A few weeks ago, I wrote about BARC’s new rule limiting the animals that foster parents could foster (see below).  I want to take this time to remind everyone that BARC is a HIGH KILL shelter that kills approximately 27,000 animals every single year.  This means 75 animals are killed at BARC EVERY SINGLE DAY. 

BARC is currently sending out emails that BARC has had a spike in Intakes and “BARC is full”.  They are asking for foster parents, as they should.  However, BARC’s new leader, David Atencio, has enacted a new rule that only animals that are under 5 months old or that are sick can be fostered.   I would hazard to say that a large number of animals at BARC do NOT fall into these categories so BARC is excluding a large number of animals from potential foster care.  This new rules makes no sense.  Anytime someone wants to take ANY animal out of BARC to foster, which frees up cage space for another animal, is a good thing and should be accepted.

A concerned citizen wrote BARC and asked if this new rule was true, because it seems just too ridiculous to believe.  She received the following response from a BARC employee: 

“This is true except for experienced BARC fosters. This policy was put into place because we had foster come in and give incorrect phone numbers and we never saw the animal again.  We even had one person say “I heard BARC gives out free animals”.  We had to gain control over the foster network.  I hope this helps…”

Again, this is a facility that kills at least 75 animals every single day,  they had a problem with ONE person giving an incorrect phone number and Atencio’s response is to exclude a huge group of potential foster parents?  So many, many animals will be excluded from the foster program and therefore kept at a HIGH KILL shelter where it is pretty much a guarantee that they will be killed.  

And Atencio’s “solution” doesn’t even address the so called “problem”.   Does Atencio think that people who foster animals under 5 months old are more likely to give the correct phone number?  This makes no sense at all.   Wouldn’t a much better solution be for BARC to just check foster parents phone numbers before they foster an animal?  Pretty simple, no?

This is another ridiculous “solution” from BARC that causes more animals to die.  I want to know when it ends? 

And as far as ONE person saying that BARC is “giving away animals”, well maybe BARC should.    If the option for these animals is almost CERTAIN death if kept at BARC, I think pretty much ANY OTHER option is better,  including giving them away for free.  (And adopters do fill out adoption contracts).  In fact, a recent study found that there was no correlation between the amount of money paid for a pet and the amount of affection or care given to that pet.  NO correlation.  In other words, people who pay hundreds or thousands of dollars (or $55.00 at BARC) are not more likely to love and care for that pet than the people who got their pets for free.   So when the options are very high risk of death and/or disease at BARC vs. being adopted out for free, I’ll take my chances on free.

Previous blog below:

On February 3, 2010, a foster parent was at BARC and offered to foster a 7 year old, owner surrendered, heartworm negative Chihuahua mix.  The employees at the front desk told this foster parent that she could NOT foster this dog because the dog was not sick and was not young enough.  The foster brought up the fact that this was a Senior pet (and therefore less likely to be adopted in a shelter like BARC), but this did not matter.  According to the employees, this is a new policy that has just gone into effect.  The foster wanted to question further but was afraid of making someone at BARC mad and therefore subsequently be banned (volunteers have recently been banned ).

It has been confirmed with BARC management that the new policy states that only dogs under 5 months, and those with injuries and illness are available to foster.   BARC is killing 1,500-1,600 pets every month.  So, to say no to any person willing to take ANY animal, young or old, out of BARC into foster care is an absolute and utter absurdity!

The employee said that the policy was put in place “to get some controls in place around the policy.”   This statement doesn’t even make sense.  And are these so called “controls” really worth the lost lives of the hundreds of dogs entering BARC that do NOT fall under the above 2 categories?   In fact, I would submit that MOST of the dogs entering BARC do NOT fall under these 2 categories. 

This was a missed opportunity to get one more animal out of a HIGH KILLL shelter.  And this was an older animal that is less likely to get adopted.  So when shelters tell us that they “must” kill thousands of animals because there just “aren’t enough homes”, or that older animals “just don’t get adopted”, remember this story.  This is an example of what happens every single day in shelters and THIS is the reason that shelters, like BARC, still kill animals.

It’s time to stop blaming the community.  The community is stepping up, but BARC is turning them away.