Michael Hammons and his wife were in a shopping centre parking lot in Georgia, USA when they saw a distressed Pomeranian-mix locked inside a car. What happened next landed Michael in court...
Michael takes action
On a regular day for Michael and his wife, the couple went to the shops to get some groceries. Little did they know they'd end up in court after rescuing a distressed dog that same day!
But that's how the day unfolded after Michael and his wife, and others nearby, noticed the distressed Pomeranian-mix locked in a car and trying to get out.
A few people had called the police, but Michael, an army veteran, knew the dog didn't have long before it succumbed to the heat. So he decided to take matters into his own hands, knowing full well the consequences of damaging someone else's property. After all, these were exceptional circumstances.
Breaking the car window, Michael collected the distressed dog from its oven. He took it to some shade where he gave it water and helped the little dog to cool down.
"Glass, they make new glass every day, but they could never replace that dog," Michael said.
Michael's actions lead to court action
Ignoring the value of Michael's actions in saving his dog, the animal's owner accused Michael of trespassing and took him to court.
In order to help Michael defend himself in court, a volunteer at an animal shelter started a crowdfunding campaign on the GoFundMe platform. A lawyer provided his services for free and a local Ford dealership even offered to fix the broken window for free!
With the community rallying behind Michael, the owner eventually dropped the charges and Michael was able to walk free.
Michael's actions recognised
In a fitting end to Michael's ordeal, animal rights group PETA heard about the story and awarded Michael the Compassionate Action Award for rescuing the dog.
The recognition was a wonderful accolade to Michael's actions and a reminder to those who mistreat animals, whether intentionally or unintentionally, to rethink their values as a pet owner.
So remember - NEVER, EVER leave a pet in a locked car, EVEN if the windows have been cracked slightly. A car is like an oven, even on a cool day, and it only takes minutes for an animal to succumb to the heat.
Read our article on what to do if you see a dog locked in a car.
Would you smash a window to free a distressed animal trapped in a car?
Photo for illustration purposes only