A much-loved art installation has been replicated and returned to its proper place outside an animal hospital on Route 130 in Mashpee.
Until last summer, a large sculpture of a dog and cat, carved from wood and covered in gold leaf, greeted passersby from atop the sign of the Leach Animal Hospital. On the rainy evening of June 27, the sculpture was stolen from its perch above the sign, and has not been seen since.
“I think the thieves thought it was solid gold. The artist estimated that it would have taken them two hours to remove the heavy, bolted-down sculpture. It was an art heist,” Dr. Jonathan Leach, owner of the hospital, said, adding that he was amazed at how many people inquired about the missing sculpture.
Two weeks ago, a replacement sculpture, commissioned at the cost of $12,000, made its debut outside of the animal hospital. The sculpture was created by internationally known woodcarver Paul J. White of Sandwich.
While the new sculpture is nearly identical to the original, there is a minor change—the feline, previously covered in gold leaf, now features tiger cat markings to make it stand out more from the dog. Dr. Leach said the canine was carved to resemble a Labrador retriever.
Dr. Leach said there was never any doubt that the sculpture was going to be replaced, and responded coyly when asked if any special precautions have been taken to discourage another theft.
“All I’ll say is that there will be a big surprise for anyone who tries to steal it again,” he said.