A Victoria couple had an unpleasant surprise when they came back to their car and found their window smashed in.
A different couple nearby had seen a dog in the car, and after finding it unresponsive, called the police and were told to smash in the window.
The problem? The dog was actually a stuffed animal named Rory.
“They thought it was dead or dying so the broke the rear driver’s window to save it,” said toy owner Blake Handley in a Facebook post. “The stuffed dog could not be saved and the rescuer cut his hand in the attempt.”
Handley said it was especially ironic, because he and his wife had just come back from a recognition ceremony for SPCA donors at the Delta Hotels by Marriott Victoria Ocean Point Resort.
The people responsible for breaking the window stuck around to apologize and explain the situation.
“I wanted to go ‘yes, but now you owe be $200 for breaking my window,’ but they were a sweet sincere old couple,” Handley said.
The toy had been in their back seat for 18 years, and its fur has started to discolour. Additionally, a tag identifying Rory as a toy was pinned to the tail, but it was not seen by the concerned people
“This was the first time anyone seriously mistook him for a real dog,” Handley said. “They were good people to stay and say what they did.”
Since then, Handley has added more labels and ribbons to Rory to identify it as a toy.
“NOT REAL DOG- DOES NOT REQUIRE RESCUING” is pinned to the toy’s neck and rear.
The BCSPCA reported on July 3 that they’d already received 460 phone calls about dogs in distress in hot cars. They also noted that concerned passersby should not break glass windows when trying to save an animal, both for legal and safety reasons.
“Only RCMP, local police, and BC SPCA Special Constables have the authority to enter a vehicle lawfully to help a pet in distress,” the BCSPCA said in a statement. “Not only are you putting yourself at risk when you break a glass window, but you also risk harming the dog.”
For more information, you can head to spca.bc.ca/news/do-not-leave-animals-in-hot-cars/