Beloved Niles veterinarian dies from COVID-19

A veterinarian who devoted himself to helping animals in need is one of the latest victims of coronavirus.

Now, the community is remembering him for the good he did.

Dr. Peter Sakas was known as a miracle worker for animals. He owned the Niles Animal Hospital and Bird Medical Center and was a vet there for more than 40 years. He’s being remembered for his passion and unwavering dedication to both animals and people.

“He was sent here from heaven to take care of animals,” said Chicago Police Lt. John Garrido.

Garrido remembers Dr. sakas as an amazing human being with a passion for helping.

“It was in his DNA,” he said.

Friends for the past 19 years, Garrido says he last spoke to Dr. Sakas on Friday while he was in the hospital.

“He told us his temperature was down and he was doing good. He was actually saying he wanted to get out in a couple days,” Garrido said.

He says Dr. Sakas took a turn for the worse. He died on Monday from the coronavirus, but even while in the hospital; Dr. Sakas was still caring for animals.

“Just typical of Dr. Sakas. The first thing he asked me was 'how’s Otto?'” Garrido said.

Otto is an abused dog brought to Garrido's stray rescue foundation, which was started with the help of Dr. Sakas.

“We've worked with so many vets and they're all great, but I tell you, Dr. Sakas, he would come in on his days off to help us,” Garrido said.

FOX 32 last interviewed Dr. Sakas in February while he was caring for more abused animals. Heartfelt stories about his legacy are now flooding social media. People are remembering him for being generous with his time and talents. Calling his compassion and love for animals legendary.

Meanwhile, others are paying tribute at a growing memorial outside of his animal hospital, Tokens of Love, for a man known for his big heart.

“He would go to the ends of the earth to help an animal and people alike,” Garrido said.

Dr. Sakas was 67 years old.

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