The HPOU has implemented what might jocularly be called the one-officer/one-dog program that operates hand-in-paw with
BARC, the city’s adopt-a-pet operation.
An idea developed by the HPOU resulted in the formation of Paws and Patrol, which began about two months ago, according to HPOU Board Member Sgt. Danny Levin, who also serves as board secretary.
The program entails one HPD officer per week going to the BARC headquarters at 3300 Carr St. off the Eastex Freeway and posing with a dog up for adoption. The picture then appears on social media as part of the pet adoption agency’s ongoing efforts to find homes for its multitude of shelter residents.
Levine said the Union has had no trouble finding a weekly volunteer, calling the HPOU/BARC team a great fit.
“This is a program that allows for community interaction through BARC’s adoption program,” Levine explained. “Every week, we send one officer to BARC and they take pictures with one of their rescue animals.
“Through social media, we are able to reach a much more wide-ranging audience and bring to light that there are rescue animals out there that need a permanent home.”
Paws and Patrol’s adoption success rate has not yet been calculated, he said, but the Union stands firmly behind the idea having positive effects. HPOU President Joe Gamaldi said the popularity has grown to the point of seeing competition for the weekly photo shoot.
In reaction, Levine said, “We will have only one officer per one dog a week. If any officers would like to participate, he or she can contact us at the Union to get a time slot. BARC is constantly putting specials together for people to come in and adopt the dogs at special rates.”
The BARC website is https://www.houstontx.gov/barc/
“We try to keep the process simple,” Levine said. “All an officer has to do is just go down to BARC and get the picture taken with the animal and get it sent to Joe and me and we’ll post it on social media. Several of the dogs in our pictures have been adopted.”