Police officers were called to a Langley shopping centre parking lot where RCMP smashed in an SUV window to rescue a dog. The reported dog turned out to be a stuffed toy. Supplied

Window smashed to rescue dog from SUV a false alarm

For the second time in one week, a reported dog trapped in a vehicle turned out to be a stuffed toy

For the second time in a week in B.C., would-be rescuers smashed in the window of a vehicle to save a dog from overheating, only to discover what they’d seen was actually a stuffed animal.

The Langley Animal Protection Society and Langley RCMP were called out to the Willowbrook Shopping Centre parking lot this afternoon, after a bystander witnessed the driver place what appeared to be a white poodle in the back of a red SUV underneath a privacy screen, said Jayne Nelson, director of LAPS.

Two other women reported hearing a dog barking and whining, then go silent. They figured it had been inside the vehicle for about 30 minutes.

The temperature was hovering around 30 degrees at the time.

Based on this information, RCMP decided to smash in the window of the SUV. Inside, they found one large and two smaller stuffed animals.

“They did look through the whole vehicle just to ensure that they hadn’t missed anything, that the animal hadn’t managed to crawl away under the seat or something, but there was no dog in the car,” Nelson said.

“That’s a good outcome. It’s unfortunate, but we were happy there was no dog in distress inside the vehicle.”

Despite the incident being a false alarm, Nelson still recommends people call in if they think an animal is in distress, especially with the current heat wave in the Lower Mainland.

Environment Canada has issued a hot weather warning, saying the region faces “a prolonged stretch of well above normal temperatures (that) is expected to persist into early next week.”

“Better safe than sorry, and sometimes it can be hard to tell from long distances,” Nelson said.

“Unfortunately, this still happens, people are still leaving their pets inside of cars, and we are still responding to calls. We are definitely encouraging people to take the ‘no hot pet pledge.’ Keep your pets at home where they are safe and comfortable.”

On Saturday, a similar incident happened in Victoria, where a couple smashed in the window of a car thinking a dog was dead or dying inside.

The dog turned out to be a stuffed toy named Rory.

READ MORE: From hot dog to not dog: stuffed toy prompts car break in

As of July 3, the BC SPCA reported that it had received 460 calls about dogs locked in hot cars.

The organization does not recommend that bystanders break the windows of vehicles to release the pets in distress. Only RCMP, local police and the BC SPCA Special Constables can lawfully enter a vehicle to help a pet.

If you do see an animal in distress, call a local animal control agency, police, or the BC SPCA hotline at 1-855-622-7722. Note the licence plate, vehicle colour, make and model, and ask nearby businesses to page for the vehicle owner.

READ MORE: If you see a dog in a hot car, don’t break in: SPCA

According to Mountain View Veterinary Hospital in Langley, when outside temperatures are at 21 degrees Celsius, it takes only 10 minutes for a car to heat up to 31.6 degrees, and 30 minutes to heat up to 40 degrees.

And on a hot summer day, outside temperatures of 29 degrees can heat up a car to 40 degrees in only 10 minutes, and 48.3 degrees in 30 minutes.

Temperatures this hot can cause heat stroke, brain damage or even death to pets locked inside.

READ MORE: BC SPCA receives 400 reports of dogs in hot cars so far this year



Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Miners dig up services of Vernon player

Ontario’s Red Lake Miners Junior A hockey club ink North Okanagan Knights forward Nic Bolin

UPDATE: Missing Kelowna teen located

Police are still looking to speak with the unidentified man she was spotted with

Vernon officer returns soccer ball and boy’s smile

RCMP officer retrieves errant soccer ball, returns it to five-year-old with cruiser lights flashing

Former Vernon psychologist disciplined

Complaint filed against Dr. Kevin Miller over conduct in context of treatment provided to client

Queen Silver Star tradition upheld despite COVID-19

Vernon, Coldstream, Lumby, Armstrong and Enderby youth can apply

B.C. records 30-50 new COVID-19 cases a day over weekend, no new deaths

Many of those testing positive were identified by contact tracing for being linked to other confirmed infections

Five B.C. First Nations call out Canada for ‘discriminatory’ food fish practices

West Coast nations say government ignoring court-won right to chinook and coho

No new COVID-19 cases in Kelowna over the weekend

Kelowna has nine of the Interior Health region’s 13 active cases

Rent-relief program becomes new front in fight between Liberals, opposition

Opposition trying to draw parallels between decision to have Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. run program and the WE controversy

West Kelowna woman upset with RCMP response to street brawl

A physical altercation between a group of teens and a group of adults erupted on a West Kelowna street Sunday evening

Kelowna real estate agent fined $6,500 for ‘misleading’ website

The website listed several services its owner was not licensed to provide

Ottawa sets minimum unemployment rate at 13.1% for EI calculation

Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July

$45K in donations received after couple’s sudden death in Tulameen

Sarah MacDermid, 31, and Casey Bussiere, 37, died August long weekend

Most Read