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  News from the Maryland Veterinary Medical Association                                                   Winter 2013

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BARCS in Brief, 2005-2012
by Jennifer Brause, Executive Director

Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter, BARCS, gained its non-profit 501(c)(3) status in 2005 as the organization separated from Baltimore City’s Bureau of Animal Control. Our mission is to accept and care for all animals in need and promotes responsible pet ownership for a more humane community in Baltimore City. BARCS oversees shelter operations and programs, including: housing and care for shelter animals; lost and found; pet licenses; adoptions; volunteer; foster; rescue; and low-cost vaccination and microchip clinics, while Animal Control continues to enforce the Health Code regarding strays, rabies and bite quarantines, and to investigate animal cruelty and neglect cases. The partnership allows BARCS to function more flexibly as a nonprofit while maintaining the backing of the city government for basic operations. With the increased revenues BARCS has been able to offer more services, with focus on animal care and adoption, extending to spaying and neutering for animals in its adoption program, public education and outreach, tracking of lost and found pets, sponsoring low-cost vaccination and microchip clinics, and providing low cost dog training classes.

We are very proud of our accomplishments! BARCS takes in over 12,000 dogs and cats and other species, and successfully places or helps to foster approximately half. The adoption programs and new relationships with foster and rescue groups helped to reduce the euthanasia rate from 98% in 2004 to 28% in 2011. We receive an average of 33 new animals every day and are caring directly for about 300 animals each day. Our yearly budget has increased from $450,000 in 2006 to over $1,900,000 through public generosity, services and public grants. We have a long way to go, but we are getting there!

BARCS is appreciative of the support of the veterinary community and wants to nurture and support relationships with Maryland veterinarians. Please contact us for more information or a tour of our facility by writing to or visit our website at

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Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter


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