February 2013

Please Donate Now


Helping homeless animals has never been easier. Click Here to support BARCS and help the animals of Baltimore City find new homes. BARCS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. All donations are tax-deductible. Thank you for supporting BARCS!

Dear Friend of BARCS



Not long ago, while hurricane Sandy was forming in the Atlantic and her exact path was still unknown, BARCS sent out an SOS.  Being right on the water, a direct hit could have swamped the shelter.


The storm largely passed us by, but the response to our distress call was awesome!  In less than a day, several hundred compassionate community volunteers and dozens of dedicated staff members organized the relocation of every cat and dog in our facility—220 in all.  The effort was truly inspirational and though we’ve already said it, we can’t say thanks enough. First, a special thank you is due to First Mariner Arena for opening its doors to the homeless animals in our care and providing them with a safe, dry place to rest their heads during the storm.  Our neighbors, the Hoffberger Moving Company and their awesome drivers, were also amazing -- donating their time and vehicles to make countless trips to get everyone to the Arena and back. Trucks and other support were also provided by Sit Stay Style grooming, Jasmine’s House Rescue, and Full Moon Marketing and Events.  And dozens of other compassionate heroes simply showed up with trucks, SUVs and even horse trailers. This was our first time evacuating and we couldn’t have done it without all of you!  So, for carrying animals, lifting heavy crates, lugging giant bags of food and kitty litter, filling food and water bowls, and cleaning lots and lots of poo -- with all our hearts, THANK YOU!!


BARCS still needs your help. Whether by donating items from our wish list, making a cash donation, or volunteering your time, BARCS needs support from people like you to continue doing what we do best. Over the next year we especially need to expand our spay and neuter program so we can work towards having fewer abandoned kittens and puppies. We also need to increase funds for dire medical care.


BARCS staff and volunteers do an incredible job of caring for the animals that come through our doors.  Last year we took in almost 12,000 dogs and cats and found homes for over 7,500 of them. In fact, we significantly increased our number of adoptions and were recognized with a $35,000 award through the Rachel Ray ASPCA Adoption Challenge for being the leader in the Northeast Division.   In addition, our volunteers donated an amazing 25,000 hours of their time to walk dogs, socialize cats, help at special events and do whatever was asked of them.


What we need most of all though, is help finding homes for the many deserving animals that come to BARCS.  Does your dog need a playmate?  Does your cat need a cuddle buddy?  Or, if your own house is full, could you tell your family, friends and co-workers that BARCS is the place to go for a lovable, furry, friendly dog or cat?


I look forward to keeping you up to date in Paw Prints, our new BARCS newsletter.  But we’d rather see you in person, so please come down and see us. 


Thank you again!



Jennifer Brause, Executive Director


BARCStoberfest 2012

BARCS Biggest Event of the Year

Where else but BARCStoberfest 2012 could you see a bunch of Chihuahuas dressed up as a box of Crayons? Or, other pets costumed as a Peacock, Hula girl, Space Shuttle or Angry Birds? Nearly 5,000 people and their pets came out in droves to Patterson Park by the Pagoda throughout the beautiful day in October. BARCS was able to raise almost $160,000 in much-needed funds and in kind contributions, as well as promote BARCS awareness, all of which directly benefits the homeless animals in our care. We also found new forever homes for many of the homeless BARCS animals that we featured at BARCStoberfest.


More than 350 runners, half with their dogs, ran in our inaugural Ready…Set…Sniff 5k run/walk. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake made sure that the race got off on the right foot, along with Council President Young and Councilman Curran. Although scheduling conflicts didn’t allow for Honorary Co-Chairs Matt and Maria Wieters to attend, they were there in spirit.


Celebrity judges Lil Black from 92Q, Jill Rosen from the Baltimore Sun, Purple Dame, Stan Stovall from WBALTV and Josh Spiegel  from 98 Rock had a great time judging all of the  pet contests.


Guests also enjoyed great human and pet food and treats, gathered information from all of our pet health and welfare specialists, danced to the music from DJ Triple M, attended a pet blessing, got their pets micro-chipped, won great prizes in the silent auction and raffles, met many area animal rescues and were kept on their toes thanks to our two wonderful volunteer MCs who spent the entire day on the stage with us.


It was the terrific support from all of our sponsors who make BARCStoberfest pawsible!


Our Platinum Paws sponsors are: Eddie’s of Roland Park, 98 Rock, 1090 am WBAL, Baltimore Style Magazine and The Baltimore Sun.


Golden Paws sponsors are: Caroline Griffin and Henry C. Dugan, Jr., Chesapeake Veterinary Surgical Specialists, Diana Bevensee and the Leffler Agency, Eight O’Clock Coffee, Floors, Etc., Harbour Signs & Graphics, Pet Valu, Wendy’s and Zips Dry Cleaners.


Silver Paws sponsors are Alex Spector, DowntownDiane.net, MD Pet Gazette, Mike Plaisted and Maggie Webbert and M&T Bank.


Bronze Paws sponsors include: Associated Administrators, Bark & Blooms, Baytown Painting, Cigna, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company,  Downtown Dog Resort & Day Spa, Eastern Animal Hospital, Giant, The Greene Turtle, Investment Performance Services, OHL Global Freight Management & Logistics, The Shop-Full Graphics Services, The Jetty Restaurant & Deck Bar, Safeway, Tucker Diggs Foundation, Vendegrift Forwarding Company and WORK printing and graphics.


A special thank you to all of our wonderful volunteers and staff for making BARCStoberfest loads of fun and a huge success--we couldn't have done it without all of your help and dedication.


Mark your calendars now for Saturday, October 19 for BARCStoberfest 2013! See you there!



Chester Had Given Up, But Fate Had Other Plans


For a very, very old animal in distress, the final act often involves simply laying down, closing eyes and waiting for an ending of some sort to happen along.  I’m done, says the animal.  And then, usually, it is.


Three months ago, Chester was just that animal, albeit a more dramatic variation that chose as his lying down spot, the middle of a busy Baltimore street.  Heedless of cars, trucks and other wheeled hazards that sped by, Chester simply laid down.  And who could blame him?  Chester was 17 years old.  He had only a smattering of teeth.  He was hairless from the shoulder down and covered with fleas.  He was missing a big flap of skin on his nose and had an ugly scab under his right eye.  One wonders how he survived whatever conflict produced those wounds; Chester weighed barely six pounds.       


But then fate stepped in, in the form of an anonymous passerby, who saw Chester, stopped traffic with her car, picked him up and brought him to BARCS.  There, things began to look up, as much as they can for a near-death animal with no real chance of ever being adopted. 


Within a few days of his arrival, Chester had, against all odds, perked up.  After some treatment and loving care, his fleas were gone.  To everyone’s surprise, he ate something.  When volunteers came in to give him a sympathetic scratch, he purred a little, saying in his own way, “That’s it.  Good, human.  Good.”  


And then Heather Garner and her five year old son James saw him.  Heather’s first thought was, “Oh my, he looks horrible.”   Heather had adopted a string of “lost cause” cats from BARCS over the years, and she knew what an unadoptable cat looked like.  It looked like Chester. 


So naturally she asked to see him.  Chester turned out to be a talker and they bonded almost immediately.  James agreed and an hour later, they took him home for what they expected might be a short, sweet stay, followed by an end of some sort.  How long could this decrepit, 17-year old cat possibly have? 


They didn’t know, or care, but they did want to make it a good stay however long it might last. Their philosophy:  all animals deserve to be someone's pet even if only for a few days.


That was 3 months ago. 


Today, Chester’s hair has grown back.  The scab under his eye has healed.  He’s eating.  He’s gained a full pound.  He talks non-stop and has even made friends with the family’s two big-enough-for-roughhousing dogs.  When he wants attention, he head butts his people and crawls into their laps.  He still looks for a spot to lie down, but now it’s usually next to James who, in a show of solidarity with the new member of the family, moved his own bed down onto the floor to make it easier for the two of them to snuggle. 


“The two of them together are absolutely adorable,” says Heather.  “James brings him food and sometimes tells me that he wants to go hang out with the cat.  He’s learning to appreciate animals on a totally different level.”



BARCS Wins $35,000 in 2012 ASPCA Rachel Ray $100K Challenge

Shelter Saved 2,054 Pets in Three Months!  


We are thrilled to have won $35,000 in the 2012 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge for a total of $41,000 in since the Challenge started in August 2012.  BARCS found homes for 2,053 pets during the three-month competition, an increase of 679 lives saved over the same period last year. 50 shelters from across the United States worked to increase the number of animals saved in order to win a portion of the more than $500,000 in prize grants from the ASPCA and Rachael Ray.


 “The ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge was a great motivator for our team and for the residents and businesses of Baltimore to get involved,” says Jennifer Brause, Executive Director of BARCS. “It helped us connect over two thousand of the beautiful, fun, loving cats and dogs in our shelter with the right families. Working together, not only did we save so many animals and enrich the lives of new adopting families, we’ve been awarded $35,000, which will help us care for so many more animals in need in the

Baltimore area."



BARCS employees and volunteers went all out during those three months by waiving adoption fees, holding open houses and adoption events, plus getting the infamous Baltimore Orioles involved. Even Ravens Torrey Smith adopted a dog from BARCS during the Challenge!


Cheer us on again this year-- we are officially entered!