CitizensNet Banner


December 27, 2023

Volunteer to Save a Life: BARC to Launch Tiered Program in New Year

BARC, the City of Houston's Animal Shelter and Adoption Center, invites you to volunteer to save a life in the new year and join the shelter's Tiered Volunteer Program, launching in 2024. BARC's new tiered system will offer animal lovers of all experience levels an opportunity to help through four new levels: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and a unique tier, the BARC Buddies, for volunteers who cannot or chose not to handle larger animals in the shelter but still want to assist in other areas.

"Our tiered program is here to help make it as easy as possible to jump right in to lend a paw at the shelter by organizing our new and existing volunteers into groups according to level of experience and time donated to the shelter," said BARC's Shelter Director Jarrad Mears. "If volunteering is on your New Year's resolution list in 2024, we encourage you to consider helping out our shelter pets and joining this new program."

Interested in volunteering but are either new or completely unfamiliar with animal handling? Under the tiered system, participants will learn as Beginners from BARC's more experienced volunteers in the Advanced levels, some of whom have been volunteering with BARC for decades. BARC also offers regular training courses established to help participants learn more about our animals.

Experienced volunteers are also welcome and encouraged to get involved. BARC's Tiered Program is designed to factor in more than just time dedicated to the shelter. If you’re new to Houston or to BARC but have loads of critter know-how, then you will be placed in the appropriate tier that best represents your abilities. Sign up today at or email to learn how you can support your local city animal shelter!

BARC Volunteers Graphic

About BARC
BARC, the City of Houston's Animal Shelter and Adoption Center, takes in more than 25,000 animals annually regardless of behavior, breed, or medical condition. BARC works each day to improve Houstonians and their pets' health and safety by pioneering programs such as low-cost and no-cost spay/neuter services, mobile adoptions, transfer/rescue partnerships, and community outreach.

Visit or for more information.