DeKALB – A mosaic huskie statue created as part of a large community fundraiser has been taken from outside We Care Pregnancy Clinic.
Northern Illinois University student Lauren Meranda covered a fiberglass dog statue with broken pieces of pottery and china as part of 2008’s Huskies on Parade. The public art project benefited a scholarship fund in honor of the five students who died in the Feb. 14, 2008, shooting at NIU.
Clinic executive director Katie Mehne noticed the statue was missing Friday as she was leaving the clinic at 403 N. Fifth St., DeKalb.
The statue had special meaning for Meranda, who appreciated architect Antoni Gaudi’s mosaics during an internship in Barcelona and for the clinic, which offered some of its own mugs for the mosaic. Community members also contributed pieces that were used in the creation.
“It really symbolizes the brokenness of our community and how God can put it all back together,” said Mehne, adding the clinic often sees women who feel their lives have been shattered by an unexpected pregnancy but want help putting the pieces back together.
The statue, named Grace, weighs several hundred pounds, Mehne said. She reported the theft to DeKalb police but said the clinic would accept the statue back without asking questions or placing blame.
“It took four women to inch-by-inch her; this is a heavy dog,” Mehne said. “I’m not quite sure how someone would move her.”
This spring, a similar statue was taken from the DeKalb Public Library and found with chipped ears and some scratches about two weeks later in Afton Forest Preserve.
In July 2010, “Media Hound,” the Huskies on Parade dog created by NIU’s Media Services Department, was taken from Still Hall, which is on College Avenue on the NIU campus. It was found a few days later, slightly damaged and lying on its side, in the 500 block of Normal Road.