|A bystander captured Michael Hammons|
smashing out a car window to rescue
a dog in a hot car. The car's owner insisted
he be arrested.
U.S. Army veteran Michael Hammons was outside an Athens, Georgia shopping center when he spotted a dog in distress inside a hot car with the windows rolled up.
The dog was going to die of the heat, he knew.
With time running out for the dog, He did what any self respective person would do and smashed out a window in the car and rescued the pup, says the Athens Herald-Banner.
Hammons' reward? He was arrested.
The woman who owned the car was outraged that Hammons broke the window to her precious Ford Mustang. She insisted that police press charges against him, so authorities had no other choice but to arrest him.
"We didn't want to charge him, but he told us he broke the windows and when you hav a victim there saying she wants hi charge, we had no other choice," said Chief Deputy Lee Weems, according to television station WAGA in Atlanta.
In some states, laws shield people from arrest if they, in good faith, break a car window to rescue a dog. Georgia law allows you to break a car window to save a person, but the law doesn't cover pets.
The woman, who owns the dog and the Ford Mustang is Elantra Cunningham, 22. She was issued a citation for improper animal care.
I have no idea why they didn't take that dog away from her. Permanently. Anyone stupid enough to leave a dog in a hot car in a parking lot on a summery day has no business having a dog.
Reports are that the woman said she only left the dog in the car for a few minutes, but witnesses including Hammons said it was definitely longer than that.
Judging from the account in the Athens Banner-Herald, it does seem like it was longer than a few minutes. People had been standing outside the car, contemplating what to do. One of them had called the sheriff, who hadn't arrived yet.
Hammons broke the car window, took the dog to a shady area and gave it water. All this before Cunningham emerged from her happy little shopping spree.
Hammons told WAGA that despite the arrest and the fact he would be responsible for paying for repairs to the stupid Ford Mustang, he'd act the same if he had to do it all over again, which of course is totally cool.
"I knew there'd be consequences, but it didn't matter. Glass, they make new glass every day, but they could never replace that dog."
Hammons has PTSD and all this attention is negatively affected him, says his wife.
As you might expect, social media lit up with praise for Hammons and darts and arrows for Cunningham. There's reportedly a GoFundMe page set up for Hammons to help him pay for the car window and any legal expenses he incurs.