Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Safety Harbor Dalmatian statue honors 9/11 first responders

SAFETY HARBOR — City firefighters have a new helper standing at the ready outside Fire Station 52 on Main Street.

Brooklyn, a 9-foot-tall Dalmatian made of recycled steel, wears scuffed yellow boots and wields a fire axe. His collar tag reads: SAVE DOG SAVE.

Brooklyn is the second piece of public art installed in Safety Harbor this week. The first, Rock-ET Man, a sculpture by stone carver C.R. Gray, was erected at the Safety Harbor Museum and Cultural Center on Bayshore Boulevard on Monday.

It took seven men to unload Brooklyn from a semitrailer truck Monday. The big dog's story spans three states and 12 years.

Brooklyn was made by Chicago artist Mitch Levin, who runs High Voltage Studio there with his wife, Susie. The Dalmatian is a tribute to New York City firefighters and paramedics who fought to save lives on 9/11.

"It was an incredibly negative event, but I wanted Brooklyn to be positive," said Levin, who fashions dogs from melted bass drums. "I want him to represent love, courage, hope."

Brooklyn, named after the home borough of Levin's stepfather, an emergency room doctor, made his way to Safety Harbor through local artist Todd Ramquist. Levin and Ramquist are longtime friends. Six months ago when Safety Harbor issued a call for public art, Ramquist called Levin.

Brooklyn, Ramquist thought, would be perfect: A fire dog for the fire house.

Levin sent photos, and the city's public art committee voted to post the Dalmatian between the fire station and City Hall on Main Street.

Ramquist, who is involved with creating the Safety Harbor Art & Music Center, gave Brooklyn a sponge bath Tuesday.

"Probably 20 people rolled down their windows and yelled, 'Great work!' or 'That makes me happy!'" he said. "People walking their dogs stopped and took photos. The art is playful and interactive."

Brooklyn, donated by Levin, will remain at his post at the fire station until December. After that, he will be moved to his permanent home in the Art & Music Center, which is scheduled to open by Christmas.

Danielle Paquette can be reached at or (727) 445-4224. To write a letter to the editor, go to

Safety Harbor Dalmatian statue honors 9/11 first responders 01/31/13 [Last modified: Thursday, January 31, 2013 7:45pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. What happens if you look at the eclipse without glasses? Want a hole in your vision?


    It's the burning question of the week.

    The solar eclipse Monday will be quite the Carl Sagan, Neal deGrasse Tyson moment for Americans to share. The idea is to walk away without frying your eyeballs.

    Colton Hammer tries out his new eclipse glasses he just bought from the Clark Planetarium in Salt Lake City on Wednesday in preparation for the eclipse on Monday. [Scott G Winterton | Deseret News via AP]
  2. Waterspout forms between Caladesi and Dunedin


    A waterspout formed between Caladesi Island and Dunedin earlier today.

    A waterspout formed between Caladesi Island and Dunedin. [Photo via YouTube]
  3. Contractor sues Tampa over troubled Watrous Canal repair project

    Local Government

    TAMPA — City Hall is being sued by the company it hired for a $3.2 million canal-repair project that ran into problems, plaguing neighborhoods along West Shore Boulevard with road closures and traffic delays even as its cost rose by 45 percent.

    A project to repair and improve the Watrous Canal closed West Shore Boulevard last year and is now the subject of a lawsuit between the contractor, Pac Comm of Miami, and the city of Tampa. CHRIS URSO   |   Times (2016)

  4. Salvation Army, Red Cross, Susan G. Komen abandon Trump's Mar-a-Lago


    The Salvation Army, the American Red Cross and Susan G. Komen on Friday joined a growing exodus of organizations canceling plans to hold fundraising events at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, deepening the financial impact to President Donald Trump's private business amid furor over his comments on Charlottesville.

    A Secret Service agent stands at President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach in April. [Doug Mills | New York Times]
  5. Grocery chain Aldi hosting hiring event in Brandon Aug. 24


    BRANDON — German grocery chain Aldi is holding a hiring event for its Brandon store Aug. 24. It is looking to fill store associate, shift manager and manager trainee positions.