Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Want more dog parks in Austin? Speak! Speak!

Wet dog fetches ball at Red Bud Isle Park

from Bill Fraser, Off-leash Area Advisory Committee Member:

Two new off-leash dog parks are in the works for Austin, and we need your help in getting the word out to the community to support these new locations. Please forward this information on to your network ofsupporters.

Austin's Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) have two "new" locations selected for off-leash consideration--Yett Creek (walking trail--North Austin) and Mabel Davis (fenced--South East Austin). These two locations represent a stepped up effort by PARD to expand on the number of off-leashed parks. As park advocates for off-leash environments, it's important we get the word out and have a strong show of support for these new locations.
We need a strong showing of support from the dog park community. Send emails to show your support of these new off-leash areas to the email addresses listed below:
Email your support for Yett to

Email your support for Mabel Davis to

If you have questions, please call.

Thanks for your support in this effort.

City Seeks Input on Off-Leash Dog Parks

City Seeks Input on Off-Leash Dog Parks

46 seconds of "ahhhhh" that won't disappoint

Imagine broadcaster Howard Cosell calling this fight. "Cat applies classic boxing technique to duel with dog. But dog's not slowing down... but wait..."

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Texas Humane Society declares passage of H.B. 1451 victory

2011 Legislative Session Report

An End of Session Message from the THLN President

Dear Fellow Animal Advocates,

I have great news to share with animal welfare advocates statewide and nationwide!

Governor Rick Perry has signed the Puppy Mill Bill!

H.B. 1451 is a regulation and licensing measure for high volume breeders and will provide basic protection for hundreds of thousands of dogs and cats confined and raised in large scale breeding operations by providing humane housing standards, annual veterinary care, and inspections.

It's been an incredible legislative session for animals! Although our toughest session to date, with persistence, tenacity and a great coalition of concerned groups, we successfully helped pass 5 major animal welfare bills - making this legislative session the most successful in the history of this organization!

Passage of these bills was a culmination of multiple factors:

  1. Being on the right side of the issues working to protect animals in Texas
  2. Committed, passionate legislative sponsors
  3. Combined efforts of multiple animal welfare and animal care organizations
  4. Outstanding guidance by our lobbyist team
  5. Nonstop help from our dedicated 9 regional state chapters!
  6. The incredible efforts of all of you who contacted your legislators and became the voice for animals!

We thank each and every one of you for your help and support over this past very difficult six months for contacting your legislators and professionally and honestly urging their support and opposition to various bills. Those groups opposing the animal protection measures spread much misinformation and untruths about the bills in the hopes of defeating them. But with your nonstop support, we worked every legislator - answering questions, compromising when necessary, and explaining in great detail the serious need for the bills that were passed.

H.B. 1451, the Puppy Mill bill, the most challenging bill, was championed by two highly respected veteran legislators from Houston - Representative Senfronia Thompson and Senator John Whitmire. We are indebted to them both and their staff for their strong commitment and persistence in passing a bill that will provide protection for hundreds of thousands of dogs and cats in Texas puppy mills.

H.B. 963, the Seizure Appeals bill, will clarify and improve the appeals process for cases dealing with animals seized in cruelty cases. This bill was sponsored in the House by our long time friend and sponsor of multiple animal protection measures in past years, Representative Will Hartnett of Dallas. In his typical style, he very smoothly and professionally worked the bill through the House. Newcomer, Senator Jose' Rodriguez of El Paso graciously picked up the bill in the Senate and saw that it passed without incident. We are grateful to both sponsors and their staff for jobs superbly well done!

With my greatest appreciation for your hard work to help so many animals.
Cile's signature
Cile Holloway, President

Informal drop-off benefit for Austin Humane Society OR what do people who used to work for newspapers in Austin do now?

It is no coincidence that so many of us "former" newspaper writers are dedicated to helping the animal community. Great mind think alike! Anne Smith, who was one of my editors at the Statesman before she went on to another Cox paper in Florida, is in town today to gather up whatever you want to drop off to benefit Austin Humane Society.

Why: In honor of Anne's niece, Beth, an animal lover who passed away several years ago after an auto accident and would have been 20 years old tomorrow
Where: 6205 Danwood, Austin, Tx. 78759
When: whenever you feel like it but some time today
OR: Call about pick up "service"

Again, this is very informal with lots of heart.

Here's what Anne sent awhile back but I didn't get until this morning:

Hello Everybody!
I'm planning a 12-day trip to Texas next month, and I've timed it this year to be in Austin on my niece Beth's birthday for the first time since she was killed.
In past years, to commemorate this date, one of Joan and David's neighbors organized a food & toy drive for the Humane Society in Beth's honor. She was an avid fan of all animals, especially dogs and especially her lab Buddy. I wanted to organize the drive this year and ask my Austin friends for donations of food, towels, pet toys, cat litter or cash to the Austin Humane Society in Beth's honor.
Beth would have been 20 on June 26, so on Saturday, June 25, I'll be at Joan and David's house if anyone can drop by with dog food or whatever they would like to donate. Many of you have been consistently faithful through the years to ask how Joan and David are doing, which has meant so much to me.
On June 25th, if you want to say hi to Joan yourself, we'll be at her house all day to collect the goodies in Beth's name.
If you can't come to us, please call me (561-801-5856) a couple of days in advance and we will try to come by your house for a pick-up.
You can leave the dog food on your porch and we could swing by when we're out doing errands. I really want to make it easy for everyone to get involved.
If you prefer a cash donation, please send a check to the Humane Society to The Hamptons, 6205 Danwood, Austin, 78759. We'd like to turn it all in together because one year, the size of the donation meant Beth's name was added to a memorial wall at the Humane Society. It would be lovely to see her name there again on what would have been her 20th birthday.

Another cat weighs in on yesterday's Take Your Dog to Work day

Friday, June 24, 2011

Cats Weigh in on Take Your Dog to Work Day: They're all for it!

Top 10 reasons cats are for it (Paul Schaffer cue drum roll please):
  • Your midday nap will not be interrupted by incessant, frenzied yapping sparked by the mail carrier's arrival. Or a squirrel in the yard. Or the wind blowing the tree leaves. Or absolutely nothing at all.
  • Getting the couch all to yourself. Enough said.
  • A respite from the tedious licking. (I mean, really…if they're going to lick, at least they could make themselves useful and groom something.)
  • No sliding in the drool puddles left behind on the tile floor.
  • No mile-wide water spills around the dog bowl.
  • You'll finally get to eat your own food. All of it. No sharing.
  • No "I get to go outside and you don't…nyah, nyah, nyah."
  • A rare opportunity to use the dog bed as a scratching post. Or litterbox – it's your choice.
  • Being spared the humiliation of the most base of all canine greetings: the infamous and oh-so-annoying Butt Sniff. How uncivilized.
  • Finally, peace and quiet when nature calls, and no fear of some crazy canine with questionable culinary habits raiding the litterbox when you're finished.

Even Fosters Included, Take Your Dog to Work in Austin today

photo credit:


Today, we will have our newest foster dog, Tofu with us at work.

People are better in the presence of our four legged friends. Studies show dogs are positive influence on our mood. At N Housing, we lucked out with a pet friendly office space so we get to enjoy Take Your Dog to Work Day. We do not have any dogs of our own but we sponsor foster dogs and they are often sleepy guests on the office couch. When we have a pooch at work, I am happier and when I get stressed all it takes is hugging one to feel much more at ease. It’s also nice to take quick strolls through out the day and enjoy the sun outside. Dogs are great conversation starters and they help us meet new people.

We sponsor Austin Pets Alive! foster dogs. We take in the dogs in our homes and N Housing pays for food, toys, and other necessities needed to take care of them.

Austin Pets Alive!’s mission is to make Austin a no kill city. The dogs in their care were at one time on the kill list in Austin area shelters. When APA! does not have room at their building or in their adoption program, dog foster parents are called to take these dogs in until they are adopted. When a dog needs extra TLC and might recover and socialize better in a private residence, they are placed in foster care as well.

APA! places these dogs on their website so that interested potential adopters can meet with the foster parents and the dogs. After the adoption approval process, the new parents can take the foster dogs to their forever homes.

Office Dog Tips

Is your employer participating in Take Your Dog to Work Day this year? Here are some tips on coworking together.

  • Keep your dog leashed at all times and only unleash them if you can keep them in a confined space such as a private office. Your dog may be best disciplined dog in the world but they may get too distracted with new environment, other dogs, and smells. It can get dangerous in the parking lot. Be safe.
  • If you have a private office space and unleash your dog but the door is constantly being opened, keep a baby gate at the door so your dog does not escape.
  • Bring puppy pads with you just in case. It’s a new environment for your dog and you may not be able to take them out when they need to go.
  • Bring a doggy bed, a favorite toy, water bowl, and a raw hide bone to chew on to keep them comfortable and happy.
  • Don’t forget your doggy waste bag. Pick up after your dog.

Today was Take Your Dog To Work Day: Did you take your dog to work???

Jenna, an English Springer Spaniel, does airshift at NPR Radio in Harrisburg, VAMore info on Take Your Dog to Work Today
More info click here.

Those who are happy that 'Puppy Mill' bill passed include ASPCA

Lack of state inspections meant that Texas was becoming a haven for bad breeders—but once the new law goes into effect this September, many commercial breeding facilities will have to open their doors to inspectors for the first time.

Texas Governor Rick Perry signed into law the Commercial Dog and Cat Breeders Act (CDCBA), which establishes minimum standards for the humane handling, care, housing and transportation of dogs and cats kept by large-scale Texas breeders. Texas’s commercial dog and cat breeders have always operated free of state oversight, meaning the animals at most of these facilities are unprotected.


Friday, June 10, 2011

This Shade's Got My Vote this Saturday: Outdoor Benefit Includes Shade and Pool for Real Hot Paws on the Patio

more info:

This is Austin so there'll be live music, Tex-Mex and a pet costume contest.
Ticket purchase includes taco and Queso bar, and cold beer plus pool and shade for Paws.
Contests for Most Unique Pet Trick, Longest Tail, Shortest Legs, and Best Kiss.

Implications of 'No-Kill Policy' on Condo Dwellers and City Parks


There may be hope yet for a very popular dog park lying in the shadow of downtown Austin.

KVUE News learned on Wednesday that the Parks and Recreation Department is now looking at other options which could include keeping the Norwood Dog Park open or relocating it to one of two alternate locations neither of which were disclosed on Wednesday. Also on Wednesday evening, the Austin Animal Advisory Commission voted to approve the formation of a working group or a subcommittee of commissioners and citizens who plan to begin a dialog with the Parks and Recreation department and neighbors. The sole purpose is to try to keep the Norwood Dog Park open or to find alternate locations for it.
“Dog parks, especially fenced dog parks, are very important. They could be the difference between someone keeping their animal or relinquishing it,” said David Lunstedt, an Animal Advisory Commission member.
The working group’s first meeting is Sunday, June 19.

16 seconds of cute: Dreaming Pom waking up