Town Lake Animal Center

Photo by KUT News

The new Austin Animal Center, opened only in November 2011, is already well over capacity. And the city is asking for your input on what to do now.

While the new center has helped with the city’s ‘”no kill” goals – maintaining a 90 percent “live outcomes” rate for pets that pass through the shelter – it’s straining. And it’s not just seasonal, city officials say.

‘Since April the animal intakes at the city shelter are not leveling off and the Animal Services Office can not keep up with the high number of intakes versus those animals that are being adopted or rescued by the City’s partner animal rescue groups,” city officials write in a press release.

Photo for KUT News by Ihwa Cheng

Today the Austin City Council will consider changes to a temporary lease agreement with Austin Pets Alive. Austin Pets Alive has been using a portion of the Town Lake Animal Center since the city shelter moved five miles east to the Austin Animal Center, and now the nonprofit wants to operate out of the entire building.

Also on the agenda at today’s work session, beginning at 9 a.m., is a resolution that would establish an advisory task force on drawing geographical districts for city council elections. The proposal is similar to what was proposed by the city's Charter Revision Committee.

Photo by KUT News

Pets usually aren't big fans of the 4th of July("Fireworks are loud, can I have a dog biscuit," one local canine said). But with fireworks banned this year why not bring home a furry critter to call your own? The Town Lake Animal Center is offering this bargain adoption fee  of just $4 until 5 p.m. on Independence Day.

These are pictures of dogs that the Town Lake Animal Center says were found wet and frightened by concerned people and brought to the shelter today. TLAC says dogs can be easily frightened by thunderstorms and escape their yards. As of noon, 44 dogs and cats had been admitted to the shelter, which is already at capacity.

Image courtesy City of Austin

No a huge surprise here; Abigail Smith was already named the lone finalist for the job. But now it's official. City Manager Marc Ott just announced he has selected the director of a no kill animal shelter in Ithaca, New York to run the Town Lake Animal Center in Austin.

Dogs at Town Lake Animal Center
Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

To some people, New Year's Eve fireworks displays like this one are an awe-inspiring form of entertainment.

But to many cats and dogs, it sounds more like the end of the world.

Logo courtesy of the Austin Independent School District.

AISD Changes Class Rank Calculation

Last night the Austin School Board approved changes to the way class rank is determined.  Class rank will now be calculated using a student's highest grades in 16 core classes such as math and science, plus two foreign languages.  That means electives such as home economics will no longer count for class rank. The

Howard Wins Recount

The recount is over for the Texas House District 48 race.  The recount shows Incumbent Democrat Donna Howard won re-election to her seat by just 12 votes.  That's a narrower win than the original vote tally, which had her ahead by 16 votes after Election Day.  Howard's Republican challenger Dan Neil requested the recount.  But the race may still not be over.  Neil has another option to challenge the results. 

Aponte Indictments Reveal More Theft

Dog at TLAC
Image courtesy s myers http://www.flickr.com/photos/puppiesofpurgatory/

Just hours before a public forum to meet candidates for Austin's new Chief Animal Services Officer, the city announced Abigail Smith was dropping out of the race. Today, the city says Smith is back in.

Smith dropped out because her father was critically ill. She notified the city of her tenuous situation during interviews in November. After her father died, the city requested that she reconsider entering the race.