In the last four months of 2013 BARC, the city of Houston's animal shelter has taken in more than 7,000 animals. About 45% of them were euthanized.
Those numbers are appalling for Bett Sundermeyer. It's why she's asking Houston city leaders to implement a national no-kill program that aims at keeping at least 90% of animals alive.
"There are a lot of passion people who want this who've been asking for this for many years," said Sundermeyer. She started an online petition last week and hopes to gain enough signatures to get the city's attention.
"We know this is a doable option, this isn't some dream that's not accessible. People are doing it all over the united states even here in Texas," said Sundermeyer.
Austin achieved ‘no-kill' status two years ago. It's why the city of Houston says they are hoping to follow in its footsteps.
"The path is there we know what it is. It's about increasing awareness and taking some small steps to get there as each individual," said BARC spokesman Chris Newport.
But making changes costs money.
"We've got a long way to go to get some additional funding and we've got a long way to go to stand up those additional nonprofit organizations.
Newport says BARC needs at least $2 Million to get started. That would pay for a large spay and neuter program and for working with rescue groups to keep animals from taking up space at BARC. But he says to achieve ‘no-kill', the people of Houston also have to help and it's not just by adopting pets. Following city laws like pet registration can help bring in funds for programs like off-site adoption events.
"If everyone that owned a pet within Houston limits paid for and received their pet license we could implement some game changing solutions at BARC," said Newport
He says a partnership between the community and the city is what ultimately will help keep these guys alive.
City staff say several council members have mentioned looking into increasing BARC's budget for this type of program.
We'll know more specifics when the city begins crunching numbers for next year's budget in July.
click here to view the petition.