Nottinghamshire police who broke into a car to save and overheating dog were stunned to find that it was actually a cuddly toy.
The officers grew concerned about the animal, which they believed to be sleeping, as it would not be roused as they attempted to wake it from the back seat of a Mercedes Coupe.
Owner Gordon Williams, 80, returned to his car to discover a note that read: “Smashed your window re concern for animal on rear seat.”
It was only when the PCs reached inside the car that they realised the King Charles Spaniel, which they thought to be suffering in 18C, was actually a stuffed toy worth £4.50.
Police have agreed to pay to replace the smashed window, but Mr Williams, who bought the toy, named Little Willy, whilst on holiday said: “He’d been living quite happily on the car’s back seat. But I’ve decided he will be safer sleeping on a chair in my kitchen.”
Nottinghamshire Police said: “The call was made in good faith by a passer-by. In this case officers believed a dog could be suffering due to the heat of the day and its life was potentially at risk, so felt there was no other option but to enter the vehicle.
“We will be speaking to the owner of the vehicle about paying for the damage.
“This is a perfect example of why drivers need to think about what they leave on view in their car, both in terms of other people’s perception of the objects and in a bid to deter opportunist thieves.”