Houston,Tx.-BARC, the City of Houston’s animal shelter and adoption center, is gearing up for an eventful BARC-tober as they celebrate National Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month. BARC is encouraging Houstonians to turn their houses into homes by adopting a BARC shelter dog this month, during a time when the facility remains at a capacity crisis level.
“Each year, thousands of animals enter our facility, and we are always full of adorable dogs and cats available for adoption,” said Carlene Lormand, BARC Marketing & Outreach Manager, adding, “people sometimes have misconceptions or misinformation about adopting pets from an animal shelter. They may think that they are inheriting someone else’s problem, or they simply think they won’t be able to find the breed or temperament that fits their lifestyle, and that simply is not the case at all.”
Here are some facts about shelter animals that may clear up these misconceptions:
Approximately 50 percent of dogs and cats in our facility are not strays, but pets whose families had to give them up because of a loss of income or a change in location. These are faithful, loving pets who just need a home and some love.
People often believe that most shelter dogs are older dogs. In reality, there are wonderful older dogs but even many more remarkable younger dogs (including puppies), too.
At BARC, there’s rarely a shortage of any age. No matter what age of dog you’ve got your heart set on, you’ll find it here! And we offer a FREE Seniors for Seniors program, any animal 3+ years old is free to adopters 55 or older.
Another common misconception is that animals in shelters may be sickly or unhealthy.
At BARC, all animals are held and medically and behaviorally evaluated for up to five days before being placed in our adoption suites. During this time, they are tested for a variety of diseases and illnesses, and fully age/weight appropriately inoculated.
Now through BARC-tober 9th, BARC is hosting “Name Your Own Price Adoptions” (with a minimum of $5) for all dogs and cats at the facility. Additional low pricing and promotions continue throughout the month, including the Second Annual Pet Blessing event on October 15th in partnership with the Episcopal Diocese to offer non-denominational pet blessings for both shelter animals and members of the public.
A live band will play from 1 to 4pm, during which BARC Houston visitors will be able to take part in face painting, moonbounce games, discounted pet microchipping, a pet costume contest, booths with local vendors, and so much more. Non-denominational pet blessings animals will begin at 2:15 to our public pets, followed by a blessing of the shelter animals. BARC adopters and service animals are particularly encouraged to attend. Shelter animals bless so many lives, it is during this time that we bless them in return.
If you have been considering adding a new pet to your family, it’s best to do some research, and be honest with yourself about your lifestyle, available time and understand the costs associated with responsible pet ownership. One of the most important considerations to understand is this – are you legally allowed to have a dog on the premises/in your community? If you rent, make sure you are legally allowed to have a pet, what breeds may be prohibited and what deposits you may be required to pay. BARC will require proof of pet deposit and breed for renters to ensure an appropriate and legal adoption.
Visit this BARC webpage to learn more about the BARC adoption process.
Additionally, it’s vitally important to understand and assess the activity level and exercise requirements of the dog you are considering, and compare that to your own activity level to find a balance. It’s important to consider what age of the animal is best suited to you and your family.
Which is more compatible with your age and lifestyle? Do you want an active puppy that needs attention and training, a middle-aged dog with established behaviors, or an older, less active dog? Consider the time commitment to your new pet – Do you have enough time for a quality relationship with your new pet? Like children, they require attention, companionship, patience and interaction. They may also require socialization and obedience training.
Research the costs of veterinary care, keeping up vaccinations, potential injuries or illness, regular checkups, quality food, toys, accessories, etc. Factor in costs of pet sitters or boarding while you’re away. Keep in mind, BARC offers a Wellness Center with low cost vaccinations, testing, and preventative medications for your pet’s continued health.
“Adopting a shelter dog is a lifetime choice, as these pets will likely spend the rest of their lives with you, and it is not something that should be taken lightly,” said David Atencio, BARC General Manager. “Adoption is a rewarding choice, one that will bring happiness and love into your home and provide your family a loyal, caring companion.”
The simplest, but most powerful thing you can do to help the BARC Houston shelter, and pets throughout our community, is to talk to your friends, neighbors, and family about caring for pets responsibly, and spaying and neutering all animals. To donate to BARC online via the Houston BARC Foundation, click here.
We encourage everyone to visit us online at www.houstonbarc.com.
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Houston, TX 77026
BARC is a Division of the
Administration & Regulatory Affairs Dept.