BARC taking in fewer animals, but euthanizing more of them

This past May, BARC took in 1,647 dogs and cats, 237 of them were euthanized. Last month, BARC took in 1,414 dogs and cats. 247 were euthanized.

"The previous May and June in 2021, they took in 2,200 hundred animals and killed less than a hundred," said Jennifer Braudway, founder of BARC task force. 

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"That's about a 10 percent drop in the live-release rate," said animal advocate Christine Toomey.

So how can you take in fewer animals but almost triple the amount killed? It's not a matter of space.

"The capacity of animals here on site is based on our staffing levels," said Cory Stottlemyer, Public Information Officer for BARC. "So with deficit of staff, that will impact the number of animals we keep here."

"We found neutered and spayed, heathy, young, adoptable friendly, heart worm negative dogs ready to go," Braudway said.

BARC has what's known as a Red Code List. It's dogs that will be euthanized within 24 hours.

"There's a lot of problems between rescues potential, adopters potential fosters," Braudway said. "They reach out via email and they won't hear anything back, or it will be a delayed response, and the dog or the cat is dead."

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"We have a very strict 1 p.m. deadline when it comes to our Red Code List," Stottlemyer said.

"My concerns about BARC are numberous," said former Houston City Councilmember Greg Travis. "It starts with the leadership."

Travis is a long time critic of BARC Director Greg Damianoff. 

He saved a dog from being euthanized at BARC. The reason? She was listed as heartworm positive.

"We sent it out to a lab, no heartworms," Travis said. "She didn't have hi-heartworms, she didn't have any heartworms."


Most dogs that don't make it out of BARC alive are labeled aggressive. But the shelter notes are sometimes conflicting.

"They were able to pick up the dog, carry the dog from outside, back into the kennel into the shelter," Toomey said. "If a dog is going to be euthanized for aggression, you can't pick up the dog."

So who at BARC decides if a dog lives or dies? BARC says euthanasia is a team decision.

"I don't know who is making that decision," Travis said. "I've asked that question before and I never got the answer, so the answer to that is they're not going to give that answer out."

RELATED: Free adoptions at Harris County Pets through July 31

"And my question for those who are asking for this information, are they going to be targeting this specific staff member?" Stottlemyer said.

All dogs and cats at BARC can be adopted for free until the end of July.