The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Veteran Breaks Car Window To Save Dog, Owner Has Him Arrested: What Are Your Thoughts?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Veteran Breaks Car Window To Save Dog, Owner Has Him Arrested: What Are Your Thoughts?

Athens, Georgia – A man who saved a dog from a hot car wasn't rewarded for his action. Instead, the move landed him behind bars.

"I heard someone say there was a dog in distress in a hot car," said Michael Hammons, a Desert Storm veteran.

Diane Byard said she and a group of shoppers noticed the dog in the Mustang and were waiting on police before Hammons came.

"He says we can't let this dog die, and he starts smashing the windows."

Hammons used his wife's wheelchair leg to smash the window, freeing the dog.
"I've got PTSD, and I've seen enough death and destruction," Hammons said. "And I didn't want anything else to happen if I could prevent it."

Witnesses say when the owner of the car came out of the store, she was furious, and demanded deputies take action.

"We would not have made those charges on our own," said Oconee County Chief Deputy Lee Weems. "The deputies on scene say the owner of the car and of the dog was very insistent that he be charged with criminal trespassing."
The dog's owner told police she had only been gone five minutes.

"It wasn't just five minutes like the lady stated, it was a lot longer," Byard said. "I personally felt the heat in the car; I saw the dog panting. This dog was in distress."

The dog's owner could not be reached for comment Monday.

"If it is 80 degrees outside, within 30 minutes, it will be 114 degrees inside a vehicle, even with the windows cracked," Byard said.

The owner was cited for leaving the dog in the hot car. But without surveillance video, deputies say it is hard to tell how long the dog was actually left in the car.

Georgia state law does allow an individual to break a window to save a child in a hot or cold car, but not a pet. That is something that animal advocates say they are working to change.

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