Tyrone council to allow dog statue

TYRONE — Borough Council has informally given permission for a recent Tyrone Area High School graduate to place a dog statue in borough-owned City Hotel Park at Pennsylvania Avenue and 10th Street.

Katelyn Richards had hoped to place the stylized statue of a K-9 military dog in Soldier’s Park at Lincoln Avenue and 14th Street, but the American Legion wouldn’t allow it because the dog would be representative of police dogs as well as military service canines, Richards, 19, told council at a recent meeting.

Borough Manager Ardean Latchford suggested the switch of locales, saying that the fountain in City Hotel Park no longer works and could be replaced by the statue.

“I don’t have a problem with it,” said Mayor Bill Latchford, Ardean’s brother. “I always thought it was an interesting place for a monument.”

Richards said she envisions the statue “overlooking, protecting” Tyrone.

City Hotel Park, paved with brick, occupies a corner notch and is bounded on the inside corners by a brick building with white-railed balconies, creating a New Orleans feel.

The borough is supportive of the idea of recognizing police dogs, having had one on its force not long ago, the mayor said.

That dog was Vilo, whose master was officer Matt Lutz, he said.

Lutz moved on to the Logan Township Police Department, taking Vilo with him, as police dogs become bound to their individual masters, the mayor said.

“I was sad to see them both go,” he said.

Council would need to give formal approval when the time comes to place the statue in the park, the manager said.

Richards still needs to raise $3,500 for the $7,000 statue, which will depict a German shepherd in a service vest.