A fake grenade left inside a donation box caused a scare at a local nonprofit earlier this month.

The episode at the Santa Cruz Humane Society ended harmlessly – authorities determined the grenade was a “dummy” – but not before local police called the Arizona Department of Public Safety Bomb Squad and evacuated the building.

The incident started when someone at the Humane Society found an unusual object in a donation box and called the Nogales Police Department at 4 p.m. on Feb. 5, reporting that the object was a grenade. An officer responded to the organization’s office on State Route 82 and asked people to step outside of the building, according to a report filed by the officer.

About 20 minutes after the initial call, according to NPD call logs, the responding officer said it was a pineapple-style grenade with a pin inside and they weren’t sure it was a real, live grenade.

In any case, NPD called for the bomb squad and a detective and sergeant from DPS came about an hour later. In the meantime, another NPD officer arrived on the scene and ordered an evacuation.

When the DPS bomb squad got there, they didn’t take long to identify the grenade as a fake.

A bomb squad member went into the office where it had been found and “shortly after, they walked out with the dummy grenade,” according to the NPD officer report. The DPS sergeant reportedly said “it appeared to have been a trophy/ornament.”

The report didn’t include any indication as to why or how the fake grenade made its way into a donation box at the Humane Society, a shelter for dogs and cats on the east side of the city.

The brief scare was reminiscent of another grenade discovery last March – except that, in that case, the pineapple-style grenade turned out to be the real deal.

The real grenade, found on March 31, 2020 by a Border Patrol agent, turned up in the area of West International Street. It was detonated by a DPS bomb squad on a hill behind the Public Works Department on Hohokam Drive, NPD said at the time.

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