May 23, 2024

Bowlingual Dog

Animal Planet Directory

BARC Houston offering free pet adoptions from May 1-15 as part of nationwide initiative – Houston Public Media

Dog enjoying some outdoor time at Houston's Bureau of Animal Regulation and Control

Mauricio Zepeda/BARC

BARC says it’s key for a new parent of a pet to meet the animal before adoption to make sure it’s a good match.

The City of Houston’s animal shelter is waiving adoption fees for dogs and cats during the first two weeks of May as part of a recurring nationwide initiative.

BARC Houston’s participation in the “Empty the Shelters” campaign sponsored by the Bissell Pet Foundation comes at a time when the local shelter is “pushing” its capacity with about 350 dogs and 80 cats, according to deputy shelter director Cory Stottlemyer. He said BARC also expects to receive even more animals than usual now that it has expanded its intake service to include operations on Sundays.

The shelter and adoption center reported taking in more than 4,500 dogs and cats during the first three months of this year, when 681 of those animals were euthanized. Houston-area residents typically can adopt cats and kittens for $20 and dogs and puppies for $50 and $75, respectively, but all those costs will be waived from Wednesday through May 15.

“Those BARC animals come microchipped, registered, full vaccinated and will receive their spay-neuter surgery,” Stottlemyer said. “And that, thanks to this campaign, is all at a cost of nothing. So it’s a great thing as more animals are coming in.”

BARC, located at 3300 Carr St., also is expanding its adoption hours during the campaign. The facility usually is closed on Mondays but will be open from noon-5 p.m. May 6 and May 13. Animals also can be adopted from noon-7 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, and noon-5 p.m. on Tuesdays as well as Friday-Sunday.

Adoptions at BARC are done on a first-come, first-served basis, and those seeking to adopt dogs or cats must be at least 18 years old with valid identification and proof of address.

Stottlemyer said BARC has received thousands of dollars through its previous participation in the “Empty the Shelters” campaigns, with the Bissell Pet Foundation providing money based on the number of animals adopted during the initiative. In exchange, he said community members adopting pets must complete surveys that are sent to Bissell, a vacuum-cleaning company.

More than 226,000 pets across the country have been adopted as part of the “Empty the Shelters” campaign, which began in 2016, according to a news release from BARC. Hundreds of shelters located in most of the U.S. states are participating this spring.

“Our nation’s animal shelters are facing a capacity crisis and need your help now,” Cathy Bissell, the founder of the Bissell Pet Foundation, said in the news release. “Opening your home to a shelter pet saves a life and creates lifesaving space to help another pet in need.”