Almost $ 4,000 Raised to Repair Iconic Statue of the Dog Frederick Following Vandalism | visual arts
An iconic statue of a dog standing guard in downtown Frederick, dating from the 1850s, was badly damaged by a vandal on Tuesday morning when a person pushed the dog from its base, cutting off two of its legs.
The damage comes more than a year after the statue needed a $ 12,000 restoration that left the dog out of his post outside Federated Charities for nearly a year.
The dog, nicknamed “Charity,” was vandalized shortly before 8 a.m. Tuesday, according to city police spokesperson Allen Etzler. Elin Ross, executive director of Federated Charities, said she discovered the vandalism shortly after arriving at work just before 8:30 a.m.
Typically, Charity is attached to the front of the South Market Street building, welded to a base on the front stairwell of the building, where it has stood more or less regularly since 1858.
But on Tuesday morning, Ross said she had arrived to see Charity on the floor in front of the building. One of its legs remained attached to the base, while a second was torn from both the statue and the base.
Ross said it was an emotional experience.
“I was a bit in tears,” she admitted on a phone call. “The crying is over; now i’m just crazy.
According to Etzler, a suspect is already known to city police but could not be identified until the charges were finalized.
Ross said the incident was captured by outdoor security cameras at the nearby Wag’s restaurant, and it appeared the individual had managed to gain enough strength to push Charity from his booth.
The response to the vandalism, Ross said, was both anger and a desire to help. Charitable status is well known in the city, as is the mission of federated charities to support a wide range of community services.
“This is a safety net available to everyone in our community, and thinking that someone could damage someone’s property in this way, but especially that property, is why it resonates for so long. of people, ”Ross said.
A fundraiser was quickly launched on Federated Charities’ Facebook page; By 4:30 p.m., the initiative had already raised over $ 4,000 for Charity’s restoration. Ross has stated that Charity is insured, but she is unsure how much money would be available through the insurance or how much it would cost to restore Charity to its former glory.
While Ross said she was upset with the damage to the noted dog, she also said the vandalism helped highlight the need for what Federated Charities is doing.
“It’s not going to stop us from doing this job,” she said. “If anything, it’s an indicator of the huge need in this community. It would not prevent us from serving that person; someone doing something like this needs the help of a nonprofit in our community.
From his perch on South Market Street, Charity observed Frederick’s 164-year history – nearly 1,150 canine years – after being purchased by the building’s owner, John Williams, in 1858 for $ 45. The dog’s name is a more recent development, not being nicknamed Charity until 1989. Ross said Charity had become a literal touchstone to Frederick, saying she had seen countless people stop for a ride. photo with the dog or give it a scratch behind the ears.
Charity – sculpted like a Chesapeake Bay retriever – recently had to undergo a restoration to repair the damage the rust had caused to his feet, which led Charity to be absent from his post for 327 days from the summer 2020. Ross said people have “really missed” the charity during this time.
The charity has been the victim of vandalism in the past, with previous reports from the Frederick News-Post showing vandals taking off its head and tail.
Follow Patrick Kernan on Twitter: @PatKernan