The monthly save rates were 91.1% in November, 92.0% in December, and 91.3% in January. Throughout the 90-for-90 effort, BARC worked to reach a cumulative 90 percent animal live release rate over three months for the first time. The live release rate is the percentage of BARC animals placed into homes and safe environments.
"This incredible achievement is all thanks to the staff, volunteers, rescue partners, donors and supporters across the community that united to help make this dream a reality," said Mayor Turner. "Following the successful effort to reach a 90 percent live release rate in November 2015, BARC decided to take an even bigger leap in 2016 by pushing the envelope and expanding the time frame from one month to three. They took the challenge and it paid off. What a great accomplishment for BARC and for the City of Houston as a whole."
BARC took in 6,096 dogs and cats during the three month effort; about 98 animals each day that BARC was open to the public. Within that time frame, 2,743 pets were adopted, 2,113 were transferred to rescue groups, 434 cats were trapped, neutered and returned, and 240 lost pets were returned to their owners. An additional 809 animals went to foster homes where they will remain until they are ready for permanent adoption.
“We are beyond grateful to everyone that helped make this endeavor successful,” said Ashtyn Rivet, BARC’s Deputy Assistant Director. "Over the last few years, we have built robust programs such as adoptions, transfer and rescue, foster, trap-neuter-return and return-to-owner that have helped increase annual live release rates from 51 percent in 2013 and 63 percent in 2014 to 74 percent in 2015 and 80 percent in 2016. We couldn’t have made this much progress without unwavering support from our staff, volunteers, supporters, rescue partners and sponsors such as Proler Southwest/Sims Metal Management."
This effort was no easy feat considering the ever-changing and unpredictable number and condition of animals entering BARC daily. Many of the animals that come through BARC's doors need rehabilitation and a little bit of TLC, but staff and volunteers treat every animal as if it were their own.
"We spent a lot of time analyzing and improving our processes to maximize efficiency while providing the highest standard of care possible for each animal in our shelter," said Rivet. "We will be able to maintain some of our newly implemented processes moving forward, but we must ensure a healthy level of care for incoming animals during times of massive influxes of sick and injured animals. We will continue working to build a sustainable model that is conducive to maintaining historic animal live release rates."
Since its massive transformation in 2009, BARC has improved all aspects of its live release programs and animal control efforts. Additionally, BARC has worked to set the standard for municipal shelters across the country by opening a new adoption center, launching the Healthy Pets Healthy Streets free spay/neuter program, and opening Texas’ first municipal in-house, low-cost spay/neuter clinic called Fixin’ Houston. Achieving a 91.5% cumulative live release rate for three months was a great next step as BARC strives to be the best municipal animal shelter in the country.
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. Visitwww.HoustonBARC.com to donate to BARC online.
Deputy Assistant Director, BARC Animal Shelter and Adoptions