- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 19, 2015

A memorial that honors arson-investigating dogs in the nation’s capital was defaced with paint late Wednesday, prompting a search for the vandals.

Someone poured blue paint and spray-painted “KKK” on the bronze National Fire Dog Monument statue between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. Wednesday, according to police and fire officials.

Large piles of trash also were dumped in the back parking lot of Engine Company 2, where the monument is located, according to the D.C. Firefighters Union.

“Obviously I’m disturbed by such a blatant act that was clearly focused and intended towards our members,” said union President Ed Smith.

The fire dog statue features a bronze sculpture of an arson dog and handler. It was unveiled in 2013 and is the only such monument to arson-investigating dogs in the country.

D.C. police spokesman Officer Paul Metcalf said investigators have not identified any suspects in the case.

Mr. Smith said he hopes that the surveillance cameras that dot the busy corridor around the firehous caught an image of the person responsible for the vandalism.

The 7-foot-tall “From Ashes to Answers” statue has been covered up in the meantime, and Mr. Smith said the firefighters union is reaching out to experts to determine how best to repair the damage.

Monuments and memorials of various types previously have fallen victim to vandalism in the District.

In 2013, an 850-pound stone monument of the Ten Commandments that sits across the street from the U.S. Supreme Court was toppled by vandals.

Also in 2013, police arrested a woman they said splattered green paint on the Lincoln Memorial and inside the National Cathedral. The charges against Jiamei Tian were dropped after a judge found her incompetent to stand trial.

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