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Christopher Newport
christopher.newport@houstontx.gov
713-837-9533 (o)
713-818-8859 (c)

BARC
Carlene Lormand
carlene.lormand@houstontx.gov
3200 Carr
Houston, TX 77026
Office: 713-229-7301
Cell: 281-660-0544
Website: www.houstonbarc.com

Release Date: 02/07/2012

BARC Shines a Spotlight on Spay/Neuter and Adoptions

BARC advocates for proven way to save the lives of companion animals and homeless animals living on the street - Houstonians Help Needed.

BARC is partnering with two groups to change the future for Houston’s homeless pets.  BARC is asking Houstonians to donate $10 to launch a new program with SNAP to interrupt the growth in the homeless pet population in high-need areas.  BARC is also joining with the Houston Humane Society (HHS), Citizens for Animal Protection (CAP), HCPHES Veterinary Public Health, and the Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (HSPCA) to offer half-price pet adoptions from February 10th through February 12th.

For most people, Valentine’s Day doesn’t bring to mind images of cats and dogs, but maybe it should.   It’s no coincidence that most dogs and cats go into their first heat of the breeding cycle in February, which often leads to unwanted litters of kittens and puppies.  And that translates into homeless animals on the streets and full animal shelters by May.  With an average gestation period of only 65 days, an unsterilized dog or cat is capable of having an average of 18 offspring per year.  Now multiply that by an average 6 years of procreation, and that’s over 100 offspring from one unaltered animal. 

February is National Spay/Neuter Month, and the City of Houston’s BARC Animal Shelter & Adoptions has teamed up with Spay Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP) to  sponsor free spay/neuter surgeries for low-income families in Houston zip codes from which BARC either impounds the most stray animals or receives a high number of Over the Counter animal turn-ins.  The first zip code for this new Pilot Program will be zip code 77009, on Monday, February 13, 2012 starting at 6:30 am at BARC’s facility on 3200 Carr Street. 

This new program will expand the number of Houston animals that are sterilized, and reduce the number of animals that BARC picks up off Houston streets and that citizens turn in to the shelter.  But, BARC needs Houston’s help to make this happen.   BARC is asking for $10 donations to fund this ongoing initiative.  Forty dollars allows BARC to sterilize one animal through the SNAP program.  Houston’s official 2010 Census population estimate is 2.139 Million.  If 1% of Houstonians donate $10, we can provide 535 sterilization procedures.  To put this initiative in perspective, if 1% of 1% of Houstonians donate $10, BARC will be able to sterilize 53 animals.  

BARC’s goal for this first event is to sterilize 40 animals in the 77009 zip code.  You can make donations by clicking here, or in person at any Natural Pawz location or at the BARC facility at 3200 Carr, Houston TX 77026.

“Our goal at BARC is to find every healthy and adoptable animal that comes through our doors a new home.  We know that Houstonians want to help us do that, but they may not be ready to adopt or foster one of our future pets.  Sterilizing more pets reduces the number of animals that are surrendered to us, either from homes or the streets, and that means more resources for adoptions and fostering.  If you want to support BARC’s mission, but haven’t been ready to adopt, this new program is a great alternative,” said Carlene Lormand, BARC Marketing & Outreach Manager.  

Spaying or neutering is one of the most important health care measures for your pet.   Most pets live a longer, healthier life, as spaying and neutering prevents many cancers.  Male dogs are less likely to roam away from home, and usually exhibit better behavior overall.  The most important benefit of sterilization is the prevention of unwanted litters, and packs a powerful punch in reducing the number of homeless animals living on the streets.

Free spaying and neutering  for qualifying residents in the 77009 zip code is available on Monday, February 13th from the SNAP mobile spay-neuter clinic at BARC’s facility on 3200 Carr Street. CLIENTS WILL BE SELECTED FROM A LOTTERY WHICH WILL BEGIN AS EARLY AS 6:30 AM. THE LOTTERY STARTS WHEN THE SNAP ADVANCE PERSON ARRIVES ON SITE.  REMEMBER No food for your dog/cat after 10pm. Exemptions to this rule are dogs/cats 4-6 months old. All animals MUST be brought on a leash or in a carrier. All dogs and cats should be a minimum of 4 months old and maximum of 8 years old.

And to promote the adoption of shelter pets, five Houston area animal welfare organizations are teaming up to help thousands of homeless and deserving animals find permanent, loving, forever homes.  BARC Animal Shelter & Adoptions (BARC), the Houston Humane Society (HHS), Citizens for Animal Protection (CAP), HCPHES Veterinary Public Health, and the Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (HSPCA), encourage Houstonians to open their heart and their home to a homeless animal this February.

From Feb. 10 – 12, each shelter will offer half off adoption fees for select pets to help homeless animals all over the Houston area find their true love. Adoption policies, costs, promotions, date of promotions, and shelter hours may vary. Make sure to contact each participating shelter for more information.

All five organizations have adorable, healthy pets of all breeds, colors, sizes and ages eagerly awaiting their new homes. We know people looking for a furry best friend are sure to find true, unconditional and lasting love when they open their hearts and give a homeless animal a second chance at life.  A special Press Conference will be held at Marmion Park located at 1801 Heights Blvd., Houston, Texas 77008 on Wednesday, February 8, 2012 where representatives from each organization will be on hand with adorable adoptable animals and plenty of information for the media. 

You can help BARC in many ways, even if today is not the right time to adopt another member into your pack.  To donate to BARC online via the Houston BARC Foundation, click here.  Interested individuals may view adoptable animals on BARC's website or on BARC's Facebook page. 

We encourage everyone to visit us online at www.houstonbarc.com.

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