A giant dog which has been doing the rounds in Napier as the mascot for steel building manufacturer Total Span proved irresistible for thieves two nights ago.

While initially the theft was thought to have spoiled a celebratory re-launch of the company on August 1, police last night discovered the dumped mascot 20km away in Hastings.

The mascot arrived in Hawke's Bay 10 days ago and was to appear at community and sporting events which the company sponsors and supports.

Built by Weta Workshops eight years ago and valued at $16,000, it is shared by company franchises in the Bay, Wanganui and Wairarapa.

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It's not yet known how the dog was taken to Hastings or who the culprits were.