BURLINGTON, Vt. — Vandals have burned, decapitated and cut the feet off a smiling Ronald McDonald statue that sat outside a Ronald McDonald House in Vermont.

The statue had occupied a bench outside the Burlington home for years, welcoming sick children and families who need to be close to the University of Vermont Children’s Hospital.

Executive director Kristine Bickford told New England Cable News that volunteers moved the statue’s remains into storage because children were traumatized by seeing it.

She said on three occasions vandals burned the statue’s face, took off its head and sawed off its feet. The head was discovered dumped near the city’s waterfront.

Bickford estimated it will cost $7,500 to buy a new statue. She said the new statue will be kept indoors.

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