Fox 26 reported that “BARC Changes Paying Off Dividends”. But is it true?

On Feb 5, 2010, Fox 26 reported that “BARC Changes Paying Off Dividends”.  See report here:

First, I am happy that dogs are now getting out of their cages during the week.  This was the issue that got me started trying to help the animals at BARC in the first place after I found out that the dogs never got out of their kennels 24/7 unless a volunteer did it.  Not only was it cruel but the dogs were coming to adoption events COMPLETELY stir crazy and hard to adopt out.  I also do hope that this new procedure includes dogs in the North kennels not just the South kennels.

Second, I “think” that perhaps Fox misquoted Mr. Atencio and he probably meant there were 500 Outtakes (not just adoptions) in Jan 2009 vs. 900 Outtakes in Jan 2010.   However, I have a couple problems with this statement:

 1) We know that BARC’s records have historically been vastly incorrect. Mr. Fusco admitted that about 95% of Chameleon was wrong when he started.  He claims that it is largely up to date now, but I have doubts.  One reason I have doubts is that the HSPCA called a BARC foster parent regarding a cat that was at their shelter. The microchip was registered to the foster so the SPCA called her.  The foster parent still had BARC’s “A” number for the cat so she called to find out the new owner’s contact information.  However, BARC still had the cat registered to the foster parent.  This was a cat that had been adopted at No Kill Houston’s adoption event almost 3 months prior.  BARC cashed NKH’s checks which were attached to the adoption contracts, but didn’t bother to update Chameleon with the new owner’s information.  This is not isolated.  Foster parents know that a lot of their records are wrong.  

It should be noted that if this cat had not gone into foster care before being adopted, it would have been yet another pet that BARC claims it “has” to kill because they just can’t find enough homes.  But, this is a cat who was adopted,  has a home, and BARC even has the new owner’s name “somewhere” at their facility.  However, since BARC is unable to find the new owner’s name in their own computer system to return this pet to her owner, this would be another death and another excuse to kill that doesn’t fly.

2) BARC has not posted Intake and Outtake information on their website since Oct 2009 so who knows if these numbers are correct or what the break down really is?

3) From a “bar chart” that BARC produced by Fusco, it appeared that Outtakes had gone up by about 100-125 vs. the previous month.   Although I’m glad that Outtakes are going up, if in fact they are going up, this means BARC is STILL killing 1,500-1,600 animals EVERY MONTH.  Personally, I expected a MUCH larger increase in Outtakes from Mr. Fusco’s six month reign.  Wasn’t that supposed to be the main goal…. to stop the killing?

3) BARC has been less than transparent and still is. I’d have a lot more respect if they didn’t appear to be hiding records.  A friend has done several FOIA records requests to BARC/city of Houston and MANY are being appealed to the Attorney General. The city has appealed the request to produce records in connection with an adoption event in which BARC claimed to have adopted out the most animals in BARC’s history.  

If they really adopted out that many animals, why would they try to hide the records?    Why object to producing records that would validate your claims?    It’s very suspicious, and again less than transparent.

Fusco stated in an interview on August 3, 2009 that “everyone will know what we are doing”.   Considering the above, this just seems to be more of the same bureaucratic double speak that we’ve come to know at BARC. 

Do you feel like the $200,000+ of your tax money that the city spent on the Change Agent was worth it?