Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care

  • Blogs

    August 22, 2014

    BARC is Bursting at the Seams and Needs Your Help

    If you've ever considered adopting or fostering an animal, listen up: Houston's Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care has taken in nearly 600 dogs and cats in the last week, busting the shelter's capacity. These furry dudes and dudettes need your help, stat.

  • Blogs

    March 26, 2014

    Controversial Pet Law Wins Approval

    If you've been procrastinating getting your pet chipped or licensed, now's the time to hop to it. The Houston city council today approved an amendment that eliminates a 30-day hold for prior pet owners before the city can get ownership of your pet. Life and death decisions on pets held at BARC An ... More >>

  • News

    March 20, 2014

    On Gender and Paychecks

    Greg Abbott's past court fight against equal pay.

  • Blogs

    March 11, 2014

    Should Owners Have 30 Days to Reclaim Lost Pets?

    The Houston City Council is scheduled to vote Wednesday on a proposal that would eliminate a 30-day redemption period in the animal control ordinance allowing prior owners to reclaim animals that wind up in the city pound. Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care officials proposed the amendment after ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 25, 2013

    BARC and Rescued Pets Movement Giving Animals a Rocky Mountain High

    Some homeless Houston cats and dogs will be finding new homes in Colorado, thanks to the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care and the Rescued Pets Movement. "There is a high demand for pets in Colorado, and Houston has the supply," according to a BARC press release. "RPM has set a goal to transpor ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 31, 2013

    Annise Parker Running From Her Promise To Increase Spay-Neuter Programs, Critics Say

    Three Houston animal rescue groups are accusing Mayor Annise Parker of going against a plan to tackle animal overpopulation she came up with in 2007, when she was still the city's controller. Calling themselves Unity for a Solution, the groups -- Corridor Rescue, Forgotten Dogs of the 5th Ward Proj ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 20, 2012

    Check out the Plans for BARC's Bitchen Adoption Center

    Mayor Annise Parker joined other officials in unveiling designs for a planned $12 million adoption center for the historically troubled Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care Tuesday. Scheduled to break ground in October, the initial phase of the center will be funded by $4.1 million in capital impro ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 10, 2011

    Controversial Ex-BARC Vet Accused Of Botching Surgeries (With Graphic Photos)

    Sad kitten is sad​A veterinarian who left the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care after he was caught dispensing controlled substances without proper registration is now accused of botching routine surgeries on four kittens last week at his new job at a low-cost clinic. Marie Melancon told H ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 24, 2011

    BARC Inaugural Adopt-A-Thon Saturday

    Resist me! I dare you.​Are you a big fan of dog parks, but are tired of the sideways glances you get just because you show up without a dog? Do you have a closet full of gigantic balls of yarn, with no cats to wage war upon them? There is no better time to fill these yawning voids than by ado ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 21, 2010

    BARC Supervisor, On Tape, Squelches Employee Complaint And Says Mayor Has His Back

    BARC, making sad puppies everywhere​When Chatauqua Allen, a supervisor at the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care, was shut out of certain meetings, she got the nagging notion that it may have to do with her race.The feeling was compounded when Allen, who is black, w ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 15, 2010

    I Wanna Be Your Dog (Or Cat): TV Pilot Edition

    Hair Balls was excited to learn that one of its favorite old TV shows, Hawaii 5-0, is returning to the air this fall. That show's success was attributable not just to the swaggering awesomeness of Jack Lord and his haircut, but because the show included a certain timeless element that appeals to peo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 4, 2010

    BARC Sued By Another Whistleblower; Still Stonewalling On Releasing Information

    You said you would change, BARC​A former Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care employee filed a whistleblower suit against the City of Houston Tuesday, claiming she was fired after she notified investigators of animal cruelty and record-tampering. Hope Bennett's complaint states that she  ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 9, 2010

    BARC Has A New Cat Building, And We Are Avoiding All Double-Entendres

    Photo by Robyn AroutyGo, or get the Cat Look of Death​Hey you -- yeah, you: You know what you need in your life? A cat. Or a kitten. Or several of each. And you know the best way to procure one? By going to the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care's grand opening for its new cat building Saturday, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 17, 2010

    Gil Costas: Fired BARC Whistleblower Gets $70K From The City

    Photo by blue_sharpieThis guy's got questions​Houston City Council members Wednesday approved a $70,000 settlement with a former Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care veterinarian who filed a whistleblower suit against the city in 2009.Gil Costas was fired in February 2009 for what a BARC spokesper ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 5, 2010

    I Wanna Be Your Dog (Or Cat): Return Of The Haiku

    After several months of highlighting some of the adoptable critters at the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care, we thought we were used to all the sad stares these dogs and cats display while awaiting their fates. But somehow, our intrepid photographer, Robyn Arouty, managed to capture an espe ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 16, 2010

    Overcrowding Crisis Hits BARC

    Photo by Robyn Arouty​The Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care is packed to an "unsustainable" level, so if you've been thinking about fostering or adopting, get thee to the shelter, stat.The facility "has experienced a drastic increase in the number of animals turned into the shelter in the previ ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 14, 2010

    I Wanna Be Your Dog (Or Cat): One For You, Nineteen For Me

    Ah, April 14 -- the last day before taxes are due. If you listen closely, you can hear the frantic panic of folks who waited until the last minute to file. And this tax season was especially rough, what with the Obama administration's new mandate that even domestic animals have to pay taxes. Does th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 23, 2010

    BARC Vet Who Helped In Controversial Case Has A Reprimand On Her Record

    ​The Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care's chief vet, who was instrumental in the decision to operate in-house on a severely injured dog -- who did not survive surgery -- was reprimanded by Virginia's veterinary board in 2007.According to documents filed with the Virgina's Department of Health Pr ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 19, 2010

    Keiko, The Injured BARC Dog, Gets A Second Opinion

    ​We don't know what made them change their minds, but the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care had Keiko, the severely injured dog we wrote about Thursday, checked out by an outside vet and opthamologist. Both agreed with the BARC vets that Keiko's eyes should be removed, according to the city's s ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 18, 2010

    A Dog With Horrible Eye Injuries Creates BARC Controversy

    ​With a history of mismanagement, reckless disregard and outright abuse under its belt, the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care has its work cut out for it when it comes to righting wrongs.Houston's devoted and vocal animal rescue community has been integral in instituting a change in command -- ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 13, 2010

    I Wanna Be Your Dog (or Cat): Resolution Time

    New year. New decade. New mayor. New director of the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care. But same old problem: Too many awesome dogs and cats stuck behind bars, the clock ticking as they wait for a good home. Hair Balls is hoping that, along with the traditional new year's resolutions of goin ... More >>

  • News

    December 10, 2009

    R.I.P. La Strada

    Highlights from the Blog at HOUSTONPRESS.COM

  • Blogs

    December 8, 2009

    How Much Are Taxpayers Spending For Trite Analysis? No One's Saying

    ​If there's one thing Gerry Fusco, the interim bureau chief for the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care, loves, it's hiring consultants. If there's one thing he and BARC spokeswoman Elena Marks don't love, it's telling the public how much taxpayer money is going to those consultants -- and ju ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 3, 2009

    BARC's E-Mails Detail Neglect, Mismanagement & A Change Agent's Thin Skin

    ​Internal e-mails among Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care's new administrators and volunteers from September 20 to October 9 show a newly independent city agency plagued with miscommunication and continued animal negligence -- the same problems BARC suffered under its f ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 2, 2009

    I Wanna Be Your Dog (Or Cat): Singing This Song For You

    Hair Balls was talking the other day with an acquaintance who has incredible luck with the ladies. Scratch that -- it's not luck, really, because "luck" suggests that a dude who looks like Quasimodo could get lucky some day and hook up with Heidi Klum.No, this dude's situation is based more on confi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 26, 2009

    Adopt Yourself A Cat This Weekend

    ​If you're in the market for cute, cuddly cats and kittens, then you're in luck: No Kill Houston and Frisky Paws Rescue are organizing an adoption drive Friday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., at 11173 Westheimer. (It's in the Whole Foods shopping center, by the Houston Cat Hospital). "No Kill Houston org ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 20, 2009

    La Plus Ca Change At BARC

    Photo by wsilver​People who aren't fans of dogs accidentally strangling themselves with their leashes aren't going to like this story: On Wednesday, a dog at the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care died after, as previously mentioned, it got caught up in its leash while a staff member c ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 18, 2009

    I Wanna Be Your Dog (Or Cat): 5-7-5 And Gift Certificates!

    Whenever there's a seasonal change (or what passes for a seasonal change in Houston) Hair Balls tends to get a bit wistful. With the holidays approaching and the weather cooling a bit this week, we couldn't help but turn inward and examine our own soul, even as we try to help the animals at the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 11, 2009

    I Wanna Be Your Dog (Or Cat): Updates, Both Good And Bad

    Due to some technical difficulties having to do with the stimulus package, global warming, and the war on terror, Hair Balls isn't able to present a brand new batch of adoptable critters this week.Instead, we thought we'd tell you about some dogs who've been adopted, and some who are on death row. H ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 28, 2009

    I Wanna Be Your Dog (Or Cat): Listen Up, Class

    Alright class, settle down. We have a lot of work to do, as we were all off last week. Today's vocabulary lesson only includes canine breeds available for adoption at the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care -- we didn't want to blow anyone's mind the first day back. But you still need to pay a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 14, 2009

    I Wanna Be Your Dog (Or Cat): It Was A Dark And Stormy Night At BARC...

    Because Hair Balls has been busy shopping for a decent Halloween costume this week, we needed help in writing about this latest batch of lovelies available for adoption at the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care. So we turned to members of our fantasy cricket league, which happens to include e ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 7, 2009

    I Wanna Be Your Dog (Or Cat): Fat Dogs, Happy Dogs, All-Knowing Cats

    "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe," Rutger Hauer says at the end of Blade Runner, a film which Hair Balls has never actually seen in its entirety, because we've fallen asleep during every attempt. But in looking through this week's batch of amazingly adoptable animals at the Bureau of An ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 1, 2009

    Some Good News Comes Out Of BARC

    ​Some awesome news coming out of the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care today: The City has secured $3.3 million to vastly improve the dilapidated buildings that process more than 20,000 animals each year. But that's not all -- BARC's also planning the construction of a new facility, complete wi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 16, 2009

    BARC's Change Agent Finally Gets A Contract

    City Council unanimously approved hotly debated 6-month contract for Gerry Fusco, interim chief for the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care. The unanimity was a bit of a surprise, given the sharp critcism doled out two weeks ago by Councilwoman Jolanda Jones, who said she felt Fusco had refused to ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 15, 2009

    The "No-Kill" Advocate Issues A Report Showing All's Still Not Well At BARC

    Photo by wsliver​Hair Balls has just been making our way through "no-kill" advocate Nathan Winograd's just-released assessment of the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care, and we have one question for city officials: When are you going to sue this guy for libel?!We ask that because the BARC descri ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 31, 2009

    Former BARC Vet Sues City Over His Firing

    ​Veterinarian Gil Costas, fired from the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care last February for an alleged registration violation, has sued the City under the Texas Whistleblower Act.Filed today, the suit accuses the city of "trying to hurriedly squelch Dr. Costas and discredit him" after Costa ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 28, 2009

    Animal Cruelty Can Be Fun!

    Regular readers of the Houston Press and Hair Balls have been following the saga of the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care for some time as we've tried to raise awareness about mismanagement and abuse at the facility. Change is slow to come by, as the City and City Council continue to sit on their ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 26, 2009

    City Council Once Again Considers BARC; Once Again Does Little To Nothing

    Photo by abcrumley​City Council delayed voting again on extending the contract for Gerry Fusco, the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care's interim chief. Council members Ronald Green and Pam Holm asked that the vote be tabled. (Green told Hair Balls earlier this week that he hadn't read the contra ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 24, 2009

    Council Hears About More BARC Stuff, This Time Some Nasty Divorce Allegations

    ​It seems a day can't go by without some drama regarding the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care. Today's edition involves a 2006 allegation of abuse against BARC Interim Bureau Chief Gerry Fusco made by his then-wife. The Harris County Sheriff's Office report was posted on an online animal- ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 23, 2009

    Complain About BARC, Find Yourself Charged With A Crime

    Photo by bf_photos The Harris County District Attorney's Office has charged a BARC volunteer for filing a false police report regarding animal abuse he said he heard while at the city's animal control facility. Shelby Kibodeaux was charged July 1 with the class B misdemeanor, which ca ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 30, 2009

    A Q&A With The Man Who Oversees BARC Leaves More Q's Than A's

    Photo by mary_thompsonWhen it comes to the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care, Stephen Williams is a man who does not like to dwell on the past. As the director of Houston's Department of Health and Human Services, he said in an interview Monday that while he was aware of years of criticism of BAR ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 10, 2009

    You'll Be Shocked To Learn BARC Doesn't Much Seem To Care About Its Dead Dogs, Either

    Fido's dignified last ride, thanks to the City of HoustonSo you're a higher-up at Houston's Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care, which has experienced public relations problems for the, decades...and then one of your employees comes to you in February with a concern: An exposed-bed Solid ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 7, 2009

    City Still Hiding BARC Documents, Despite AG's Ruling

    As Hair Balls has previously noted, the City of Houston apparently doesn't want its citizens knowing what's going on at the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care. For the past few months, advocates concerned for the health and safety of the more than 20,000 animals BARC processes each year have submi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 25, 2009

    BARC Down To Its Last Vet

    Veterinarian David Rundell resigned today from the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care, spokeswoman Kathy Barton confirmed. Nicole Sica at the Houston Examiner was the first on the story.  Rundell was suspended with pay three weeks ago for allegedly treating a sick dog with Valium he brou ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 4, 2009

    BARC's Firing Of Vet Doesn't Add Up

    On Tuesday, Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care veterinarian Gil Costas was fired for what Health and Human Services Department spokeswoman Kathy Barton said was not having proper state certification.Barton said Costas did not have "site-specific" Texas Department of Public Safety controlled-substa ... More >>

  • News

    January 29, 2009

    BARC Sucks

    The city's animal shelter just can't get its act together

  • Blogs

    January 27, 2009

    Man The Barricades For Dogs And Cats

    Have some free time at noon today? If so, and you feel the city is ignoring problems at the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care, you might want to scoot down to a demonstration at City Hall.No Kill Houston wants the city to approve a contract to bring a supposed "no-kill" animal shelter consultant ... More >>

  • News

    May 15, 2008

    Zero Tolerance, Puppy Scams and Strange Bedfellows

    No outside liquids for Hightower High

  • News

    February 3, 2005

    The Fido Solution

    The ultimate answer to too many strays, cash-strapped budgets, animal shelter abuses and starving people

  • More >>