Army veteran arrested for smashing car window to save dog from hot car

A veteran is in hot water after saving a dog from a hot car.

Michael Hammons, who served in Operation Desert Storm, was arrested Saturday for smashing the window of a Mustang convertible in the parking lot of an Athens, Ga., strip mall to free a Yorkshire Terrier.

“I’ve got PTSD, and I’ve seen enough death and destruction,” he told 11Alive. ”And I didn’t want anything else to happen if I could prevent it.”

A group of onlookers had already called authorities and was waiting for deputies when Hammons showed up.

“He says, ‘we can’t let this dog die,’ and he starts smashing the windows,” Diane Byard said.

Dog In Car
Photo via 11Alive.

Hammons used his wife’s wheelchair foot rest to smash the car window and rescue the panting pooch.

When the furious car owner came out of the store, she demanded the responding deputies arrest Hammons.

Man Saves Dog
Photo via 11Alive.

“We would not have made those charges on our own,” Oconee County Chief Deputy Lee Weems told 11Alive. “The deputies on scene say the owner of the dog and the car were very insistent that he be charged with criminal trespassing.”

The unidentified owner of the Mustang said she was only in the store for five minutes, but Hammons disputed that.

“It wasn’t just five minutes like the lady stated, it was a lot longer,” he said. “I personally felt the heat in the car. I saw the dog panting. This dog was in distress.”

Man Saves Dog
Photo via 11Alive.

The owner of the dog was cited with leaving the animal in a hot car.

“If it is 80 degrees outside, within 30 minutes, it will be 114 degrees inside a vehicle, even with the windows cracked,” Weems said.

Hammons Mugshot
Photo via 11Alive.

Georgia law allows someone to break a window to rescue a child trapped in a car but not a pet.

According to 11Alive animal advocates are working to change that.


Officer punishes woman who left dog to sit in hot car by ordering her do the same.

Carmine Sabia


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