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Rice math students: Helping Houston shelter save dogs

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Published on Apr 30, 2013

The City of Houston's Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care (BARC) takes in about 16,000 stray dogs each year. Over the past decade, BARC's live release rate for stray dogs has climbed from less than 10 percent to more than 50 percent. To find out what the city might do to euthanize fewer dogs, city officials asked Rice University to apply state-of-the-art mathematics to study the stray problem. On April 29, a team of four Rice students called Kennel Club presented the results of their nine-month study to a Houston City Council committee. Their dog shelter simulator compares the operations of BARC with Austin's animal shelter -- one of the largest city-run no-kill animal shelters -- and serves as a tool that Houston city officials can use to examine how specific policies and improvements might impact BARC's live release rate.

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