BARC Calls for Volunteer Pet Parents; Puppy and Kitten Season is Here

Jun. 10, 2014City of Houston

Puppy and kitten season is here, and BARC Animal Shelter and Adoptions is calling for volunteer foster pet parents to temporarily take in pets that are not ready for adoption.

“This program is great for Houstonians that want to help make a positive difference for animals in need, but cannot take in a pet on a permanent basis,” said Ashtyn Rivet, BARC Marketing and Outreach Lead. “We have hundreds of animals in need of foster parents at BARC each month, especially at this time of the year. We really need Houstonians to get involved by becoming temporary foster pet parents. Fosters save lives.”

BARC is especially in need of fosters that can help with underage/underweight puppies and kittens that are not ready for adoption. In May 2014, more than 525 underage/underweight puppies and kittens came through BARC’s doors. These puppies and kittens are often just a pound or two and weeks or even days old.

Some puppies and kittens simply need socialization and special attention, and others are “bottle babies” which means they are not old enough to eat solid food and must be fed from a bottle. BARC provides fosters with bottle-baby supplies such as bottles and formula. Litters of kittens and puppies should be fostered together, especially if they are nursing with a mother.

BARC is aiming to save more lives by allowing individuals in some areas outside of the City of Houston to foster dogs and cats at BARC.  Before now, only individuals within Houston’s City limits could become foster pet parents. In addition to areas within Houston’s City limits, individuals and families in Humble, West University, Bellaire, Hedwig, Bunker Hill, Piney Point, Hunters Creek and Spring Valley can become a BARC foster.

“So far this year, over 615 dogs and cats have been fostered to families within Houston’s City Limits,” said Rivet. “Last year, over 2,150 animals were fostered from BARC. It’s a very successful program and we are excited to be at a point where we are able to expand the geographic boundaries beyond Houston’s City limits.”

Houstonians that carefully research BARC’s foster program and decide that fostering at BARC is right for them should contact barc.aid@houstontx.gov for more information.

“It’s exciting to expand the geographic boundaries in Houston for our foster program,” said Rivet. “We wish that we could accommodate every single person that wants to foster, but we simply don’t have the resources to effectively keep track of fosters too far out of our jurisdiction. We hope to someday be able to expand those boundaries even further.”

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. To donate to BARC online via the Houston BARC Foundation, visit www.HoustonBARCFoundation.org.