More than 12,000 unwanted, abused and stray animals enter the doors of the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS) each year...kittens, puppies, even wildlife and exotic animals. As the city's only open-admission shelter, BARCS accepts all animals in need. Many of the animals BARCS cares for were abandoned or given up by owners who can no longer care for them. Too many animals come to the shelter as victims of abuse or hit-and-run accidents. BARCS works tirelessly to improve the lives of Baltimore's homeless animals.

Formerly the Baltimore City Municipal Animal Shelter, BARCS was recognized as a private, non-profit NGO in July 2005. Since then, BARCS has hired new staff, created new programs and changed the shelter's standard operations. These changes have helped us dramatically increase adoptions and rescues, and significantly decrease euthanasia. In just a few years, BARCS significantly increased the number of animals saved from 2% in 2005 (under Animal Control) to over 88% in 2016. 


BARCS serves as a resource to the community for citizens and their animals in need.

Our shelter’s services include: providing housing and lifesaving care to homeless animals, public education and outreach, tracking lost and found pets, offering low cost vaccinations and microchip clinics, pet licensing, and the Trap, Neuter and Return (TNR) of community cats. BARCS also provides families the opportunity to adopt a loving companion animal that is spayed or neutered and vaccinated at BARCS.

As Maryland’s largest open admission shelter, BARCS does not turn away any animal in need of shelter, food and a loving touch. BARCS grants refuge to every abandoned, neglected, abused, lost or surrendered animal that comes through our door - a staggering more than 12,000 per year.

Visit the BARCS Website >