If you’re in Chicago this summer, be on the lookout for these touching displays that honors police officers killed or wounded in the line of duty.
Hundreds of life-sized fiberglass dog statues will be dedicated to Chicago police officers, and on display from July 23 to September 4. After that, the statues will be auctioned off to raise money for the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation, which assists the families of officers who are killed and those who are wounded, as well as other supportive initiatives like purchasing bullet-proof vests for officers.
The 200 German Shepherd statues are part of a public art initiative called K-9s For Cops, and will be designed and painted by artists working with the sponsors of the initiative. They will be about 54 inches tall and will be solidly mounted to a concrete base for display.
A few years ago, a similar project called the Horses of Honor campaign featured life-sized horse statutes, and the sale and sponsorships of approximately 125 horses raised $480,000 for the foundation. This year, a portion of the proceeds of sales of the dog statues will be donated to PAWS Chicago to help with the free spay and neuter services they provide, as well as medical care for shelter pets.
Chicago Police Memorial Foundation Executive Director Phil Cline said that the art initiative will allow Chicago’s talented artists to shine, while honoring Canine Unit police officers and their canine partners who sacrificially keep Chicago safe. There are 65 dogs on the canine team who help the Chicago police detect narcotics and explosives, track suspects and conduct building searches, and the art display will help honor their work as well.
If you are in the Chicago area this summer and see any of these dogs, be sure to take a pic and share them with us!