Thursday, May 7, 2015

Pet Lives Matter: Animal Rights Activists Lobby Leg for Stronger Laws for Paws

AUSTIN -- Animal rights activists met at the Texas Capitol Saturday in an effort to put a stop to what they feel is unnecessary shooting of dogs by law enforcement.
The event, entitled "Stronger Laws For Paws," calls for action to be taken against officers involved in these types of shootings.
Julian Reyes, one of the organizers of the event, said they want to see officers who are accused of shooting a pet while out on a call put on administrative leave.
"It's important because dogs are family, and we want to protect our family members," Reyes said.
Reyes said he just filed a civil suit because he alleges an officer shot his dog two years ago. More recently, a Travis County deputy constable allegedly shot and killed a dog in North Austin this January.
Reyes said these incidents must come to an end.
"It would be nice if maybe we could get more training, for the police to know what to look at and what dogs are aggressive, key points and stuff like that," said Chris Hankinson, a rally attendee.
Some departments have already implemented training measures.
In Leander, police hired a canine aggression expert for an 8 hour training course after an officer allegedly shot a dog there.
And Austin Police have completed a two hour training course on what to do if they're approached by an aggressive dog.
The same group hosted a march in Houston on Saturday as well.
KVUE reached out to local law enforcement for comment today, but did not receive a response.

Featured today on HuffPo: Austin dog overachiever knows more than sit and stay


 |  By

Most dogs will pounce at the potential of a food scrap dropping from the dinner table. Sid the beagle is not most dogs.

The five-year-old rescue pooch is more patient that most humans, posing long enough for his owner, Alex Hopes, to post his mug on Vine, Instagram or Facebook. When all things social media are snapped and hashtagged, Sid is rewarded with an edible treat.
Despite his class act, Sid is not any kind of show dog. "He's well behaved," Hopes tells The Huffington Post. "Any time he takes anything that's not his, he holds it in his mouth and waits for permission."
Recently, at his local burger joint in Austin, Texas, Hopes ordered a cookie and was given an extra for free. He decided to hand it over to Sid, who held it proudly in his mouth like the good dog he is.
"Everyone in Austin knows Sid," said Hopes. The dog started to gain celebrity a year ago, when a GoFundMe account was set up to raise money for surgery after Sid was hit by a car. The pup sustained four fractured ribs and a punctured lung, among other injuries. Thousands of dollars were raised on Sid's behalf, and the duo have been making magic together ever since. Hopes has even transcribed Sid's adventures into a children's book.