City of Houston

BARC extending shelter hours starting in October

The extended hours are one of many ways the shelter is facing overcrowding issues.


dog playing at shelter up for adoption
Patricia Ortiz/Houston Public Media
Cranberry playing with a volunteer at the Houston Animal Shelter.

Houston's animal adoption center, BARC, will be extending its hours on Wednesdays and Thursdays starting October 4.

On those days, BARC will be open until 7 p.m. The shelter said the extra hours will provide more access for people to visit and meet adoptable pets. Mayor Sylvester Turner said in a news release that the days were chosen based on public feedback.

"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," 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."

BARC's spokesperson, Cory Stottlemyer, said the shelter has always had a demand for extended hours.

"We've consistently heard from people saying that they work during the day, or they're in school, or they have commitments during the week and they wish that we had offered extended hours regularly," he said.

Stottlemyer said shelter capacity has stayed high because enforcement teams are bringing in more animals. According to BARC's records, they received 7,000 more calls to the 3-1-1 helpline during the last fiscal year. Stottlemyer said this resulted in a 40% increase in animals brought to the shelter.

"Intake is going up. A lot of shelters across the country are talking about owners surrendering their animals, as well, at an increasing rate. A lot of animals are being dumped," he said.

Stottlemyer said BARC is also reimbursing rescue partners for a combined total of up to $10,000 each quarter if they take any animals who are on their urgent pets list.

"Which is great for those rescues, especially the smaller ones who are kind of debating whether they're going to be able to pull an animal. And this financial incentive might be the thing that actually spurs them to do it," he said.

Stottlemyer said Houstonians who are considering adopting a pet in the near future can look forward to a Mega Adoption event with BARC and various other local organizations in late October.

Patricia Ortiz

Patricia Ortiz


Patricia Ortiz is a daily reporter for News 88.7. Her work includes a variety of topics including transportation, technology, energy, immigration and education. Patricia graduated from the University of Houston in Fall 2022 with a Bachelor's in Journalism. She spent most of her college career at the university's literary magazine,...

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