Acts of vandalism at two Vancouver fur shops this week that required hazmat crews to be called out have prompted police to appeal for the public’s help.

A substance smelling like sour milk was sprayed through the mail slot at Speiser Furs on Granville Street after hours on Monday and a liquid with a similar odour was poured through the door jamb at Snowflake Furs on West Pender Street early Tuesday morning, police said Thursday.

"The suspects in both incidents are described as wearing masks, baggy clothing, large hats, and gloves to disguise their identities," said Const. Lindsey Houghton.

Vancouver Fire and Rescue Service members attended to examine the unknown substance and while it has not been identified, it was determined not to be hazardous.

"The smell is all-pervasive," said Megan Halprin, co-owner of Snowflake Furs. "It’s going up in the building, it's down in the parking lot and you can smell it here."

Incidents in May

It’s the second time this year that the Snowflake boutique was targeted. In May, activists splattered the storefront with red paint. Paint was also splashed onto the exterior of two other fur shops the same day.

The tactics don`t sit well with some other animal rights activists.

mi-bc-120823-fur-shop-vandals-archive

Surveillance footage in May caught two vandals splashing paint at Snowflake Furs. (Vancouver Police Dept.)

"The fur industry has a lot of cruelty behind it in the way the fur is manufactured," said Adrian Nelson, of the Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals. "I think it’s important that the message gets out there of what really happens to these animals, but this isn't the way to do it."

Police say store owners are frustrated and investigators need the public’s help.

"We can't solve a case like this fast enough for [the owners], we know that. But we have very limited information, and that’s why it will be critical for someone who knows what’s happening here and knows who’s responsible, to come forward," Houghton said.

With files from the CBC's Ayesha Bhatty