Sunday, December 15, 2013

Dogs Out Loud fills niche in city's no-kill plan

Big dogs need love too 


According to the Dogs Out Loud web site:

Austin, TX is at the forefront of the No-Kill movement and, in 2011, became the largest city in the US to achieve a 90% or better save rate of the animals entering its city shelter. As we have accomplished this incredible milestone in humane achievement and lifesaving work, a new challenge and gap in services has come clearly into view. No-Kill is defined as saving every “healthy, treatable, and rehabilitatable animal in the shelter.”

What we have discovered is that a 90% save rate is not truly fulfilling that promise. Our city has incredible programs to support nearly all of the vulnerable shelter populations save one: medium to large breed dogs with high-level behavior problems. While dogs with mild to moderate behavior problems can be supported through in-shelter behavior programs, there is a group of good, savable, rehabilitatable dogs that cannot. It is those dogs that are still dying in significant numbers at Austin’s city shelter. Dogs Out Loud was created to help fill this final gap, meet the needs of this last vulnerable shelter population, and contribute to making Austin a true No-Kill city and a leader and model for the rest of the world in what is possible in animal welfare and behavior work.

Dogs Out Loud provides training, behavior rehabilitation, and high quality care in a home-like environment to medium to large breed dogs dying at shelters due to high-level behavior problems that cannot be addressed in or are exacerbated by the shelter environment. We provide additional behavior support services that address specifically identified gaps currently costing the lives of this subset of shelter dogs.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Council votes 7-0 to approve Auditorium Shores plan that includes smaller off leash dog area

What's on your cat's Christmas list?

whiskerslist: the kitty classifieds

whiskerslist: the kitty classifieds, by Angie Bailey

This clever parody combines two of the Internet's hottest sensations--cats and craigslist. With 160 hilarious classified ads written for  cats, by cats,whiskerslist reveals the inner lives of our favorite furry friends like never before. With categories ranging from "Personals" and "Gigs" to "Lost & Found" and "Help Wanted," the varied posts in this entertaining cat community provide an imaginative and entertaining look into what cats are really up to when left alone. A must-have for cat lovers who can't get enough of their quirky feline companions.

Order your copy today!


Advance praise for whiskerslist:

"From seeking job opportunities in the gnawing sector to selling pizza boxes that have only been sat in once, whiskerslist is a hilarious look at how cats could really make the most of the Internet if you'd just leave your laptop open or didn't worry about their paws smudging your iPad." 
-Francesco Marciuliano, Author of I Could Pee on This: And Other Poems by Cats

"Hilarious! Anyone with a love of cats will surely love [this] book!"
-Yasmine Surovec, Author of Cat vs. Human

"What makes [whiskerslist] so damned funny? If you've ever spent a blessed second with a cat in your life, you'll know. You'll be howling -- in a good way!"
-Jackson Galaxy, Host of Animal Planet's My Cat From Hell and Author of Cat Daddy

Do You Give Your Cat Christmas Presents?

Do You Give Your Cat Christmas Presents or Other Holiday Gifts?

I sure do -- and I even hide them under the tree! How about you?
I’ve tried every positive-reinforcement technique I can find, but I still can’t keep my cats from investigating the counters. Likewise the table: If I have guests and we’re eating a meal, I have to put the cats in another room so we can enjoy our dinner in peace. They wake me up at 5:30 a.m., even on weekends, and sometimes they puke on my bedspread. But that doesn’t matter, because in every way that counts, they’re good kitties. 

They don’t climb the Christmas tree, even though it’s an extremely tempting target. They very rarely have knock-down, drag-out, fur-flying fights, and they’re not big on running for the door as soon as it opens. They’re more than willing to settle in for a good snuggle and keep me warm on cold winter nights.
For more click here
About JaneA Kelley: Punk-rock cat mom, science nerd, animal shelter volunteer, professional cat sitter, and all-around geek with a passion for bad puns, intelligent conversation, and role-play adventure games. She gratefully and gracefully accepts her status as chief cat slave for her family of feline bloggers, who have been writing their award-winning cat advice blog, Paws and Effect, since 2003.

Bow Wow Express Holiday Festival from 12 to 4 p.m. Saturday in Cedar Park includes low-cost vaccination clinic

Saturday: Pet Photos for a small donation to Austin Dog Alliance

Holiday Pet Photos at Capital Area Veterinary Specialists - Dec 14
Proceeds benefit Austin Dog Alliance

Capital Area Veterinary Specialists - Texas Veterinary Oncology is holding a Holiday Pet Photo event, with proceeds benefiting Austin Dog Alliance programs.
Date:  Saturday, December 14, (noon-2pm) at the CAVS-TVO offices located at 7958 Shoal Creek Blvd. in Austin.
Santa and other props will be available for the photo shoot.  No charge for the photos, but CAVS-TVO will take donations to benefit Austin Dog Alliance.  Photos by Aly Renee Photography.  For further details, see CAVS-TVO on Facebook, call (512) 388-0944 or email feature: New Austin business The Bones & Co. delivers natural, healthy dog food to your door

 Live healthy and eating well are a popular pastime for Austinites, with various trends sweeping through town and becoming all the rage. If you’re dog lover, your pet can now join in with your healthy lifestyle and even perhaps shed a few pounds instead of just shedding fur on the couch.
The launch of The Bones & Co., a local handcrafted meal-service business, could go a long way toward making making your dog's diet more natural — in addition to making your pooch feel pampered. The primary goal of The Bones & Co. is to steer your dog away from processed kibble and back to food that comes directly from Mother Nature. Founder Ryan Cummings, who has a master’s degree in agricultural business and five years' experience in the pet food industry, is ready to make dog food with ingredients you can pronounce.
“I working internationally doing sourcing and quality control, and actually that’s what led me to my interest in Bones & Co. in Austin,” says Cummings. “I really wanted to do something that was the antithesis of the international pet food industry. I really wanted to do something local with whole foods, and none of the byproducts and preservatives that you see in traditional pet food.”

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Excellent Austin Chronicle coverage on Auditorium Shores dog park controversy

Then There's This: Turf Fight at Auditorium Shores

Dog owners challenge city's plan to shrink off-leash play space


Auditorium Shores makeover plan would limit the park's off-leash space to the western end.
Auditorium Shores makeover plan would limit the park's off-leash space to the western end.
For a city that strives to be on the cutting edge of all things trendy, Austin lags behind a national shift toward creating more off-leash dog parks – what the Trust for Public Land has called the fastest-growing species of city parks in America, with Portland, Ore. leading the pack. Indeed, according to advocacy group Friends of Austin Dog Parks, Austin has steadily downsized its off-leash acreage while other cities have added more space. The shrinkage argument is amping up in advance of a Dec. 10 meeting of the Parks and Rec­re­ation Board, which is set to vote on a proposed redevelopment plan for Auditorium Shores. That plan calls for reducing the existing 18 acres of off-leash space to about four acres (up from the originally proposed three acres).
The iconic shoreline park has been a popular dog-romping spot for several decades. The stretch of open space has also featured in the city's long-running discussions about upgrading and improving the park as part of the Town Lake Metropol­itan Park master plan process, but funding shortages hampered those endeavors until concert promoters C3 Presents stepped up last year with a $3.5 million donation. Then it was full speed ahead on the Shores.
Under a partnership that includes C3, the Austin Parks Foundation and PARD, the makeover calls for new grass and an irrigation system, shoreline erosion controls, and a newly segmented park with a "main lawn" event venue on the east end, off-limits to all dogs, a "middle lawn" for other activities (leashed dogs only), and on the west end, an off-leash space with lake "launches" and other bells and whistles that dog advocates say they didn't ask for. PARD's Marty Stump, who's overseeing the park project, said some minor revisions to the off-leash park (including a "modest increase in size") will be released Friday as part of the backup material for the Dec. 10 meeting.
Assuming the plan passes out of the Parks Board, it would go before City Council on Dec. 12. But prickly proposals of this nature tend to get fussed over and delayed in order to, if nothing else, shine more light on the process. That would be the fair thing to do at this point, considering that Council already voted in June to alter the off-leash boundaries for Auditorium Shores, apparently without public input, and without a dissenting voice on the dais. Strange behavior for a council that likes to play up the city's no-kill status. The vote was 7-0, taken on the day Council formally accepted the $3.5 million donation from C3. (Here's where I should note that PARD officials and C3 insist that the monetary gift had absolutely no influence on the decision to amend the 1977 off-leash ordinance.)

Read more click here

PARD hearing on leash-free dog park at Auditorium Shores

KXAN provides balanced round-up on Auditorium Shores leash-free park controversy

AUSTIN (KXAN) - The Austin City Council is set to vote Thursday on design changes for the Auditorium Shores Dog Park.
The proposed modifications will first be reviewed by the Parks and Recreation Board during their meeting Tuesday.
The new design comes after many people were concerned about the reduced area for dogs off their leashes.
The main concern for Parks and Recreation has been safety issues raised by having off leash dogs.
Many also believe the plans were solely what C3 Presents, the company funding the project, wants.
C3 is expected to donate $3.5 million over a 5-year-period.
The new plan adds an additional 1.45 acres of off leash zone. It also adds 350 feet of open run area.
Making those changes caused a 35 foot reduction in water access.
No dogs will be allowed on the event lawn once the changes are made.
If the new plan is approved on Thursday, construction of the off-leash area is expected to begin next April.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Dog-A-Palooza Benefits Child With Autism


An Austin child with autism is closer to getting an autism service dog to help him with every day life.  That's thanks to a fundraiser held Sunday in West Austin called Dog-A-Palooza.  The family-friendly event had contests for dogs and plenty of activities for kids.  There was a silent auction and bake sale to raise money to help the family of Conor Corrigan get a service dog.  Conor was diagnosed with autism at age four.  His family says he is making improvements and thriving in a speech therapy class, but still struggles and autism service dog would help him tremendously.    

"His assistance dog will help him with everyday life and he'll go to school with him and help him socialize with children and people and will help him with his, he has tantrums, and will help keep him calm," Conor's mother, Shelly Corrigan, tells FOX 7.  According to Autism Service Dogs of America, the full cost to raise and train an autism service dog can range from $15,000 to $20,000.

Read more:

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Santa Paws Drive: Virtual toy drive for pets in shelters over the holidays

Santa Paws Drive is dedicated to helping shelter animals have a happy holiday season! These furry friends are often overlooked during the holidays, and it is our goal to make sure they get the love, attention and gifts that other pets are lucky enough to get. Please help us bring these dogs and cats some cheer today! 

Now in our fifth year, Santa Paws Drive is the first "virtual toy drive" for pets! Donate either cash or gifts (the choice is yours!) and the Santa Paws elves will divide up the goodies and money and send them off to six shelters across the world! Our goal is $1,000 plus oodles of toys and treats for each shelter!

Donate Now

Sign-up for Santa Paws News

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

'Daisy' still missing: $2,000 reward

You hear of people looking for their missing dogs, but one Pflugerville family is searching for their best friend for reasons they never saw coming. 

Last month burglars broke into the Coronado family's house -- making off with two TV's and their 4 year old poodle. 
Daisy was not micro-chipped, but she was wearing a collar with a phone number listed when she was taken. The family is now searching everywhere to get her back. 
"I just have a sick feeling everyday I go to work and wait and hope someone will call and have seen her," said Glenda Coronado. 
They've hung up hundreds of posters all over the Pflugerville area, and they've even filed a police report with the Travis County Sheriff's office. 
The Coronado Family is now offering a $2,000 reward for Daisy's safe return. 
If you've seen Daisy, contact Jerry or Glenda Coronado at 512-251-2028 or 512-836-4780. 

The Truly Bad 'Black Dog' claims a noted national animal rescue activist

Sandy Lertzman in her younger days, with two companions


Animal Activist Sandy Lertzman Commits Suicide with 31 Dogs

We call for compassion rather than condemnation of the founder of the Animal Rights Foundation
There are some things you just don't want to write because they're so horrible there's no way to find anything nice or comforting or any kind of silver lining in them at all. The suicide of Sandy Lertzman, founder of the Animal Rights Foundation in Ohio, is one of those things. Last week, Lertzman and 31 small dogs were found dead in her garage, the engine of her car still running. There were prescription drugs in the car and a suicide note in the house. Lertzman was 62 years old. 
For more click here.

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Purr-fect Photo: 6 Tips for Taking Pictures of Cats

from: AndMyCat

Our phones and cameras are filled to the brim with cat photos, but can we make those pictures even more purr-fect? The answer, of course, is yes!
Crafting these portraits is an art, and there are a few techniques that’ll make those images really stand out. These tricks will help you sneak some great snapshots, whether kitty is usually camera cooperative or needs a little coaxing. Scroll below for our tips...

1. Turn a play ession into a photo shoot.

The best way to capture an action shot? Start the action! Bring your camera and a toy near kitty, and try taking some mid-play pictures -- or, perhaps, mid-air pictures? 

2. Be Stealthy about getting photos.

We’ve all been there -- your cat is curled up in the cutest position, and the sound of your footsteps suddenly jostles kitty awake. Frustrating for the owner who almost had a photo gem, but easy to get next time with a sneak attack!

Approach your cat as quietly as possible, having the camera ready so you won’t need to move it around a lot to set up the picture. If you have a zoom function, that’s even better -- you won’t get as close, so you likely won’t startle kitty as much.

You can also play the waiting game -- gently approaching your cat and propping the camera on a surface, simply waiting for the right moment to click a button. This takes a lot of patience, but could result in a great image. 

3. Take photos on the cat's level.

Adding a cool perspective to a photograph can really make it pop, and getting on the cat’s level adds an artsy touch. Set the camera on the floor and take photos straight on -- you’ll likely get pictures with interesting angles that really capture the cat’s perspective. This approach can also be less obtrusive for kitty. 

4. Avoid the Flash

We’ve all seen the glowing yellow eyes that often come with using a flash, so have a different light source in mind to reduce the need for flashes. Regular room lights are great for eliminating glowing eyes, as is moving the light source higher and further from the camera.  Or, pick a spot that’s flooded with natural light so no artificial lights are needed at all. 

5. Pick simple backgrounds.

As the star of your portrait, you really want kitty to stand out. It’ll make for an even prettier picture to make sure the background -- a couch, wall, blanket, or other backdrop -- isn’t too busy. This isn’t a must, but could really help enhance the beauty of the photograph. 

6. Don't try to force the snapshot.

Kitties are most likely to cooperate for photos in a spot that’s comfortable to them, so those places are ripe for relaxed, candid pictures. Perhaps a perch near the window or a favorite chair? For a cat that’s not about to patiently pose, sometimes the photographer needs to be the patient one!

Definitely try lots of things out – different angles and backdrops can make for a variety of fun and unique photographs. But most importantly, any snapshot of your cat is sure to be adorable -- you can’t go wrong there!

Austin Animal Center open on Veterans Day

Austin Animal Services open today.

Love this! So Austin.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Furloughed? Your furr-friends don't have to suffer: Free baths at Dirty Dog today and tomorrow

by KVUE News
Posted on October 5, 2013 at 3:33 PM
Updated Saturday, Oct 5 at 4:52 PM
AUSTIN --  Dirty Dog, an Austin-based dog wash and grooming service, is offering free self-service baths to furloughed workers' dogs.
The business will offer free self-service baths to furloughed federal employees in Austin on Monday and Tuesday October 7 and 8.
"Most people I know couldn’t go a week without getting paid,” co-owner Alesha Fitzsimons said in a press release. “We don’t have much to offer, but we know that having pets is an additional expense that must be stressing some people out.”
Co-owner Blair Smith told KVUE they will honor the offer even if the government reopens before Monday or Tuesday.
The worker must show a federal ID card. There is no appointment necessary.
According to the Dirty Dog website, the self-service baths include shampoo, conditioner, towels and other supplies.
A self-service bath typically costs anywhere from $7 to $17, depending on the size of the dog.
The company has six area locations, but the William Cannon and Lakeway locations are closed on Mondays. The other four shops are open 10 am to 6 pm on Monday and all six locations are open 10 am to 6 pm on Tuesday.
Addresses and contact information can be found on their website.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Austin Fire Department gets praise from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)


Rica the missing Bull Terrier home and recovering

Another facebook page we really "like."

More good news: Cat returns 2 years after Bastrop wildfires

Cat returns 2 years after Bastrop wildfires

Austin Animal Center over capacity, asks for help with large dogs

Austin Animal Center over capacity, asks for help with large dogs

In case you missed it: Some good news


AUSTIN -- A Miniature Pinscher with a questionable last couple of years is a very lucky pooch.  Her name is Diva.

Owner Sandera Washington came home from the store two years ago -- only to discover her baby girl had pulled a real diva move and disappeared.

“She’s quite the Houdini,” said Washington.  “I wasn’t that concerned at first, but by the next morning when she hadn’t returned my stomach kind of dropped, and I wondered if anything had happened to her and was hoping we would get her back.”

Washington searched for weeks, posting flyers and checking shelters. There was no sign -- until she got a call this past Tuesday. A "min pin" with a microchip had been found in South Austin.

“I started calling all my family going, ‘Diva is still here, they found her,’“ said Washington.

First thing the next morning Washington drove to the Austin Animal Center.

“As soon as I called her name her head whipped around,” Washington said.

Diva isn’t saying much about where she’s been -- but that doesn’t matter to the Washingtons, who are just happy to have her home.  And they have some advice for every other animal owner, “Microchip your animals and keep that information updated so that if they do get out they will be able to find their way home.”

The Austin Animal Center offers free microchips and tags for any Travis County residents.  For more information, really 'likes' this dog's facebook page

More photos and info on his facebook page.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Sunny: The first family's second dog


Obama Comes Clean on Why He Got His New Dog, Sunny

CNN's Chris Cuomo grills the president on Sunny after some lighthearted banter on world affairs.
Last week, the nation was caught by surprise when the president came home with a new dog -- Sunny, a Portuguese Water Dog, just like Bo. Up to that point, the president had been intent on fighting the "second dog" legislation, co-authored by his daughters, that had been winding its way through the bedrooms and pillow forts of the White House for months. 
Why the sudden change of heart? Does Sasha have something on the president? Did Bo strong-arm him on the south lawn? Did he start watching House of Cards on Neflix like I just did? Speculation has been rife. Some thought the dog was to distract attention away from the White House and that World War III was starting ... now
The truth, however, is far more mundane. In a groundbreaking interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo, Obama comes clean on the Sunny. He says he got the dog because his girls, 15 and 12, don't like "family time" as much as they did before, and he and Michelle need a little pick me up around the house. 
"What I’m discovering is that each year I get more excited about spending time with them, they get a little less excited. ... I think there is an element for Michelle and me of, you know, we see what’s coming and we need to make sure that we got somebody who greets us at the door when we get home."
And that somebody is the butler. I mean Sunny. 

Dog believed to have died in house fire found alive


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Internet Cat Video Festival this weekend -- in Minnesota

It's in Minnesota. Forget the festival just look at the cat videos and cat vid-celebs on the website, which is said to be "modeled off of the Academy Awards" presentation.

for more info: