ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - An 11-year-old Australian Cattle Dog named Blue is at the center of red hot debate should he or shouldn't he be allowed to live as he's always lived off the leash.
"The community pitches in to make sure he has you know heated stuff in his dog house and everything like that," said Hilary Noskin.
The Albuquerque based attorney knows Blue well.
She has visited him many times in his home of Elephant Butte.
Noskin said 11-year-old Blue, who was abandoned as a puppy and taken in by the community, has become a sort of town mascot allowed to come and go as he pleases.
"I've never seen him be anything but be great and kids hang all over him and everything and I've never seen anything different," Noskin said.
The city of Elephant Butte though says over the last six months it's gotten several complaints about Blue from growling at other dogs to growling at people and even walking out into the street.
"We have to take it serious for the safety of the citizens and especially when the citizens complain about it," said city manager Alan Briley.
Those complaints led to a citation for violating the city's animal control laws of having a dog at large.
The city cited the owners of the Butte General Store and Marine where Blue took up residence about four years ago.
"He's 11 years old, so he stays on our property 99 percent of the time the only time he goes across the street is when he's called to by someone who wants to pet him," said Store Co-Owner Janice Connor.
Noskin is representing Blue pro bono to get the citation dismissed and to work with city councilors to find an exception to the animal control ordinance so that Blue can remain unrestrained.
"We're not talking about overturning an ordinance we're not talking about taking away the city's enforcement capability, we're talking about Blue. He's a good dog, he's not hurt anybody," said Noskin.
The city is holding a meeting on June 13th to get suggestions on how to resolve this.
In the meantime Blue's supporters have created a Facebook page for him and even circulated a petition to keep him free.
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