Release the hounds — authorities in West Hollywood are on the trail of a dog statue that strayed from its public viewing space on Monday, perhaps as a prank.
The wandering resin bulldog is one of six red and pink sculptures placed on a median last week in advance of the city's gay pride parade held on Sunday. It's part of a six-piece exhibit sponsored by the city's "Art on the Outside" display.
"We're sort of working with the assumption that it was a prank of some sort, or people, you know didn't realize what they were doing. And then maybe they realized the next morning when they woke up, 'Hey, I have a pink bulldog with a water bottle on its back, and I don't know how I got it or what I'm doing with it.' And we just want to make an opportunity for people to return it," said Andrew Campbell, the cultural affairs administrator for the City of West Hollywood.
Sheriff's deputies are hoping that security video from nearby shops will help them track down the dognappers.
The works were created by Belgian artist William Sweetlove, who plans to visit West Hollywood in September, this time with 5,000 penguin statues.
A representative for the artist, Kris Ghesquiere, told the Los Angeles Times that the artist is willing to offer a reward — a frog statue worth $1,600 — to the person who leads authorities to the lost dog.
"We and the city of West Hollywood did this for the people. Everybody does stupid things sometimes. We want to give people a chance to give it back with no consequences."
Ghesquiere also told the paper that Sweetlove's dog sculptures are carry a message of ecology:
"Climate will change soon: We'll have a lot of water, but not enough drinking water, so he provides his animals with drinking water, backpacks with food, shoes to protect them from the heat," he said.
This story has been updated.