SXSW is going to the dogs, and it is awesome

Celebrity pets are not new to South by Southwest and its side party scene, but we’ve noticed an uptick in the number of internet-famous dogs coming to Austin this year. Our own TV star, Kaxan, is part of the star power at a party Monday night at the Pet Rescue Lounge, which also will feature Moshow the cat rapper (with Ravioli) and a meet-and-greet with Manny the Frenchie.

Austin dog about town Kaxan is ready for SXSW. Photo by Edward Flores /Contributed

Kaxan, who is the official news dog at KXAN and works as therapy dog through Divine Canines, has the right outfit for every event, social or weather. He gave us a sneak peek at his SXSW week looks. See the full gallery.

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You can still RSVP for tonight’s free Pet Rescue Lounge. Pets (on leash) are welcome, too (don’t forget poop bags). There will be puppies and kittens up for adoption through the Austin Human Society and Texas Humane Heroes, fortune-telling from Kuro the clairvoyant Pomeranian, some freestylin’ by Moshow and Ravioli, a doggy ball pit and more. The event is 21 and older and RSVP does not guarantee entry. Sponsors include Pet Cube, which on Monday announced an update to its app that allows Facebook Live; Whistle, which makes GPS trackers for dogs; Luup, a litter box tray system; and DogVacay, a site for finding a pet sitter.  The festivities start at 5 p.m. at Cedar Street Courtyard.

SEE: More dogs at SXSW; we have photos from the weekend’s pop-up dog park on Congress.

 

Austin dog Brie finishes second in Sporting Group at Westminster, Houston dog takes third

So close! Austin dog Whiskeytown Dalwhinnie Brie finished second (!) in the Sporting Group on Tuesday night at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Brie, a 4-year-old Wiredhaired Pointing Griffin who won best in breed for the second year in a row, was bested by an Irish Setter named Adrian. Another Texas dog, Golden Retriever Elphaba out of Houston, was a crowd favorite and got what sounded through the TV like the biggest cheers for the group. She came in third. Great showing Brie and Elphaba!

Brie, a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, won best in breed for the second year in a row at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Contributed by Debbie Elliott
Brie, a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, won best in breed for the second year in a row at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Contributed by Debbie Elliott

Austin dog wins best in breed, competes tonight at Westminster

Austin’s own Whiskeytown Dalwhinnie Brie — just Brie when not competing — won best in breed on Monday night in the Wiredhaired Pointing Griffin competition at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. The 4-year-old, who won her breed last year, too, will be back in the ring Tuesday night for the Sporting Group at Madison Square Garden. If she wins that, it’s on to Best in Show. Owners Donna and Gino Troy of Austin are there to cheer on Brie, along with Donna’s sister, Debbie Elliott, who tipped us to the victory and shared a photo. Go, Brie!

The competition airs on FS1 starting at 7 p.m.

Brie, a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, won best in breed for the second year in a row at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Contributed by Debbie Elliott
Brie, a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, won best in breed for the second year in a row at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on Monday. Contributed by Debbie Elliott

Show us: Is your pet doing the holiday right? We want photos

UPDATE: Keep up with the photo album as it develops here!

Earlier: How do you know if you pet is doing the holidays right? Scroll down for some Grade A examples. Then send your photos of pets in holiday settings to readerphotos@statesman.com or tag @austin360 on social media. We’ll use them for an online gallery and some will go in print. Include your name, your pet’s name and anything you want to say about the image.

LUCY IS DOING THE HOLIDAYS RIGHT

Lucy Martin in a set of custom-made holiday pajamas. Photo (and pajamas) by Jennie Martin
Lucy Martin in a set of custom-made holiday pajamas. Photo (and pajamas) by Jennie Martin

Lucy Martin is a certified therapy dog with Divine Canines (more than 200 visits under her collar), and each year she models her custom-made pajamas in front of the family tree. That’s pajamas as in plural — she gets a new look, along with her human family, each December.

GINGER IS DOING THE HOLIDAYS RIGHT

Ginger Chapman in the holiday spirit (meaty treats help keep her spirits up long enough for an annual photo).
Ginger Chapman in the holiday spirit (meaty treats help keep her spirits up long enough for an annual photo).

Ginger Chapman takes a modernist approach, in this kicky hat designed by Chris March for Target. Don’t try to buy one now — this is from several seasons ago. Ginger knows you can pull out the tried-and-true, if it’s a look that works.

KAXAN IS DOING THE HOLIDAYS RIGHT

Karan gets into the spirit at home and out in the world each holiday season. Photo by Edward Flores
Kaxan gets into the spirit at home and out in the world each holiday season. Photo by Edward Flores

Kaxan (he’s famous enough for one name, y’all) is a Divine Canine, too, as well as the official KXAN News Mascot (plus, he’s starred in several commercials). He and Lucy sometimes make visits together. He rocks many a seasonal look, including December appropriate. And for several years, he’s done his version of “Elf on the Shelf.” Kaxan goes beyond the shelf to a variety of Austin locations, accompanied by his trainer, photographer and stylist Edward Flores.

Kaxan on a shelf!
Kaxan on a shelf!

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Relive “The Force Awakens” and other 2015 movies with some cinematic canines

READ: Get ready for “Rogue One” with our review

Update: Austin Animal Center initiates emergency plan, will not take in more animals

One of the many dogs now at Austin Animal Center, which is overcrowded from recent high intakes.
One of the many dogs now at Austin Animal Center, which is full from recent high intakes.

UPDATE: Austin Animal Center, already packed to capacity, has initiated its emergency plan. They have set up an emergency hotline for people missing a pet: Call 311 within city limits, 512-974-2000 outside Austin. Email Animal.CustomerRelations@atxad.org. Photos of strays are posted regularly at www.austinanimalcenter.org. The city also will deliver lost pets back to their owners of they can identify the animal through a photo, microchip or rabies certificate.

From the city:

The Austin Animal Center will be initiating its emergency operation procedures due to predicted continued rainy weather that could further strain its ability to house any more animals.

The AAC will not be taking in lost or stray pets for the next 24 to 48 hours due to rainy conditions. During this time period, May 27-28, AAC also will not be taking in any owner-surrendered pets. The City is asking for people who find a lost dog or cat to keep the animals in a safe environment until the Center is open for intakes.

The Center is preparing for a potential relocation of approximately 30 to 40 dogs from the Town Lake location should it become necessary. The AAC is at capacity due to the influx of animals during the past two weeks. …

The Austin Animal Center will be open for those residents who are looking for their lost pets and want to reclaim them and for those individuals who would like to adopt a pet, those that can foster a pet, and for volunteers. The Center will be open for these services through the weekend and on Memorial Day, May 30, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Earlier: Austin Animal Center is asking for help as shelter staff continues to try to deal with overcrowding from recent storms.

May is traditionally a high intake month, according to a recent release, “as pets are surrendered at the end of the school year as families prepare for summer vacations.”

On top of that, recent storms have brought even more dogs and cats (and rabbits) than usual into the shelter: between 60 and 100 each day for the past two weeks.

“Because we don’t euthanize for space or convenience this is a very challenging situation for us,” Chief Animal Services Officer Tawny Hammond said in the release. “We need to have kennel space to help incoming animals, many of them who are suffering from broken bones, mange, ringworm and other illnesses. We need our animal loving community to lend a hand at this critical time.”

To try to ease the space situation, the shelter is having a “Memorial Mutt Madness” promotion. Friday through Monday, adoption fees for puppies and dogs currently in outdoor kennels will be $20. This covers more than 200 dogs.

Austin Animal Center is overcrowded right now. Staff says many strays come in needing medical care, which further strains resources.
Austin Animal Center staff says many strays come in needing medical care, which further strains resources. (Photos from Austin Animal Center)

Reclaim fees for lost pets are being waived through June 1.

Other ways you can help:

Foster, particularly a medium or large dog. You can foster through the city shelter, one of its two main rescue partners (Austin Humane Society and Austin Pets Alive) or one of Austin’s many rescue groups.

If you find a stray animal, call 311 to report the animal, but keep it in your home if you’re able to. The shelter will notify owners if they contact the shelter. You also can post photos and information to the Austin Lost and Found Pets page on Facebook.

Leave kittens alone. The city shelter, Austin Humane Society and Austin Pets Alive are at critical capacity for kittens, with more coming in each day. People are encouraged to leave healthy kittens where they are. It’s not unusual for mother cats to leave their litters alone for periods of time. You can monitor the kittens to make sure their mother comes back to care for them.

Keep your pets secure during storms. Even the most loyal dogs and cats can get scared during storms and run away if they’re left outside or in less-than-secure yards. If your pet is lost, check Austin Animal Center regularly; all strays are brought to the city shelter.

Spread the word. Use social media to help AAC share photos of found pets and to let others know about the crowding at the shelter.

It's kitten season, which means the city shelter and its rescue partners are bursting with tiny cats.
It’s kitten season, which means the city shelter and its rescue partners are bursting with tiny cats.

Austin Animal Center, flooded with pets, waives or lowers fees and asks public for help

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Do you recognize this dog? Austin Animal Center is posting photos of the large number of dogs and cats that have come into the shelter during recent storms.

Heavy storms always bring a lot of stray animals into the Austin Animal Center, and officials have put out an urgent call for help from the public to relieve over-crowding and maintain the city’s no-kill policy.

“We need help saving pets lives, now more than ever,” Chief Animal Services Officer Tawny Hammond said in a news release Wednesday. “The situation at the Animal Center today is serious; we are completely out of space for incoming pets right now. We have many beautiful, owned and well cared for dogs and cats sitting in kennels and cages waiting for their families to come and take them home.”

Shelter staff say they have taken in almost 150 animals in just two days during recent storms; many of the animals appear well cared for, like pets. Animals will be held for three days before being available for adoption or for rescue groups to pull. Anyone missing a pet is urged to check the shelter as soon as possible.

One of the many dogs that have come into Austin Animal Center during recent storms. Shelter staff is asking the public to help spread the word through social media so people can reclaim their pets.
One of the many dogs that have come into Austin Animal Center during recent storms. Shelter staff is asking the public to help spread the word through social media so people can reclaim their pets.

The city is waiving reclaim fees for spayed or neutered pets, and offering a discount for spaying or neutering for unaltered pets when claimed. Adoption fees are being lowered to $20 through Sunday, May 22.

They’re also putting out a plea for fosters, particularly for medium and large dogs, and urging people to spread the word about animals through social media, in an effort to reunite pets and their people. The shelter’s Facebook page is regularly updated with photos of animals that have come into the shelter, and you can browse adoptable animals. Fostering or adopting through the city’s two largest rescue partners, the Austin Humane Society and Austin Pets Alive, also can help ease crowding at the city shelter by opening up more spaces in those groups.

The shelter is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily at 7201 Levander Loop.

Reports: ‘Dog Whisperer’ Cesar Millan being investigated for possible animal cruelty

Ricardo B. Brazziell AMERICAN-STATESMAN 4/21/11 Cesar Millan, better known as the dog whisperer visits fort hood to check out their dog unit.
Ricardo B. Brazziell AMERICAN-STATESMAN 4/21/11 Cesar Millan, better known as the dog whisperer visits fort hood to check out their dog unit.

Well-known TV personality and dog trainer Cesar Millan is under investigation for possible animal cruelty after a clip from an upcoming episode of his “Dog Whisperer” show was shared online, multiple outlets, including the Los Angles Times, are reporting. In the segment, Millan is working with a dog who reportedly has attacked pigs in the past, and he uses a couple of pigs in the training. At least one pig is bitten by the dog.

National Geographic Wild, which airs the show, released a statement saying viewers were misinterpreting the clip. “The clip caused some concern for viewers who did not see or understand the full context of the encounter,” according to the statement. “The pig that was nipped by Simon (the dog) was tended to immediately afterward, healed quickly and showed no lasting signs of distress.”

A Change.org petition has started, urging National Geographic to take Millan’s show off the air. Millan’s methods have been questioned by other trainers and behaviorists before, including another well-known TV dog trainer, Victoria Stilwell (“It’s Me or the Dog”), who tweeted about the recent incident.

We interviewed Millan before a 2012 appearance in Austin.

Update: Cesar Millan has posted a second clip on his website from the episode about Simon, to “provide missing context.” The post with the clip says,  in part, “Cesar Millan is and will continue to fully cooperate with authorities in ‎any investigation. He is confident that the investigation will show there was no wrong doing.”

Jackson Galaxy to keynote at Shadow Cats’ ‘Guitars and Cat-illacs’ annual benefit in May

GuitarsAndCatillacsDo you know about Shadow Cats? It’s a nonprofit sanctuary and advocacy group in Round Rock for cats with special needs. The group’s annual benefit is coming up at the end of May, and the event will include TV star and cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy.

Galaxy, who has been a frequent visitor to Austin during South by Southwest and on his own book tours, first toured the sanctuary two years ago, according to organizers. The star of Animal Planet’s “My Cat From Hell” will give a keynote talk at the event, called Guitars & Cat-illacs, which also will include dinner, music, an auction and more guests.

Tickets are $125 for the benefit, which will start at 6:30 p.m. May 29 at Shoal Crossing Event Center, 8611 N. MoPac Boulevard, and can be purchased at www.shadowcats.net. Check the website or call 512-656-8775 for more information.