Brownsville pet shelter hosts virtual adoption event, hopes to empty kennels

Adoption specialist Norma Cabrera tells the public about Stephanie, a pitbull mix, as the center mascot holds her up for viewers at home to see Wednesday during the virtual adoption event BARCC-athon at the Brownsville Animal Regulation & Care Center.(Denise Cathey/The Brownsville Herald)

With bandanas and leashes of different colors, about 15 dogs happily wagged their tails as they made their way from the back of the Brownsville Animal Regulation & Care Center, BARCC, to be showcased playing, dancing and even smelling the music speaker as part of the virtual BARCC-athon on Wednesday to have the community adopt the pets at the center.

With the hall decorated with tie-dye backdrops and peace and love signs, cats and tiny kittens were also showcased as they played inside their kennels and looked up to the camera while staff members talked to them through the glass.

Norma Cabrera, adoption specialist at the center, said during the pandemic the adoption numbers have been going up because people have more time at home and it’s the perfect time to adopt since dogs and their new families can adapt easier by being together for more time.

“The reason why we are doing this is because the dogs that we have here they are all large and medium dogs and we stopped receiving animals as part of our shutdown, our quarantine, just because we didn’t know what the situation would be,” she said.

“Our capacity was going down and so we stayed behind with quite a few dogs that haven’t been adopted easily, so we started pushing those and these are the last bit; we want to give those guys the push and exposure they need so they can get adopted before we open back up and get flooded with a lot more animals.”

Cabrera said the main purpose of the shelter is to reunite the animals with their owners and if unable to do so, find them a forever home. She said the fee to adopt is $99 but there is a 50 percent discount for several workers such as healthcare personnel, teachers, military and even college students.

Cabrera continued by adding the adoption rate is high, with the euthanasia rate low, and that one of the goals of the shelter is to break the stigma that every dog and cat that is taken to the shelter will be put down. She said the mission is for every dog to have an opportunity to find a family.

“I know that there’s still a population that believe that as soon as a dog is received here, they get put down and it’s a big lie,” she said.

“As soon as a dog gets here, if it’s a stray or a lost dog, they are held for 72 hours so the owner can find them and if the owner doesn’t come in those three days they are put up for adoption.”

For more information, call the center at 956-544-7351.

nreyna@brownsvilleherald.com