARC, the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care, alive was less than 40 percent.

This year, the rate averages to more than 70 percent every month.

Houston Mayor Annise Parker says keeping stray animals from being euthanized wasn’t always the priority. The focus was just on getting them off the streets.

“Now it’s about making sure that we educate the community about the importance of spaying and neutering pets, the importance of responsible pet ownership and that we work just as hard on finding forever home for the animals,” Parker says.

Ashtyn Rivet, outreach manager at BARC, says partnering with the Rescued Pets Movement has made a big difference. The group transports dogs and cats from the shelter to Colorado every month.

 

Annise Parker holding puppy
Mayor Annise Parker is challenging BARC to reach a 90 percent live release rate in November.

Rivet says Mayor Parker’s challenge to reach a 90 percent live release rate for November can be done.

“What we’re going to do is find out what it takes – financially, operationally, structurally, all of these things – to get to the point of 90 percent,” she says. “So at this point, we don’t believe it’s going to be sustainable, but we’re working towards that.”

A big part of it is an aggressive outreach campaign to get more people to adopt pets from BARC.

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Florian Martin

Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is currently the News 88.7 business reporter. Florian’s stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters and the Houston Press Club. Florian is a native of Germany. His studies...

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