BARC plans facility improvements

October 1, 2009 12:27:27 PM PDT
The City of Houston's Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care today announced plans for a proposed $3.3 million renovation of its current facility."We are committed to progress at BARC and these plans, coupled with changes we are making in how the facility operates, will help make a positive difference," said Elena Marks, Director of Health and Environmental Policy in the office of Mayor Bill White, who is helping direct the reorganization of BARC.

The existing BARC facility, at 3200 Carr in the Fifth Ward, includes two kennel buildings completed in 1990 (north) and 2004 (south). The property also includes an administration building and a warehouse.

The proposed renovation plan calls for:

  • Replacing the kennels in the north building with a new facility similar to the south building, with 200 appropriately sized cages
  • Adding a new modular facility for cat housing and renovating the first floor of the north building to include cat "condos"
  • Renovating and enlarging the surgery area in the north building to enable a higher volume of spay/neuter services (up to 50/day)
  • Improving public access by adding a new public parking area

Some $3.3 million has been secured in the city's capital improvements plan to fund the work. The new modular facility for cats will be in place within 30 days, and the construction of the remaining improvements is expected to be under way in June 2010.

To see preliminary drawings of the proposed renovations, go to http://www.houstontx.gov/barc/renovation.pdf.

BARC also plans to construct a new facility, to be named the Ann Young Animal Center, including an adoption program, a veterinary clinic and a dog park in Gragg Park, 2999 South Wayside at Wheeler. This facility will be made possible in large part by the generous bequest left to BARC by Ann Slemons Young, who died in 2007.

According to Houston officials, Young's dream was for BARC to have a state-of-the-art adoption facility to enhance the ability to find homes for the 25,000+ dogs and cats brought to BARC each year. The preliminary plans call for a 30,000-square-foot building and the dog park on a 5.5 acre tract across the road from the Houston Parks and Recreation Department offices. More details about this proposal will be announced at a later date.

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