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Esperanza is said to be the oldest chicken in Austin. (Edward Gottschalk)

Austin is quickly becoming the land of influencers—including those of the feathered variety.

Esperanza, a 12-year-old chicken from Austin's Highland neighborhood, has a reputation that precedes her. According to her owner, Edward Gottschalk, there's a solid chance she's the oldest chicken in Austin.

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Clementine is one of three goats who lives in the side yard of the historic Zimmerli-Rosenquist home in Hyde Park. (Emma Freer)

Retirees. Dog walkers. Preschoolers. Joggers. They all stop at the corner of 41st Street and Avenue G in Hyde Park to marvel at the side-yard mini farm, home to 12 nameless chickens and three goats: Clementine, Rosebud and Billy Budd.

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(Austin Animal Center/Facebook)

Everything felt grim in the summer of 2020 as the pandemic raged on and kept many away from family and friends, but there was one glimmer of hope: dogs and cats were being adopted in record numbers.

But now as people begin to go back to work in person and resume their former lives, thousands of "pandemic pups" are being returned to shelters, where they are reaching full capacity.

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Austin finds toxic algae in Lady Bird Lake. (Austonia)

Small amounts of dihydroanatoxin, potentially dog-killing algae, has been found in an algae sample taken from Lake Austin near Mansfield Dam as well as two samples from Lady Bird Lake.

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