While making our daily visit to the r/Austin Reddit sub, we noticed a very odd thing that happened to Austin dogs last week. While doing their usual frolicking on the lawn at Zilker Park, it seems that quite a few of them turned… Well… They turned green. Yes, green dogs. Because of Zilker Park.

It’s a little late for either St. Patrick’s Day or Earth Day, so we were just as curious as to what happened as the befuddled pet parent who originally posted about it, so we got in touch with the Austin Parks & Recreation Department.

We heard back from Shelley Parks (who was clearly born for a job in the Parks & Recreation information office), who assured us there’s nothing to worry about. 

“The Parks and Recreation Department sprayed the Great Lawn at Zilker on Tuesday and Wednesday (August 23rd and 24th) with a pre-emergent herbicide to help prevent winter weeds,” she explained. “The product we used is very safe for both humans and animals. We also vetted the product with the Watershed Protection Department to ensure that it was safe for the waterways. In addition to the herbicide, we also put fertilizer in the spray mix to help promote growth and to help the plants’ metabolism.”

“The reason the product is colored is so that we can determine the areas we have already sprayed and not over spray or miss an area,” she added. “The dye washes off pets easily.”

Parks also told us that this type of spraying happens annually. It just happened to be way more noticeable this time thanks to that pesky dye. She reiterated that it is always safe for humans and pets.

Not too many pet parents seemed all that mad about the situation. Most just seemed to get a laugh from their dogs’ new, temporary dye job. And though the dye may be gone, these pictures are forever. Now if only these guys had a prom to go to so their parents could pull out these embarrassing photos to show to their date.

The park got the best of her! #zilkerpark #fetch #downtownliving

A photo posted by Daniel Canales (@askdanielatx) on


Featured photo from Wikipedia, Creative Commons licensed

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