HOUSTON- Pets bless their owners every day with unconditional love. Now BARC Animal Shelter and Adoptions wishes to bless them in return. BARC, in partnership with the Episcopal Diocese and Houston Pet Talk Magazine, is holding its Third Annual Pet Blessing Event Saturday, October 13, at its facility, located at 3200 Carr Street, Houston 77026. This nondenominational pet blessing begins at 2:15 p.m.
Staff, volunteers and supporters at BARC hope the pet blessing event will also drive more adopters to the shelter. BARC is bursting at the seams with puppies, dogs, cats and kittens and every one of them deserves a home, just like the animals that will come with their families for the blessing. All dogs at BARC will be available for $20 and all cat adoption fees will be waived (thanks to a generous sponsorship by a BARC supporter) from Friday, October 12 - Sunday, October 14. To view a list of the animals available for adoption at the shelter, visit BARC's website.
"We hope this event results not only in numerous pet blessings for Houston's pets, but we also hope it ends with a completely empty shelter. We want BARC's animals to have the opportunity to receive a blessing and go home with their forever family all in one day," said Chris Newport, BARC spokesman. "During just the first nine days of October, we took in 603 dogs and cats, averaging 100 each day we were open. And in September, we took in 835 dogs and cats. That's a 40 percent increase from September 2011! The intake numbers just keep going up and to save all of these animals, Houstonians must get involved."
Given that many churches and other establishments have already held their pet blessing events, this could be one of Houston's last chances to participate in the pet blessing celebration that so many have already participated in. Pet owners throughout Houston's community and the surrounding areas are welcome. BARC adopters, rescue animals and service animals are particularly encouraged to attend. Pets must be on a leash or in a crate at all times.
"The Episcopal Church offers animal blessings in most of our churches to celebrate St. Francis' ministry and we recognize the unconditional love that exists between dogs and cats and their owners," said Carol Barnwell, Communication Director for the Episcopal Diocese of Texas. "We are delighted that BARC has invited us to celebrate and we hope everyone who is able will consider adopting one of these deserving animals. More importantly, we hope people participate in spay and neutering options for their pets so there will not be so many animals without homes in the future."
BARC has plenty of fun family festivities planned before and after the pet blessing takes place. The animal shelter will have live music by Eric Hungerford and friends beginning at 1 p.m., free food and beverages, a moon bounce for the kids, face painting and more. BARC will also have low-cost vaccinations and $25 microchipping services for pets all day.
There will even be a pet costume contest with judges such as Houston Pet Talk Magazine Editor, Michelle Mantor, and KPRC Channel 2 News' Mary Lee! The contest starts at 3 p.m. Pet owners are encouraged to bring an award-winning costume for their pet for a chance to win big. It's a great opportunity for pet owners to let their animals strut their stuff in creative and "out of the box" costumes for all to see, especially as Houstonians' gear up for Halloween.
More than 10 vendors will have booths set up at the pet blessing event, including Pet Paradise, Houston Dog Park Association, Angel Pets, Fondren 5 Star Kennels, Bark Busters, Haute Pets Mobile Grooming Salon, All About Doody Pet Waste Removal Service and Products, Lightfoot Way, Maggies House, Katz Coffee and Westbury Animal Hospital. Pet owners will have the opportunity to speak directly with these vendors, and even try out some of the services for free.
BARC's pet adoption package includes spay/neuter surgery, age appropriate vaccinations, a city license, a microchip with lifetime registration and more.
To adopt, citizens must be 18 years of age with a current Driver's License or ID and must provide proof of current address. Those who rent must have landlord approval. Adopters must have permission of all adults living at the residence and other animals residing at the residence must be current on vaccinations. BARC will only accept payment by cash or check at the event. Other details about BARC's adoption process is listed on the "About Adopting at BARC" page on BARC's website.
If you are unable to permanently adopt a pet but would like to help animals in need, BARC encourages you to consider becoming a volunteer or foster pet parent at BARC. Visit www.houstonbarc.com or www.Facebook.com/BARCHouston for more information.
Don't forget to check out BARC's latest videos, including this week's update on the ASPCA $100K Challenge, by visiting www.YouTube.com/WeAreBARC.
The simplest, but most powerful thing you can do to help BARC, and pets throughout our community, is to talk to your friends, neighbors, and family about caring for pets responsibly. To donate to BARC online via the Houston BARC Foundation, click here.
We encourage everyone to visit BARC online at www.houstonbarc.com.