The Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter has waived all adoption fees through April 21 to clear dog kennel space at the overflowing shelter.

“We have more dogs in the shelter than we have kennel space to house them, and more will continue to enter our doors,” BARCS said in a statement Thursday.

BARCS is an open-admission shelter for Baltimore, meaning they cannot turn away any new animals, even if their cages are full.

The number of dogs has increased 24% since last year and 71% in the last two years, the shelter said.

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“We have hundreds of healthy, happy adoptable dogs that need homes, and they are at risk for euthanasia otherwise,” the shelter said. “YOU can help us not have to make any heartbreaking decisions by helping us spread the word about this mounting crisis.”

BARCS is running out of room, but the shelter has a policy of not turning away any new arrivals. (Caitlin Moore)

In addition to fees being waived at the shelter, BARCS will host a mega spring adopt-a-thon Saturday at Pimlico Race Course, where families can take home their new furry friends the day of.

All adoption fees will be waived and standard adoption procedures will still apply.

If you can’t adopt

For those who can’t adopt, fostering is a good option to help the shelter. You don’t need to have a specific type of home or family to foster, the shelter said.

“Even a weekend-long commitment to foster can make a major difference,” BARCS said.

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If you’re unsure about fostering, you can attend BARCS foster open houses, held twice a week to learn more about becoming a pet foster.

If you’re interested in adopting or becoming a foster, stop by the shelter at 2490 Giles Road from 2 p.m.-6 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on weekends.

Those who can’t adopt or foster but still want to help can participate in a Dog’s Day Out, a program designed to give dogs a day of fun by taking them out of the shelter and letting them tag along with you for the day.

“The Dog’s Day Out program is a great way to give our pups a break from the shelter environment and get them seen by potential adopters! You can take one of our pups to the park, go for a hike or simply relax in your home,” the shelter said.

You don’t need to be an existing volunteer to participate in the Dog’s Day Out program.

WJZ is a media partner of The Baltimore Banner.

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