Dog Groomer Takes Arlington County To Court Over Mural | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Filed Under:

Dog Groomer Takes Arlington County To Court Over Mural

Play associated audio
The mural was completed in May 2010 by local artist Mark Gutierrez.
Institute for Justice
The mural was completed in May 2010 by local artist Mark Gutierrez.

In Virginia, a small business owner is taking Arlington county to federal court.

She says the county is forcing her to cover or take down a mural on the wall of her store, and violating her free speech rights.

Kim Houghton, the owner of Wag More Dogs Grooming, says she commissioned the 16-by-60-foot mural on the outside wall of her store simply because she thought dog owners using the adjacent dog park could do with some nice scenery.

The mural depicts cartoon dogs chasing bones.

"I was very excited to paint the mural as an expression of my passion for dogs -- and as a goodwill gesture for the folks in the dog park," Houghton says.

The county says the mural is a commercial sign that violates a county ordinance, because it's too large.

Mike Larmie walks his dog in the park every weekend. He doesn't think the mural qualifies as advertising.

"I see no problem with it. Actually, it's pretty nice for the dog park. It actually brings better scenery to the area," he says.

Joahan Amaya has a different view -- perhaps because he owns a dog-related business himself. He's a dog-walker.

"Me as a dog owner -- I think it's cool. But me as a business owner? It's competition," Amaya says.

The mural is currently covered with a blue tarp -- a condition of Houghton's occupancy certificate with the county.

NPR

A Tribute To Stephen Colbert, A Self-Proclaimed 'Junkie For Exhaustion'

Ahead of The Colbert Report's last episode, Fresh Air listens back to interviews with Colbert. "I didn't realize quite how liberal I was until I was asked to make passionate comedic choices," he said.
NPR

Tourtiere: A French-Canadian Twist On Christmas Pie

On Christmas Eve, many French-Canadians will gather after midnight Mass for reveillon, a lavish dinner party that lasts into the wee hours. The traditional centerpiece is a savory, spiced meat pie.
WAMU 88.5

Maryland Lawmakers Played Role In Release Of Alan Gross From Cuba

State lawmakers say they had a hand in the release of Maryland resident Alan Gross from Cuba yesterday.

NPR

White House Says Any Response To Sony Attack Needs To Be 'Proportional'

The White House won't confirm North Korea is behind the attack, citing an ongoing investigation. Nevertheless, it is mulling over its options.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.