A colorful display of K9s can be seen all around downtown Chicago this summer. The K9s for Cops program has placed over 40 almost-6-foot dog statues around the area.
The base of each dog is the same, though the final appearances are varied and unique.
One Muscatine man had the opportunity to be a part of the special project. Jim Hetzler says he first learned about the program through a Brush Master group he is a part of in the Chicago area. Hetzler, who specializes in custom paint graphics and pin striping, was intrigued by the program.
The K9 for Cops statues are purchased or sponsored by local businesses, individuals, and organizations. The money raised supports the Chicago Police Memorial Fund. The dogs are Germans shepherds, the represent K9 police dogs used by the Chicago Police Department.
Hetzler says he sent out an email to several people wondering if any wanted to sponsor a K9 that he could paint, and the person who responded was his very own sister.
Kim Burdakin is a liver transplant recipient. She purchased the K9 for her brother to paint and display.
The design chosen includes the logo of DonateLife.net, and the colors were chosen to match the organization.
Hetzler says the K9 he worked with is painted with auto paint, which has some metallic flake included to help the paint shine.
Hetlzer explains that for those wishing to view them all, maps are available at Chicagok9s.com.
More information on organ donation, including how to sign up, can be found at DonateLife.net.
The dogs will be on display through Labor Day, when they will be auctioned off. All proceeds from the sponsorships and the auction will go to the Chicago Police Memorial Fund.