In Athens, GA a dog owner was shopping in a store as concerned citizens took notice of the small dog she had left outside in her hot car, and called authorities. All the windows were up and people were worried about the little dog trapped in the hot car. The car was in shade but the little dog was clearly in distress and feeling the heat. Even a car parked in shade can get deadly hot on a warm day very quickly. Then Michael Hammons arrived, unable to watch another living thing suffer, he smashed the window and freed the dog.
When the dog owner returned, she was upset and demanded the Desert Storm Veteran be arrested. She claims she was only inside for a few minutes but witnesses say it was much longer. Hammons used the leg rest from his wife’s wheelchair to smash the window and save the little pup from more suffering.
Hammons stands by his actions and says he would do it all again in an instant.
He told local news station WXIA-TV, “I’ve seen enough death and destruction and I didn’t want anything else to happen if I can prevent it.”
The police had no desire to arrest the vet but were forced to comply with the dog owner’s wishes to arrest Hammons and press charges.
PETA announced they are awarding Michael Hammons the Compassionate Action Award.
On an 85-degree day the temperature inside a car after 10 minutes will reach about 104 degrees.
Deaths are very common not only with children left in cars but with dogs too.
The community is rallying around this compassionate man and veteran who risked his life, served our country and saved this little dog from the hot car. There is a Change.org petition created to help gather enough signatures to try to get the charges against Hammons dismissed.
This event has also highlighted the need to change laws around the country to protect animals. Local animal lovers have stepped forward to help Hammons’ family with any costs incurred from the incident. His lawyer is representing him pro bono.
Current Georgia law says you can smash a window to save a person, but not a dog and animal lovers say, “That’s just not right.”
Right now there are 17 states with laws against leaving an animal in a car unattended.
Click the link to find out more about the rules and penalties of leaving dogs in cars where you live.
It’s never okay to leave a dog or any pet in a car with the windows up on a warm day. If you wouldn’t sit in the car with the windows up on that day, your pets or children shouldn’t have to either.
Find out more about how to protect your dog from the summer heat and heat related illness.