Dog found at crime scene being cared for at Austin Animal Center, officials say


Many Statesman readers have been asking us about a dog seen standing near the body of a man killed in a Northeast Austin shooting Tuesday afternoon.

The animal, which authorities think belonged to the slain man, 26-year-old Joshua Hardesty, was being kept at the Austin Animal Center, where officials on Wednesday were waiting for more information from Austin police.

The year-old dog, a white German Shephard-Pyrenees mix, was taken from the scene of the shooting in the 1500 block of East Parmer Lane, police said.

Investigators have not identified any suspects in the case and police are asking anyone with information to call their homicide tip line at 512-477-3588. 

Police are expected to contact Hardesty’s family and will connect them with the animal center, said Jennifer Olohan, a spokeswoman for the Austin Animal Center.

When pets are left behind at crime scenes, after arrests, or after a death or medical emergency, an animal protection officer will take them to the animal center. There, officials try to find family members or friends of its owner to take the animal in, Olohan said. 

“If we’re not able to contact anyone, they would be available for adoption after that,” she said.

The center has taken in dogs, cats, birds, turtles, reptiles and mice from scenarios like Tuesday’s, Olohan said. 

Witnesses said the dog stood near Hardesty’s body for some time before lying down next to him. Detectives at the scene scratched the dog behind its ears as they gathered evidence.

The dog, which was picked up by an animal protection officer about an hour and a half after the shooting, has been hanging out in an office at the animal center since the shooting, Olohan said. 

“He was playing with some toys,” Olohan said. “He’s really, really sweet.”


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