BARC Houston receives grant to support free spay neuter programs

Helping People and Pets: BARC Houston Receives Mars Petcare Grant
HOUSTON – BARC, the City of Houston’s Animal Shelter and Adoption Center, is excited to announce that it has received a $20,000 grant from Mars Petcare to support its Healthy Pets Healthy Streets (HPHS) program, which provides free spay/neuter services to owned pets of qualifying Houston residents. As a 2022 BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ Program Grant recipient, BARC will be able to expand outreach for the Healthy Pets, Healthy Streets initiative through translated program materials and marketing to more pet parents in underserved areas, including Houston’s Complete Communities.

“I am incredibly proud of the Healthy Pets, Healthy Streets initiative, our strategic, targeted approach to reduce pet overpopulation, promote pet wellness and educate Houstonians on responsible pet ownership in our community,» said Mayor Sylvester Turner. «We are grateful to Mars Petcare for providing us with this grant, which will support expanded marketing of Houston’s free spay and neuter services to communities impacted by the language barrier and digital divide.»

Through HPHS, BARC teams up with several of Houston’s top pet advocacy organizations to use a strategic, targeted approach to reduce pet overpopulation, promote pet wellness, and educate Houstonians on what responsible pet ownership looks like. The initiative offers free spay/neuter and wellness services to pet owners in neighborhoods with a large number of stray animals and dog bite complaints in the City. With the help of the Better Cities for Pets grant, BARC will be able to develop new marketing materials in multiple languages. Working directly with trusted community leaders in Houston’s Complete Communities, BARC will be able to market HPHS to Houston pet owners who directly benefit from these free services.

Mars Petcare’s BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ program, which was created in partnership with city planning and animal welfare experts and government stakeholders, helps cities become pet-friendly with free online resources, a playbook for cities, city and airport certification programs, grants, best practice research and policy advocacy. The program has awarded nearly half a million dollars in grants to support pet-friendly initiatives since its inception in 2017.

«Through our recent ‘Pets for Better Wellbeing’ Report we know that more than ninety percent of pet parents feel that their relationship with their pets helped improve their mental and physical wellbeing over the last three years even while navigating the challenges of the pandemic,» said Lisa Campbell, Vice President of Corporate Affairs, Mars Petcare. «With dogs and cats playing an increasingly important role in our lives, the BETTER CITIES FOR PETS program aims to help cities recognize and support the benefits pets bring through grants, toolkits and resources.»

HPHS is a comprehensive, quality of life improvement for both the pets and the people living in Houston. More healthy and sterilized pets means healthier and safer streets and sidewalks. See if you live inside the City of Houston limits to qualify. Learn more about HPHS: