Vernon, Al.[WCBI]-A simple decorative art design gives a special flare to something common in a West Alabama town.
If you happen to ever be driving through the town of Vernon, its hard not to catch a glimpse of the little dressed up dogs, and if needed they have the ability to squirt water.
“We’ve got about 110 hydrants total inn the city limits of Vernon, but we painted about 30 which are on the main entrance to the city,” said Don Dollar, Vernon City Official.
No, they are not real dogs, just dressed up city fire hydrants painted to resemble dalmatians. And people visiting the town for annual events cannot but admire the fire house dogs.
“We have the scarecrow festival that we do and then we have the City Celebration/Old School Festival that the chamber and city work hand and hand together with. And that seems to be one of the attractions when people from out of town come through,” said Dollar.
From the response, it looks like Vernon city officials were barking up the right tree when they made the decision to paint the hydrants. That decision was made some 15 years ago when three term mayor Rose Marie Smith-Hocutt was in office.
“The dalmatian is the long time symbol of all fire departments, even on the Budweiser Horses that were recently in Columbus. You probably saw that dog on their trailer, but the dalmatian is the symbol of the fire departments and so we just took it and ran with it,” said Dollar.
An employee of the city of Vernon had taken pictures of painted fire hydrants while visiting in Chattanooga, Tennessee and pitched the idea to city counsel members.