WEST LOOP —One of Chicago's most famous dogs, Freckles, is on the mend after West Loop neighbors — and strangers — came to his rescue earlier this year.
After tearing his left ACL during a squirrel chase at Skinner Park this summer, Freckles the firehouse dog needed surgery.
Often called the "ambassador of the West Loop," Freckles is loved by many, but doesn't have an official owner. He lives at Engine 103's firehouse in the West Loop and neighbors Karen Pollack and Michelle Langlois, who live across the street from the firehouse, help care for him.
To raise funds for his surgery, Pollack and Langlois launched a GoFundMe campaign. Within days, neighbors had raised nearly $4,000 to help the 12-year-old Dalmatian-Pitbull mix.
Veterinarians Joanna Krol and Jason Long at the Animal Care Center of Chicago in the West Loop performed Freckles' surgery to repair the injury. Soon after, vets at Veterinary Specialty Center in Buffalo Grove offered to provide rehab services to Freckles free of charge, Pollack said.
Freckles is completing underwater treadmill and laser therapy to treat pain and inflammation, confirmed Dr. Lindsay Seilheimer, a vet at the suburban center.
"He's doing really well. He is fully weight-bearing on his surgery leg," Seilheimer said. She expects him to be back to full health in three to four weeks.
A West Loop celebrity, Freckles has posed for pictures with the cast of "Chicago Fire" and earned many fans over the years. He also has his own website, a Twitter handle and Facebook fan page.
Pollack said Pouch, the resident firehouse dog on "Chicago Fire," was even modeled after Freckles.
Post-surgery, Freckles is now living back at the firehouse, but on romps through Skinner Park, he's more careful now.
"He kind of looks at the squirrels now. He weighs his options," Pollack said with a laugh.
Freckles, a 12-year-old Dalmatian-Pitbull mix lives at Engine 103's firehouse in the West Loop. [DNAinfo/Stephanie Lulay]
Freckles is back in action at Engine 103 in the West Loop. [DNAinfo/Stephanie Lulay]
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