Initiative is Making Progress to Reduce Pet Overpopulation in Near Northside Community; More Events to Happen in 2014

HOUSTON, TX – BARC Animal Shelter and Adoptions and other members of the Healthy Pets Healthy Streets coalition such as Spay-Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP), Friends For Life No Kill Animal Shelter and Rescue, Houston City Council Member Ed Gonzalez, District H, and others partnered to expand the strategic spay/neuter initiative in the Near Northside area today. Thirty-nine dogs and cats received free spay/neuter and wellness services today as a result of the effort, and 15 more pets within the area are scheduled to receive the services in the coming weeks. This brings the grand total to over 200 dogs and cats spayed or neutered for free in the Near Northside area since the strategic initiative kicked off in July 2013.

“The turnout gets better and better every time we do one of these events in the Near Northside Community,” said Chris Newport. “We have held three major events in the area, and today, we celebrated the expansion of the initiative. We strategically targeted the spay/neuter services within the Near Northside community as we have done in the past, but we also wanted to have an opportunity to educate pet owners on the importance of spaying and neutering their pets by attracting Houstonians across the community with free rabies vaccinations. We were able to talk to many pet owners that were willing to have their pets altered but weren’t actively seeking it, one-on-one.”

In addition to the animals receiving free spay/neuter services within the project area as a result of today’s event, 78 pets also received free rabies vaccinations from across the City of Houston.

“It was truly a great day,” said Newport. “We will continue to hold these events and expand the project area in the future. The Near Northside community has many, many stray animals that are a direct result of animal overpopulation, indiscriminate animal breeding and irresponsible pet ownership. We’ve partnered with some amazing pet advocate organizations that share the same goal that we do: to tackle the animal overpopulation problem and start a conversation about responsible pet ownership among residents in neighborhoods with some of the biggest stray animal issues. We’re not even close to being finished. This a long-term project.”

Dogs and cats of families that attended the event from within the project area in the Near Northside community received spay/neuter surgery, a one-year pet license, a rabies vaccination and a microchip with lifetime registration.
“Our Animal Control Officers visit the community regularly, and we are getting feedback from residents that see the impact of this effort every day,” said Newport. “We likely won’t see a reduction in intake at BARC in the short term, but we expect to see an impact on intake in the long term. The community is seeing the immediate benefits of this effort, and we look forward to seeing these benefits in more and more communities as we move forward.”

More about the Healthy Pets Healthy Streets Initiative:

The goal of the Healthy Pets Healthy Streets Initiative is to provide free spay/neuter and wellness services such as a microchip with lifetime registration, a rabies vaccination, and a one-year pet license to as many pets within a target neighborhood as possible. The purpose is to focus these efforts in one area for several months and then expand into a new area. In addition to the major events held, members of the Healthy Pets Healthy Streets Coalition have provided transport services for pets in the neighborhood between the dates of major events.

Dog-related services for the Healthy Pets Healthy Streets Initiative are currently funded by generous financial contributions to BARC and the Houston BARC Foundation. It is a special project, planned and executed in addition to normal BARC operations and expenditure budgets. All cat-related services for this initiative are underwritten by Friends For Life No Kill Animal Shelter and Rescue. Visit www.HoustonBARC.com and click on the “Healthy Pets, Healthy Streets” button to donate for dog-related services (please include a note that you would like to donate to this specific effort on the memo line) and visit www.adoptfriends4life.org to donate for cat-related services. This effort is funded entirely by private donations. Every donation goes toward spaying or neutering one more animal.

BARC’s partners for the effort include Spay-Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP), Houston BARC Foundation, Friends For Life No Kill Animal Shelter and Rescue, Houston City Council Member Ed Gonzalez, District H and more.
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, visit https://www.houstonbarcfoundation.org/.

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