Police pooches on mission to sniff out yobs who have hurt region’s Snowdogs

Have you been on the snowdog trail?
Have you been on the snowdog trail?
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Police dogs have been on walkies to sniff out vandals who have 'injured' the Great North Snowdogs.

Northumbria Police's Dog Section have been enjoying the statues which have popped up across the region after they were installed at a number of iconic locations.

Members of the public are being encouraged to follow a trail of 61 big and 97 little Snowdogs statues to attract visitors to the region and support the St Oswald's Children's Hospice.

So far the initiative has been a great success but some of the statues in Sunderland and South Tyneside have already been damaged by people climbing on them and parents putting their children on top of them to take pictures.

Northumbria Police are also helping St Oswald’s look at the circumstances surrounding some of the Snowdogs damaged across the force area.

It comes as officers remind the public to be careful around the statues which are set to be auctioned off to support a local children’s hospice which helps families from right across the region.

They also want to work with the charity to ensure the Snowdogs trail can be enjoyed for the full 10 weeks of the display.

PC Adam Fegan, of Northumbria Police's dog section, said: "Our police pooches and pups have loved meeting the Snowdogs this week and they'll be sniffing out the rest of the trail in the coming weeks.

"This is a great initiative for the North East and we will be tweeting pictures of our dogs alongside the different Snowdogs every time they manage to track down a new one.

"A couple of the statues have been damaged and we'd ask the public to respect the artwork so everyone can enjoy the trail before it ends late November.

"In the meantime make sure you Tweet us your pictures of your dogs at the trail locations to help give our fluffy police employees a better chance of sniffing out all the Snowdogs."

The big Snowdogs are sponsored by businesses around the region and decorated by artists. Smaller versions of the Snowdogs have also been given to local community groups and schools and have been decorated by local children.

There is a trail map and an interactive app so people can follow the trail, collect rewards and offers via the app and share in the fun during the ten weeks of the trail.

At the end of the 10 weeks the large dogs will come back off the streets and will be put up for auction at Gateshead Sage with proceeds going to St Oswald's Children's Hospice.

You can find the trail map for locations and further information on www.greatnorthsnowdogs.co.uk.

Follow the Northumbria Police Dog Section's progress on Twitter by following @npdogsection and the hashtag #ProtectOurPack.