Glamour Shots Help Shelter Pets Find Homes Faster

Mar 25, 2016
Courtesy Bill Wilson

From Texas Standard:

Mike Ryan is a volunteer at Austin Pets Alive! He’s trying to get a good picture of Summer, a brown lab mix. Two more volunteers are giving Summer treats in an effort to get her to face the camera.

"I treat it like we have only one picture to get through to the person who is going to be looking at the dog," Ryan says. "So, for the picture, two things are eye contact so the dog is looking directly into the camera, and the other thing is the dog looks like it is smiling."

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.

Preston Culver, Austin Fire Department

More than 120 pets have been brought in to the Austin Humane Society since the city's Halloween floods.

Some were rescued from the water – as seen in this photo of a dog rescue that’s been shared 7,700 times on Facebook. Others were dropped off by their owners, who need a safe place for their animals to stay while they get back on their feet.

Humane Society spokesperson Kelly Hanes says dozens of animals have been reunited with loved ones. But many others remain unclaimed – including Panda, the German Shepherd-type dog seen hugging an Austin firefighter as he carried her from the flood waters.

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.

Joy Diaz, KUT News

With so many care options for the four-legged family members, how do you determine where to take yours for a check-up? There are high-end pet spas, plain vet clinics and everything in between. And still, there is a new player in the nearly saturated market.

One of the dogs at this clinic is Frida. She is blonde, tall and beautiful. But, according to her doctor’s report delivered by Mr. John, Frida has some weight problems.