Now that summer is rapidly approaching, many dog owners are being warned not to leave their pets in hot cars.
While some people would call the police if they suspected a dog in a car was in danger, one man took it upon himself to save a little Yorkshire Terrier who had been left inside a Mustang in an Athens, Georgia, parking lot.
Michael Hammons, a Desert Storm veteran, sprang into action Saturday after he overheard someone say there was a dog in distress in a hot car, The New York Daily News reports.
A group of shoppers had spotted the dog in the car and were waiting for the police to arrive when Hammons used his wife’s wheelchair leg rest to smash the car window and free the little Yorkie.
“I’ve got PTSD, and I’ve seen enough death and destruction,” Hammons told WXIA-TV Atlanta. “And I didn’t want anything else to happen if I could prevent it.”
When the car’s owner came out of the store, she insisted Hammons be charged with criminal trespassing, witnesses told WXIA.
The pup’s owner claims she was only gone for five minutes but Hammons says it was a lot longer. He told the Atlanta TV station that he personally felt the heat in the car and saw the dog panting, too.
It was 87 degrees Fahrenheit in Athens on Saturday, according to weather reports. Oconee County Chief Deputy Lee Weems points out that even with the windows cracked, an 80-degree Fahrenheit day can feel like 114 degrees Fahrenheit inside a vehicle.
Hammons was arrested while the owner was cited for leaving the dog inside the vehicle, although deputies said without surveillance, it’s impossible to tell how long the dog was really inside the car.
Georgia state law allows someone to break a window in order to save a child, but not a pet, according to WXIA.
Update: The charges have been dropped. Read the story here.