Gazette readers have spoken of their anger after a charity Snowdog sculpture was targeted by yobs.
"Pawdington", which is in place near the Customs House, had its hat taken off sometime on Friday.
Four large canine sculptures are in place around the borough as part of The Great North Snowdog trail which is helping to raise cash for St Oswald's Hospice.
The dogs will be in place for the next 10 weeks with people able to track the trail on a special app.
At the end of the run, the dogs, based on the Snowdog character from Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman and The Snowdog, will be auctioned off in aid of the hospice.
Readers on the Gazette Facebook page vented their frustrations at the mindless act.
Penney Gray wrote: "Why is it when we get something new and to be proud of, there are people in our society who feel the need to spoil it for everyone else? Selfish, disrespectful and shameful."
Angie Coutts wrote: "No! Ashamed this has happened."
Vivienne Hinds wrote: "Terrible hope they catch the idiots responsible!"
Alison Charlton said: "This is shocking ! What on earth do people get out of doing things like this!!"
Steven John Rae said: "Massive shame."
Jacqueline Jobes wrote: "Absolutely disgraceful...mindless vandals!"
Gemma Peterson wrote: "Gutted about this.
"Just been down this morning with my little boy he loves seeing them so do so many other kids and some scumbags have went and done this. Disgusting."
And Tori Hunt said: "This makes me so sad.
"The amount of time and effort that has gone into this project to raise awareness and funds for a charity that cares for dying kids and someone does this. Total disgrace."
The Great North Snowdogs Twitter account has tweeted that Pawdington has been "taken to the vets" this weekend and it is hoped he will be back in place soon.
The attack follows similar vandalism of Snowdogs in Sunderland and Newcastle last week.