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Photo courtesy of MUTTS Canine Cantina

MUTTS Canine Cantina is kicking off the Valentine's Day festivities with its annual MUTTS Love Event, where visitors can trade the heart shaped chocolate box for new goodies from the local pet-friendly vendors, or even a new furever-friend with rescue groups on site. MUTTS’ Fort Worth location will have pups from Saving Hope – and any dog that’s adopted at MUTTS will receive a free one-year MUTTS membership. Whether you are walking out hand-in-hand or hand-in-leash, the MUTTS LOVE Event has Valentine’s for everyone. The event is open to the public, and non-members can purchase a day pass for entry.

Highly reputable Dallas-Fort Worth animal nonprofit expands hours

Animal News

A Dallas-Fort Worth nonprofit made up of compassionate veterinary professionals who are working to end pet overpopulation in North Texas by providing high quality, affordable vaccines, spays, and neuters is expanding its hours.

Texas Coalition for Animal Protection, better known as TCAP, has added days at two DFW locations:

  • TCAP Fort Worth will now be open for walk-in vaccines on Tuesdays.
  • TCAP Garland will now be open on Wednesdays.

They'll offer free rabies vaccines on Tuesdays in Fort Worth, as well as Wednesdays in Garland, every week in January.

TCAP was founded in November 2022 by Stacey Schumacher, whose vision was to end animal overpopulation by providing low-cost preventative services throughout North Texas.

"From the very beginning, Stacey knew that making spay and neuter affordable and accessible, she and her team could positively impact North Texas animal populations," their site says.

She started out with one clinic in Denton, where TCAP and its veterinary team built a reputation as a competent, effective high-volume clinic.

Eight locations
Since then, TCAP has opened eight stand-alone clinics, has established and maintained a M.A.S.H-style travel program, and has set up a weekend vaccine event program that services more than 40 locations each year, providing more than 630,000 low-cost spays and neuters, and more than 1,225,000 rabies vaccines.

TCAP also provides accessible and essential basic wellness services such as vaccines, microchipping, heartworm testing/ prevention, deworming, and flea/ tick prevention.

With each spay/neuter, Team TCAP eliminates the possibility of a litter of puppies or kittens without a home. With each low-cost wellness service provided, TCAP helps alleviate the cost of pet care for owners struggling to make ends meet. These efforts combined have resulted in keeping hundreds of thousands of pets in loving homes and out of animal shelters.

TCAP partners with like-minded groups of animal caretakers at city animal shelters as well as hundreds of animal rescue organizations throughout Dallas-Fort Worth.

Photo by Shelley Neuman

Willie Nelson-ZZ Top concert takes spotlight in this week's 5 hottest Fort Worth headlines

This week's hot headlines

Editor's note: A lot happened this week, so here's your chance to get caught up. Read on for the week's most popular headlines. Looking for the best things to do this Christmas weekend? Find that list here. Searching for the best Christmas lights? Those lists are here and here.

1. Texas legends Willie Nelson and ZZ Top team up for concert at iconic Hill Country venue. Next April, "Shotgun Willie" will be a "Sharp Dressed Man." Taking the iconic stage at Whitewater Amphitheater in New Braunfels, Willie Nelson and ZZ Top will perform together on April 14 and 15, 2023. The shows come before ZZ Top teams up with Lynyrd Skynyrd at Fort Worth's Dickies Arena on July 29, 2023.

2. Fort Worth's animal shelter holds event to get dogs out of the cold. Fort Worth is seeking help to solve a crisis at its animal shelters, which are brimming with pets. Fort Worth Animal Care and Control (FWACC) is facing a record-high population, and is inviting the public to come in and adopt or foster an animal. While one special event took place December 16-17, the initiative will be ongoing.

3. Fort Worth's award-winning Vietnamese restaurant Four Sisters to close. An award-winning Vietnamese restaurant in Fort Worth has closed: Four Sisters - Taste of Vietnam, the acclaimed, family-centric restaurant located at 1001 S. Main St. that is literally named for the owner's four sisters, has closed after four years. According to owner Tuan Pham, the restaurant's final day would be December 23.

4. Son of a Butcher restaurant with sliders & shakes to open in Grapevine. A restaurant that specializes in sliders is coming to Grapevine: Son of a Butcher, which currently has locations in Plano and Dallas, will open a new one at 480 W. SH-114, with an opening set for February 2023. This will be the biggest yet, with 3,405 square feet of indoor and pet-friendly outdoor dining space.

5. Vegan pastry and coffee shop opens in Fort Worth with best inspiration: mom. There's a new place to get vegan food and great coffee in Fort Worth: Called Von's Coffee Shoppe, it's a virtual restaurant operating out of Fort Worth Food Works, the restaurant hub at 3004 Cullen St., where it's serving vegan pastries, omelets, burritos, wraps, and soups. Von's was founded by Monique Farrell, a food & beverage veteran with more than 20 years experience in the hospitality industry who is taking her first step into entrepreneurship.

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Fort Worth's animal shelter holds event to get dogs out of the cold

Animal News

Fort Worth is seeking help to solve a crisis at its animal shelters, which are brimming with pets.

Fort Worth Animal Care and Control (FWACC) is facing a record-high population, and is inviting the public to come in and adopt or foster an animal.

According to Fort Worth Code Compliance Superintendent Nia Odgers, FWACC currently has more than 500 animals at their Chuck & Brenda Silcox location -- a facility that is only designed to house 334 animals long term.

The need is especially acute since some animals at the shelter are being kept outdoors, in areas that are designed to be recreational or temporary holds -- unsustainable with a cold front forecast for the next week.

Their goal is to get 150 medium and large animals adopted or fostered on December 16-17.

This program is being hosted at their Chuck & Brenda Silcox location located at 4900 Martin St. Fort Worth.

Beyond this weekend initiative, Odgers says there's an ongoing need for fosters and adopters in Fort Worth, where the current euthanasia rate is at an all-time high.

According to the City of Fort Worth’s Code Compliance Department in November 2022, the live release rate for dogs -- the number of animals getting out of the shelter alive -- is the lowest it’s been in five years.

Fort Worth's initiative echoes one that Dallas Animal Services, the city of Dallas' animal shelter, held from December 9-11, which saw more than 150 dogs get adopted or fostered.

Photo courtesy Ryan Rice

New legislation would let Texas say no to puppy mill sales statewide

Animal News

A Texas legislator has introduced a bill to help animals: On December 2, Representative Jared Patterson (R-Frisco) filed HB 870, which would help put an end to puppy mill practices by requiring that pet stores can sell only healthy animals from shelters or rescues.

Pet stores across Texas would no longer be allowed to sell puppies or kittens from unscrupulous, out-of-state puppy mills, protecting pets and consumers -- similar to laws that have already been enacted in a number of cities across Texas.

Patterson previously filed a similar bill, HB 1818, in 2021. And as he notes in a statement, the law would affect only one major retailer: Petland.

"Out-of-state puppy mills store puppies in poor conditions, take them away from their moms too soon, and truck them hundreds or thousands of miles across the country to be sold in retail pet stores,” Patterson says. “There’s a reason why only one of the top 25 retailers still sells dogs from these conditions. I’m proud to once again file HB 870 to provide the necessary restrictions to protect pets and their owners."

If passed, HB 870 would not preempt local ordinances. Instead, the law brings consistency across Texas’ largest counties – those with a population of 200,000 or more – primarily suburban and urban areas.

In 2022, Dallas, Houston, and New Braunfels all passed ordinances like HB 870, demonstrating the need and support for a statewide law, says Stacy Sutton Kerby, Director of Government Relations at Texas Humane Legislation Network, a nonprofit group that advocates for animals and has been involved in prior efforts.

“While 14 cities across Texas have passed retail pet store ordinances, millions of Texans are still vulnerable to the deceptive business practices used to sell puppies sourced from inhumane puppy mills. All Texans deserve to be protected from buying sick, defective puppies,” she says.

During the 87th legislative session in 2021, HB 1818 received huge bipartisan support but couldn’t get past the finish line before the session ended.

“There is widespread support and momentum for this policy," Kerby says. “We are excited to work with Representative Patterson again on this issue. His early filing of the bill shows his dedication to halting the puppy mill pipeline into Texas and alleviating the burden on shelters of having an overwhelming number of healthy, adoptable pets in need of loving homes."

MUTTS Canine Cantina

MUTTS Canine Cantina presents Santa Paws

MUTTS Canine Cantina will present their annual Santa Paws event where dog parents can bring their pups to take photos with Santa for last-minute seasonal holiday greeting cards. Santa’s little yelpers can stop by for photos.

The event will also feature local organization, Love and Paws Rescue on site for adoptions.

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Giant sea creatures made of recycled beach trash wash onto Galveston Island in must-see new exhibit

inspiring sea change

A giant great white shark, massive bald eagle, oversized octopus, and more enormous sea life have invaded Galveston Island.

"Washed Ashore," a compelling traveling art exhibit of giant sea animal sculptures made of trash collected from beaches, is now on display across 19 locations in Galveston.

The clever showcase features more than 20 pieces — most more than six feet tall and as much as 17 feet wide — such as coral reefs, jellyfish, penguins, sunfish, and more.

Sculptures can be found at museums, hotels, parks, attractions, and popular outdoor spaces. Thanks to a partnership between Oregon-based non-profit Washed Ashore and the Galveston Park Board, the exhibit, which is open though March 5, is free.

This innovative, powerful exhibit is designed to educate the public about the hazards of plastic pollution in the world’s waterways and comes at a touchstone environmental moment. Some 35 million metric tons of plastic entered the global aquatic ecosystems in 2020, according to the Ocean Conservancy’s research partners.

Similar "Washed Ashore" exhibits have been displayed at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, as well as zoos, aquariums, and botanical gardens across the nation. Notably, this Galveston debut marks the first time the exhibit will not be behind a paid gate, per press materials.

“The sculptures are impressive,” Visit Galveston Chief Tourism Officer Michael Woody says. “But they’re even more impressive when you look at them closely. The artists at Washed Ashore placed recognizable objects – like buckets and shovels – at a child’s eye view. This way, hopefully, they will learn to take with them what they bring to the beach.”

For more information on the exhibit, visit the official site.

Photo courtesy of Visit Galveston

Meet Greta the great white shark.

These are the 5 best food and drink events in Fort Worth this week

This week in gluttony

It’s a frigid start to February this week, but tasty events bring opportunities to warm up once the coldest weather passes. Get cozy with hand-made pasta and wine, a dim sum cooking class, two new Sunday brunch launches, and a complimentary educational class to watch online from the warmth of your own home.

Thursday, February 2

An Evening with Batasiolo Wine Dinner
Only 11 lucky individuals get to partake in this four-course dinner set to take place in il Modo’s intimate pasta-making room. Wines from Beni Di Batasiolo Winery will be paired with each course. Reservations are $199, plus tax and gratuity, and include valet parking. Dinner begins at 6 pm.

Saturday, February 4

Who Eats Cornbread? Who Eats Biscuits? Baking and Texas Identity Webinar by the TCU Center for Texas Studies
Curl up at home with hot biscuits or cornbread while watching this tasty and educational webinar led by Rebecca Sharpless, professor of history at TCU. She’ll talk through the history of baking in Texas and the American South, speaking from research conducted for her latest book, Grain and Fire. Learn who used white cornmeal, who used yellow, who used sugar, who didn’t, flour to fat ratios, and why it all matters. The free webinar begins at 10:30 am.

Jazz Brunch Launch at The Fitzgerald
The Camp Bowie Boulevard restaurant will channel New Orleans vibes with the launch of its new jazz brunch. The live jazz pianist will provide tunes on Fitzgerald’s heated patio both Saturday and Sundays from 11 am-2 pm. Plan for brunch dishes like crab cake Benedict, shrimp and grits, crawfish omelets, and bananas Foster banana pudding.

Dim Sum Time at Indulge Cooking Studio
The downtown cooking studio located inside Third Street Market hosts an array of classes regularly. This one will feature dim sum, the traditional Chinese meal made up of small plates featuring various dumplings and snacks. The menu will include chicken shumai, Chinese greens, spring rolls, and an egg custard tart. The class is $89 and will begin at 11 am.

Sunday, February 5

New Sunday Brunch at Craft & Vine
The Roanoke restaurant, wine bar, and craft cocktail lounge will launch Sunday brunch with new buffet-style stations. Enjoy eggs Benedict, a carving station, waffle bar, and more, as well as champagne flights, a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar, and even a bar cart for crafting Old Fashioneds. The price is $39 per person and $15 for kids 12 and under. Brunch service begins at 10 am and the live music starts at 11 am.

Luke Bryan trucks to Dallas-Fort Worth for 2 tour stops, including Dickies Arena

Country on

Luke Bryan fans, clear your calendars in late September 2023. The five-time Entertainer of the Year and American Idol judge is making not one but two stops in North Texas on his "Country On Tour."

He'll play Dallas' Dos Equis Pavilion on September 28, then scoot over to Fort Worth for a show at Dickies Arena on September 29. The only other Texas stop on his 36-city tour will be in Lubbock, on July 27. (So sorry, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio.)

Special guests throughout the tour will include up-and-coming country artists Chayce Beckham, Tyler Braden, Ashley Cooke, Jackson Dean, Jon Langston, Conner Smith, Alana Springsteen, Hailey Whitters, and DJ Rock.

According to the tour site, Beckham, Dean, Whitters, and DJ Rock will play the Dallas-Fort Worth shows.

Bryan has a history of investing in new artists by inviting them to join him on tour, a press release reminds.

“Artists get into the business to make music and perform it for the fans,” Bryan says in the release. “Leaving it all out on that stage is what it’s all about for me. I’m excited to support and have so many talented new artists along for the ride this year. It’s one of the most rewarding parts of our job.

The tour is named for Bryan's 30th No. 1 single, “Country On” - a celebration of farmers, truckers, military, first responders, and all of Americana that hit the top of the country singles charts around Christmas 2022. He has amassed a career tally of 56 total weeks at #1.

Bryan launches his 2023 headline dates at Resorts World Theatre in Las Vegas on February 1. He's also returning as a judge on ABC's American Idol this spring.

Bryan's "Country On Tour" kicks off June 15 in Syracuse, New York.

Tickets go on sale on at 10 am Friday, February 3 at Lukebryan.com.

Presale for Bryan's fan club members will run 8 am Tuesday, January 31 through 5 pm Thursday, February 2. For details, go HERE.

Citi cardmembers will have access to presale tickets from 10 am Wednesday, February 1 to 10 pm Thursday, Feb 2 through the Citi Entertainment program. For complete presale details visit www.citientertainment.com.