Big changes coming to BARC

July 21, 2009 12:21:13 PM PDT
Some big changes are on the way to Houston's Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care, or BARC. Weeks after the city fired BARC's director, it now says the department needs an overhaul. Along with some physical changes, the city says it's working on hiring an outside firm to develop management strategies.

It's also re-training employees on better ways to identify illnesses inside kennels and how to treat them. But advocates say they've heard the same promises before, with a reorganization of BARC taking place two years ago. They wonder what will be different this time around.

"That's what they said before and nothing changes," said pet owner Kakie Parker.

"We're taking extra precautions because we recognize the heartbreak," said Michael Terrasco with Houston Health & Human Services.

In addition to cleaner facilities, dogs entering the pound are now being vaccinated on the truck. At the facility itself, the puppy ward is now locked and only accessible with an attendant. Dogs which may be sick are being quarantined from the general population.

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