Dogs

A dog jumps into Lady Bird Lake
KUT

Updated on Aug. 7 at 3:58 p.m.: Assistant City Manager Rey Arellano said Wednesday that Red Bud Isle would be closed to the public until further notice.

"The algae is especially prevalent near Red Bud Isle," he said, "with up to 40 percent of the water surface in that area covered."

Austin Animal Center

Four dogs missing from the Austin Animal Center are presumed stolen, the shelter said in an email Thursday.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

A dog in Travis County has tested positive for canine flu. The case here is one of five cases statewide being monitored by the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory. The other cases are in Harris County and Hood County.

Nikasucha/pixabay

Texas law requires that a dog who’s attacked a human be placed on a “dangerous dog list.” These lists are updated by municipalities and counties, and many publish the dog owners’ names and where they live.

Austin has its own dangerous dog ordinance, but instead of "dangerous," the city uses the word “vicious.” The ordinance was passed more than two decades ago and is less forgiving than state law. But after an increasing number of complaints about recourse for those dogs who violate the city law, members of the Animal Advisory Commission say they’ll reconsider what it means to be a vicious dog in Austin.

Screengrab via the City of Austin's YouTube

Cleaning up after four-legged friends is a paramount part of dog ownership.

As many can attest, there’s nothing worse than stepping in a canine’s gastrointestinal afterthoughts, not to mention the host of health hazards to other pups that could be transmitted by not picking up after one’s dog.

Being the dog-friendly city it is, many an Austin apartment manager struggles with those who refuse to clean up after their pets. Now, one apartment complex is taking fecal matters to the next level by using DNA testing to sniff out irresponsible owners.

Canine Soldiers Film

A dog is more than a man’s best friend on the battlefield.

Nancy Schiesari, a radio-television-film professor at The University of Texas at Austin, is working on Canine Soldiers, a documentary that investigates the relationship between American soldiers and their canine partners.

KUT’s Laura Rice talked with Schiesari about exploring the bond between handlers and their canine companions and why Schiesari chose to make the documentary in 3D.

We often think about people spreading diseases around the world. This spring, vacationers brought chikungunya from the Caribbean to the United States. Businessmen have likely spread Ebola across international borders in West Africa. And health care workers have carried a new virus from the Middle East to Asia and Europe.

But what about (wo)man's best friend?

Andrew Weber, KUT News

An Austin police officer shot and killed a dog last night at a pet store.

At 7:30 p.m. last night, police say Officer Leslie Lyons shot a pit bull twice in an effort to save another a smaller dog being attacked at the Petco on Research Boulevard.

Texas Hearing and Service Dogs

On Saturday, pups, canines and pooches will swarm Auditorium Shores and Riverside Drive in the 15th annual Mighty Texas Dog Walk.

Dog owners will gather this weekend at Auditorium Shores in order to try and catch some world records, including "Most Dogs Eating the Same Treat” and “Most Dogs Wearing the Same Bandana”. There will also be dog food samples, a "dog psychic" and advice from veterinarians.

Cindy and Mark Boling, via change.org

A Fort Worth couple lost their family pet in a police shooting earlier this year. Now the couple’s call for statewide police training standards when dealing with dogs has garnered nearly 90,000 signatures.

Cindy and Mark Boling have uploaded a petition to Change.org calling for standardized training, after losing their five year old border collie/English setter mix Lily this spring.

facebook.com/JusticeForCisco

After the controversial shooting of a pet dog named Cisco earlier this year, Austin Police are announcing training and policy changes to the use of lethal force on dogs.

Austin Police Department Chief of Staff  David Carter says the department is quickly implementing policy and training changes – in hopes an incident like the Cisco shooting doesn’t happen again.

“Before an officer takes action, there needs to be an imminent threat of bodily injury,” Carter says, “whereas in the past, it would describe that the animal was dangerous.” Additionally, officers would need to “justify the position of using a firearm, versus using some other method to repel a dog, if that’s necessary. For example using a nightstick, or chemical spray, or a tazer, or some other thing such as that.”  Additional responsibility now also falls on the officer’s supervisor to investigate such shootings, instead of having the officer self-report on the circumstances of the shooting.

Photo courtesy flickr.com/youngandwithit

Austin goes to the dogs this weekend as the city attempts to break four canine-related Guinness World Records on Saturday at Auditorium Shores.

The 14th Annual Mighty Texas Dog Walk will try to break several records: the World’s Largest Dog Walk, the Biggest Hairball, the Most Dogs Wearing the Same Bandana, and the Most Dogs Sitting at Once.  The three-mile dog walk along Lady Bird Lake will include water stops for both pooches and people.  

11,256 dogs participated in the event in 2010, which was thought to be the record. According to the Guinness World Book of Records, the largest dog walk was held in Great Britain that same year.  That walk had 18,113 dogs with 178 types of breeds.  The organizers of the British event claim that record was broken yet again in 2011 with a tally of 22,742 dogs.  

Photo by C. Young http://www.flickr.com/photos/kaanah/

The city’s eleven existing off-leash dog parks are experiencing “heavy use”, according to Austin Parks and Recreation, a headache that leads to overcrowded parking lots and soil erosion. The city believes it can improve the situation by building at least two more off-leash dog parks in more suburban areas of the city.

Specifically, the possible locations are Yett Creek Park in north Austin near Parmer Ln. and Mabel Davis District Park in southeast Austin near I-35 and Ben White Blvd.