Subject:

Kathy Barton

  • Blogs

    March 14, 2014

    Lesbian Couple From Houston Featured in CDC's Report On Rare HIV Transmission

    The Centers for Disease Control this week released a report on a Houston case of HIV transmitted through lesbian sex. Rare, but true. According to the report (which did not name any names), one of the partners, a 46-year-old woman, had been fighting an HIV infection since 2008, but stopped her trea ... 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

    November 16, 2010

    Health Inspector Tells Natachee's Beloved Horse to "Giddy Up"

    Lacy, the famed Natachee's horse, nuzzles up to owner Jerry Don Luco. ​ Jerry Don Luco, co-owner of Natachee's Supper & Punch, is a cowboy. He's got the hat, the boots, an endless supply of quirky Southern idioms, and like any good cowboy, Jerry has a horse. Her name is Lacy, and she's quickly ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 2, 2009

    Vote Delayed, Entertainingly, On BARC Chief's Contract

    Photo by abcrumley​City Council once again delayed the vote on extending BARC Interim Chief Gerry Fusco's contract today, possibly killing any chance to revive the vote in the future. Fusco's initial agreement with the city, made possible via a $49,500 purchase order, expires Friday.Health a ... 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 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

    August 13, 2009

    An Interview With BARC's Change Agent

    Photo by allygirl520​BARC could install a 3,000-square-foot building to house cats within a month, interim chief Gerry Fusco and Health and Human Services Spokeswoman Kathy Barton told Hair Balls Wednesday. It was a bit of welcome concrete information, something that's been scarce since Fus ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 10, 2009

    BARC Whistleblower's Case To Continue

    Photo by Craig MalisowShelby Kibodeaux, outside the courthouse​A Harris County Court judge found probable cause this morning in the case of a BARC volunteer accused of filing a false police report; the next court date is scheduled for August 28. With all the change-agentization taking place at BAR ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 6, 2009

    A Shake-Up At BARC, For Better Or Worse

    ​BARC went through some housecleaning yesterday -- in a big way.In addition to the firing of veterinarian Eunice Ohashiegbula-Iwunze, other BARC personnel issues Wednesday included the resignation of Administrative Supervisor Dorian Strickland and a "disciplinary procedure in process" for vet tech ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 5, 2009

    BARC's Alleged Dog-Puncher Is Out Of A Job

    Murray Bailey, the BARC kennel attendant accused of punching a puppy in the head in June, is no longer working at the facility, Health and Human Services Spokeswoman Kathy Barton tells Hair Balls. We're waiting to hear if there's an official explanation, but Barton said Bailey was still on his proba ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 31, 2009

    Yet Another Twisted Tale From BARC

    Photo by bf_photos​When BARC volunteer Nela Brown accused a kennel attendant with a long criminal history of punching a puppy June 9, she assumed the matter would be investigated and the man would be dealt with accordingly.  After all, when another volunteer, Shelby Kibode ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 27, 2009

    BARC Puppy Literally Washed Down The Drain

    ​A stray puppy at BARC was placed in the wrong cage and washed down the drain last Thursday night, Health and Human Services Spokeswoman Kathy Barton confirmed today. She would not give the name or position of the person who placed the puppy in the cage, but said the person has been susp ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 21, 2009

    For BARC, A Change (Agent) Is Gonna Come

    Photo by bf_photos BARC has inked a six-month contract with Houston consultant Gerry Fusco to address physical, financial and operational procedures at the troubled animal-control facility. Houston Health and Human Services spokeswoman Kathy Barton told Hair Balls that Fusco will be ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 7, 2009

    BARC Chief Is Fired, With Little In The Way Of Explanation

    BARC Bureau Chief Ray Sim was fired today, spokeswoman Kathy Barton confirmed. She would not give specific reasons, saying only "I think it was just an issue of timing...[it was] not the right time for this guy." Sim began his job in May, after the Department of Health and Human Services conducted a ... More >>

  • News

    July 2, 2009
  • Blogs

    June 25, 2009

    The Chronicle's Columnist, Buying BARC's Spin

    Photo by elvissaToday's Chron column by Lisa Falkenberg, headlined "Finally, a bit of good news out of BARC," might have been more accurately titled "When Public Relations Attacks!" What the column lacks in actual news value and insight, it makes up for by highlighting what might be one of BARC's th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 15, 2009

    BARC Comes Up With Some Answers, Of A Sort

    Photo by R'eyesWe've got updates on last week's BARC stories; the delays of which could have easily been avoided by proactive public relations, which is apparently anathema to the animal control department of the nation's fourth-largest city.Last week's photo of exposed canine cadavers in the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 11, 2009

    Swine Flu Is A Pandemic Now!!! Panic!! Or, In Houston, Don't

    The World Health Organization has declared swine flu to be a pandemic, the first in over 40 years.It's doing it mostly on the basis of a sharp growth in cases in Australia, Japan and Chile, but just about every story on the subject -- at least in America -- mentions Houston.We were, of course, the f ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 11, 2009

    BARC, Showing Its (In)Competence Once Again

    Photo by Martin EveringtonThe captured dog, waiting for BARC, is at least in the shade now.Meet the latest dog who will likely wind up on one of those BARC meatwagons Hair Balls discussed Wednesday.The pictures come from a friend of Jerry Heinemeier, who owns a produce business by Old Spanish Trail ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 12, 2009

    More (Somewhat Meandering, But Nevertheless Entertaining) Tales Of BARC Incompetence

    Photo by Daniel KramerWe're pretty sure the dude who coined that phrase about a hard task being akin to "nailing jelly to a wall" wasn't referring to getting news out of BARC, but he could've been.For one thing, Health and Human Services did not tell the media when BARC hired its new chief, Ray Sim. ... More >>

  • News

    May 7, 2009
  • Blogs

    May 4, 2009

    Here's The Latest On School Closings Due To The "Don't Call It Swine" Flu

    Hamilton Middle School, which was closed Thursday and Friday over swine flu concerns, has reopened, HISD and city officials said.Hamilton had been closed because an individual "had exposure to a known case" of the flu, Health and Human Services spokeswoman Kathy Barton tells Hair Balls. "And subsequ ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 29, 2009

    Swine Flu Death In Mystery Hospital

    The first case of a death from swine flu has been reported -- and it's here in Houston.Of course, it's not exactly a Houstonian who, say, was attending an elementary school in HISD. It was an infant, born in Mexico, who got sick in Brownsville and was transported to Houston and died in a hospital he ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 28, 2009

    "Yappy Hour" Taken By Dad To Go Live On Farm Somewhere; City Promises We Can Visit When We're Older

    No Dogs Allowed. So said the city health department last week when pets and their owners were turned away from a planned "Yappy Hour" at Beaver's on Decatur. The bar and restaurant had done a considerable amount of promoting for the new event, even sending out packets of dog biscuits to th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 28, 2009

    Revenge Of The Swine (And The Obsessive Hand-Washers)

    A swine flu pandemic isn't a "foregone conclusion," according to the new alert level issued yesterday by the World Health Organization. But things are starting to get a little scary. Cue the travel warnings. The United States said not to head south of the border. The European Union said stay aw ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 28, 2009

    Yappy Hour at Beaver's Put Down

    No Dogs Allowed. So said the city health department last week when pets and their owners were turned away from a planned "Yappy Hour" at Beaver's on Decatur. The bar and restaurant had done a considerable amount of promoting for the new event, even sending out packets of dog biscuits to th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 27, 2009

    No Vets At BARC, And A Struggle To Get The Story Straight

    Photo by bf_photosGetting a veterinarian to work weekends at the animal control facility for the nation's fourth-largest city is a real pain.Take Saturday. No vet showed up, even though, according to Health & Human spokesperson Kathy Barton, the city had arranged for a relief vet through a temp ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 9, 2009

    BARC's Problems Still Far Beyond the Scope of the City's Resources

    A faulty anesthesia machine, a dog that nearly escaped during euthanasia, poor lighting, and a busted air conditioning system were among BARC's surgery room problems highlighted in an intra-office e-mail, according to newly released public records. "One of the [anesthesia] machines has a 02 reader ... 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 >>

  • Blogs

    February 3, 2009

    Much-Loved Veterinarian Fired by BARC

    Gil Costas, a part-time veterinarian at Houston's Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care, was fired today for lack of state-mandated certification, Houston Health and Human Services Spokeswoman Kathy Barton told Hair Balls. The news was originally broken by Nicole Sica, editor of the animal-welfare b ... More >>

  • News

    January 29, 2009

    BARC Sucks

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

  • Blogs

    October 17, 2008

    New Health Department HQ Delayed

    Apparently, there’s some unhappy financial stuff going down lately – you might be aware of it if you read the paper or listen to radio news. (Some of us at Hair Balls prefer early-’70s Oui magazines and Cheap Trick.) To help prevent Houston from getting sucked into this new economic abyss, May ... More >>

  • News

    June 5, 2008

    There's a Morning-After Drug to Prevent HIV Infection

    The treatment is called post-exposure prophylaxis. So why do so few medical groups in Houston know about it?

  • News

    August 30, 2007

    Smoked Out

    Will "self-enforcement" be enough for Houston's expanded smoking ban to work?

  • News

    August 4, 2005

    They Walk Among Us

    A closer look at a spiffy downtown park reveals it's crawling with rats

  • News

    June 30, 2005

    Jailhouse Crock

    UTMB's controversial proposed deal with the city dies

  • News

    February 3, 2005

    The Fido Solution

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

  • Dining

    March 29, 2001

    Side Order of Worms?

    You like fresh salmon? So do marine parasites.

  • News

    February 8, 2001

    Hot Shots

    There's a bull market on the meningitis vaccine. Are some doctors cashing in?

  • Dining

    January 25, 2001

    Take a Number

    Does the health department's grading system ensure safe restaurants? Or is it just fuzzy math?

  • News

    June 22, 2000

    Going to the Dogs

    Advocates are working to unleash a plan for a public park where pooches can play

  • News

    February 17, 2000

    Like a Dog in the Dirt

    A jury helps a whistle-blower in his battle against city animal control unit abuses

  • News

    December 24, 1998

    Then There Were None

    Health Department fires a final whistle blower

  • News

    December 3, 1998
  • News

    November 5, 1998

    Downtown Dumping, Dog-Style

    Is a businessman's problem a preview of the poop ahead?

  • News

    July 30, 1998

    Frontline Firing

    A veteran inspector's dismissal raises questions about asking questions in the city's health department

  • News

    July 30, 1998

    Mission Impossible

    Even without the low pay, high turnover and oppressive conditions, city health inspectors can't manage the load

  • News

    June 19, 1997
  • News

    May 29, 1997
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