BARC’s Biggest Endeavor Since Its 2009 Transformation Results in Nearly 3,000 Dogs and Cats Saved in Just Three Months
HOUSTON- BARC Animal Shelter and Adoptions placed second in overall lives saved in the ASPCA Rachael Ray $100,000 Challenge, with 2,868 puppies, dogs, cats and kittens saved through adoptions, transfers to rescue groups that resulted in adoptions, Returns to Owner, and the Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program from August 1 through October 31, 2012. Only this year’s Challenge grand prize winner, the City of San Antonio Animal Care Services, ranked higher in total lives saved with 4,054 live releases during the three month period.
“It is unbelievable to look back to the days before BARC’s 2009 transformation and see the giant steps we have taken toward changing the lives of Houston’s homeless animals for the better,” said Alfred Moran, Director of the Administration and Regulatory Affairs Department which oversees BARC. “Our staff, volunteers and supporters worked around the clock to take every single one of our programs to an entirely new level during the ASPCA Challenge. But we aren’t stopping there. BARC will continue to build this all-hands-on-deck approach to increase the number of lives saved at BARC.”
In April 2012, BARC landed a spot as one of the 50 animal shelters across the nation to compete in the Challenge after earning enough online votes to qualify. Beginning August 1, 2012, each of the 50 participants competed to save at least 300 more animals between August and October than that shelter saved during the same three months in 2011. The shelter that saved the most lives compared to their previous year’s total won the $100,000 grand prize grant. BARC successfully completed the Challenge with 306 more lives saved during the three month period, finishing 20th in the competition.
In order to break adoption records during the Challenge, BARC held numerous onsite adoption events such as the Adoption Olympics and the Third Annual Pet Blessing, along with offsite adoption events such as the Cosmic Companions Furry Invasion Mega Event and the Howl-O-Ween Adoption Event at Natural Pawz. BARC also revamped its Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program, returned many pets to their owners, and engaged its rescue partners more than ever to make sure as many puppies, dogs, cats and kittens were placed in forever homes as possible. Additionally, BARC increased its base of supporters, volunteers, foster pet parents and rescue partners throughout the Challenge.
BARC also received a $5,000 grant for completing the Challenge successfully and a $2,000 grant for the ASPCA Challenge photo contest finalist who adopted from BARC. All of the grant funds will go toward continuing to improve BARC’s adoption program.
“Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States and BARC is by far one of the busiest shelters in the nation,” said Moran. “In fact, we took in more than 25,800 animals in 2011 and we have already surpassed that number in 2012. We have our work cut out for us, but after participating in this Challenge, we know that we have only scraped the surface of what our staff, volunteers and supporters can do to continue building our programs and saving the lives of Houston’s homeless dogs and cats.”
Houstonians can view BARC’s progress throughout the $100,000 Challenge by watching weekly update videos including the final update summarizing the shelter’s efforts on BARC’s YouTube page. Visit www.Facebook.com/BARCHouston to view photos of the shelter’s adoptions and events.
If you are unable to permanently adopt a pet but would like to help animals in need, BARC encourages you to consider becoming a volunteer or foster pet parent at BARC. You can also donate to BARC online via the Houston BARC Foundation, by clicking here. Visit www.houstonbarc.com or www.Facebook.com/BARCHouston for more information.
The simplest, but most powerful thing you can do to help BARC, and pets throughout our community, is to talk to your friends, neighbors, and family about caring for pets responsibly.
Houston, TX 77026