BALTIMORE — For more than a decade, tens of thousands of animals have found their forever home after being cared for at the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS) on Stockholm Street in South Baltimore.
Now it's time for BARCS to find its new forever home.
"We want to move because we have way outgrown this building," said Jennifer Brause, executive director and founder of BARCS.
"We keep having to move things around. We call it playing Tetris. We have to keep moving things around constantly to make it all fit because our programs keep expanding."
Last year, BARCS announced that it would be relocating its shelter to a property off Giles Road in Baltimore's Cherry Hill neighborhood. The city will be covering the cost to build the facility and BARCS needs to raise additional funds to outfit the new location to accommodate its needs.
Brause says one big plus of the new location is they'll be able to have all of their programs and services housed under one roof. There will also be space for new additions.
"We are really excited because we are getting a couple of rooms that are free-roaming rooms for cats so we need to be able to purchase the supplies that goes in rooms like those," she said.
"We are also getting additional rooms for wildlife and small mammals that we don't currently have room for at our shelter."
They will also have an expanded veterinary exam space and surgery facilities and new cages for the animals.
BARCS has started a fundraising campaign called "From Hope to Home" and is looking to raise $500,000 by the end of 2019. Construction of the new shelter is anticipated to be completed by early 2020.
"It's going to be a much bigger building, a much better design, more efficient and we will really be able to carry out all the programs and services that we currently do in a much more efficient way," said Brause.
BARCS rescues about 11,000 animals a year. The shelter has gone from a live-release rate of 2% (prior to BARCS) to more than 90% in 2018.