Animals

Austin Animal Center
11:00 am
Tue July 1, 2014

Could a Law Meant to Keep Animals Safe Actually Let More of Them Die?

A visitor to the Austin Animal Center in 2011. Animal advocates worry a law requiring a "veterinarian-client patient relationship" could slow rescue efforts, leading to more animal deaths.
KUT News

It's another busy day at the City of Austin's Animal Center.

This Monday there were 1,149 animals in inventory. About 600 were on site, the rest are in foster homes.

On her desk, Chief Animal Services Officer Abigail Smith has what looks like a police badge. It's there because she's a chief. But beyond that, Smith says it gets her access she couldn't get otherwise. "For example," Smith says, "it came in handy when we were responding to the Bastrop fires … Those were federally protected lines and you needed credentials to get through."

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Halloween Flood
10:28 am
Wed January 15, 2014

11 Weeks After Flooding, Animal Carcasses Removed From Onion Creek (Update)

Deceased horses still litter the Onion Creek area after the Halloween flood.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

Update: Austin Resource Recovery confirms that all 5 horse carcasses on public land were removed Tuesday afternoon.

Original Post: More than two months after flooding in Southeast Austin killed several people and caused millions of dollars in damage, the clean up continues. But some things left behind by the floodwaters are particularly disturbing: at least half a dozen dead horses.

The city has yet to retrieve the bodies of horses killed in the flooding which, in some cases, lie a short distance from people’s homes—people like Lydia Huerta. She says there are moments where the stench from the dead animals is unbearable. Her backyard is directly in front of a city park where some carcasses still remain.

Editor's Note: You can view photos of some of the animals in question here, though the photos are gruesome and may not be suitable for some.

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Texas
11:14 am
Mon December 30, 2013

New Texas Law Protects Collateral Victims of Domestic Violence: Pets

The Texas Federation of Animal Care Societies say pets can also be victims of domestic violence.
flickr.com/tudor

The holidays are a time for gift-giving and celebration but, for some, it's also a time of increased family and financial pressure. Some mental health health professionals say this pressure can lead to a spike in domestic violence. 

In Texas, domestic violence victims who find the courage to leave an abusive situation can now have their pets included in protective orders.

Patt Nordyke of the Texas Federation of Animal Care Societies fought for eight years to pass the law in the Texas legislature.

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ANIMALS
7:49 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Rare Twin Giraffes Born in New Braunfels

Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch

Twin giraffes were born this month at a 400-acre wildlife refuge in New Braunfels. The Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch says Wasswa and Nakato are the second set of living twin giraffes in the United States.

Because twin giraffes are rare, the male calf is being fed by hand to ensure his mother has enough milk for the female twin. 

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Kyle
4:22 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

After Attacks Are Reported, Kyle Asks Pet Owners to Be Cautious

City of Kyle officicials believe coyotes may be the culprit in the deaths of three pets.
flickr.com/gr8dnes

After three reports of smell pets being attacked in the last month, the City of Kyle Animal Control Department is asking pet owners to be extra cautious as the area's predators become more active.

Three attacks, occurring at night and the early morning within fenced in back yards, have left three pets dead in the Kyle area. The neighborhoods of Amberwood, Steeplechase, and The Trails are all involved.

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Austin
12:53 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Austin Commission Considers Ban on 'Painful' Circus Animal Tools

The ban would specifically affect the use of "painful devices" on elephants.
flickr.com/wolfsavard

Austin’s Animal Advisory Commission is considering a recommendation at its meeting tonight that would ban the use of so-called “painful devices” – such as whips and electric prods – on elephants. The policy would mostly affect animals in town for the circus.

The idea was brought forward by a group called Action for Animals. Last year, commission chair David Lundstedt says the same group approached the commission about banning circuses with animals from coming to Austin altogether.

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Animals
12:11 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Bills Would Shutter Gas Chamber for Texas Pets and Strays

Animal welfare groups say euthanasia by injection is more humane and safer for employees than gassing pets.
I-Hwa Chang for KUT News

More than 100,000  cats and dogs are euthanized every year in Texas shelters. Euthanasia by carbon monoxide – essentially a gas chamber –  is still common practice in nearly 30 shelters.  

Within the last five years, almost 30 Texas cities banned gas chambers, switching from carbon monoxide to lethal injection. Pennsylvania and Louisiana banned gas chambers statewide last year.

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Arts and Culture
6:17 am
Thu January 31, 2013

National Pet Radio: Make Your Critter's Cuteness Public (And Win A Prize Pack!)

Punkin, who belongs to NPR Senior Publicist Emerson Brown, decides whether to get moving or not based on news from local station WAMU. Good or not, she usually sleeps in.
Emerson Brown

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 8:06 am

Many of us here at NPR have pets or are animal lovers, and recently discovered that National Dress Your Pet Day is in January. We were inspired by this to ask you to show your appreciation for public media by accessorizing your pet.

To have a little fun with it, we want you to snap a picture of your pet listening to your favorite public radio station.

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Texas
3:36 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

It's a Dog's Life: Texas Court Considers Pets' Sentimental Value

The Texas Supreme Court heard a case today considering pets “sentimental or intrinsic value.”
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Can you put a price tag on man’s best friend?

The Texas Supreme Court heard oral arguments Thursday morning in a case that could answer that question.  An animal shelter employee is appealing a lower court’s ruling that found her accidental euthanasia of a family dog gave the pet’s owners grounds to recover damages related to the dog’s “sentimental or intrinsic value.”

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Austin
11:00 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Austin Animal Center Hopes Residents Elect to Adopt

"Yes, We Can" adopt a pet for free at the Austin Animal Center.
Austin Animal Center

Austin Animal Center is urging residents to “cast a ballot for companionship” on Election Day this Tuesday.

Tomorrow marks the final day of the center’s “Elect to Adopt a Homeless Animal” campaign, which launched on Thursday, November 1. As a part of the campaign, Austin Animal Center is waiving adoption fees for all dogs and cats. Adopted animals will be spayed or neutered, vaccinated, microchipped and equipped with a collar and tag.  

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Texas
2:26 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Should Texans Breed, Then Hunt, Endangered Species?

A herd of African Antelope. The species has thrived in Texas, although the practice of breeders allowing their hunting has been questioned.
Photo courtesy flickr.com/welsnet

That's the question on the mind of the TV newsmagazine 60 Minutes.

When you think of Texas hunting, everything from wild hogs to fishing to even burros may come to mind. But what about gazelles, oryx, and zebras?

Those exotic species were the focus of a recent 60 Minutes report on big game hunting in the Lone Star State. Correspondent Lara Logan filed a report on the emergence of hunting these rare animals recently – conversely, as part of a program meant to increase their population.

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Austin
5:15 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

Close to Purr-fect: 2011 a 'No-Kill' Year for Animal Center

'Desperate Housecat' Petra has her own webpage. http://www.petharbor.com/pet.asp?uaid=ASTN.A611621

For some time, the city has hovered above the 90 percent “live outcomes” benchmark animal centers must meet annually to be a “no-kill” shelter. And now it’s official: With a 91 percent live outcome for all of 2011, the Austin Animal Center is now officially no-kill.

The city’s animal rescue efforts have made big strides over the last few years, first with City Council adoption of a no-kill plan [PDF], and more recently with the opening of the new Animal Services Center in East Austin.

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Austin
10:57 am
Sat July 16, 2011

Animal Shelter At Capacity

The Town Lake Animal Shelter has run out of space for cats. Officials say the shelter has seen an unusually high number of intakes.
Photo courtesy of the Town Lake Animal Center.

The Town Lake Animal Center is at capacity and has run out of space.

The shelter took in 30 cats in the first hour of business Friday morning. The cats are now temporarily being caged in offices. Animal workers say people this week have dropped off more pets than usual. The shelter took in close to 350 cats and dogs this week. 

TLAC sent a press release Saturday morning, asking people to reclaim lost pets at the shelter or to wait at least a week before turning over an animal:

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