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City of Houston
News Release
Monday, December 19, 2011

Council Member Edward Gonzalez and BARC Animals Receive Holiday Gift
from Natural Pawz Family

Houston – At 9:00 a.m., December 16, 2011, BARC and Council Member Edward Gonzalez met at Natural Pawz The Heights, 514 W. 19th Street, to accept a wonderful, second-annual Holiday gift from Natural Pawz.  Throughout the year, Natural Pawz gives food and supplies from their warehouse to support BARC’s Foster Food Pantry.  Natural Pawz kicked their support into high gear during the month of October, when co-owners Biff Picone and Nadine Joli-Coeur launched "Natural Pawz for the Cauze" to benefit BARC, the City of Houston adoption center and animal shelter.  Customers donated food and other pet supplies at each of the 8 Natural Pawz locations.  The month-long drive received overwhelming support from the community and generated $10,000 worth of much-needed supplies for BARC animals at. 

Recently, Biff and Nadine heard about BARC's work to implement the ASPCA program known as Meet-Your-Match.  As a part of Meet-Your-Match, adoptable dogs and cats are given a behavior assessment to establish their Canine- or Feline–ality.  Potential adopters then go through an interview process to match lifestyle preferences with appropriate BARC pet categories.   To help with the rollout of this program, Biff and Nadine came to BARC and offered their expertise with the latest and greatest in dog and cat toys, and are working with BARC to provide more toys to keep our animals busy and engaged while they are in our care.  The toys really help to draw out the true behavior characteristics of the BARC future pets, which provide a more accurate assessment.

Natural Pawz is Houston's #1 health food store for pets, and BARC is honored to have the support of the customers of such a great company.  According to Biff:”The people at BARC are true heroes because they're faced every day with the insurmountable task of caring for the abandoned animals in the Houston area.  They have the dedication and fortitude to really make BARC a model for what's happening in our region.  They've done a lot to upgrade this year and BARC is now leading the way.  We want to help those things and give back to the community, and we are happy to present this gift to BARC on behalf of the Natural Pawz family.”

Council Member Edward Gonzalez has championed BARC’s turnaround and path of progress.  For the second consecutive year, he accepted the Natural Pawz Holiday gift on behalf of BARC.  At the ceremony, Council Member Gonzalez offered: “I really thank Natural Pawz for their wonderful gift this Holiday season, it's really going to help the pets at BARC.  You've been a great community partner, and I thank you for that.  BARC is headed in the right direction and wonderful things are happening every day, this gift from Natural Pawz will make more things possible."

BARC General Manager David Atencio expressed his gratitude on behalf of the BARC pets and their caring team: “For the second year, Natural Pawz has given us such a wonderful gift.  It means the world to have the community behind us; it does take the community to help create the solution for the homeless pets here in Houston.  BARC has a lot of dogs and cats that need homes, and this is a great step towards making that happen.  Thanks to the BARC team and to Natural Pawz for making today happen."

With the gracious donations from Natural Pawz, BARC is able to provide additional support for animals in foster care, which creates the opportunity for more animals to be either fostered or adopted.  This holiday gift will result in more BARC animals finding new homes by:

  • Supplying high-quality natural pet food to BARC fosters for free, which eases the burden for foster homes and results in more foster homes and animals.
  • Improving the mood and behavior of adoptable BARC animals from all the great toys!  More play time makes our animals happier and healthier, and this can make all the difference when potential adopters visit BARC adoption suites.
  • Setting a great community example by helping BARC change the future for Houston's homeless animals.  

You can help BARC in many ways, even if today is not the right time to adopt another member into your pack.  To donate to BARC online via the Houston BARC Foundation, click here.  Interested individuals may view adoptable animals on BARC's website or on BARC's Facebook page. 

"Houston is a great pet community, and City residents support us so much. We want folks to know that BARC is the place to come if you're looking for a new animal companion, and that we recognize everyone who supports our shelter and animals.  We also hope we get to introduce ourselves to Houston residents that may not be familiar with us, or haven't visited BARC lately," said Carlene Lormand, BARC Marketing & Outreach Manager. Customers who are intested in fostering healthy and adoptable dogs or cats temporarily may learn more on BARC's website

The simplest, but most powerful thing you can do to help the BARC Houston shelter, and pets throughout our community, is to talk to your friends, neighbors, and family about caring for pets responsibly, and spaying and neutering all animals.  

We encourage everyone to visit us online at

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