Sunderland BID is among the first organisations to sponsor a giant festive four-legged friend.
In the run-up to Christmas 2016, prime locations across the city will be home to Snowdogs sculptures from the Raymond Briggs film, The Snowman and The Snowdog.
The white dogs, which will be painted by local artists, are part of the Great Snowdogs public art trail, being run by Wild in Art, which will see the whole of the North East taken over by the colourful canines for ten weeks.
Though the exact locations have not been revealed yet, business promotion organisation Sunderland BID has already sponsored one of the dogs.
BID chief executive Ken Dunbar said: “We got behind Great North Snowdogs as it’s such a spectacular concept. We’ve seen how Wild in Art’s events have helped cities and driven footfall, combating the challenge of online shopping.”
To pledge the BID’s support, Ken placed a paw print with the company name on a board at a launch event, which reserves them a prime spot on the art trail map when the locations are announced.
Ken added: “We were delighted to put a paw print on the wall and show our support, and we’re confident Sunderland will play a leading role in the project.
“The Snowdogs trail is unique, edgy and different, I’m sure it’ll bring different parts of Sunderland to life.”
The individually-designed sculptures, which will be in place from autumn next year, will give people the chance to follow a trail map to plot the dogs.
Once the trail ends, the sculptures will be auctioned to raise funds for St Oswald’s Hospice Children’s Service.
Among those who attended the launch was artist Jeff Rowland, who put his final touches to the very first Snowdog, named Arthur, in tribute to his late father who received care at St Oswald’s.
l To find out more about Great North Snowdogs, visit: www.greatnorthsnowdogs.co.uk or follow on Twitter: @great_snowdogs or Facebook: /greatnorthsnowdogs