Two of the Snowdog sculptures which form part of The Kirkwood’s Snowdogs Support Life art trail have had to be taken away for repair due to vandalism and damage.
The Snowdog in Market Place, Huddersfield, called Together We Are One, and another in Cleckheaton town centre – named Day of the Dog – have been temporarily removed while the damage is assessed.
The Kirkwood has urged people to take care around the Snowdogs and an appeal has been launched to help fund the repairs.
There are 31 individually-designed Snowdogs across Kirklees – 10 in Huddersfield town centre, five in Dewsbury, four in Slaithwaite, four in Holmfirth, three in Batley, three in Cleckheaton and two in Birstall.
The trail, which started on September 2 and runs until Monday October 31, has been a big success with thousands of people searching out the Snowdogs, taking pictures and selfies.
However, two of the Snowdogs have provided too much of a temptation for some, leaving staff and volunteers at the Dalton-based hospice upset and disappointed.
A spokesman said: “This is devastating, not just for The Kirkwood, but for the amazing artists who put their hearts and souls into creating their Snowdogs, our sculpture sponsors and everyone who has enjoyed the trail over the past few weeks. People have really taken our Snowdogs into their hearts.
“Unfortunately, The Kirkwood will now have to find the funds to fix the two Snowdog sculptures, which sadly means extra expense for our charity.
“We’ve been absolutely blown away by the positive reaction to Snowdogs Support Life, Kirklees and we’re all in shock that anyone would want to deliberately cause damage to our fabulous works of art.”
The trail is aimed at raising awareness and funds for The Kirkwood and the Snowdogs will be auctioned off in November.
Duncan Batty, The Kirkwood’s director of income generation and marketing, said it wasn’t clear how the sculptures had been damaged but it was at best “reckless” if not wanton vandalism.
“The damage caused to both dogs is something we didn’t want to see,” he said. “This is a community project for everyone to get involved in.
“Months of preparation has gone into each dog. Time and effort have been spent and that has been spoiled. We want people to enjoy the trail but to respect it too.
“We want everyone to enjoy interacting with our sculptures but please don’t climb on them or hang off them.
“With your help we can make sure all of our Snowdogs continue to look their very best so we can raise as much money as possible at auction to help The Kirkwood Support Life across Kirklees.”
Mr Batty said the two Snowdogs would be back on the trail as soon as possible.
To donate towards the repairs go to www.snowdogskirklees.org.uk/donate