Service animal memorial has Italian connection

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Eight dogs and three horses that gave their lives while serving alongside Chicago police officers were recently honored in a new memorial.

Local sculptor Jessica LoPresti designed and sculpted the piece along with fellow artist Oscar Leon. The work was created at the Fine Art Studio of Rotblatt Amrany in Highwood, Illinois.

“Our intention was to create a meaningful and moving tribute dedicated to the K9 and equine units of the Chicago Police Department that highlights the bond between the animals and their human partners, and to honor their service and sacrifice,” says LoPresti, a Chicago-area resident and DePaul University graduate.

The memorial is located just east of Soldier Field, near the Gold Star Families Memorial and Park in the museum campus area east of Soldier Field. The formal unveiling ceremony took place on Oct. 11.

LoPresti is a co-sculptor of the statue of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, unveiled in October 2022, in the courtyard of Chicago’s Holy Name Cathedral.


About Ron Polaniecki

Ron Polaniecki is a lifelong Chicagoan with decades of experience in communications management for national and local trade and professional associations. Now retired, Ron continues to contribute freelance articles for a variety of business and specialty publications. For some 30 years, Ron has been a volunteer leader for Chicago Shares, a not-for-profit that helps the needy. He holds an undergraduate degree from DePaul University in Education and a graduate degree in American History from the University of Illinois, Chicago. Ron and his wife live on the Northwest Side and are active church volunteers and help with their 12 grandchildren.

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