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Artist painting mural to honor Carl the Rooster

Artist Cali Rob says the mural should be completed within two weeks.
Published: May. 2, 2022 at 7:28 PM CDT
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OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - One stroke at a time, artist Cali Rob is doing his part to celebrate the life of Carl the Rooster.

“Carl was so much more than a rooster,” Rob said. “He was an icon. He was a pillar of the community.”

To pay tribute, he’s creating a larger-than-life piece outside of Lil’ Market Deli and Bagelry to honor the bird so many loved.

“Art is just something I do with my life,” Rob said. “It’s a way I give back and express, not just me, but also my love and give back.”

He’s not the only one honoring Carl. Memorials are set up throughout downtown Ocean Springs, including hand-written letters and flowers.

Business owner Ashley Peto created car decals. She’s been inundated with requests, with more than 350 already.

“That’s only off the one post and the people who have messaged me,” Peto said while laughing. “That’s not the separate posts that have been shared. I’m trying to keep up with it. It’s a lot, but I’m getting there.”

The money Peto raises will go toward a local animal charity. She said it’s a collaborative effort.

‘We have a lot of local community business owners doing shirts and all kinds of different things,” Peto said. “This was just something easy that I could do for the community in a short period of time.”

Authorities said Jones County Juvenile Corrections Officer Kendra Shaffer was implicated in taking Carl the Rooster, who was later found dead in Biloxi. Ocean Springs Police issued Shaffer a misdemeanor arrest citation and the Jones County Sheriff’s Department fired her.

However, some Ocean Springs residents say that’s not enough.

“Jobs come and go, but a life,” Rob said. “We only get one run at this life. His life was taken short.”

“I think she needs to be made an example of for the crime she committed,” Peto added.

Artist Cali Rob said the mural should be completed within two weeks. He said efforts are also underway to honor Carl with a second-line parade.

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