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Artistic license didn’t include rabies tags

Greg Pike with his dog, cat and mice at his home in Naco, Arizona
Greg Pike, 43, with his dog Booger, cat Kitty and white mice, all named Mousie, outside his home in Naco, Ariz., on Dec. 24, 2006.Jeff Topping / Reuters file
/ Source: The Associated Press

When Gregory Pike was told he had to have a busker's license for his strolling act consisting of mice riding on the back of a cat riding on the back of a dog, he figured it would be no big deal to get the $35 license.

But Pike said that when he came out of city hall with the itinerant vendor license, he walked into city animal control officers. They gave him citations for $500 because Booger, his Rottweiler-Labrador mix, and Kitty, the gray-and-black cat, had no tags proving they had their rabies shots and had been spayed or neutered.

Pike also was not carrying the required poop bags.

Pike contends he is being harassed. But Carla Lopez, a spokeswoman for the city, said buskers who make their living with animals have to have the tags and have to pick up after themselves.

"That makes it so it works for everyone," she said.

Pike had moved from Santa Fe to St. Johns, Ariz., for the warmer weather but said he came back to Santa Fe to make a little money.

However, he may not be walking around the Santa Fe Plaza for long with Booger, Kitty and Mousies (all the white mice in the act are named Mousie) if he has to come up with $500 in fines, he said.

"I have a court date coming up, and we'll see," he said.