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November 30, 2023

BARC Launches 'Home for the Holidays' with Empty the Shelters Campaign, Offers Full Month of Events

BARC, the City of Houston's Animal Shelter and Adoption Center, is bringing hope to Houston's shelter pets this holiday season with its annual Home for the Holidays campaign. All December, BARC will be hosting a variety of holiday-themed adoption events and campaigns to help find homes for shelter pets and offer family friendly activities for Houston pet owners.

To kick off this year's campaign, BARC will be partnering with BISSELL Pet Foundation, a national animal welfare organization dedicated to ending pet homelessness, for the next “Empty the Shelters – Holiday Hope” adoption event December 1 – 17. This event will be hosted in more than 380 shelters in 43 states, including BARC.

Thanks to BISSELL Pet Foundation's sponsorship, BARC will completely waive all adoption fees during this year's event from December 1 - 17. In addition to Empty the Shelters, BARC will be hosting the following events in December for Home for the Holidays:

  • Dec 2: Offsite Adoption Event - Home for the Pawlidays
    • 2025 West 11th Street, Houston 77008
  • Dec 9: Community Outreach Event - Kendra Scott Gives Back
    • 714 Yale St Suite 1D, Houston, TX 77007
  • Dec 16: Offsite Adoption Event - PetSmart
    • 1907 Taylor St. Houston, TX 77007
  • Dec 16-17: Pictures with Santa Paws
    • 3300 Carr St. 12 - 5 p.m.
  • Dec 23rd: Home for the Holidays Finale. Waived Adoption Fees!
    • 3300 Carr St. 12 - 5 p.m.

BARC's adoption center is located at 3300 Carr Street and is open the following hours:

  • Noon - 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Friday - Sunday
  • Noon - 7 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays

BARC will be closed for all services December 22, December 24, and December 25. Although BARC is closed for adoptions on Mondays, Urgent Pets can be adopted via the shelter's 3200 Carr St. entrance those days. Learn more about adopting from BARC:

"Our nation's animal shelters need your help as they face an overcrowding crisis unlike anything we have experienced in more than a decade. The devastating increase in owner surrenders and stray intakes has left tens of thousands of deserving pets desperate to find a home," said Cathy Bissell, Founder of BISSELL Pet Foundation. "Our 'Empty the Shelters – Holiday Hope' event is the perfect opportunity to make a difference in your community by saving a life and creating space to give another homeless pet a chance this holiday season."

"The BARC team has been proactive this fiscal year in finding creative ways to improve our live release rate and target Houston's stray animal crisis at the source. This includes extending hours for our adoptions, foster, and rescue offices twice a week; partnering with offsite kenneling facilities; and receiving approval from City Council to spend almost $1 million on spay and neuter programs," said Shelter Director Jarrad Mears. "Partnerships with external partners have been crucial to these initiatives, and we're grateful to the BISSELL Pet Foundation for once again allowing us to waive all adoption fees."

BISSELL Pet Foundation’s “Empty the Shelters” event is the largest funded adoption event in the country. This lifesaving event began in 2016 with a goal of encouraging more families to choose adoption. More than 204,000 pets have found loving homes since its inception. “Empty the Shelters” is BISSELL Pet Foundation’s largest program, partnering with 730 animal welfare organizations in 49 states and Canada to reduce adoption fees.

Pet adoption is a lifetime commitment, and not just for the holidays. BISSELL Pet Foundation and BARC urge families to research the pet they are interested in adopting, as well as adoption requirements. For more information on adopting or donating to “Empty the Shelters,” visit and

Empty the Shelters Graphic