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.

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

These Dogs Were Reunified With Their Owners in Austin Post-Hurricane Harvey And It’s The Best

Sometimes, even a natural disaster can’t separate man’s best friend and his owner.

As Houston and the Texas coast continue to recover from the devastating impact of Hurricane Harvey, Austin-area animal shelters are also struggling to care for the hundreds of displaced animals they have taken in in recent weeks. But while this continues to be a time of uncertainty and transition for many pets, there have also been at least a couple happy endings.

Take, for example, Lion, who was living with his owner/dad Oliver Santos in Houston when Hurricane Harvey hit. After water flooded the first floor of the house, Oliver and his family evacuated from a second-floor window via kayak. Because there was no space on the kayak, the family was forced to leave Lion and his two four-legged siblings behind on the second-floor balcony. Oliver feared he would never see Lion again.

Eventually, Lion was found and brought to safety in Austin, living first in a temporary shelter at the Travis County Exposition Center and ultimately transferred, along with 170 other dogs, to the Austin Humane Society. Thanks to his microchip, the Austin Humane Society, working in partnership with the Austin Animal Center, was able track down the Santos family. On Labor Day weekend, they drove to Austin to get Lion.

Lion with Oliver 2

Lion reunites with his owner, Oliver, at the Austin Humane Society. credit: Austin Humane Society

“As soon as Lion saw them, he jumped his front paws onto Oliver’s lap and got the biggest grin,” said Ericka Miller, director of communications for the Austin Humane Society. “Then, he rolled over for tummy rubs. It was very clear he knew his family!”

Happy Lion

A happy Lion after being reunited with his Houston-based family at the Austin Humane Society. credit: Austin Humane Society

The reunification was a bright spot during a tough time for the Santos family, who is currently staying with friends because the hurricane destroyed their home. They have not yet located their two other dogs but remain hopeful because they are microchipped, too.

Lion with Family

Lion reunites with his family at the Austin Humane Society. credit: Austin Humane Society

Sophie, another displaced Houston pup who was also transferred to the Austin Humane Society from the Travis County Exposition Center, also recently experienced a happy reunification. Although she was not microchipped, the Austin Animal Center had the address where she was rescued in Houston and reached out to her owners, the Salazar family. The family, which had just found their other dog in Houston, drove to Austin to pick up Sophie as soon as they heard the news. Once again, their family is complete.

sophie reunion

Sophie reunites with her family at the Austin Humane Society. credit: Austin Humane Society

In the coming weeks, local shelters will continue to try to track down owners using information from microchips and even new facial recognition technology, Miller said. Here’s hoping we’ll be hearing many more reunification stories in the coming weeks.

 

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