DOWNTOWN — More than 100 pained German shepherd statues will be on display Downtown until Labor Day.
The statues are painted by local Chicago artists and are part of the Chicago "K9s For Cops" campaign. Launched by the Chicago Police Department, Chicago Memorial Police Foundation and PAWS Chicago, the campaign memorializes fallen officers in an effort to raise funds for their families as well as providing free spray/neuter services for residents in underserved communities.
The proceeds will go to families of the fallen and will also provide free spray/neuter serviced in underserved communities. [DNAinfo/Kayla Martinez]
"We are so excited to see the dogs lighting the streets of Michigan Avenue, and watching and seeing all of the beautiful colors. Everyone represents a different entity and a part of the fabric of Chicago," said Paula Fasseas, chairwoman of PAWS Chicago.
The 4½-foot-tall statues will be placed Downtown, primarily on the Magnificent Mile. Every statue is funded by a local sponsor who paid $2,000 to commission the artwork.
Each statue is painted by a local Chicago artist. [DNAinfo/Kayla Martinez]
Ali Cantarella, one of the artists, has her work located at 500 S. Michigan Avenue and is sponsored by Sarah Tyler-Phipps, a lawyer who is involved with PAWS.
"PAWS is one of the philanthropic efforts that I as an artist can give back to," Cantarella said. "I don't have a lot of sponsorship money, but I can give back with my artwork or I can do charitable offerings of caricatures at events."
Cantarella's piece pays homage to the veterinary clinics and medical centers that have made an impact in the lives of dogs in the city.
Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said now is a "difficult time for law enforcement" across the country and it takes "the whole city" to support the police department.
"This represents us as Chicagoans to come together." Johnson said.
Check out the map below to view the locations of the statues.