The platform for Belgium's international community

Search form

menu menu
  • Daily & Weekly newsletters
  • Buy & download The Bulletin
  • Comment on our articles

Puppy mistakes envelope full of cash for chew toy, rips up €2,000

A Golden Retriever puppy  (Piqsels, free licence)
06:50 09/05/2022

A Belgian dog owner had the shock of his life when his eight-month-old golden retriever chewed up an envelope containing €2,000 in banknotes, reports RTL.

Sally, who had been attending doggy school specifically to try and curb her tendency to chew everything, had been left alone for two hours while her owner Grégory was out working in his garage. When he returned inside, he found the shredded bank notes scattered over the kitchen floor.

"The money was to be used for a deposit on a car,” said Grégory. “I put the envelope on the kitchen counter, intending to find a good hiding place for it. I forgot about it and then went out to tinker in the garage for a couple of hours and when I came back in, I was shocked to discover the envelope as well as the shredded notes scattered all over the place."

Just over half of the total sum was damaged, around €1,100. However, Grégory wasn’t angry at Sally. "Not in the slightest,” he said. “It was my fault because I should have taken more precautions."

After trying to tape as much of the damaged money back together, Grégory then contacted his local bank about his dilemma. "I was told that I had to contact the National Bank of Belgium,” he said. “The problem is that there is only one counter which deals with this, and it's in Brussels, while I live in Liège. My bank could take care of the procedure, but it was going to take several weeks. So, I decided to go to Brussels myself."

In Belgium, only the National Bank can make such an immediate money exchange, under several conditions. "First, the deterioration of the banknote must be unintentional,” a spokesperson for the bank said. “Then, it is also necessary that more than 50% of the note exists. This criterion is very important because otherwise the person could come and exchange his damaged note twice."

Grégory’s notes ticked all the boxes for replacement, but the damage was so severe that the notes would have to go through a 10-day verification process, which is usually used in suspicious circumstances.

"The exchange of money like this is a technique used to launder money,” the spokesperson added. “We must therefore be extra careful and respect the legislation."

Ten days after depositing his damaged money in Brussels, Grégory had to return to the capital to collect his cash as a bank transfer in this case was not possible. In the end, he managed to recover the entire sum.

The National Bank of Belgium said it's working on the quality of the banknotes so that this kind of damage, which occurs daily, is less frequent. "We try with experience to make our banknotes stronger and more durable,” the spokesperson concluded. “Often people think that the notes are made of paper but, in reality, they are made with cotton."


Written by Nick Amies