Share the love for Valentine’s Day: Austin shelters offer free pet adoptions this weekend

Looking to adopt a pet? This weekend is the time to do it, because all of Austin’s animal shelters are offering free adoptions all weekend long – that’s right, every single one of them.

The Austin Humane Society, Austin Pets Alive! and the Austin Animal Center are waiving fees on all adoptable pets from Feb. 10-12 as part of the Petco Foundation’s national “Discover Love” event, which is providing funding to cover the cost of the waived adoption fees.

All cats, dogs, kittens, puppies and even rabbits will be adoptable free of charge all weekend long. The shelters hope to have a total of 600 animals adopted by the end of the event, according to a release from the Austin Animal Center.

Photo: Austin Pets Alive!
Photo: Austin Pets Alive!

“At any given time, there are 2,000 pets of all ages, sizes and breeds waiting in Austin shelters for new families,” said Austin Animal Center Chief Animal Services Officer Tawny Hammond. “This is an exciting opportunity for our shelters to come together, with support from the Petco Foundation, to find homes for hundreds of homeless pets.”

You can see available animals online at the organizations’ websites: Austin Pets Alive!, the Austin Animal Center and the Austin Humane Society.

Pets of the Week: Adopt these cuties from Texas Humane Heroes

If you’re looking for a new furry friend, these are the Pets of the Week from Texas Humane Heroes in Leander. You can visit their website to search for more available pets and learn more about the Pets of the Week, or visit their facilities in Leander and Killeen.

Draco is a one-year-old Dogue de Bordeaux mix available at Texas Humane Heroes in Leander.
Draco is a one-year-old male Dogue de Bordeaux mix available at Texas Humane Heroes in Leander.
Duke is a housetrained two-year-old domestic shorthair available at Texas Humane Heroes in Leander.
Duke is a housetrained two-year-old domestic shorthair available at Texas Humane Heroes in Leander.
Oatmeal Stout is a seven-year-old female basset hound mix available at Texas  Humane Heroes in Leander.
Oatmeal Stout is a seven-year-old female basset hound mix available at Texas Humane Heroes in Leander.
Grapefruit is a six-month-old domestic shorthair available at Texas Humane Heroes in Leander.
Grapefruit is a six-month-old domestic shorthair available at Texas Humane Heroes in Leander.
Jackson is a one-year-old mixed breed dog available at Texas Humane Heroes in Leander.
Jackson is a one-year-old male mixed breed dog available at Texas Humane Heroes in Leander.

This Texas puppy is looking for its siblings on Facebook

Meet Frito.

Image via Corie Gemmiti and Texas Humane Heroes / Facebook
Image via Corie Gemmiti and Texas Humane Heroes / Facebook

As you can see from the photo, he’s just a cute little dog looking for his long-lost siblings, who were born in August 2015 and adopted from Texas Humane Heroes in Leander.

This is what they looked like as puppies. Let’s all say it together: Awwwww.

Photo via Texas Humane Heroes / Facebook
Domino, Snow, Raven, Cali, Buddy and Aspen, along with Frito. Photo via Texas Humane Heroes / Facebook

Frito’s owner, Corie Gemmiti, initially posted the photo on the Texas Humane Heroes Facebook page on Sunday, requesting a puppy play date at the shelter between Frito and his brothers and sisters when they’re all located. The owner of one of the puppies, Raven, posted within 10 minutes saying they adopted Frito’s sister the day after Frito was adopted.

On Thursday, Texas Humane Heroes said on Facebook that it has located four out of Frito’s six siblings and it’s planning on hosting a reunion on Feb. 18, hopefully with all seven puppies reunited. A local pet photographer will document the session, so mark your calendars for a really cute slideshow next month.

Rachael Ray is donating $10,000 to Austin Pets Alive! thanks to Brooklyn Decker

Rachael Ray is spreading the cheer this holiday season, and an Austin organization is one of the lucky recipients of her generosity.

rachaelray.com
rachaelray.com

For the second year in a row, Ray’s “Santa Paws” campaign is donating money from Rachael Ray Nutrish pet food proceeds to animal rescue organizations chosen by her famous animal-loving friends.

Stars like Miranda Lambert and Denise Richards chose their favorite animal organizations, and Austin’s own Brooklyn Decker chose Austin Pets Alive! to receive a $10,000 donation.

Looks like it’ll be a good Christmas for APA! this year.

RELATED: Austinites join to make Christmas miracle for abused pup named Tiny Tim

Reader photos: Austin pets ring in the holiday season

Austinites join to make Christmas miracle for abused pup named Tiny Tim

It’s an (early) Christmas miracle!

Yesterday, Austin Pets Alive! issued a desperate plea for help for a 7-month-old puppy named Tiny Tim who, much like the fictitious boy of the same name, couldn’t walk and needed surgery.

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Austinites joined together to donate the money Tiny Tim needed for his surgery. Courtesy of Austin Pets Alive!
According to Austin Pets Alive!, Tiny Tim was purchased at a flea market and forced to live in a crate that was too small for him, resulting in severely malformed hind legs.

“His knee caps are on the side of his legs as a result of staying in a bent position for too long,” Austin Pets Alive! said. “The femur bones have grown past the knee caps so he can no longer extend his hind legs or walk normally.”

The only solution was a groundbreaking new procedure that had the potential to fully restore Tiny Tim’s ability to walk. They had an orthopedic specialist who could do the surgery, but they needed at least $2,000 to make it happen.

That’s where the Austin community comes in. Less than 24 hours after the announcement, the shelter said it had raised the necessary $2,000 as well as enough to cover any complications. Tiny Tim’s surgery is confirmed for Jan. 6.

“It’s amazing. People just totally stepped up,” said Lisa Maxwell, spokeswoman for Austin Pets Alive! “It is so heartwarming to see people have concern over this one dog, that in the middle of everything going on in the world, people care enough.”

Tiny Tim is currently living with a foster family but may be available for adoption following his surgery. Anyone interested in adopting him can contact Austin Pets Alive!

There are more animals at Austin Pets Alive! that need help — learn about them or make a donation.

We are always looking for stories of good news from around the city. Have an idea? Email it to kfinan@statesman.com.

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

Celebrate Thanksgiving with dog-safe food

Emory, Adam and their dog Kensho were at the park visiting new friends and having a doggie playdate. For Thanksgiving they plan to visit both sides of the family and, of course, enjoy lots of delicious food. Mackenzie Palmer/American-Statesman
Emory, Adam and their dog Kensho were at the park visiting new friends and having a doggie playdate. For Thanksgiving they plan to visit both sides of the family and, of course, enjoy lots of delicious food.
Mackenzie Palmer/American-Statesman

Thanksgiving Day is a holiday for family, and dogs are a big part of family. But even if you want to include Fluffy at the dinner table, make sure you only give Fluff dog-safe foods.

Dog lover community Sniff & Barkens made a video with Wandering Oak, a great Pyrenees mix, to demonstrate what Thanksgiving foods are safe for dogs.

There are a few distinctions to the dog-friendly foods shown in the video to take note of. Pumpkin is OK; pumpkin pie filling is not. Just like cranberries are OK, but canned cranberry sauce is not. Basically, foods with added sugar does not go well in puppy tummies.

A few other foods to avoid giving your dog include onions, dinner rolls and alcohol.

Enjoy Thanksgiving with your furry best friend the right way, and don’t forget to skin and debone any turkey you put in their food bowl.

Internet star Loki the Corgi dies

Loki, internet-famous corgi, died Monday.

The cheerful Pembroke Welsh corgi garnered 687,000 followers on Instagram and 824,000 followers on Facebook. Fans commented comforting messages to Loki’s owners, including condolences and many heart emojis.

Loki’s kidneys were in serious condition, according to his Facebook page. His owners drove him down to Seattle for dialysis and further treatment.

Tuesday, 1:01 a.m. CT, his Facebook and Instagram page sent out a simple message: “Loki’s in a better place now. Away from sickness and away from pain. We’ll miss him forever.”

Corgi pages on Facebook paid tribute to the furry superstar.

Loki, you will be missed.

What can you do in an hour? Walk a dog with 1 Dog 1 Hour

Catelyn Silapachai and friend Melissa Massello DuBeau started 1 Dog 1 HourChelsea Laine Francis
Catelyn Silapachai and friend Melissa Massello DuBeau started 1 Dog 1 HourChelsea Laine Francis

1DOG1HOURhires-13Catelyn Silapachai, co-founder of Vintage jewelry and home decor site The Distillery, has started a new venture with friend Melissa Massello DuBeau. 1 Dog 1 Hour wants to help get more pets adopted from the Austin Animal Center.

Here’s how it works: Stop by the center, 7201 Levander Loop. Follow the signs with instructions on how to walk a dog. Any medium or large dog with a green dot on the kennel card can be walked. Once you walk your dog around the fenced-in shelter grounds or play with them in one of the fenced-in dog runs. You take a pick of your friend and post it to Instagram and tag 1 Dog 1 Hour’s Instagram @1Dog1Hour. Post some things you liked about the dog and log your walk on the board before you leave the shelter so other volunteers know who has been walked.

The hope is to expand the program to other shelters. Find out more at 1dog1hour.org

Austin Animal Center to host ‘Pokémon Go’ party to get dogs adopted

Debbie Brownson lets her dog Roxy meet Chip from Pflugerville Pets Alive held by Cameron Brownson at Pet Pfest.  Photo by Nicole Barrios
Debbie Brownson lets her dog Roxy meet Chip from Pflugerville Pets Alive held by Cameron Brownson at Pet Pfest.
Photo by Nicole Barrios

From the City of Austin:

Austin Animal Center, 7201 Levander Loop wants you to play Pokémon Go to help get dogs adopted.

The city shelter will host the first ever, Pokémon Go themed Party called a ‘PokéParty’  from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. this Saturday, July 16.

Austin Animal Center is a hot spot for players. There is a ‘PokéGym’ on site as well as four ‘PokéStops’.  AAC will be putting out ‘Lure Modules’ throughout the day on Saturday to increase the amount of Pokémon, and hopefully increase customers to the Austin Animal Center.

“Luckily, our campus is already attracting players, but we want folks to come in and get to know our dogs too,” said Deputy Chief Animal Services Officer Lee Ann Shenefiel.  “If you’re able to snap a photo of a dog with a Pokémon in the background and share it on social media, you could be the reason that a dog gets a new home.”

The game Pokémon Go allows players to see Pokémon in the background of their camera. The AAC wants visitors to snap photos of dogs for adoption with the Pokémon characters and share on social media with the hashtag #AustinAnimalCenter in hopes they will get dogs adopted.

Volunteers will be walking dogs around the grounds and near the ‘PokéStops’ all day so there will be many opportunities to catch Pokémon with dogs. Volunteers know the dogs they will be walking and are able to tell people more about them.

If a ‘Pokémon Go’ player takes a photo of a dog and wants to adopt it, the adoption fee could be waived. Pokémon themed prizes and waived adoption fees will be given throughout the day to anyone participating in the game.

“Simply show our Adoption Counselor your photo of a Pokémon and a dog and you could win a prize or a free adoption.” Shenefiel said.
The Austin Animal Center, 7201 Levander Loop is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. More information about Austin Animal Center can be found at www.AustinAnimalCenter.org; by calling 3-1-1; or by visiting the Center’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/AustinAnimalCenter. The City also maintains the Town Lake Animal Center, 1156 W. Cesar Chavez St., as an overflow animal adoption location. It is open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.