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 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.”

Austin Police K9 “Tex” to retire


From the Austin Police Department:

The Austin Police Department and the 401K9 program, through the Greater Austin Crime Commission, would like to invite the public to celebrate the retirement of Austin Police K9, Tex, on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016 from 1-4 p.m. Light refreshments will be provided.partner

Austin Police K9 “Tex” Retirement Ceremony
Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016
1-4 p.m.
Chase Bank Building, Bury, Inc.
221 W. 6th Street – 6th Floor conference room

Tex is a nine year-old Belgian Malinois and served with his partner APD Officer Patrick O’Connor from 2009-2015. He had a total of 73 arrests and served as a SWAT K9 during his active duty time. Tex’s primary function was locating and arresting suspects who had committed crimes and fled the police.

Pets of the week: Dec. 4-10

Austin Animal Center

JD (A552796)

JD8-year-old male

Terrier mix

JD is super calm and laid back. He walks well on a leash and he has gotten along well with other dogs he’s met here. He would literally get to your house, find a soft bed and curl up for a 16 hour nap.  He’s a hidden gem and we can’t keep him to ourselves anymore!

 Dottie & Dawson (A708904 & A708903)

DottieODawsonne female, one male

These siblings were hand raised by one of our fosters so they are very social! They would make a wonderful pair for the holidays and every day for the rest of their lives! Please keep this pair safe and let them live their lives indoors as members of your family!

Tasha (A628456)

Tasha5-year-old female

Terrier mix

Tasha is a volunteer favorite and goes on outings almost every week, yet she is still here! After 275 days we still don’t know why? She has good manners, greets other dogs with tails wags and kisses, seems housetrained, knows sit, rides great in the car and loves everyone! She even has an video!

Quinn (A716095)

Quinn10-year-old male

Chihuahua mix

This little senior is one well-mannered boy. He enjoys calm and casual walks and visiting with new people.  If you are searching for a little dog to keep you company on your short walks, come meet Quinn. He needs an exercise buddy to help him start taking few pounds off and to keep him on the right type of food for him.

Luke (A716433)

Luke2-year-old male

Labrador mix

Handsome and polite, Luke is a good match for anyone. Seems to like to chase squirrels, so you must be careful if you have cats at home. Other dogs are his favorite and he greets everyone in a happy and playful manner. He knows sit and keeps his kennel in excellent shape!

Texas Humane Heroes

Cattywhompas (25218454 )

Cattywhompas33-year-old female

Cattywhompas is the name and silly is the game. I love to explore and bird watch, I enjoy sitting in the catio (the awesome outdoor cat patio here at TXHH) and watch the birds. I get along swell with other kitties, but i’m not a fan of puppies.

Bentley (29795871)

Bentley2-year-old male

Rottweiler mix

I’m such a good boy. Once we’re best buds, I won’t leave your side! I love being with my humans and getting a good back rub. I would love to be someone’s running buddy or help you play disc golf!

Duke (23046729 )

Duke Laughing4-year-old male

Chihuahua mix

Meet Duke! He is the Duke of Cuddles! Duke loves spending quality time snuggling up with his human. He is the the ultimate lap dog! But don’t let that fool you, he loves being outdoors, running and playing!

Lucy (29929483)

Lucy3-year-old female

Labrador retriever mix

Hey, I’m Lucy! Oooo, ball! Sorry I just love tennis balls. Or frisbees. They are the best! I will play with them all, though it’s hard to eat with them in my mouth. I try anyways. I am super fun and can’t wait to find my new home.

Kiki (1474378)

Kiki9-year-old female

Looking for an easy going, mature snuggler? Well I’m your girl! I’m a very sweet girl but a little shy at first. That’s to be expected though, because I’ve only lived in one home my whole life! I’m looking for a forever family to share all of my love with!


Central Texas SPCA

Hazel Grace

Hazel Grace 7.11 (3)1-year-old female

Hazel Grace is a feisty little tabby tigress who plays as hard as she naps! We’ve had reports of our girl gettin’ a little rough with visitors, but when we went back to investigate, she hopped on our lap and proceeded to give us kisses! Obviously this little lass needs someone to teach her how to play nice, and whoever that is will be repaid in an abundance of love!


Chris 24-month-old male

Chris…it’s a plain name for a not-so-plain boy.  He’s quite inquisitive and loves to meet new people.  He enjoys play time as much as any kitten and has a great time with his roommate, Mittens.



costelloo41-year-old male

Costello is a young and happy dog who knows how to make everyone fall in love with him by using his brown eyes to maximum effect. He’s a playful medium sized dog who knows what he wants in life and isn’t afraid to go get it. He would make the perfect family dog, so come visit him today!


halla4-year-old female

I am an eager to please kind of girl and am ready for any task. The staff here say I learn very quickly and am highly food motivated. Although, I have to admit that I think I love paying frisbee as much as getting a good treat to eat.

BarkHappy throws ice cream social to benefit Austin Pets Alive and Service Dogs Inc.


BarkHappy, the Austin-created app that connects dog owners to other dogs and their people, is throwing an ice cream social from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at Fair Market, 1100 E. Fifth St.

Event partner Amy’s Ice Creams will provide free dog ice cream, and activities will include an agility course, nail trims, dog tattoos and more for both canines and humans. Dog-friendly businesses involved include Mud Puppies, the Canine Center for Training and Behavior, and Woof Gang Bakery. A $10 donation at the door gets you in; you also can register (and donate) in advance here.

It all benefits Austin Pets Alive, one of Austin’s largest dog and cat nonprofit rescue groups, and Service Dogs Inc., which trains rescue dogs to work with people with mobility or hearing issues.

BarkHappy is a free location-based app that launched in July. People use it to connect with other people and their dogs nearby for play dates and to find dog-friendly businesses while they’re out and about. The app also sponsors a weekly meetup.

This wiener dog running the bases at an El Paso Chihuahuas game will capture your heart

Funny names aside, minor league baseball teams are especially known for cheesy amazing promotions and contests to get fans to the stadium and enjoying their time between the sports action. On Saturday, the El Paso Chihuahuas (seriously, that’s their actual name) hosted the Wiener Schnitzel race for dachshunds in which the winner would earn the coveted title “El Paso’s Fastest Wiener.” One of the competitors may not have won the race, but that didn’t stop it from taking a lap around the diamond.

chihuahua screengrab
A loose dog from a race runs around the field at an El Paso Chihuahuas game. (Screengrab from YouTube)

After some time in foul territory, this runaway pooch stretches his legs and shows off his potential as a future slugger by dashing around the field. He makes a visit to the pitcher’s mound, spends a few seconds near the dugout and home plate before continuing his journey toward first and second base, dodging would-be dog catchers, including players, along the way. This video is a must-see as this furry friend’s adventure is set to the tune of Tom Petty’s “Running Down the Dream.” Two men manage to trick the pooch into laying down near second base, in what it probably thought was an incoming belly rub. Sneaky humans. This little dog is living every baseball fans’ dream. Watch the full video below.

Willie Nelson calls for look-alike dogs in time for National Dog Day

National Dog Day is August 26, and Austin’s own Willie Nelson has joined in on the celebration with a four-legged Nelson look-alike contest on his official Facebook page.

UPDATE Wednesday: And on the day itself, Willie posted some of his favorites!

Thousands of fans responded by uploading photos of their dogs (and other pets) that either bear a close resemblance to the country singer, or are named after him.







The resemblances are striking.

Dogs aren’t the only animals named after Nelson – in June, the Fort Worth Zoo welcomed a pair of baby giraffes named Waylon and Willie, named after the great Waylon Jennings and, you guessed it, Willie Nelson.

Giveaway: See the performing pups of “The Wizard of Dogz”

Circus Chickendog performs "The Wizard of Dogs" Aug 15-23 at Dougherty Arts Center
Circus Chickendog performs “The Wizard of Dogs” Aug 15-23 at Dougherty Arts Center

The performing pooches holding center ring in Austin’s Circus Chickendog are four rescued Papillions and two breed-indeterminate medium-sized dogs, littermates adopted after they were made homeless during Hurricane Katrina.

Circus Chickendog’s upcoming family-friendly “The Wizard of Dogz,”  a quirky and entertaining take on “The Wizard Oz,” plays the Dougherty Arts Center Aug. 15-23.

We’re giving away five packages of four tickets each to each of the 2 p.m. shows on Aug. 15-16 and Aug. 21-23. To enter, email the correct answer to the following question to with the subject like “Wizard of Dogz” before 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 12

What breed of dog Toto was in the original 1939 film version of “The Wizard of Oz?”

Circus Chickendog’s  “The Wizard of Dogz” features a trained scarlet macaw playing the role Dorothy, who with the six dogs, sets out on a journey to search for the Wizard of Dogz who holds the secret to helping the pooches find forever homes.

Dog tricks, bird tricks, puppets, unicycling , clowning, live music and more come together in this adorable show which also just might teach you a few dog training tips.

According-playing juggler/unicyclist Darren Peterson, a veteran of the Royal Lichtenstein Circus is the creator and ringmaster of Circus Chickendog. Peterson trains his animals using positive reinforcement techniques and free-shaping — encouraging a dog’s natural ability and good behaviors. Peterson has taught four dogs to jump rope and two dogs to sneeze on command. Read about his methods in our story about Circus Chickendog’s annual “Muttcracker” holiday show.

Winners will be notified by email on Aug. 12. Non-winning participants will not be notified. Austin360 does not store personal information of giveaway participants. Your email will not be used for any purpose other than winner notification.

“The Wizard of Dogz”
2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Aug. 15-16 & 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Aug. 21-23
Dougherty Arts Center, 1110 Barton Springs Road

National Mutt Day Contest: Send us your pictures!

Aug. 1: Thanks to the over 100 readers that sent in photos of their mutts! We loved so many of them, but we chose these two pups as our winners:

View our gallery of reader photos for National Mutt Day



July 31: Show us your mutts! It’s National Mutt Day, and we want to celebrate by staring at the adorable faces of our local mixed breed friends. Two lucky mutts will also win some pet books for their human companions.

Send your pup’s best picture to or submit them to @PetFriendlyATX on Twitter. Your mutt will be featured on our website, and you’ll be entered into our giveaway!

Now go play a quick game of fetch with your Schnoodle – it’s their day.

Man’s best friend seeking canine companion in Austin

Sample screenshot provided by BarkHappy.
Sample screenshot provided by BarkHappy.

This dog-friendly city is about to get friendlier.

As of Thursday, new app BarkHappy is live in the Austin area. Using their opposable thumbs, humans can create profiles for their furry friends (using their most flattering photo, naturally). The app will then find and suggest canines compatible with your own to message or add to your pack for potential meet-ups. Or for instant play dates, users can locate human-dog pairs already nearby.

BarkHappy, created by an Austin-based company, also hopes be a resource for finding dog friendly restaurants, stores, hotels, bars, and other locations around town.

The location-based meet-up and search app for dogs and their human companions is available for iOS now and will be ready for Android soon. So iPhone owners, how many more days will you deprive your dog of his or her own social meetup profile? You never know who may send you a wag!

Austin Humane Society holding adoption specials through Memorial Day

From the Austin Humane Society

Each Memorial Day weekend, the Austin Humane Society offers reduced adoption fees to honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country.  This year, the animals just can’t wait that long.

Beginning May 19th and going through Memorial Day, veterans and active duty military can adopt for free while the general public can adopt adult dogs at 50% off and adult cats for free.

It is our hope that members of our armed forces will find comfort and peace through the companionship of a homeless animal from the Austin Humane Society.