Tag: butte general store
Elephant Butte is going to let Blue continue to roam, at least within the one-acre confines of a wireless electric fence.
Officials in the New Mexico town voted Wednesday to make some amendments in their leash law.
As a result, Blue — an Australian heeler who was abandoned in town more than 10 years ago and has since become a mostly respected resident — can continue to hang out at the Butte General Store and watch the world go by.
Caretakers of the store, who feed Blue, initially sought an exemption from town leash laws for the dog, citing his friendly demeanor and long-time presence in the community.
After the town declined, a compromise was reached, and approved in a council vote, according to the Associated Press.
Invisible Fence of New Mexico donated a fence that gives Blue about an acre of territory to roam around the store. The system delivers an electric jolt when Blue crosses the perimeter, as he’s done once so far.
“They did a lot of training with him, but it’s going to take a while,” said Janice Conner, who owns the general store with husband Bob Owen.
Blue, who has repeatedly run away from homes that have tried to adopt him, has spent most of his time around the store since the death about two years ago of the owner of Casa Taco, Blue’s previous hangout.
Community members have built him an air-conditioned and heated dog house and store visitors regularly donate for his care.
The debate over what to do about Blue led to some positive changes in the town’s dog law. Under the new ordinance, pet owners must be given warnings before a dog can be picked up by animal control, and any complaints about a dog must be verified before pet owners are cited.
On top of that, Conner said, the controversy led to Blue making 3,700 Facebook friends.
“In his name, people have donated money to people with other dogs in need,” she said in a telephone interview. “Dogs have been adopted through his Facebook page. All around, it has been a real positive thing.”
While Blue has rarely exhibited aggressive behavior, some residents began complaining about Blue after a fatal pit bull attack in neighboring Truth or Consequences. Based on a complaint from a resident who said Blue was following her, Elephant Butte issued a citation for a leash law violation to Owen, even though he wasn’t the dog’s official owner.
Albuquerque attorney Hilary Noskin took up Blue’s cause and, in addition to representing Owen, negotiated with the city to grant Blue a leash law exemption.
(Photo: From Blue’s Facebook page)
Posted by jwoestendiek July 26th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, australian cattle dog, blue, bob owen, butte general store, city council, community, compromise, dog, electic, elephant butte, exemption, fence, heeler, invisible, janice conner, leash laws, new miexico, pets, wireless
Blue’s not totally destitute. He has an air conditioned dog house, $1,800 in savings, a Facebook page and a lawyer, who’s now working to get him an exemption from local leash laws so he can continue his free and rambling lifestyle.
Abandoned as a puppy 10 years ago, Blue, also known as Bluedog, was left at Casa Taco and cared for by the owner, who died two years ago, according to the Associated Press.
Janice Conner, co-owner of Butte General Store and Marina, took over feeding Blue after that. But when a citizen complained about Blue following her and her dog on walks, someone in the city decided that Blue should receive a citation for being off leash, and issued it to Conner’s husband, Bob Owen.
Albuquerque attorney Hilary Noskin offered her legal services, and is trying to get Owen, who doesn’t officially own the dog, off the hook — and win an exemption that would allow Blue to live out the rest of his years, preferably untethered, in front of the store he now calls home.
“He’s one of my favorite clients,” says Noskin. “He is a sweet, sweet dog. He doesn’t meet any vicious dog standards. Somebody said he snarls … but I am not sure I believe that.”
City Manager Alan Briley says the city has received complaints about Blue snapping and growling and almost being hit by cars crossing the street.
Blue has resisted efforts to adopt him, always making his way back to the store. Local residents have donated more than $1,800 his care, Conner said, and they’ve also built him a dog house with heating pads for the winter and air conditioning for the summer.
“Everybody just loves this dog. People who can’t afford a dog bring their kids here to play with Blue. … He is the only dog I know who got four plates of Thanksgiving dinner at his dog house,” she said.
Conner says she has collected more than 1,100 signatures in support of Blue, who is on Facebook as Bluedog EB-Mascot.
“He was here before we became a city” she said, “so all we are asking for is for the city to grandfather him in as a representative of the community.”
(Photo: From Blue’s Facebook page)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 1st, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: air conditioned, australian cattle dog, blue, blue dog, bluedog, butte general store, casa taco, citation, citizens, city council, communal dog, dog house, donations, elephant butte, everybodys dog, exemption, facebook, heated, hilary noskin, homeless, janice conner, lawyer, leash laws, new mexico, off-leash, residents, savings account, stray, wanderer