Third annual Public Art Dog Walk advocates adoption

Mason Carroll

Volunteers and rescue dogs returned to campus on Sunday to walk and address an issue.

The third-annual Public Art Dog Walk hosted by Landmarks, the organization handling UT’s public art collection, and Blue Dog Rescue, a nonprofit dog shelter, returned to the 40 Acres to see many of the University’s famous pieces of art and showcase the importance of adopting a rescue dog.

“The best part is just the art, coming out in the community and letting these dogs experience that group of people and dogs,” said Tina Meines, Blue Dog Rescue board member.

Each year, Blue Dog Rescue brings some of their own dogs to the walk to let them socialize with people and other dogs.

“Our goals are to find the best homes for each dog individually, and our main goal in the community is that people know about responsible dog ownership, spay, neuter and pet safety,” Meines said. “All of our dogs are microchipped and up to date on all their vaccinations  — all medically cleared — so we have a pretty good idea about what kind of dog you would be adopting.”

Landmarks’ education coordinator Catherine Zinser said the organization hopes to spread awareness for foster dogs and the art around campus, and has seen the event grow over the past three years.

“We hope to have more foster dogs on the tour this time so they really are featured and put on a spotlight during the tour, and we really want to spread the word about the (art) collection really,” Zinser said.

The dog walk drew people from all over the community and even UT alumni, such as Celeste Villarreal and her four rescue dogs.

“This is the first time I’ve been on this walk, and I’m really looking forward to it because campus has changed a lot in 30 years, and this artwork wasn’t here when I went to school here,” Villarreal said.

Zinser said one of the challenges of the tour is having to stay outside, but that they make it a fun and enjoyable experience.

“We’ll just do a loop around campus and by turtle pond and up and down the mall just to make it a fun, casual walk,” Zinser said. “Everyone’s just always in a good mood on this tour.”