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Health and Human Services


July 21, 2009
Contact Kathy Barton 713-794-9998
Porfirio Villarreal 713-794-9021

The Houston Department of Health and Human Services (HDHHS) has hired Gerard Fusco to direct the reconfiguration of the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care (BARC).  BARC, the city animal regulatory agency and shelter, has struggled in recent months to improve adoptions and other services which will reduce animal euthanasia.  Fusco has significant experience in turning around troubled organizations.

HDHHS Director Stephen Williams stated, “We believe the chance of long-term success at BARC will be greatly enhanced if we can bring in a change agent to guide the reorganization, hire new leadership and build bridges with the community.”

Fusco brings a deep understanding of people and operational processes to BARC.  He has been asked to address three critical aspects of BARC:

  • Process improvement, including developing and staffing an effective organization; workflow improvements; and developing and implementing a dynamic volunteer program.
  • Infrastructure, including the need to improve financial and operational reporting; enhance the use of technology; upgrade the physical facility within budgetary constraints; and develop process for regular and proactive communication.
  • Increase the live release rate of animals that enter the shelter by implementing field strategies to reduce impoundment of dogs and cats; develop strategies to move more animals out of the shelter quickly through adoption, rescue placement and foster homes; and develop a high volume/low cost spay and neuter service for the community.

The city is conducting a national search for a new bureau chief for BARC.
Fusco’s contract will extend for six months at a cost of up to $208,000.

Note to media:  Mr. Fusco will be available for interview opportunities late next week.