New Mexico Town Amends Leash Laws, Neighborhood Friendly Dog Allowed to Roam Free

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Blue, the community icon, is ecstatic to keep his freedom around town
Good news came on Wednesday for the town of Elephant Butte, New Mexico and their community icon “Blue”, a blue-eyed Australian Heeler. After months of debate, officials have changed the town’s leash laws to allow Blue to roam free within a wireless fence.

Blue was abandoned by his owners over a decade ago and has since been a staple in the community. Despite several attempts at adopting him into a family, Blue never took to life in a home. Instead, Blue chooses to hang around the Butte General Store, where store owners have said he has spent years.

The community has come to together to support Blue. They have built an air conditioned and heated doghouse for him. Many visitors to the general store often give money to help with his care as well.

Due to Blue’s friendly personality and his celebrity status within the community, his attorney and caretakers (the owners of Butte General Store) tried to have him exempted from current leash laws. After their request was denied, both parties agreed that Blue could continue to roam free so long as a wireless fence was installed.

The story of Blue’s struggle to keep his freedom hit national headlines and Blue received over 3700 fans on Facebook.

“In his name, people have donated money to people with other dogs in need,” said Janice Connor, co-owner of the Butte General Store. “Dogs have been adopted through his Facebook page. All around, it has been a real positive thing.”

Not only do the new laws protect Blue, other pet owners can also breathe a sigh of relief. The change of ordinance also requires that animal control give warnings to owners before they can pick a dog. In addition, all complaints targeted towards a dog must be reported and verified before the pet owners are cited.

A wireless fence was donated by Invisible Fence of New Mexico and allows Blue a full acre to wander around the store.

76 thoughts on “New Mexico Town Amends Leash Laws, Neighborhood Friendly Dog Allowed to Roam Free”

  1. What happens when the friendly dog goes over to a dog who is on a leash and not too keen on other dogs? …or people who are afraid of dogs and react? Who’s to blame? I just don’t think this is a good idea at all.

  2. yo — all the complainers — read the FULL story.

    1) the title is bad — he roams “free” within a 1 acre area bounded by an invisible fence.

    2) he lives at the store in very comfy digs (A/C and heat in doghouse)

    3) he is not just some average stray but a well known local “personality”

    and —-

    NOTE that they changed the law to benefit ALL dog owners. What is implied by the listing of changes is that the previous law was an onerous mean-spirited attack on all dogs and their owners which stripped dogs and their owners of basic rights and due process.

    doesn’t he look so cute — sort of like Clem Kadiddlehopper!

  3. While it’s great the community loves this dog so much, I have to disagree with the leash law amendment. There are so many reasons, all to the benefit of the dog, not to mention to the owner and others, that leashes are important. Having the friendliest dog in the world does not mean it is no longer at risk when not wearing a leash. Nor should people take it as an insult when others ask you to leash your dogs. Although people here may not understand it, not everyone is comfortable around or likes dogs (including other dogs!), and those boundaries should also be respected.


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