After saving a dog from a hot car, an Iraq War veteran was charged with criminal trespassing.
Michael Hammons of Athens, Georgia spotted a small Pomeranian dog stuck inside of a hot car outside of a store and took action. While another group of concerned shoppers waited to police to arrive, Hammons smashed the window of the car and pulled the dog to safety.
“I knew there’d be consequences, but it didn’t matter,” Hammons told WAGA-TV. “Glass, they make new glass every day, but they could never replace that dog.”
Witnesses said after he took the dog out of the car, he brought it to a shady area and gave it water to drink. When the dog’s owner, Elantra Cunningham, came out to the car, she was not happy about the situation. She pressed criminal trespass charges against Hammons for breaking into her car.
“The dog was going to die. Nobody was there to help,” Diane McGuire-Byard, who was a witness at the scene, told WSB-TV. “He was a hero we thought.”
Although many saw Hammons actions as justified, police say they had no choice after Hammons admitted to breaking the window, and Cunningham insisted he be cited.
Cunningham was also cited by police for leaving the dog in her car. According to ABC 17, all charges against Hammons relating to the incident have been dropped. A local Ford dealership even volunteered to repair Cunningham’s window for free.
Georgia law states that citizens are allowed to break a window to save a person, but not an animal.
“The laws need to be changed to protect the animals, not necessarily the people,” said Mark Martin, a pet store owner who supports Hammons told 11 Alive. “We are the voices for the animals; they can’t speak for themselves.”