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Barrio Dogs “Freedom for All” Community March
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Houston, Texas – In an effort to raise community awareness about animal overpopulation, mistreatment and neglect, Barrio Dogs is holding a “Freedom for All” community march on July 4, 2012, in Houston’s East End.
The event begins at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, July 4 in Hidalgo Park located at 7000 Avenue Q. Participants will gather in the park and march through the surrounding neighborhood. They will meet back at the park for a rally featuring speakers and information about low-cost spay neuter alternatives, proper pet care and tips for reporting animal abuse and neglect and dogs chained under conditions prohibited by Texas law.¹
“I think residents are fed up with the homeless, unwanted and abused dogs they witness daily in certain parts of the East End like Hidalgo Park,” said Barrio Dogs’ founder and president Gloria Medina Zenteno. “Barrio Dogs is desperately trying to spread the word that spay neuter is the only solution to Houston’s animal overpopulation. We want to urge residents to spay and neuter their pets and encourage them to call authorities when they see neglected, abused or chained animals. Our goal is to engage residents and local civic and political leaders in finding a solution to these problems that diminish the quality of life in our community.”
Barrio Dogs was formed in March 2010 when native Houstonian Zenteno returned to the Greater East End after years away and was appalled to see so many homeless, neglected and mistreated animals in her old neighborhood. She worked with animal rescue groups but quickly realized that rescue work would never end and that a solution addressing the root of the problem was needed. With that belief, Barrio Dogs was born.
Barrio Dogs’ mission is to educate, empower and transform the East End community by raising awareness about proper animal care and the importance of spaying and neutering pets. Barrio Dogs carries out its mission by teaching East End residents that animal birth control, humane treatment and care of pets and zero tolerance for animal neglect and abuse will create safer, healthier, higher property value communities for themselves and their families. The 2010 Health of Houston survey by the University of Texas School of Public Health found that stray animals are the biggest public health concern for 61% of East End residents; crime was a distant second with 33% of residents citing it as their biggest concern.²
Comprised completely of volunteers, Barrio Dogs’ approach to helping the East End’s animals has resonated with many people, not just dog lovers. By focusing on the reasons why homeless and mistreated dogs exist, Barrio Dogs hopes to shed light on some of the community’s core problems and their possible long-term solutions. Teaching children how to take proper care of their dogs is one solution. So is urging people to spay and neuter their pets and providing help for those who cannot afford it. Encouraging someone to pick up the telephone and call the authorities when he or she sees an abused or neglected animal can transform and empower that person to do something about other problems in the community. Barrio Dogs is hopeful that all these small steps will eventually bring about a big change. For more information, please visit Barrio Dogs at
or contact by email at
¹Texas Health & Safety Code, Sec. 821.077
²Health of Houston survey 2010,
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