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Auditor the Strip Mine Dog statue.

Statue of Auditor, the Strip Mine Dog

Field review by the editors.

Butte, Montana

Auditor was a strange dog. For more than 17 years he lived alone in the barren waste dumps, leach pads, and mine roads surrounding the rim of the huge Berkeley Pit strip mine in Butte, Montana. He was a cautious, dirty canine, and resembled a pile of stained rags. The dog shunned human contact, but the miners respected his toughness and named him "Auditor" because he would always show up when least expected. They built him a shanty, made him a bed, and left food and water for him.

Berkeley Pit.

Auditor defied the conventional wisdom that nothing could live in the toxic Superfund site. For example, the peaceful looking "pond" in the Berkeley Pit is poisonous enough to kill birds, as several hundred snow geese discovered to their dismay when they landed on it in 1995.

Even before he died in 2003, money was raised to build a monument to the dreadlocked dog. The larger-than-life, 300 pound bronze statue with a copper patina (the Berkeley Pit was a copper mine) was completed in 2005, and has been displayed in a local coffee shop, then a shopping mall, and currently the Butte-Silver Bow Chamber of Commerce.

The statue will eventually be put on permanent display at the Berkeley Pit Viewing Stand, along with a plaque telling Auditor's story. The dog probably would use it as a urinal.

Statue of Auditor, the Strip Mine Dog

Butte-Silver Bow Chamber of Commerce

1000 George St., Butte, MT
I-90/15 exit 126, drive north, then immediately turn right onto George St. The Butte-Silver Bow Chamber of Commerce will be on the right. Auditor is displayed indoors.
M-Sa 8:30-5, Su 9-4 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Piccadilly Museum - Relics of TransportationPiccadilly Museum - Relics of Transportation, Butte, MT - 1 mi.
Lake of Death: Berkeley Pit OverlookLake of Death: Berkeley Pit Overlook, Butte, MT - 1 mi.
Our Lady of the RockiesOur Lady of the Rockies, Butte, MT - 2 mi.
In the region:
Old Pitt, Elephant Killed by Lightning, Dillon, MT - 54 mi.

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