Saving Animals, Getting Arrested

dog safety

There has been a lot of media attention this past week because a 46 year-old veteran saw a dog dying in a car, and broke the window to save the dog. When Iraq veteran Michael Hammons arrived at an Athens shopping center he found a group of concerned citizens worried about the Yorkie in a heating car, the other shoppers had already called local police. Believing the dog to be in imminent danger Hammons took part of his wife’s wheelchair and broke the window.


The dog’s owner, upon her return, stated she had only been gone 5 minutes and demanded Hammons be arrested, so he was. Current Georgia law would have allowed him to legally break the window to save a human, not to save a dog. The town was outraged, PETA says they are giving him the Compassionate Action Award, and a local Ford dealer offered to replace the Mustang’s window for free. The District Attorney said that the dog’s owner agreed to drop the charges. She was issued a citation by animal control.

In 2012 a woman broke a car window at a clinic during a heat wave to rescue a dog, the owner had not returned, she had waited more than 40 minutes for police to arrive, and she took matters into her own hands and broke the window with a “Club” device. After issuing the dog owner a citation, the police asked the dog owner if she wished to press charges against the woman who broke out her window, she declined, and thanked the woman for saving her dog, she stated she had no intention of being gone that long.

Pet advocates and experts say there is no reason to take your dog out to tun errands on hot days, unless you are taking your dog to a park, a pet store, the vet, or a friend’s house that welcomes dogs, leave your pet at home in their comfortable space. It is sad that laws cannot be changed to include saving dogs from negligence, no one wants to stand there and watch a dog die waiting for police to arrive, who legally can break the window if needed.

dog safety2

So what do experts say for dogs and heat? Here are a few tips:

  • If your dog has short hair and/or light skin, apply sunscreen, your pet can get skin cancer from sunburn
  • Make sure there is always access to fresh water and shade, most dogs love an ice cube or two in their water bowl, and just for an easy treat
  • Don’t leave your pet in a hot car, just don’t, do you want to go out for an outing and spend inordinate time in a hot car with nothing to do? Why do you think this is fun for your pet?
  • Don’t take your pets to play in grassy areas where you do not know the owners or what the land is used for, it could all be treated with chemicals that are harmful to your pet’s nervous system, heart, lungs, or brain

One good time to take your dog outside in the summer is if you are going here!




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