NOTTINGHAMSHIRE, UK – The PC and WPC feared for the animal after being alerted by a passer-by.
They first tried to rouse the “sleeping” King Charles Spaniel.
When that failed, they decided to break a window of the smart Mercedes coupe — then realised their mistake when they picked up the lifelike plaything.
Owner Gordon Williams, 80, returned to find his car covered in glass and a note. It read: “Smashed your window re concern for animal on rear seat.”
The force is now having to pay £180 compensation. Gordon said: “I guess they felt like idiots.”
The retired mining engineer, of Mansfield, Notts, had left his motor in a public car park last Monday when temperatures soared to 18°C (64°F).
Widower Gordon said he bought the toy on holiday — and named him Little Willy.
He 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: “Officers believed a dog could be suffering. This is a perfect example of why drivers need to think about what they leave on view.”