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Army veteran smashes window of hot car to save dog, gets arrested

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ATHENS, Ga. —An Army veteran smashed a car window to free a dog inside a hot car, but he was still arrested and charged with criminal trespassing.

“I heard someone say there was a dog in distress in a hot car,” Michael Hammons told WXIA.

Diane Byard and a group of shoppers were waiting for police to arrive when Hammons screamed he couldn’t let the dog die and smashed the Ford Mustang’s window to free the small Pomeranian mix.

“I’ve got PTSD, and I’ve seen enough death and destruction,” Hammons told WXIA. “And I didn’t want anything else to happen if I could prevent it.”

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

Oconee County Chief Deputy Lee Weems said they would not have brought charges against Hammons on their own, adding that the owner of the Mustang was “very insistent that he be charged with criminal trespassing.”

The owner of the car said she was only in the store for five minutes. Hammons claims it was a lot more than five minutes.

“I personally felt the heat in the car; I saw the dog panting. This dog was in distress,” he said.

The owner of the Mustang was cited for leaving the dog in the car. Georgia state law allows individuals to break a window to save a child in a hot or cold car, but not a pet.


  • Jeff F Foster

    Mixed feelings here. Not his animal control or the police. Unless the dog appears to be under immediate duress, there are probably better ways to handle this.

  • Fred

    Owner of car should be arrested for harming the pet. Vet should be rewarded for saving the dog. His case will go no where. A judge will throw it out.

  • V

    That’s BS. The dog could’ve died. Good for the vet. The mustang owners an idiot and shouldn’t own a dog

  • Bella

    If you are not able to sit in a parked car with the windows up yourself, don’t leave anyone else in there. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your dog. Common sense. These people shouldn’t be dog owners.

  • Pamela

    There’s both sides to every story, and there’s not enough information provided. Theresefore I can’t vote on this. I know from personal experience my dogs locked in a car will be distressed regardless of what the weather is like. Although the man was trying to do good, there was no proof that the dogs was in distress due to heat. This article didn’t even mention how long the dog owner was gone. Leaving a dog in the car doesn’t make that person a bad owner, many pet owners know that you can’t bring animals into stores. So what else were they supposed to do. People need to stop siding with the story they like most and think rationally about the situation. So many news articles have misleading and missing information, you shouldn’t believe everything they say. Goodnight people.

  • Rod

    Break my window, I hope my dog chews your fucking face off. Because just what the dog needs is to be running loose in a parking lot covered in glass after her safe place was angrily invaded by strangers

    I don’t leave my dog in the car with the windows up, or even just cracked, but all the keyboard commandos need to relax

    • Ricardo

      If you dog tried to chew my face off I’d shoot it twice in chest and once is the head. And now you have no dog, and I was simply defending myself. Get fucked lol

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