Is Austin More Pet-Friendly Than Dallas?

1009_DogParkHaving just returned from a few days in Fredericksburg, I was amazed at how dog-friendly the Hill Country has become. A lot of stores welcome dogs with fresh water and treats in Fredericksburg, and dogs are made so welcome at Boot Ranch they are given their own bowls and bed. Bree’s water even had a lemon floating in it! That emanates over from Austin, which is one of the most dog-friendly cities in the nation.  Austin has more than 35 pet photographers. They also have a food truck specifically made for dogs. And in Austin, dogs are welcome  everywhere, almost.

But comes word through the Austinist that $3.5 million slated to restore Auditorium Shores Park with grass will ban most of the area from dogs.

Under the new plans for the park, the area that was once primarily used as an off-leash dog park (when it’s not hosting Fun Fun Fun Fest or other events) will now not allow dogs. At all. Off-leash or on. Dogs will instead be restricted to a relatively tiny strip of land on the west end of the park.

Not cool. At a public forum last night, about 40 people showed up and expressed their opinions — not happy campers they. Only one of the 40 expressed approval for the ban, and that might have been a city official who doesn’t like dogs licking his kids (he has three under 3, ever heard of spacing?) and who argued that since Muslim people cannot be touched by dogs, the dog ban would provide a comfortable space for Muslim Austinites. Folks were so hot under the collar City staff had to shut the meeting down after two and a half hours.

According to the Austinist, the donor picking up the tab, C3, gave the money strings-free and the new rules were cooked up by “informal and anecdotal comments by maintenance workers” that dogs should not be allowed in the park.

Course not: they are tired of picking up poop!

The vision is to provide space at this iconic park so that we can all enjoy the space together, but separately,” City official Jesse Vargas concluded.

Separate but equal, separate but together! Sounds to me like the city is not listening to it’s tax-paying peeps. Think anything would ever go down like this in Dallas?


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