Loving paint job brings German shepherd K-9 statue to life in Orange

  • Local muralist Susan Marshall restored the police K-9 statue outside the Orange Police Department at 400 East River St. This photo shows the statue before the restoration. The statue is dedicated to all police K-9s in the department’s history. Marshall said primer was donated by the Pioneer Junior Women’s Club. Contributed photo

  • Local muralist Susan Marshall restored the police K-9 statue outside the Orange Police Department at 400 East River St. This photo shows the statue after the restoration. The statue is dedicated to all police K-9s in the department’s history. Marshall said primer was donated by the Pioneer Junior Women’s Club. Contributed photo

Recorder Staff
Published: 9/11/2016 11:19:49 PM

ORANGE — Susan Marshall managed to wash a canine without producing that wet-dog smell.

The local semi-retired muralist volunteered her time and talents to restore the K-9 statue outside the Orange Police Department at 400 East Main St.

Marshall said she started the work late last month and finished it on Sept. 2. She said she repainted the statue the colors of a German shepherd, the breed of some past Orange Police K-9s.

Former K-9 Officer Clay Rushford said the statue, which was installed outside the station in 1997 and had faded in color over time, is dedicated to all past, present and future military and police K-9 teams. He said he approached Marshall in the fall after seeing the mural she was painting on the side of Trail Head Outfitters & General Store in Orange.

Rushford said Marshall assessed the statue about a month ago and agreed to resurrect it.

“I think it’s beautiful, absolutely beautiful,” he said. “It’s very realistic-looking, very regal.”

Rushford handled five dogs in his 33 years as Orange’s K-9 officer. He stills works for the department, but the K-9 program is now run by Officer Christopher Bisceglia. Orka, a Belgian Malinois, joined the department on June 22. Matte, the previous Orange Police K-9, died of lung cancer on April 6.

Marshall explained lichen, a composite organism that visually resembles moss, had grown on the statue since it was installed. She said she got permission to trim the bushes around the statue and then sanded and brushed it before washing it. She said the statue had faded and chipped paint on it, but had no varnish.

Marshall based the paint job on photographs of Matte, a German shepherd. Once the statue was cleaned, she applied Loxon, a Sherwin-Williams primer donated by the Pioneer Junior Women’s Club.

“I love that he really looks like a German shepherd now,” she said. “It was a real labor of love. It was a real joy to do.”




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