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Judge Dismisses Dog Mural Case | Pets

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Judge Dismisses Dog Mural Case
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ARLINGTON, Va. (WUSA) -- A U.S. District Court Judge has dismissed the case against Arlington County brought by Wag More Dogs.

Wag More Dogs, a doggie daycare and pet grooming facility, wanted to display a mural on the side of its building. The mural faces the Shirlington Dog Park. Arlington County objected, citing the county's sign ordinance, saying the mural was too large and could be interpreted as an advertisement.


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When the first amendment lawsuit was filed in December, the owner of Wag More Dogs, Kim Houghton, told 9NEWS NOW, "I'm not going to lie down and rollover. It's an expression of my passion for dogs, and what I came here to do which was to open a doggie day care business to bring a service to dog park users and dog owners."

She put a tarp over the mural while the case was pending.  Houghton told 9NEWS NOW in December the county was holding her permit and prevented her from opening her new business if she didn't comply.

A press release from Arlington County says Judge Leonie Brinkema found the sign ordinance was valid and said the mural is a "classic form of branding and advertising."

Because Judge Brinkema dismissed the case "with prejudice," Houghton may appeal the ruling.  She is represented by the Institute for Justice.

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