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Baltimore's homeless and abused animals need help. More than 11,000 unwanted, abused and stray animals enter the doors of the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS) each year – dogs, cats, kittens, puppies, even wildlife and exotic animals.

BARCS is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization operating Maryland’s largest open-admission animal shelter and pet adoption center, nestled in downtown Baltimore's Federal Hill neighborhood.

Our shelter grants refuge to every abandoned, neglected, abused, lost or surrendered animal that comes through our door - a staggering 30 or more animals are surrendered to BARCS daily, every single day of the year. No matter what the circumstance, we do not turn away any animal in need of shelter, food and a loving touch.

Many of the animals BARCS cares for were abandoned or given up by owners who can no longer care for them. Too many animals come to the shelter as victims of abuse or hit-and-run accidents.

Formerly the Baltimore City Municipal Animal Shelter, BARCS was recognized as a non-profit in July 2005. Since then, BARCS has hired new staff, created new programs and changed the shelter's standard operations. These changes have helped us dramatically increase adoptions and rescues, along with a significant decrease in euthanasia – all on a very-limited, shoestring budget. With your help we can do even more.

2016 Shelter Reports and Statistics

2015 Shelter Reports and Statistics

How Far We've Come

What does progress look like? When you step into our bustling adoption lobby today, it's hard to imagine that only a decade ago, most pets who entered this very-same building lost their lives. Only 2% of the animals were spared, while the other 98% were euthanized without a hope of finding a family. Today, BARCS is saving more than 88% of the animals brought to our shelter – a number that positively increases each and every year since our inception. 

Our Vision For The Future

BARCS's vision is to become a model open-admission shelter, a shelter that does not turn away an animal that has no place to go, and a true resource for the people and animals of Baltimore. We envision an animal shelter where all animals in good health and temperament find new homes, where they are housed in a low-stress, comfortable environment, where spay/neuter surgeries are offered at low-cost to the Baltimore community, where residents can turn in times of personal crisis for help with their pet, where citizens are educated on the proper care of animals, and where abused and neglected animals can receive the love and care they need to recover.

We are proud of our accomplishments over the past few years, but with increased financial support, we can achieve much more. It is a critical time for BARCS – our resources are limited and much of our work is done by volunteers and a small dedicated staff.

Our goals are to build a new larger shelter to comfortably house the large volume of animals we receive and enable us to expand our programs and services, continue to raise awareness and community support in order to expand our life-saving programs, and create a more humane city for all of our animals.