HOUSTON – BARC, Houston’s city animal shelter, saw a significant uptick in the number of animals euthanized from April to June of this year, over last year.
Over the same three-month period, fewer animals were taken into the city shelter.
Comparing those figures, using BARC’s data, which is made available to the public on its website, the percentage skyrocketed from a 4.9% euthanasia rate (versus animals taken in the same month) vs. a 14.4% euthanasia rate.
“The statistics speak volumes. You don’t need me to talk, you don’t need anyone else to talk,” Jennifer Braudway, a member of BARC Houston Task Force, said.
Braudway’s group is critical of many of BARC’s methods for animal care, including initial assessments that can deem certain animals unfit for adoption.
“There are many factors that go into capacity here… from low staffing levels, from the drop in adoptions, from the drop in fosters and rescues. You know, animals being brought in, there are fewer people taking them, and there are fewer spaces for them based on those staffing levels. It will have an impact on the live release rate,” Corey Stottlemyer, BARC’s Senior Outreach Manager, said.
BARC has several open positions, seven as of Monday, Sept. 26.
Stottlemyer points out that BARC uses a shelter capacity model that is commensurate with staff levels, so unfilled job positions equate to fewer kennels, which can equate to more euthanized pets.
BARC publishes “live release rates” and a flurry of other data on its website. The “live-release” rate, for animals that are either returned to owners, adopted, or sent to foster care, has slipped to 84% in August. For 2021, the average was 94%.
“I believe that the trend is gonna continue to be up as we have fewer Fosters, fewer adopters, as well as BARC does not do any advertising for the animals they intend to kill,” Braudway said.
Braudway is referring to BARC’s Code Red List.
Braudway and her group argue that animals can quickly end up on the list, which means, euthanasia is imminent, and BARC does not do an adequate job of circulating to the public the dogs and cats which are in this unfortunate position.
One surefire way to improve the outcomes for BARC’s cats and dogs is by fostering or adopting them.
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