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It was just another lovely evening for Graham Barrett, a resident of Richmond in BC (British Columbia), Canada. He had taken his two dogs on a routine evening walk in the woods near his home. But while strolling through, he heard something- a muffled sound- that caught his immediate attention and revealed something horrendous.

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Barrett liked to spend his evenings in the quiet of the woods, exercising and playing with his dogs. The place was usually quiet, with only the soothing rustles of leaves and whistles of winds to be heard of. But this time Barrett heard a strange muffled sound; even his dogs reacted to the sound. So, he got alerted that something was up.

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Barrett decided to follow the sound and as he got closer, the noise seemed to be coming from behind a tree. On investing, all he could find was a black and blue suitcase. The disturbing part was that the suitcase was moving. The noise, too, was coming from the suitcase and it sounded like muffled whimpers of an animal.

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His immediate thought was that there must be something alive in the suitcase. He tried to open it but couldn’t. And since he had gone out without his mobile, he couldn’t call someone for help. He was at a loss. Luckily, after a short while, he saw another person passing by. So, he called out to him for help.

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The passerby was perplexed by the situation and agreed that there could be an alive animal inside the suitcase. Without wasting another moment, they decided to call the British Columbia SPCA- Society of Cruelty to Animals. However, they couldn’t get through and were at a loss once again.

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Barrett, however, was not ready to leave the suitcase behind. After all, it was the month of May and one of the hottest evenings. He was terrified at the thought of how the poor creature must be handling it all locked up inside. So, he decided to take the suitcase home and deal with the situation there.

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Barrett carefully straightened the suitcase and wheeled it along with him, trying his best to not cause any further trouble to whatever poor creature was trapped inside. Luckily, his home was only five-six minutes away. He examined the suitcase more carefully. It was made of hard shell and had two locks over it. So, it was obvious that whoever this belonged to, did not want its content to get out or to be discovered.

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Since Barrett couldn’t get through to SPCA, he contacted the local Mounties. But the constant muffles were making him anxious. So, while waiting, he managed to open one of the stubborn padlocks. In an interview later, he told the Richmond news, ‘I was thinking- I hope this is a domestic animal and nothing more dangerous or sinister, such as a person.’

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All these thoughts and his futile efforts to break open the other lock were making Barrett restless. He wanted to know what was inside and that it was doing okay. So, he poked a hole big enough for air to get it. When he peeped through it, it looked like a dog inside.

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Soon enough the Mounties arrived at Barrett’s house and helped him break open the second lock. The moment they opened the suitcase, a terrified apricot-colored poodle jumped out of it. This miniature poodle was all covered in his own feces and urine. Moreover, it seemed like the poor creature hadn’t eaten anything for over a week.

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His wife immediately scooped him up and then gave him some food. Meanwhile, Barrett took the police to the place where he found the suitcase. The police then took the dog to RAPS- Richmond Animal Protection Society. The staff there named the poodle “Donut”. Later, on their website, RAPS put an update about his condition.

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The statement read that Donut was a male and approximately 6-year-old. He was also in good health despite the hot weather and horrific condition he was put in. They believed that he had been in the suitcase, on the hottest day of the year so far, for about 3 to 6 hours. It also read that the dog seemed well looked after and recently groomed.

It seemed confusing that if the owners took care of him so well, then how did he end up in a suitcase?

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The experienced RAPS members, however, believed that this was some kind of revenge case and possibly the owners had no idea about the mishap. In an interview with The Dodo- an animal-themed website, RAPS chief Eyal Lichtmann said, “It had two different sets of locks on it, which is just crazy. It’s one thing to lock a dog in a suitcase, another thing to double-lock it, right?”

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The suitcase is being kept by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police as prime evidence in this case’s investigation. The police were also able to notify the incident to SPCA later on. While the investigation is still on, Donut has gone back to his playful self. Lichtmann reported, “The minute he recovered, he was just the friendliest, happiest dog. He was very well socialized.” The police are hoping to get in touch with the real owners through their media campaign. But what if they can’t find them?

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For now, Donut has settled into his new life at the RAPS shelter. Everybody loves him, and he, too, enjoys his playtime with the staff members and volunteers. The police hope to find the owners but if they are unable to do so, Barrett’s daughter is willing to adopt Donut as her own. She also wants to rename him “Lucky”– as a tribute to his incredibly fortunate escape.

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