It’s raining cats and dogs

Video produced by Jennifer Alvord

Costumes for a cause

By Daniella Navarro

SAN MARCOS— The PAWS Animal Shelter and residents of San Marcos supported the animals of Central Texas by attending Pet Fest on a Saturday in the fall.

The festival, a free event full of booths and activities for both humans and their pets, was held at the San Marcos Plaza Park from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m on October 15.

PAWS set up a booth at Pet Fest and offered information on adoption, showcasing several dogs from the shelter that were available for adoption.

Residents, like senior Texas State student Amanda Torres, came because Pet Fest offers owners a chance to include their dogs in an activity that in highly interactive for both parties. Her dog Shamus was excitedly sniffing another dog and wagging his tail.

“[Pet Fest is] awesome, fun and super exciting; people hanging out and bringing their dogs,” Torres said. “It’s cool that he doesn’t have to hang out inside for hours and there’s an event where he can come and participate while I’m also doing something as well.”

All across the grassy area, humans could be seen interacting with one another while their dogs romp with others, sniff butts or lay contentedly on the grass with their newfound friends as they wag their tails and take in the sun. The tail wagging present at this event alone could have powered a wind farm.

Of course, to come to this event a dog must be well-behaved and leashed. Attendee Martrisha Reyna’s dog, Tyson, does not fit the bill, but she came because Pet Fest seemed like a fun event for her small, animal-loving children.

“My dog’s too excitable to bring to Pet Fest, but I came because my kids wanted to see the costume contest, and we were not disappointed,” Reyna said.“They already want to dress our dog Tyson up.”

Doggy Cleopatra talking to her fans photo by Daniella Navarro
Doggy Cleopatra talking to her fans photo by Daniella Navarro

The costume contest started at 2 p.m, and quickly became the star of the show as people gathered by the main stage to get the best view of these costumed canines. The contest consisted of three divisions: kids, adults, and a group theme costume contest. The winner of the kid’s division was a kid dressed as a beekeeper covered in bees, with his golden retriever assuming the part of the cute bee. The winners in the adult’s division were a couple and their two dogs dressed in elaborate “pupparazzi” costumes. The winner in the group division was yet another elaborate costume consisting of a doggy Cleopatra with her smaller canine friend dressed as a mummy on his Egyptian throne.

Audio by Avalon Powell-McManigle

“Our big dogs, very rarely can we find any pre-made costumes to fit, so we’ve always been accustomed to making things,” pupparazzi creator Amanda said. “So now it’s like, what can we do to be different and creative.”

Forrest representing the press by Daniella Navarro
Forrest representing the press by Daniella Navarro

Throughout the event the emcee made sure to remind us of the true purpose of this fun; urging everyone to donate to Pet Prevent a Litter (PALS) of Central Texas, the group in charge of the event, as well as stressing the importance of adoption and spaying/neutering. These sentiments were shared by all in attendance as they silently nodded.

According to the ASPCA, approximately 2.7 million animals are euthanized nationally each year, with approximately 2.7 million also being adopted. It is with these numbers in mind that PALS and PAWS Shelter operate.

“We see so many babies that come through our doors, so obviously we’re highly pro-adoption,” Katheryn White, PAWS volunteer coordinator and off-site event coordinator, said. “ We have about 44 dog kennels at our shelter, so they’re usually filled pretty full, so the more adoptions we get the more we can save other animals.”

PAWS is also a no-kill facility that stays true to its word of saving as many animals as possible.

“We work with shelters all in South Texas, so whenever they’re in need and overcrowded, we just go in and help them out and bring the dogs into our facility,” White said. “They stay there as long as they need. Ducky was our longest-staying dog, and she lived there [at the shelter] 4 years until she got adopted, so when we say they stay as long as they need, we mean it.”

For information on spaying/neutering an animal or adopting a new family member, visit http://www.preventalitter.com/ and http://pawsshelter.org/ respectively.

Cat café a first for Austin

By Joey Galvan

The outside of the café features surreal artwork of cats. Photo by Joey Galvan.
The outside of the café features surreal artwork of cats. Photo by Joey Galvan

The Austin cat café, known as the Blue Cat Café, features cats free-roaming through the entire establishment and offers a variety of food. The animals are friendly and staff courteous in a venture that is a first for Austin.

Owner Rebecca Gray has passion for animals and is excited for the café to be open.

“The purpose is to have a place where cats can roam free, be adoptable, drink coffee and have plenty of Internet. You don’t have to adopt but you can if you want,” Gray said.

One of the adoptable cats featured at the café. Photo by Joey Galvan
One of the adoptable cats featured at the café. Photo by Joey Galvan
An adoptable cat in the middle of a nap. Photo by Joey Galvan
An adoptable cat in the middle of a nap. Photo by Joey Galvan

The café has a wide-open space for the cats to roam among patrons. Most of the cats indulge themselves in naps but several make their rounds for the purpose of meeting new friends. Anywhere from three to six cats are adopted a week, so the business has proven successful in getting cats adopted.

Blue Cat Cafe
Adoptable cat available at the café. Photo by Joey Galvan

The Blue Cat Café is open everyday from 11:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. The café also boasts a vegan menu. More information can be found at bluecatcafe.com.

Blue Cat Cafe
An outside mural serves as an invitation for guests to enter. Photo by Joey Galvan

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