Owner of 'Blaze' agrees to get full veterinary checkup for dog, city of Arlington says
ARLINGTON, Wash. -- The owner of "Blaze" has agreed to get a full veterinary checkup for the dog, whose treatment and condition has raised concern among residents, the city of Arlington said Thursday.
The news comes amid a controversy in the city over the owner's care for the dog and the local laws surrounding the treatment of animals.
"Arlington Police staff have contacted the owner to discuss Blaze’s condition and treatment," a city news release said. "The Arlington Police staff have extended the owner the offers from our staff and local community to assist with housing, veterinary care and fencing for Blaze. At this time the owner has declined these offers.
"After a lengthy discussion with Deputy Police Chief Jon Ventura, Blaze’s owner has agreed that it is time for Blaze to receive full veterinary checkup. The owner is in the process of scheduling that with a local veterinary clinic.
"The City of Arlington Police Department will continue to monitor Blaze’s condition and treatment on a regular basis," the release said.
The city said residents can participate in the process as Arlington leaders discuss updates to animal control and treatment laws. The City Council Workshop agenda and packet materials can be found on the city’s website at www.arlingtonwa.gov. Comments can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or individuals may speak at the end of the Council Workshop on September 14, the city said.
EARLIER Q13 FOX NEWS STORY BELOW:
ARLINGTON, Wash. -- A heated conversation is brewing in Arlington over the laws surrounding the treatment of animals.
One dog in particular has the attention of thousands who are rallying online. They feel "Blaze" is being neglected by his owner and they want the city to step in to "free" him.
"I usually cry every time I drive by that house," a local resident said. "I have cried many nights thinking about that dog."
Blaze, a black Labrador retriever, is at the center of a growing debate in Arlington.
"No animal should be tied to a tree with a cone around its neck for five years," said the resident, who asked not to be identified out of fear of retaliation.
She's heading up a petition, already 1,500 signatures strong, demanding that the city step in and rescue Blaze.
But Kristin Banfield, of the city of Arlington, said Blaze is "not tied up 24/7 and the cone is on there to keep him from hurting himself further with his allergic condition."
The city says no laws are being broken, including the tethering law.
Banfield said that law states that animals have "access to food and water, access to shelter, and room to be able to maneuver around so it doesn't cause them any injury. And that's what we have in this case."
She said the city has received dozens of 911 calls from people, dating back to 2012, expressing concern about the dog.
"The dog is well-fed, has adequate water and access to that. Also has a shelter out there, has a dog house that he's able to easily access," Banfield said.
The city also said Blaze's owner has provided officers documentation from a vet ordering he wear that cone, which protects him from scratching himself when his skin allergy flares up.
"The dog is in a healthy condition and, while it's not ideal for a dog to live like that, that is acceptable under the law," Banfield said.
Some say the current law just isn't enough -- and what they're seeing just isn't right.
"My biggest fear is that, as has happened in the past, nothing's gonna happen and that dog will die laying on the ground alone," the petitioner said.
Q13 FOX News made several attempts to contact Blaze's owner, but have yet to hear back.
While no laws are being broken, the city says it is researching tethering laws in other cities and states in the hope of narrowing the current law.
The City Council will likely address the issue in a few weeks.
If you wish to know more about the petition for Blaze, click here.