03/04/2012 08:35 BST

Nottinghamshire Police Smash Into Car To 'Rescue' Toy Dog

Police smashed their way into a motorist's parked car to "save" a toy stuffed dog.

Officers at Nottinghamshire Police received a call from a concerned passer-by, saying they believed a dog had been left in the back of a locked car that was in a car park in Church Lane, Mansfield.

Once police had broken the window of the Mercedes to save the animal, they discovered it was nothing more than a stuffed toy.

A spokesman for the force said they would now be discussing compensation with the owner of the car, who was reported by the BBC to be 80-year-old Gordon Williams.

Mr Williams said he thought police had done the right thing after receiving such a call.

"I know Little Willy is quite realistic and if they weren't sure about it, they did a good thing as we don't want any more dogs dying in the heat of a car," he told the BBC.

A statement from Nottinghamshire Police said: "Police were called to a car park in Church Lane, Mansfield just before 2pm on Monday 26 March 2012, after a concerned passer-by reported what they believed to be a dog left in the back of a secured vehicle.

A police spokesman 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."

Mr Williams added Little Willy would be a stay-at-home dog from now on.