These beautifully decorated dogs are brightening up Chicago
The addition of the life-size German Shepherd police dogs is all for a good cause.
These are just some of the brilliant dog statues which will be dotted around the US city of Chicago as part of a fundraising scheme which honours fallen police officers.
Each statue of a life-size German Shepherd police dog has been decorated by artists on behalf of businesses, organisations and families from across the Windy City.
While some have gone with a police theme for the K9 art, others have transformed the animals into messages of hope and even a robotic dog.
Walsh Construction’s dog wears a white hard hat and hi-vis jacket – and now has his own Twitter account.
Sponsors bought the blank statues about six months ago in support of the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation (CPMF) and animal charity Paws Chicago. Then they passed them to Chicago-based artists, including three who are Chicago police officers, for decorating before being added to the city.
This dog, which stands in the entrance to the Chicago Athletic hotel, has been signed by the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks.
The CPMF remembers all 574 Chicago police officers who have died in the line of duty and helps their families. It also supports those who have been catastrophically injured.
It decided to use dog statues in a nod to the work of the police dogs who help the city. The involvement of Paws Chicago made the choice even more pertinent.
Speaking at the launch, Superintendent Eddie Johnson said: “When you look at the dogs they’re pretty interesting and I think that will just add to Chicago’s personality. I want to thank everyone for supporting the Chicago Police Department.”
Paula Fasseas, of Paws Chicago, added: “We are so honoured to partner with the Police Memorial Fund and we are excited to see the dogs lining the streets of Michigan Avenue, watching and seeing all the beautiful colours. Every one represents a different entity and part of the fabric of Chicago.”
Richard Simon, chairman of The Magnificent Mile, said: “This is a great opportunity for people of Chicago to come down and see a lot of public art and it also enhances the Magnificent Mile for the tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of tourists who will be here over the next few weeks.”
A full gallery of the dogs, the artists behind them and the name of the sponsor is available on the Chicago K9s website.
At the end of the scheme the dogs will be auctioned in support of the charities.